Managing and Imagining Migrant Communities




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.

Author Biography

Caitlin Blaser Mapitsa, University of the Witwatersrand

Caitlin Blaser Mapitsa is a PhD candidate and Senior M&E Technical Expert at the University of the Witwatersrand. Her research focusses on understanding change in local systems of governance, and how to measure these changes. She has written most recently on enablers and constraints to planning for mobility in the region, as well as local government’s role in social inclusion.



How to Cite

Blaser Mapitsa, Caitlin. 2019. “Managing and Imagining Migrant Communities”. Africanus: Journal of Development Studies 48 (2):17 pages.



Received 2018-07-14
Accepted 2018-11-13
Published 2019-03-12