Twenty years after the demise of apartheid, a typical South African city remains bifurcated.
The mushrooming of squatter camps, mekhukhu, in our big cities, symptomises a history that
defined the majority of South Africans as sojourners and vagabonds in their motherland.
Destined to die in the rural reserves after the extraction of their labour and confined to
‘locations’ in-between the ‘city’ and the rural ‘home’, black experience in the post-1994 city
continues to be a manifestation of a life disintegrated from an integrated vision of ikhaya (oikos)
− household − and urban life in democratic South Africa. By critiquing the policies of the post-
1994 government on urbanisation, the article argues that for inclusion in the city, the colonial
and apartheid polis is not adequate redress to the black experience of urbanisation in South
Africa. The quest for the transformation of a city in order for an integrated city in the post-1994
South Africa to be achieved is ostensibly the best starting point, this article argues.
This article forms part of
the special collection on
‘Doing urban public theology
in South Africa: Visions,
approaches, themes and
practices towards a new