The Right to the City in a South African Context - NGO Submission


The Right to the City Dialogue Series, hosted by Isandla Institute, Community Organisation Resource Centre (CORC)
and Informal Settlements Network (ISN), has sought to bring together a wide variety of NGOs working on urban issues
and organisations of the urban poor to discuss the contextual appropriateness and mobilising potential of the Right to
the City in South Africa. The dialogue series has consisted of two parallel, cascading (upwards) sets of dialogues that
fed one another. The first set of three involved representatives of the urban poor, drawn from the Informal Settlements
Network and other community-based organisations in Cape Town, in which they, informed by the Right to the
City, reflected on the most salient issues they face in their everyday lives, their urban development priorities and the
partnership-based approach they seek to address these issues. These, in turn, shaped the agendas for the second set
of dialogues between representatives of urban NGOs (as well as selected representatives from community dialogues).
The progress achieved during each of these dialogues formed the basis of, and were fed into, the next dialogue of the
urban poor and so on.

This document is a reflection of the outcomes of the dialogues with the urban NGOs and should be read with the accompanying Communiqué, 'we've got a right to the city', that summarises the primary outcomes of the dialogues of the urban poor. While each of the documents reflect common themes emerging across the dialogues, participants felt that it was important that the voices of each 'segment' were captured independently to allow differences in emphasis and nuanced to be expressed.

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