Assessing the role of gated communities in reproducing the existing patterns of urban segregation : a case study of Mount Edgecombe Country Estate, Durban, South Africa.
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There are increasing levels of inequality in the new democratic South Africa. Inequality continues to rise even when the Apartheid policies have been abolished. Crime levels are amongst the socioeconomic issues that is increasing drastically in the country. Gated communities are growing all over the world especially in developing countries where crime levels and other socioeconomic issues pose serious challenges to the development and growth of South Africa. The gated communities in South Africa are deemed as a response to the high crime levels however; there has been much criticism of them contributing to the increasing levels of inequality and segregation in South Africa. There are different types of gated communities and in the South African context, security villages and enclosed neighbourhoods are the most common. Mount Edgecombe Country Estate the case study of the dissertation is categorised as a security village and much of the concept of gated communities in this dissertation refers to the security village type of gated community. Gated communities in South Africa and around the world have come under much scrutiny because of the division in brings amongst different communities. Gated communities are criticised for privatising public space, limiting public movement, privatising, and not sharing resources and goods and they are classified as being racist which all contributes to segregation in urban areas. This dissertation focuses on assessing the role of gated communities in reproducing the existing patterns of urban segregation. Policies and violence over the years have orchestrated South Africa’s history of segregation and racism. The democratic status of the country prohibits policies to segregate people, with the inequality levels increasing there must be institutions and structures, which continue to reproduce the existing patterns of segregation. Gated communities are one of the institutions that continue to reproduce the existing patterns of urban segregation. The study finds that the segregation is positively not in view of race as much as it was in the past in any case; there is class segregation. Cost and affordability determines who stays where and in gated communities, the high-class people are the only ones who can afford. The middle and low class have no place in gated communities in South Africa.