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The role of civil society in promoting greater social justice for forced migrants living in the inner city of Johannesburg

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par Dieudonné Bikoko Mbombo
University of the Witwatersrand of Johannesburg, South Africa - Master of Science in Development Planning 2006
  

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UNIVERSITY OF THE WITWATERSRAND,

JOHANNESBURG

FACULTY OF ENGINEERING AND BUILT ENVIRONMENT SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING

Development Planning Programme

Research Report

THE ROLE OF CIVIL SOCIETY IN PROMOTING GREATER SOCIAL JUSTICE FOR FORCED MIGRANTS LIVING IN THE INNER CITY OF JOHANNESBURG

Student name: Dieudonné BIKOKO MBOMBO Student Number: 0314974N

Supervisor Name: Dr. T. WINKLER

October 5th, 2006

THE ROLE OF CIVIL SOCIETY IN PROMOTING GREATER SOCIAL

JUSTICE FOR FORCED MIGRANTS LIVING IN THE INNER CITY OF JOHANNESBURG.

Dieudonné BIKOKO MBOMBO

A thesis submitted to the Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, in fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Development Planning.

Johannesburg, 2006

ABSTRACT

This paper analyses what has arguably become a salient feature of a `just city' and social development on an international level, namely social justice. Specifically, it focuses on the role of the Johannesburg's civil society organisations in promoting greater social justice for forced migrants (refugees and asylum seekers) living in the downtown Johannesburg. For this purpose, a case study was carried out, particularly with Africa's forced migrants living in the inner city of Johannesburg (in Hillbrow and Yeoville). The research makes use of in-depth interview and participant observation methods to uncover the perspectives of a group of refugees and asylum seekers and members of seven civil society organisations, working with forced migrants in Johannesburg. The main research question that the study addresses is: What role can civil society organisations play in facilitating greater social justice for Africa's asylum seekers and refugees living in the inner city of Johannesburg?

I have concluded that Johannesburg's civil society organisations have the potential, which may allow them to bring social transformation and create a just city by promoting a greater social justice for forced migrants living in the inner city. To achieve this goal, they should play a reformative and transformative role in the inner city, by challenging government exclusionary policies and decisions relating to the forced migrants; and, at the same time, they should mediate between the government and forced migrants at the local and national levels.

To conclude this report, I recommended civil society organisations to develop strong collaboration with the city's planners for a better improvement of the quality of life of forced migrants in the inner city. I also recommend the national government to decentralise its decision-making power on international migration issues by conferring to the provinces and local governments certain power which can allow them to develop internal structures (taking into account the context of each province), which can allow them to protect the basic rights of refugees and asylum seekers, such as the rights to work, to study, and to access free health

DECLARATION

I declare that this dissertation is my own, unaided work. It is being submitted for the Degree

of Master of Science (Development Planning) in the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. It has not been submitted for any degree or examination in any other

university.

(Signature of candidate)

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to thank God for giving me the opportunity to complete my Master Degree in Development Planning, at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Also, I would like to express my appreciation to all my family (back home, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC) and friends for sparking my interest in social justice and the role of civil society. Finally, I would like to thank my current advisor, Dr Tanja Winkler, who has been helpful with my research report every step along the way; as well as Dr Aly Karam, the Co- ordinator of the Development Planning programme, who continuously provided me for moral

ABBREVIATION

ANC: African National Congress

BEE: Black Economic Empowerment

CoJ: City of Johannesburg

CSOs: Civil Society Organisations

DRC: Democratic Republic of Congo

DPCR: Department of Pastoral Care for Refugees

DHA: Department of Home Affairs

FM: Forced Migrant

ID: Identity Document

JCW: Johannesburg Child Welfare

JRS: Jesuit Refugee Services

JH: Johannesburg Hospital

LHR: Lawyers for Human Rights

LG: Local Government

MA: Master of Art

MR: Mister

MRS: Misses

NG: National Government

NGOs: Non-Governmental Organisations

RRO: Refugee Reception Office

SA: South Africa

SAPS: South African Police Services

Sr.: Sister

SCRA: Standing Committee for Refugee Affairs

TCC: Trinity Congregation Church

WITS: Witwatersrand (University of the) WLC: Wits Law Clinic

WCAC: World Class African City

CONTENTS

Abstract......................................................................................................2

Declaration................................................................................................................................3

Acknowledgements........................................................................................4

Abbreviations..............................................................................................5

Contents....................................................................................................6

Chapter One: Introduction.........................................................................8-17

1.1. Aim.....................................................................................................8

1.2. Rationale...............................................................................................9

1.3. Literature Review....................................................................................11

1.4. Methodology.........................................................................................14

1.5. Outline of Chapters.................................................................................15

1.6. Limitations of the Study...........................................................................17

Chapter Two: Literature Review...............................................................18-35

2.0. Introduction..........................................................................................18

2.1. The Concept of Forced Migration.................................................................19

2.2. Planning and Forced Migration....................................................................23

2.3. Civil Society, Planning, and Power Relation.....................................................31

2.4. Conclusion...........................................................................................35

Chapter Three: Civil Society Organisations and Forced Migrants in the Inner City of

Johannesburg.......................................................................................36-65

3.0. Introduction..........................................................................................36

3.1. Methodology.........................................................................................36

3.2. Forced Migrants in Johannesburg's Inner City..................................................43

3.3. Civil Society Organisations in the Inner City....................................................50

3.4. The Relationship between Forced Migrants and Civil Society Organisations..............64

3.5. Conclusion............................................................................................64

Chapter Four: Analysis of the Findings........................................................66-83

4.0. Introduction..........................................................................................66

4.1. Citizenship, Community, and Participation......................................................66

4.2. Promotion of a Just City...........................................................................76

4.3. The Strengths and Transformative Power of the Inner City's Civil Societ y

Organisations............................................................................................................................79

4.4. Conclusion...........................................................................................83

Chapter Five: Recommendation and Conclusion............................................84-94

5.0. Introduction..........................................................................................84

5.1. Recommendations for Civil Society Organisations.............................................84

5.2. Recommendations for the Local and National Governments..................................88

5.3. Recommendation for Future Study...............................................................91

5.4. Conclusion...........................................................................................91

References...... ....................................................................................95-99

Appendix............................................................................................99-103

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