International Development Planning Review

Contesting violent displacement: the case of Warwick market in Durban, South Africa

International Development Planning Review (2020), 42, (1), 13–32.

Abstract

While violence traditionally refers to the use of physical force to cause harm to others, in recent years this definition has been widened to include structural forces such as deprivation, poverty, inequality and forced displacement. This paper analyses strategies by Durban Municipality to demolish the century-old Early Morning Market (EMM) and replace it with a mall. More specifically, the following forms of violence will be illustrated: physical violence and brutality; racial stigmatisation; threats to livelihoods; and fear of forced removal and relocation. The municipality presented the mall project as being in the public interest. However, the demolition of the EMM would have destroyed the livelihoods of thousands, who are directly and indirectly dependent on it for their survival, in an environment with high levels of poverty, inequality and unemployment. The proposed spatial reconfiguration of Warwick Junction, with the mall project and demolition of the EMM, was a neoliberal strategy to favour capital/big business, at the expense of poor traders and consumers in the area. Traders inside and outside the EMM were able to organise, mobilise, resist and challenge their violent dispossession by the alliance between the local state and corporate mall developer, and together with legal recourse, were ultimately successful.

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References

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Mbanjwa, B. (2009) ‘Take the wheel, Durban, says SACP’, Daily News, 14 July, 2. Google Scholar

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Moncada E. (2017) ‘Varieties of vigilantism: conceptual discord, meaning and strategies’, Global Crime, 18(4), 403–23. Google Scholar

Monteith, W. and Lwasa, S. (2017) ‘The participation of urban displaced populations in (in)formal markets: contrasting experiences in Kampala, Uganda’, Environment and Urbanization, 29(2), 383–402. Google Scholar

Moser, C. O. N. (2004) ‘Urban violence and insecurity: an introductory roadmap’, Environment and Urbanisation, 16(2), 3–16. Google Scholar

Nadvi, L. (2009) ‘City public meeting to discuss Warwick plans a complete farce’ (in author’s possession). Google Scholar

Naidoo, M. (2016) ‘Traders decry council’s promises’, Herald, 24 July, 1. Google Scholar

Naran, J. (2009) ‘Naidoo takes more flak over market’, Sunday Tribune, 23 August 2009, 1. Google Scholar

Narsiah, S. (2010) ‘The neoliberalisation of the local state in Durban, South Africa’, Antipode, 42(2), 374–403. Google Scholar

Nash, F. (2013) ‘Participation and passive revolution: the reproduction of neoliberal water governance mechanisms in Durban, South Africa’, Antipode, 45(1), 101–20. Google Scholar

Ndlovu, S. (2009a) ‘Traders told to leave by end of July’, Mercury, 9 June, 3. Google Scholar

Ndlovu, S. (2009b) ‘Market traders, cops clash’, Mercury, 16 June, 5. Google Scholar

Ngwane, T. (2009) ‘ANC administration sows seeds of discord’, Mercury, 22 July, 16. Google Scholar

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Ramith, C. (2009) ‘Warwick Traders stand their ground’, Post, 3 July, 2. Google Scholar

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Routledge, P. (2011) ‘Introduction: cities, justice and conflict’, Urban Studies, 47(6), 1165–77. Google Scholar

Salahub, J. E., Gottsbacher, M. and De Boer, J. (eds) (2018) Social theories of urban violence in the global South: towards safe and inclusive cities, London, Routledge. Google Scholar

Skinner, C. (2008) ‘The struggle for the streets: processes of exclusion and inclusion of street traders in Durban, South Africa, Development Southern Africa, 25(2), 227–42. Google Scholar

Skinner, C. (2009a) ‘Update on recent developments in the Warwick Junction: thousands of street traders’ livelihoods at stake’, Briefing Note, 30 June (in author’s possession). Google Scholar

Skinner, C. (2009b) ‘Challenging city imaginaries: street traders’ struggles in Warwick Junction’, Agenda, 23(81), 101–09. Google Scholar

Springer, S. (2009) ‘Violence, democracy and the neoliberal “order”: the contestation of public space in Posttransitional Cambodia’, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 99(1), 138–62. Google Scholar

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Springer, S. (2011) ‘Public space as emancipation: meditations on anarchism, radical democracy, neoliberalism and violence’, Antipode, 43(2), 525–62. Google Scholar

Sutcliffe M. (2009a) ‘Warwick revamp: critics got it wrong’, METRO, 5 June, 7. Google Scholar

Sutcliffe M. (2009b) ‘Warwick Mall will benefit all’, Mercury, 3 June, 9. Google Scholar

