Title page for ETD etd-05132012-150122

Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Rakuba, White Makabe
URN etd-05132012-150122
Document Title The traumatic effects of rapid urbanization in the new South Africa after the 1994 dispensation, a challenge to pastoral counselling, with particular reference to informal settlements in the Roodepoort area
Degree PhD
Department Practical Theology
Advisor Name Title
Prof M J Masango Supervisor
  • trauma
  • unemployment
  • retrenchments
  • poverty
  • informal settlements and shack farming
  • economic migrants
  • family life
  • social problems
  • migration
  • crime
  • culture shock
  • street children
  • xenophobia
  • refugees
  • prostitution
Date 2012-04-10
Availability unrestricted
The research has been designed to study the effects of the rapid urbanization in and around the Roodepoort, targeting mainly the sprawling informal settlements across the area and the existing townships of Dobsonville, Doornkop (Snakepark) and Kagiso. The researcher, who is a practising pastor in the area, had been challenged by a number of issues related to the process of urbanization.

The CODESA process that culminated with the elections of 1994 and the subsequent change of government had raised very high hopes among the majority of South Africans who lived in poverty and foreigners, in their own land, for decades. The turnover at the elections, inspired by leaders such as Bishop Desmond Tutu, was a clear indication that an ordinary South African was yearning for a better life. This was a new beginning as many people had been restricted by the apartheid laws to work and live where they wanted.

The repeal of all the apartheid laws saw the beginning of influx from the rural homelands to the cities. The hope that job opportunities were available near the cities was the main force of attraction. This unplanned process resulted in creation of massive informal settlements as there were no houses to cater for the massive movement. This process is called rapid urbanization.

Not very long, the reality of the past indicated that there were no major changes with the new government. The economy still remained in the hands of few individuals, majority of whom still being white, as the new government came through negotiations and not complete take over (Coup D’état.) Few blacks managed to shoot up the economy ladder through processes such as BEE and the GEAR leaving the majority of people in abject poverty.

The great trek did not only happen within the borders of the country, millions of people from the African, Asian and East European countries also moved into South Africa to try their luck at the new South African economy. Highly qualified professionals left their struggling countries to seek better life in South Africa. This category came legally through the recruitment processes but the larger contingency came illegally into the country. They took the advantage of lack of internationally recognised immigration instruments to regulate movement in and out of the country.

This process saw the country soaring with illegal economic migrants as well as genuine refugees and asylum seekers.

The rapid urbanization process brought about the following challenges:

  • Culture shock
  • Declining family structures/ life and Social problems
  • Drug trafficking
  • Education
  • Exploitation of foreigners
  • Exploitation of informal settlement dwellers and “Shack farming”
  • Human trafficking.
  • Inadequate housing and homelessness
  • Institutional harassment and unfair discrimination
  • Lack of Employment
  • Poverty in urban areas
  • Refugees and economic migrants
  • Social benefit exclusion
  • Stigmatization on HIV and AIDS, Crime, including serious crimes
  • Xenophobia

The challenges, as tabled above, brought about a series conflicts between the South African internal migrants and the foreigners which culminated into a bitter xenophobic outburst of 2008. The main reason for the conflict was that South Africans felt that jobs were being taken away by foreigners and also that the government was neglecting service provision to the local community in favour of foreigners.

A number of service delivery protests have become a common sight, particularly in the informal settlements. Lack of basic facilities and the irregular allocations of the RDP Houses, crime and poverty have waned the patience of residences of informal settlements. The resent protests in Zandspruit, Rietfontein and Diepsloot informal settlements north west of Johannesburg are some of the concrete examples.

The situation could not be ignored by the Church and this research was an attempt to understand the extent of the problem in order to find a way to improve ministry to the affected communities.

© 2011 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.

Please cite as follows:

Rakuba, WM 2011, The traumatic effects of rapid urbanization in the new South Africa after the 1994 dispensation, a challenge to pastoral counselling, with particular reference to informal settlements in the Roodepoort area, PhD thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-05132012-150122 / >


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