This week, Mayor Patricia de Lille announced plans to restructure the city administration in part to “reverse the legacy of apartheid spatial planning”. De Lille emphasises better services in poor areas and promotes a Transit Orientated Design (TOD) to cut poor people’s commuting times by densifying and investing in public transport nodes. These are laudable objectives, but they are not new to the City of Cape Town’s policy. For years, De Lille has invoked reversing the legacy of apartheid as central to her government’s aims. But instead of putting Cape Town on a roadmap to integration, she has emphasised parity in service delivery between formerly white suburbs and townships on the periphery, and a plan to make commutes cheaper and less time consuming for poor residents. Such aims do not disrupt the powerful forces that help to replicate apartheid spatial planning today, let alone reverse the design we inherited. Her administration has failed to recognise the enduring legacy of apa...

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