Let's do it ourselves! Urban elites and the negotiation of infrastructure challenges in Masvingo Zimbabwe

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dc.contributor.advisor Du Plessis, Irma en
dc.contributor.postgraduate Mhandu, John en
dc.date.accessioned 2016-06-27T12:17:39Z
dc.date.available 2016-06-27T12:17:39Z
dc.date.created 2016-04-19 en
dc.date.issued 2016 en
dc.description Mini Dissertation (MSocSci)--University of Pretoria, 2016. en
dc.description.abstract This research is situated within a broader urban sociology framework, and set against the background of a precarious economic and political milieu in Zimbabwe, as a result of which urban infrastructure deteriorated immensely during the post-independence period, in particular the third decade. Drawing on a literature on decentralization and urban governance (Reddy, 1999; Smit and Pieterse, 2014), with a specific focus on Africa (Ribot, 1999; Chigwata, 2010;Chigwenya, 2010), the study contends that the acclaimed decentralization and devolution of power by the central state in Zimbabwe can be described as phony and counter-productive in as far as urban infrastructure development is concerned. Through a focus on fragmenting urban infrastructure in contemporary Masvingo, Zimbabwe the study explores the challenges faced by the municipal council and the livelihood and survival strategies of local elites in combating service delivery and infrastructure challenges. In this research, I argue that infrastructure conditions in urban Masvingo have deteriorated owing to rapid urbanization, decentralization devoid of devolution, political instability, human negligence, and macro-economic challenges, which in my view affects the municipality s prioritization of expenditures. The municipal council view the rise of government parastatals such as ZINARA as the biggest challenge undermining their ability to acquire resources for infrastructure maintenance. Furthermore, it is argued that the continued fragmentation of infrastructure and service delivery became an eyesore as well as a threat to elites, who embraced a let s do it ourselves approach . As a result, urban elites in Masvingo constantly engage with key institutions, including the state and non-governmental organizations, to negotiate infrastructural challenges with a view to improve livelihoods and well-being. In addition, urban elites have been necessitated to implement a range of coping strategies at household level (such as use of borehole water, household generators, and access to countryside resources) to combat failing infrastructure. The study found that the coping strategies employed by the elite urban ratepayers varies depending on whether they reside in a low density or high density suburb. The research deployed data source triangulation techniques, utilizing semi-structured interviews, document analysis and participant observation. A total of seventeen interviews were conducted with key informants including councillors and top representatives of the municipal council, a member of parliament, and selected elite urban ratepayers in Masvingo. en
dc.description.availability Unrestricted en
dc.description.degree MSocSci en
dc.description.department Sociology en
dc.identifier.citation Mhandu, J 2016, Let's do it ourselves! Urban elites and the negotiation of infrastructure challenges in Masvingo Zimbabwe, MSocSci Mini Dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd <http://hdl.handle.net/2263/53439> en
dc.identifier.other A2016 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2263/53439
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher University of Pretoria en_ZA
dc.rights © 2016 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria. en
dc.subject UCTD en
dc.title Let's do it ourselves! Urban elites and the negotiation of infrastructure challenges in Masvingo Zimbabwe en
dc.type Mini Dissertation en


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