Gated Communities in South Africa: An Emerging Paradox

  • Karina LandmanEmail author
Part of the GeoJournal Library book series (GEJL)


Gated communities have not only proliferated worldwide, but they are also an increasing phenomenon in the South African urban landscape. These gated developments manifest in various types and forms, including enclosed neighbourhoods, large luxury estates, gated townhouse complexes and many non-residential types of gated communities. While many support them as a way to provide safer living environments in a country plagued with high levels of crime, others criticise these developments as a contemporary form of segregation. This chapter focusses on the contradictory elements encompassed within gated communities in South Africa and highlights the emerging paradox. The chapter discusses the various types of gated communities in South Africa and their characteristics, as well as a range of contradictions that are contained within both the discourse and the practice. These contradictions embody both the social and spatial dimensions and includes binaries such as safety (inside) versus unsafety (outside); inclusion versus exclusion; job opportunities versus NIMBYSM, and a greater tax base vis a vi increased spatial segregation. The chapter argues that gated communities represents an evolving concept in South Africa that gives rise to a metamorphosis of form, function and meaning over time, which leads to various interpretations towards alternative multidimensional understandings within government, residents associations and civil society. It, therefore, rejects the notion of a unified conceptualisation in the country—both in terms of type and impact. This has several implications for both theory and practice.


Gated community Exclusion Safety Cime 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of PretoriaPretoriaSouth Africa

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