Congratulations to Anna Longrigg, recipient of the TR&D Achievement Award and Dr. Daleep Singh Memorial Award.
Contemporary neoliberal policies in Cape Town, South Africa repeat and perpetuate colonial and apartheid era patterns of socio-spatial segregation, which results in the sustained quiet encroachment of informal settlements on the periphery and the pervasive silent enclosure of valuable land near the city centre. The consequence is a battle of the ‘Racial Commons’, an understated and often inaudible competition for open space. While the poor and historically oppressed strive to live dignified lives in the city by creating and occupying informal ‘Precarious Commons’, the white and wealthy increasingly fortify and secure public land into gated communities and City Improvement Districts (CIDs). These ‘Anemic Commons,’ attempt to mitigate the white fear of the ‘other’, and to achieve the ‘utopia’ promised to them during apartheid. The ambition of my thesis is; to draw attention to the role of the citizen in conjunction with state policy and policing in shaping the city and its divides, and to illustrate how race, class, and privilege grant some citizens more voice, power, and security in the process.