Tirone, A. (2010) ‘Evaluating participatory planning and the practice of deliberative dmocracy in the Warwick Junction development project, KZN: the case of the early morning market’, unpublished Masters Thesis, UKZN. Google Scholar

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Vahed, G. (1999) ‘A “public health nuisance”: the Victoria Street early morning squatters market, 1910–1934’, South African Historical Journal, 40(1), 130–53. Google Scholar

Weinstein, L. (2013) ‘Demolition and dispossession: toward an understanding of state violence in millennial Mumbai’, Studies in Comparative International Development, 48(3), 285–307. Google Scholar

Winton, A. (2004) ‘Young people’s views on how to tackle gang violence in “post-conflict” Gautemala’, Environment and Urbanisation, 16(2), 83–99. Google Scholar

Abello-Colak, A. and Guarneros-Meza, V. (2014) ‘The role of criminal actors in local governance’, Urban Studies, 51(15), 3268–89. Google Scholar

Baeten, G., Westin, S., Pull, E. and Molina, I. (2017) ‘Pressure and violence: housing renovation and displacement in Sweden’, Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, 49(3), 631–51. Google Scholar

Baird, A. (2012) ‘The violent gang and the construction of masculinity amongst socially excluded young men’, Safer Communities, 11(4), 179–90. Google Scholar

Baviskar, A. (2009) ‘Breaking homes, making cities: class and gender in the politics of urban displacement’, in Mehta (ed.), 61–81. Google Scholar

Bennett, O. and McDowell, C. (2012) Displaced: the human cost of development and resettlement, New York, Palgrave Macmillan. Google Scholar

Bond, P. (2012) ‘Looting Durban’, 2 January, Counterpunch, https://www.counterpunch.org/2012/01/02/looting-durban/ (accessed 12 July 2016). Google Scholar

Bond, P. (2014) Elite transition: from apartheid to neoliberalism in South Africa, London, Pluto Press. Google Scholar

Calderón, J. (2004) ‘Lessons from an activist intellectual: participatory research, teaching, and learning for social change’, Latin American Perspectives, 31(1), 81–94. Google Scholar

Calhoun, C. (2008) ‘Prologue’, in R. C. Hale (ed.), Engaging contradictions: theory, politics, and methods of activist scholarship, Berkeley, University of California Press, viii–xxvi. Google Scholar

Comins, L. (2009) ‘Cosatu vows action against demolition of Market’, Daily News, 1 June, 3. Google Scholar

Conley, P. (2015) Empowering market traders in Warwick Junction, Durban, South Africa, Asiye eTafuleni, WIEGO. Google Scholar

Desai, A. (2002) We are the poors: community struggles in post-apartheid South Africa, New York, Monthly Review Press. Google Scholar

Desai, A. (2010) ‘Between the push and the shove: everyday struggles and the re-making of Durban’, African Studies, 69(3), 423–37. Google Scholar

Desai, A. (2015) ‘Of Faustian pacts and mega-projects: the politics and economics of the port expansion in the South Basin of Durban, South Africa’, Capitalism Nature Socialism, 26(1), 18–34. Google Scholar

Desai, A. and Vahed, G. (2010) Inside Indian indenture: a South African story, 1860–1914, Pretoria, HSRC Press. Google Scholar

De Souza, M. L. (2005) ‘Urban planning in an age of fear: the case of Rio de Janeiro’, International Development Planning Review, 27(1), 1–19. Google Scholar

Dobson, R. (2011) ‘Saving the “mother market”: mobilizing street vendors in Durban’, http://www.inclusivecities.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Dobson_Success_Story_Saving_ Mother_Market.pdf (accessed 15 November 2015). Google Scholar

Dobson, R. and Skinner, C. (2009) Working in Warwick: including street traders in urban plans, Durban, School of Development Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal. Google Scholar

Drydyk, J. (2007) ‘Unequal benefits: the ethics of development-induced displacement’, Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, 8(1), 105–13. Google Scholar

EDGE (Economic Development and Growth in eThekwini) (2011) Fast facts: October 2011, eThekwini Municipality. Google Scholar

Enslin-Payne, S. (2009) ‘Developers rethinking R400m shopping mall investment’, Business Report, 4 June, 1. Google Scholar

Farmer, P. (1996) ‘On suffering and structural violence: a view from below’, Daedalus, 125(1), 261–83. Google Scholar

Farmer, P. (2004) ‘An anthropology of structural violence’, Current Anthropology, 45(3), 305–25. Google Scholar

