n Acta Juridica - Exploring the impact of gated communities on social and spatial justice and its relation to restorative justice and peacebuilding in South Africa : Part II - restorative justice, crime and (in)security in Africa

Volume 2007, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0065-1346
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2088



One of the urban development forms that has received increasing public interest since the late 1990s is privately organised and secured housing developments. The spread of these neighbourhoods (often called 'gated communities') in many countries in the world has been represented frequently as the privatisation of public space and has been associated with growing local security problems and the importation of commodified neighbourhood values and technology, especially from the USA. Webster distinguishes between several forms of private governance, including private residential communities (cooperatives, homeowners' associations and condominiums), retail communities (leisure complexes) and industrial communities (industrial parks). These private or micro-governments encompass a wide range of functions. For example, they supply civic goods and represent those individuals who voted for a management body to manage and control affairs. They thus start to embody a new form of collective local power that facilitates new mechanisms of local control. These mechanisms raise several questions regarding urban governance and security and the role of the state and non-state institutions at different levels.

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