South African Journal of Geomatics

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Are the walls giving way to fences? Is racial integration within Kwadukuza municipality leading to income-based class segregation?

Vishanth Singh, Amanda van Eeden


The racial and development imbalances created by apartheid have made a profound impact on the urban and social landscape in South Africa. Despite it being 20 years into the dawn of a new South Africa, many parts of society are still bearing the brunt of the harsh impacts of apartheid. The first democratic elections in 1994 heralded a new era of hope and optimism for a better life in a racially integrated country. However 20 years into democracy, it is essential to monitor changes in integration. Literature suggests that, in the absence of legally enforced segregation as with apartheid, society will segregate itself on class or other factors. The purpose of this study is to measure whether the changes in racial integration are leading to class-based segregation in KwaDukuza, South Africa. The Neighbourhood Diversity Index was used to investigate how the racial patterns changed over the years and a Geographic Weighted Regression (GWR) model was used to determine if there is a relationship between racial integration and income that could explain transference from racial to classed-based segregation. The study found that low levels of racial integration have taken place but certain areas of the municipality have become increasingly segregated. The GWR model found a positive relationship between income and racial segregation in certain areas. This study further highlights that politicians, decision makers, and town and social planners face a long and socially demanding challenge in redressing past imbalances and promoting integration by breaking down the current trend of class-based segregation.
AJOL African Journals Online