Slums are ‘normal’?

Source: Mail and guardian Africa

In southern Africa, although slum populations are relatively low, and living conditions in informal settlements somewhat better than in the rest of Africa, inequality at city and national level is staggeringly high, indicating that even though the poor in southern Africa are “doing better” than in the rest of Africa, the rich are far, far richer.

African urbanism needs to be rethought “from the slums”, UN-Habitat says, arguing African governments should re-frame informality for what it really is: a door by which modern cities are built. When the state retreats from the public sphere, as has happened in several African cities, informality becomes the framework by which urban areas are administered. In this sense, “informality has a greater claim to legitimacy than the state itself.”

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