Conflicts Between and Within: The ‘Conflicting Rationalities’ of Informal Occupation in South Africa

Journal article

One of the most pervasive planning challenges in Southern cities is the formal housing shortage. In South African cities informal occupation of vacant buildings and land is one way in which urban dwellers meet their housing needs. This paper uses land occupations in Cape Town, South Africa, as a lens to explore conflicting rationalities.

We show that there are conflicting rationalities both between the state and occupiers, as well as within the state and among occupiers. In nuancing the conflicting rationalities concept through an empirical case study, this paper concludes by outlining implications for planning theory and practice.

Nobukhosi Ngwenya
Liza Rose Cirolia
Volume 21, 2020
Sustainable Cities