The policy-planning divide: An evaluation of housing production in the aftermath of operation Murambatsvina in Zimbabwe
Journal of Housing and the Built Environment
School of the Built Environment and Development Studies, Howard College, University of Kwa-Zulu-Natal, Durban, 4001, South Africa
There is a very thin line of divide between policy and planning, let alone between policy and politics. In most post-colonial states, the situation has been aggravated by the ruling elites' determination to divorce themselves completely from colonial practices. This in turn has significantly transformed the policy environment to an extent where its interface with implementation is obscure. This paper examines the policy-planning divide from a housing perspective. It singles out policy issues as well as the political environment as key factors that influence the physical planning environment for housing. Using the case study of housing reconstruction in the aftermath of slum clearance (Operation Murambatsvina/Operation Clean-up) in Zimbabwe, the paper argues that if national policies that impinge on physical planning are not well defined; they can have negative implications on the implementation and outcome of projects. The situation is further complicated by unlimited influence party politics has on physical planning. What emanates from the case study is a mere manifestation of elite decision making driven by the economy of affection. The emerging issues from this discourse clearly show how difficult it is to operate in a public domain riddled by selfish motives. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
governance approach; housing policy; housing provision; informal settlement; planning process; policy approach; policy implementation; Zimbabwe