chapter  6
20 Pages

Quiet Conflict: Institutional Change, Informal Settlement Upgrading, and Formalized Partnerships Between Local Authorities and Urban Social Movements in South Africa

Urban poor federations that comprise the Shack/Slum Dwellers International (SDI) network have a long history of working in partnership with national and local governments. This chapter draws on case studies of two recent, formalized partnerships between grassroots social movements – the Informal Settlement Network (ISN) and the Federation of the Urban and Rural Poor (FEDUP) – and local authorities in the metropolitan municipality of Cape Town and the municipality of Stellenbosch in South Africa. These social movements are both supported by a professional NGO called the Community Organisation Resource Centre (CORC), and together they comprise a large part of what is known as the South African SDI Alliance. The case studies show exactly how such formalized relationships create the space for both conflict and collaboration between communities and city government.1