NEPAD, the City and the Migrant: Implications for Urban Governance

This policy briefly questions the ability of formal developmental interventions to understand local contexts, and, by extension, govern urban spaces. It interrogates the relevance and implications of initiatives like the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD)—which speak largely of formal interactions and formal economies—for urban development and the politics of claim-making with particular reference to Johannesburg. Brief commentary is provided on how NEPAD perceives migrants and their rights in the city, region or nation-state. The paper shows through a case study of the lives of migrants in inner city Johannesburg how a significant number of households continue to survive and are supported through informal networks which are outside the state, and how the state is often unable to harness or control these processes.