Fourie, B. (2014) ‘The Warwick Avenue mistake’, Mercury, 5 August, 1. Google Scholar

Freeman, J. and Burgos, M. (2017) ‘Accumulation by forced removal: the thinning of Rio de Janeiro’s Favelas in preparation for the Games’, Journal of Latin American Studies, 49(3), 549–77. Google Scholar

Galtung, J. (1969) ‘Violence, peace, and peace research’, Journal of Peace Research, 6(3), 167–91. Google Scholar

Gantner, G. (2009) ‘The urban market: social configurations in the African city’, Paper presented at the International Conference, African perspectives 2009: the African inner city, University of Pretoria, 25–28 September. Google Scholar

Harvey, D. (2004) ‘The “new” imperialism: accumulation by dispossession’, Socialist Register, 40, 63–87. Google Scholar

Hojman, D. (2004) ‘Inequality, unemployment and crime in Latin American cities’, Crime, Law and Social Change, 41(1), 33–51. Google Scholar

KZN (2009) Report of the provincial task team on the eThekwini early morning market and the Warwick Avenue mall development, Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government. Google Scholar

Lebas, A. (2013) ‘Violence and urban order in Nairobi, Kenya and Lagos, Nigeria’, Studies in Comparative International Development, 48(3), 240–62. Google Scholar

Luger, J. (2016) ‘Singaporean “spaces of hope”: activist geographies in the city state’, City, 20(2), 186–203. Google Scholar

Magwaza, N, (2009) ‘Business leaders meet Warwick traders’, Mercury, 2 June, https://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1–201023156.html (accessed 12 November 2015). Google Scholar

Maharaj, B. (1999) ‘The integrated community apartheid could not destroy: the Warwick Avenue triangle in Durban’, Journal of Southern African Studies, 25(2), 245–62. Google Scholar

Maharaj, B. (2014) ‘Hambakhaya!Hambauyee Bombay! (Go Home! Go to Bombay): challenges facing South African Indians in the post-apartheid era’, in O. Dwivedi (ed.) The South Asian diaspora, Amsterdam, Rodopi/Brill, 23–44. Google Scholar

Maharaj, B. (2017) ‘Contesting displacement and the struggle for survival: the case of subsistence fisher folk in Durban, South Africa’, Local Economy, 32(7), 744–62. Google Scholar

Maharaj, B., Desai, A. and Bond, P. (eds) (2010) Zuma’s own goal: losing South Africa’s ‘war on poverty’, Trenton, NJ, African World Press. Google Scholar

Marcuse, P, (1985) ‘To control gentrification: anti-displacement zoning and planning for stable residential districts’, Review of Law and Social Change, 13(4), 931–45. Google Scholar

Mbanjwa, B. (2009) ‘Take the wheel, Durban, says SACP’, Daily News, 14 July, 2. Google Scholar

Mehta, L. (ed.) (2009) Displaced by development: confronting marginalisation and gender injustice, New Delhi, Sage. Google Scholar

Miyauchi, Y. (2014) ‘Imagined entrepreneurs in neoliberal South Africa: informality and spatial justice in post-apartheid cities’, MILA The Journal of the Institute of Anthropology, Gender and African Studies, 12: 68–75, http://www.africapotential.africa.kyoto-u.ac.jp/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/8_Miyauchi.pdf (accessed 10 June 2019). Google Scholar

Moncada, E. (2013) ‘The politics of urban violence: challenges for development in the global South’, Studies in Comparative International Development, 48(3), 217–39. Google Scholar

Moncada E. (2017) ‘Varieties of vigilantism: conceptual discord, meaning and strategies’, Global Crime, 18(4), 403–23. Google Scholar

Monteith, W. and Lwasa, S. (2017) ‘The participation of urban displaced populations in (in)formal markets: contrasting experiences in Kampala, Uganda’, Environment and Urbanization, 29(2), 383–402. Google Scholar

Moser, C. O. N. (2004) ‘Urban violence and insecurity: an introductory roadmap’, Environment and Urbanisation, 16(2), 3–16. Google Scholar

Nadvi, L. (2009) ‘City public meeting to discuss Warwick plans a complete farce’ (in author’s possession). Google Scholar

Naidoo, M. (2016) ‘Traders decry council’s promises’, Herald, 24 July, 1. Google Scholar

Naran, J. (2009) ‘Naidoo takes more flak over market’, Sunday Tribune, 23 August 2009, 1. Google Scholar

Narsiah, S. (2010) ‘The neoliberalisation of the local state in Durban, South Africa’, Antipode, 42(2), 374–403. Google Scholar

