For the equitable city yet to come
Civil society is widely believed to have the potential to make a positive contribution to democracy and development in South Africa. However, its transformative planning potential remains under-analyzed. This chapter offers a critical analysis of three Johannesburg-based civic associations that employ different planning strategies to reshape the public domain. It investigates the extent of their contributions to local planning policies, and their capacity to challenge and change the state’s current cost recovery policies. Findings show that all three associations contribute to pluralism and democratic values, but that they fail to make significant inroads into public decision-making processes.