In the waithood. Past and present confinements in post-apartheid Johannesburg

Author/s Paola Piscitelli
Publishing Year 2021 Issue 2021/125
Language Italian Pages 16 P. 80-95 File size 423 KB
DOI 10.3280/SUR2021-125005
DOI is like a bar code for intellectual property: to have more infomation click here

Below, you can see the article first page

If you want to buy this article in PDF format, you can do it, following the instructions to buy download credits

Article preview

FrancoAngeli is member of Publishers International Linking Association, Inc (PILA), a not-for-profit association which run the CrossRef service enabling links to and from online scholarly content.

Since the apartheid until today, the South African ghettos have taken on distinct and ar-ticulated configurations, which require conscious monitoring of their evolution, careful to understand their transformations, and free from sensationalist rhetoric of necessary forced removal. The paper reconstructs the effects of the division inherited from post-apartheid Jo-hannesburg in the daily life of an immigrant teenager living in a township and struggling with new confinement from Covid-19. A double-wait for a profile representative of an entire generation "in the waithood", whose urgency for the future invokes the rethinking of urban development finally based on relationality rather than divisions to mend the fragmented socio-economic fabric of the most unequal city in the world.

Keywords: Johannesburg, township, youth, waithood, Covid-19, global apartheid

  1. Akwuebu H. (2016). The Waithood Phenomenon in Africa. Impacts and Sustainable Solutions. Paperback.
  2. Alston P. (2019). Climate change and poverty. Report of the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights. Human Rights Council, Forty-first session, A/HRC/41/39.
  3. Amnesty International (2020). Broken and Unequal. The state of education in South Africa.
  4. Braid M. (1996). Will the whites return to Johannesburg? London: Independent.
  5. CDE (2008). Immigrants in Johannesburg. Johannesburg: CDE.
  6. Clowes L., Ratele K., Shefer T. (2013). Who needs a father? South African men reflect on being fathered. Journal of Gender Studies, 22(3), 255–267. DOI: 10.1080/09589236.2012.70882
  7. Gordon S., Roberts B., Struweg J. (2013). “Shouldering the burden: Gender attitudes towards bal-ancing work and family”. Pretoria, South Africa: Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) South African Social Attitudes Survey (SASAS) Report. -- Retrieved from
  8. Honwana A. (2016). Waithood, Long View on Education, intervista pubblicata online: --
  9. Honwana A. (2014). ‘Waithood’: Youth Transitions and Social Change. In Foeken D., Dietz T., de Haan L., Johnson L. (eds.). Development and Equity. Leiden: Brill.
  10. Huchzermeyer M., Karam A., Maina M. (2014). “Informal settlements”. In Harrison P., Gotz G., Todes A., Wray C. (Eds.). Changing Space, Changing City. Johannesburg after apartheid. Wits University Press.
  11. Huchzermeyer M. (2013). Cities with “slums”. From informal settlement eradication to a right to the city in Africa. UCT press
  12. Jaffe R. (2012). Talkin’bout the Ghetto: Popular culture and urban imaginaries of immobility. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 36 (4), 674–688.
  13. Kassen J. (2020). Face of poverty in SA continues to be a rural African woman Dlamini Zuma. Eyewitness News. -- Retrieved from
  14. Landau L.B., Pampalone T. (2018). “I Want to Go Home Forever”, Stories of becoming and be-longing in South Africa’s great metropolis. Paperback.
  15. Lekaba I. (2016). Mobility Paradigm in Johannesburg. Essay written in 2016 for the course Community Studies (COMS 431) at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa.
  16. Le Grange L. (2020). Covid‑19 pandemic and the prospects of education in South Africa. Pro-spects.
  17. Linke U. (2013). Racializing cities, naturalizing space: The seductive appeal of iconicities of dis-possession. Antipode, 0 (0), 1-18.
  18. Mabala R. (2011). Youth and “the hood” - livelihoods and neighbourhoods. Environment and Urbanization, 23 (1): 157-181. DOI: 10.1177/0956247810396986
  19. Mabin A. (2005). Suburbs and segregation in South African cities: A chalenge for metropolitan governance in the early twenty-fi rst century. In D. Varady (Ed.). Desegregating the city: Ghettos, enclaves, and inequality. Albany: State University of New York.
  20. Mbeki T., “End Global Apartheid”: --
  21. Mbembe A. (2020). “Il diritto universale al respiro”. Traduzione italiana dello scritto in francese sulla rivista online Clinica della crisi. Vivere nelle rovine del capitalismo, --
  22. Murray M. (2008). The city in fragments: Kaleidoscopic Johannnesburg after Apartheid. In G. Prakash, K. Kruse (Eds.). The spaces of the modern city: Imaginaries, politics, and everyday life. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
  23. Murray M. (2011). City of extremes: The spatial politics of Johannesburg. Johannesburg: Wits University Press.
  24. Naidu T. (2020). The COVID-19 Pandemic in South Africa. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Re-search, Practice, and Policy, 12(5): 559-561.
  25. Nigam S. (2020). COVID‐19: Right to life with dignity and violence in homes. Retrieved from
  26. Ntshangase B. (2020). Communities and Covid‐19 in rural South Africa. The Ecologist. -- Retrieved from
  27. Parker A. (2016). Urban Film and Everyday Practice. Bridging Divisions in Johannesburg. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
  28. Peberdy S., Crush J., Msibi N. (2004). Migrants in the City of Johannesburg. Johannesburg: Southern African Migration Project.
  29. Pezzano A. (2020). Johannesburg: città frammentata. In Piscitelli P. (ed). Atlante delle città. Nove ritratti urbani per un viaggio planetario. Milano: Feltrinelli.
  30. Robinson J. (2003). Johannesburg’s futures: beyond developmentalism and global success. In Tomlinson R., Beauregard R., Bremner L., Mangcu X. (eds). Emerging Johannesburg: Per-spectives on the Postapartheid City. New York: Routledge.
  31. Rural Women’s Assembly. (2020a). The economic aftermath of the Covid‐19 pandemic.
  32. Retrieved from
  33. Rural Women’s Assembly. (2020b). Rural Women’s Assembly on Africa and the COVID‐19 pandemic. -- Retrieved from
  34. Saltzman L.Y., Hansel T.C., Bordnick P.S. (2020). Loneliness, isolation, and social support fac-tors in post‐COVID‐19 mental health. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 12(S1): S55–S57.
  35. Simone, A. (2004). People as Infrastructure: Intersecting Fragments in Johannesburg. Public Cul-ture, 16(3): 407-429. DOI: 10.1215/08992363-16-3-407
  36. Sommers M. (2010). Urban youth in Africa. Environment and Urbanization, 22 (2): 317-332. DOI: 10.1177/0956247810377964
  37. Stats SA (2015). Statistical Release. Pretoria: Stats SA.
  38. Wacquant L. (2002). From slavery to mass incarceration: Rethinking the ‘race question ’ in the US. New Left Review, 13(1): 41-60.
  39. Wenham C., Smith J., Morgan R. (2020). “COVID‐19: The gendered impacts of the outbreak”. The Lancet, 395(10227): 846-848. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30526-
  40. Harrison P. (2003). Fragmentation and globalisation as the new meta-narrative. In P. Harrison, M. Huchzermeyer, M. Manyekiso (Eds.) Confronting fragmentation: Housing and urban devel-opment in a democratising society. Cape Town: UCT Pr.

Paola Piscitelli, In the waithood. Vecchi e nuovi confinamenti nella Johannesburg post-apartheid in "SOCIOLOGIA URBANA E RURALE" 125/2021, pp 80-95, DOI: 10.3280/SUR2021-125005