On Globalisation, a World Class City, Poverty and Security in Johannesburg’s Inner City
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Globalisation has had a pervasive influence and thus contributed to the transformation of modernity. With a focus on the impact of neoliberal economic activities in the form of urban renewal and regeneration projects aimed at creating a place and space for neoliberal capitalism, this contribution discusses the impacts of such activities on ordinary people such as street traders in Johannesburg’s inner city. It is argued that such processes have constructed street traders as misfits in the space where private capital reigns supreme. The mere fact of depoliticising street traders in this manner has led to their evisceration through the means of evictions and clean-up campaigns. But, driving out ordinary people from Johannesburg’s inner city in the name of the security of private investors and tourists actually increases the insecurity of the victims of such renewals in the sense that they become dislocated and their livelihoods are seriously disrupted. This has led these street traders to fight the clean-up operations by the City of Johannesburg, as they view these as symptomatic of the triumph of globalisation over social and political institutions that should protect such people in the first instance. Not only has this led to a contest between the street traders and the City of Johannesburg but it has also bred illegal and nefarious activities which appear to thrive on the streets of Johannesburg’s inner city. This has serious security implications in terms of degenerating Johannesburg’s inner city into a dangerous place.
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