Nash, F. (2013) ‘Participation and passive revolution: the reproduction of neoliberal water governance mechanisms in Durban, South Africa’, Antipode, 45(1), 101–20. Google Scholar

Ndlovu, S. (2009a) ‘Traders told to leave by end of July’, Mercury, 9 June, 3. Google Scholar

Ndlovu, S. (2009b) ‘Market traders, cops clash’, Mercury, 16 June, 5. Google Scholar

Ngwane, T. (2009) ‘ANC administration sows seeds of discord’, Mercury, 22 July, 16. Google Scholar

Oliver-Smith, A. (ed.) (2009) Development and dispossession: the crisis of development forced displacement and resettlement, London, SAR Press and James Currey. Google Scholar

Pantuliano, S., Metcalfe, V., Haysom, S. and Davey, E. (2012) ‘Urban vulnerability and displacement: a review of current issues’, Disasters, 36(s1), S1–S22. Google Scholar

Patkar, M. (2009) ‘Foreword’, in R. Modi (ed.) Beyond relocation: the imperative of sustainable resettlement, New Delhi, Sage, xiiixx. Google Scholar

Platzky, L. and Walker, C. (1985) The surplus people: forced removals in South Africa, Johannesburg, Ravan Press. Google Scholar

Plunk, A. and Gehlert, S. (2018) ‘What’s trust got to do with it? Ensuring meaningful community engagement’, The American Journal of Bioethics, 18(4), 53–55. Google Scholar

Ramith, C. (2009) ‘Warwick Traders stand their ground’, Post, 3 July, 2. Google Scholar

Rosenberg, L. (2009) ‘The city is acting in bad faith’, Public statement issued as architect and project leader of the DUT bases ROCs heritage research project in the Warwick precinct, 9 July. Google Scholar

Routledge, P. (2011) ‘Introduction: cities, justice and conflict’, Urban Studies, 47(6), 1165–77. Google Scholar

Salahub, J. E., Gottsbacher, M. and De Boer, J. (eds) (2018) Social theories of urban violence in the global South: towards safe and inclusive cities, London, Routledge. Google Scholar

Skinner, C. (2008) ‘The struggle for the streets: processes of exclusion and inclusion of street traders in Durban, South Africa, Development Southern Africa, 25(2), 227–42. Google Scholar

Skinner, C. (2009a) ‘Update on recent developments in the Warwick Junction: thousands of street traders’ livelihoods at stake’, Briefing Note, 30 June (in author’s possession). Google Scholar

Skinner, C. (2009b) ‘Challenging city imaginaries: street traders’ struggles in Warwick Junction’, Agenda, 23(81), 101–09. Google Scholar

Springer, S. (2009) ‘Violence, democracy and the neoliberal “order”: the contestation of public space in Posttransitional Cambodia’, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 99(1), 138–62. Google Scholar

Springer, S. (2010) ‘Neoliberalism and geography: expansions, variegations, formations’, Geography Compass, 4(8), 1025–38. Google Scholar

Springer, S. (2011) ‘Public space as emancipation: meditations on anarchism, radical democracy, neoliberalism and violence’, Antipode, 43(2), 525–62. Google Scholar

Sutcliffe M. (2009a) ‘Warwick revamp: critics got it wrong’, METRO, 5 June, 7. Google Scholar

Sutcliffe M. (2009b) ‘Warwick Mall will benefit all’, Mercury, 3 June, 9. Google Scholar

Tirone, A. (2010) ‘Evaluating participatory planning and the practice of deliberative dmocracy in the Warwick Junction development project, KZN: the case of the early morning market’, unpublished Masters Thesis, UKZN. Google Scholar

UN-HABITAT (2015) Placemaking and the future of cities, produced by Project for Public Spaces, Inc. under the auspices of the UN-HABITAT Sustainable Urban Development Network (SUD-Net). Google Scholar

Vahed, G. (1999) ‘A “public health nuisance”: the Victoria Street early morning squatters market, 1910–1934’, South African Historical Journal, 40(1), 130–53. Google Scholar

Weinstein, L. (2013) ‘Demolition and dispossession: toward an understanding of state violence in millennial Mumbai’, Studies in Comparative International Development, 48(3), 285–307. Google Scholar

Winton, A. (2004) ‘Young people’s views on how to tackle gang violence in “post-conflict” Gautemala’, Environment and Urbanisation, 16(2), 83–99. Google Scholar

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Maharaj, Brij

Maharaj, Brij