Managing and Imagining Migrant Communities
Keywords:development, local governance, migration, social cohesion
Integrated development planning processes are key mechanisms for engaging communities in local decision making, and legitimising the work of municipal governments. However, civil servants have held a longstanding series of assumptions about populations being fixed, of migration as a phenomenon that should be controlled, and of communities that are defined by ethnolinguistic and associated geographical boundaries. These assumptions are far removed from the current reality in South Africa, but remain firmly ensconced in the imagination and practice of local political officials. They hinder inclusive participation and adaptive planning, and are generating social frictions that prevent re-imagining inclusive communities, and developing participatory IDPs.
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