This article historicizes the contemporary urban development and governance strategies in Cape Town, South Africa, by focusing on two periods: the British colonial era (mid to turn of the nineteenth century) and the neoliberal postapartheid era (early twenty-first century). It reveals the keen affinity between a contemporary urban strategy known as Improvement Districts for the affluent
and the old colonial practice of ‘‘location creation’’ for the native. Discussing the similarities and differences in the material and discursive practices by which urban privilege is produced and maintained in Cape Town across the two eras, the study brings to light the colonial legacies of the neoliberal municipal strategies for governance of urban inequalities. This insight is significant to the
citizens’ resistance against exclusionary redevelopment projects that claim ‘‘innovation’’ in urban management.
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