Accepted paper:

Urbanisation at Maputo city region urban-rural interface: land demarcation and middle-class advances


Paul Jenkins (University of the Witwatersrand)

Paper short abstract:

The paper explores the urbanisation process at place in the Maputo city region urban-rural interface, through land demarcation initiatives involving various agents, with focus on the significant occupation by a growing middle-class, in a context of increasing land value and commodification.

Paper long abstract:

As in many African cities, the rapid growth of Maputo city region results in the urban transformation of the surrounding rural areas. As land becomes increasingly scarce in the Mozambican capital, urban land occupation grows in the neighbouring urban-rural interfaces of Matola city, as well as Marracuene and Boane districts, encouraged also by the recent improvement and construction of main road axes. Besides multiple instances of (usually non-formal) land occupation performed by individuals, larger initiatives of land demarcation for residential purposes have increased in recent years, which entail some sort of urban planning. This changing land use (partly related to resettlements as well as other forms of land allocation) increasingly entails several types of land transactions led by the various agents involved. Although these initiatives target different social groups, a significant part has been occupied by middle / higher income groups. In Mozambique land is state owned, but nevertheless is the focus of increasing value and commodification (Jenkins, 2004; Melo, 2015; Jorge, 2017), which tends to promote an uneven production of space (Harvey, 2001; Lefebvre, 1991 [1974]). In this context, by analysing the various land occupation processes of these demarcation initiatives and investigating the agents and social groups involved and their different interests, this paper seeks to understand how these tendencies are shaping Maputo city region urban expansion and how a strengthened middle-class may be disrupting a long term process of urban land access involving the elite but also lower income groups (Jenkins, 2009).

panel P186
Interrogating Land Value Capture in the African peri-urban Interface: towards a new political Economy?