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Patrick Bond reports on research into urban economic and ecological violence, IDRC & UKAID conference, Johannesburg, 8 March

Durban’s port-petrochemical complex as a site of economic and environmental violence
By Patrick Bond
Senior Professor of Development Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal Centre for Civil Society (Director) and Professor of Political Economy, University of the Witwatersrand School of Governance
Presented to the conference on Urban frontiers: A conversation about poverty, violence and development in Southern African cities

Urban frontiers
A conversation about poverty, violence and development in Southern African cities

Sunnyside Park Hotel, Johannesburg
8-9 March 2016

During the last three years, seven research teams in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Kenya have carried out research on the links between poverty, inequalities and violence within the context of the city and mass urbanization, and on how development or other strategies respond to these issues. Six of the projects form part of the Safe and Inclusive Cities (SAIC) program, a global research program funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and British Department for Foreign Development (DFID). These projects will be the focus of discussion at the ‘Urban Frontiers’ conversation at the Sunnyside Park Hotel, 8-9 March 2016.

Tuesday 8th March

Registration (09h00 – 09hh30)

1. Welcome and introduction to the programme (9h30-9h45)
– Nomfundo Mogapi, Executive Director, Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation

2. Conflict, competition and power - the urban context and urban violence in Southern Africa (9h45-10h45)

• Brij Maharaj and Patrick Bond (University of KwaZulu-Natal)
• Jane Weru (Akiba Mashinani Trust) and Waikwa Wanyoike (Katiba Institute)
• Monique Marks (Urban Futures Centre, Durban University of Technology)

Discussion points (guideline only):
a. What are the common and diverse features of the urban contexts in Southern Africa? What characteristics define the ‘urban’? What are its complexities? Is our analysis of violence, and of violence prevention, specific to the urban context?
b. How should violence be described and analysed? What do structural and physical violence look like? What are their short and long-term impacts, including gendered dimensions?
c. What role do questions of land tenure, access to housing and issues of forced displacement play in urban exclusion and violence?
d. What role does the state and non-state actors such as organized groups and informal governance structures play in relation to violence and exclusion?

3. Gender, violence, and exclusion (10h45-11h45)

• Rosalie Katsande (University of Zimbabwe) and Sian Maseko (Oxfam)
• Esmeralda Mariano (Universidade Eduardo Mondlane) and Henny Slegh (Instituto Promundo)
• Nonhlanhla Sibanda (Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation)

Discussion points (guideline only):
a. How does gender intersect with power, exclusion, inequality and poverty?
b. What are the (other) primary fault lines of exclusion? How are they gendered?
c. In what way is exclusion implicated in gendered violence? Do poverty and/or inequality lead to gendered violence? Is either more significant?
d. What are the pre-requisites for creating greater inclusion? In what ways could addressing poverty and/or inequalities assist to prevent gendered violence? What are the limitations?
e. What are effective ways of addressing the relationships among gender, violence, and exclusion in various contexts covered by the projects? What are the lessons, tensions, opportunities and difficulties in working with gender in the urban context?

Tea (11h45 – 12h00)

4. Development, violence and violence prevention (12h00-13h00)

• Richard Matzopoulos and Kim Bloch (University of Cape Town) with Sulaiman Salau (Wits)
• Themba Masuku (Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation)
• Sean Tait (African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum)

Discussion points (guideline only):
a. In what ways can development activities impact on violence and contribute to violence prevention? How can urban upgrading impact on interpersonal violence and change social, including gender, dynamics?
b. Are there opportunities to reduce violence through adaptations to existing government development and social security programmes?
c. What forms of violence do these prevention strategies respond to? What are their strengths and weaknesses?
d. What constituencies and interests are involved in shaping development in the urban context? Are participatory approaches necessary for effective development based violence prevention? How do they work in practise? What are their challenges?

Lunch (13:00 – 14H00)

5. ‘Social cohesion’, ‘collective efficacy’, inclusion/exclusion and violence (14h00-15h00)

• Vanessa Barolsky and Diana Sanchez (Human Sciences Research Council)
• Caryn Abrahams (Gauteng City Region Observatory)

Discussion points (guideline only)
a. Are the concepts of social cohesion and collective efficacy valuable for understanding how to prevent violence or address exclusion in our context?
b. Is the concept of social cohesion and creating greater cohesion useful in analysing and addressing exclusion?
c. How does social cohesion actually function in the Southern African environment?

Tea (15h00 – 15h15)

6. Reflections on the day: What can city governments do to prevent violence? (15h15-16h00)

Discussant: Amanda Dissel (Department of Community Safety, Western Cape)

Discussion points:
a. Where are points of intersection among these projects?
b. Are there concepts or paradigms that are particularly helpful for analysing violence within the context of Southern African cities?
c. What are the implications of this complexity for policymaking? For practice?
d. Where do gaps remain, in research and/or in linking research with policy and practice?

9th March

Urban frontiers: Possibilities and priorities for violence prevention in Southern African cities - A policy discussion based on research from the Safe and Inclusive Cities (SAIC) programme

Time: 10h00-12h00
1. Summary of the previous day.

2. Panel discussion: What are the key dimensions of violence and vulnerability in Southern African cities? What are governments doing that addresses these issues? How can we build better capacity in governments to respond to the problems that the research has pointed to? Possibilities and priorities for violence prevention proposed by the SAIC research?

Panellists will include:
a. Nazira Cachalia, Johannesburg City Safety Programme
b. Everjoice Win, International Director; Programme Development Quality and Impact, Action Aid
c. Dennis Webster, Researcher, Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa

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