The eThekwini Municipality, which is more popularly known as Durban, has a population of approximately 3.6 million people, which is one third of the population of the province of KwaZulu-Natal. The population is expected to increase to 4 million people by 2020 (eThekwini Municipality, 2012). The city has a very young population with the majority being comprised of the 15-34 year age group. It has a prominently African population (71%), followed by the Indian (19%), white (8%) and coloured communities (2%) (eThekwini Municipality, 2012a). The majority of eThekwini residents live in the central urban core (36% of the population) and the north region (32% of population) (see Figure 1).


The city has high levels of poverty, with 41.8% of the population subject to conditions associated with poverty, and low economic diversity. The city therefore faces significant socioeconomic challenges (eThekwini Municipality, 2012a). The spatial form of Durban is economically challenging as there is a clear separation of residential uses from economic activity which means that in most areas people do not live where they work. The eThekwini Municipality, as with all development spaces in South Africa, has to balance the more dominant neo-liberal pro-growth agenda with the poor-poor agenda. The spatial structure of the city, which is fragmented and reflects a pattern of sprawl, is a major obstacle to achieving sustainable, efficient and equitable development.


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Chance2Sustain City Report Series - ISSN 2309-8198