GCRO Staff

Nadine Abrahams

Office administrator

+27 11 717 7280

Dr Richard Ballard

Specialist Researcher

Richard Ballard trained in the field of geography, having completed an Honours Degree in Geography at the University of Natal in 1994 and a PHD in Geography at the University of Wales, Swansea, in 2002. His research has followed two broad themes.

The first is the way in which white people have experienced desegregation as experienced in post-apartheid cities. This includes reactions to street traders, shack dwellers, desegregating suburbs, and an analysis of gated communities.

The second is the way in which government and the public interact in the context of poverty and joblessness, with a particular interest in social movements, participatory mechanisms, the role of ward and PR councillors, and social policy mechanisms such as cash transfers.

His research at GCRO is on urban mixing, new large scale private developments and social cohesion.

Most recent publications

Ballard, R. and Harrison, P. (2019). 'Transnational urbanism interrupted: A Chinese developer’s attempts to secure approval to build the ‘New York of Africa’ at Modderfontein, Johannesburg.' Environment and Planning A. Online first https://doi.org/10.1177/0308518X19853277

Ballard, R., Dittgen, R., Harrison, P. and Todes, A. (2017). ‘Megaprojects and urban visions: Johannesburg’s Corridors of Freedom and Modderfontein’. Transformation. 95.

Ballard, R. and Rubin, M. (2017). ‘A “Marshall Plan” for human settlements: how megaprojects became South Africa’s housing policy’. Transformation. 95.

Ballard, R. (2017). ‘Prefix as policy: megaprojects as South Africa’s big idea for human settlements’. Transformation. 95.

Ballard, R. (2017). ‘Governance and development’. In Douglas Richardson, Noel Castree, Michael F. Goodchild, Audrey L. Kobayashi, Weidong Liu Richard Marston (eds.) The International Encyclopaedia of Geography: People, the Earth, Environment, and Technology. London: Wiley-Blackwell. DOI: 10.1002/9781118786352.wbieg0643

Ballard, R. (2016). 'Whiteness and the end of apartheid - Review of Falkof, Nicky (2015) Satanism and Family Murder in Late Apartheid South Africa: Imagining the End of Whiteness. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan'. Journal of Southern African Studies. 42(5), 1021-1022.

Ballard, R., Nel, W., Hill, T. and Maharaj, B. (2016). 'South African Geography at 100'. South African Geographical Journal. 98(3), 403-404.

Ballard, R. (2016). Review of Daniel Conway and Pauline Leonard (2014). 'Migration, space and transnational identities: the British in South Africa', Ethnic and Racial Studies. 39(13), 2427-2429. DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2016.1145718

Ballard, R. (2016). ‘Community and the balkanization of social membership’. Dialogues in Human Geography. 6(1), pp. 78–81

Ballard, R. (2015). ‘Black Middle Class in South Africa (“Black Diamonds”)’. John Stone, Rutledge Dennis, Polly Rizova, Anthony Smith, and Xiaoshuo Hou (eds.), Encyclopaedia of Race Ethnicity and Nationalism. Wiley-Blackwell. Online first DOI: 10.1002/9781118663202.wberen379, December 2015

Ballard, R. (2015). Review of James Ferguson (2015) Give a man a fish: Reflections on the New Politics of Distribution. Duke University Press, Durham. Review published in Transformation 89.

Ballard, R. (2015). ‘Assimilation’. John Stone, Rutledge Dennis, Polly Rizova, Anthony Smith, and Xiaoshuo Hou (eds.),Encyclopaedia of Race Ethnicity and Nationalism. Wiley-Blackwell. Online first DOI: 10.1002/9781118663202.wberen380, December 2015

Ballard R. and Jones, G. (2015). ‘The sugarcane frontier: governing the production of gated space in KwaZulu-Natal’. Christoph Haferburg and Marie Huchzermeyer (eds.). Urbanization of the Earth 12: Urban Governance in Post-Apartheid Cities, Modes of Engagement in South Africa’s Metropoles. UKZN Press, Pietermaritzburg 295–311

Ballard, R. (2015). ‘Geographies of development III: militancy, insurgency, encroachment, and development by the poor’. Progress in Human Geography. 39(2). 214–224

Christina Culwick Fatti

Senior Researcher

Christina has been a researcher at GCRO since 2013. She completed both undergraduate (BSc Geography & Maths) and postgraduate studies (BScHons & MSc Geography) at Wits University. She is currently a PhD candidate in Geography and Environmental Sciences at the University of Cape Town. Her research interests lie at the intersection of environmental and social systems, and in particular urban sustainability transitions, resilience and disaster management, climate change, environmental governance, and transforming Gauteng towards an environmentally sustainable and socially just city-region.

Christina's research extends across a range of disciplines, with interests in collaborative knowledge creation and the role of research for informing policy and governance practices. She has presented and published her research both locally and internationally.

Beyond her GCRO work, Christina holds a postgraduate teaching diploma from UNISA and she worked as a broadcasting meteorologist for the SABC. Her climbing, traveling and photography help to sustain her love for Joburg, where she grew up and lives with her husband and daughter.

Most recent publications

Khanyile, S. and Culwick Fatti, C. (Forthcoming). 'Interrogating park access and equity in Johannesburg, South Africa'. Environment and Urbanization.

Culwick Fatti, C.(2022). 'Towards just sustainability through government-led housing: Conceptual and practical considerations'. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability. 54. 101150. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2022.101150

C. Culwick Fatti (Ed.) (2021) In pursuit of just sustainability. GCRO Research Report No. 12. Johannesburg: Gauteng City-Region Observatory. https://doi.org/10.36634/FEKP4882

Washbourne, C.-L., Culwick, C., Acuto, M., Blackstock, J. J., and Moore, R. (2021). Mobilising knowledge for urban governance: The case of the Gauteng City-region observatory. Urban Research & Practice, 14(1), 27-49. https://doi.org/10.1080/17535069.2019.1651899

Culwick, C. & Patel, Z. (2020). 'Building just and sustainable cities through government housing programmes'. Environment and Urbanisation. 32(1), 133-154. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956247820902661

Culwick, C. and Khanyile, S. (Eds.) (2019). Towards applying a green infrastructure approach in the Gauteng City-Region. GCRO Research Report No. 11. Johannesburg: Gauteng City-Region Observatory.

O’Farrell, P., Anderson, P., Culwick, C., Currie, P., Kavonic, J., McClure, A., … Wong, G. (2019). Towards resilient African cities: Shared challenges and opportunities towards the retention and maintenance of ecological infrastructure. Global Sustainability, 2. https://doi.org/10.1017/sus.2019.16

Culwick, C. Washbourne, CL. Anderson, P. Cartwright, A. Patel, Z. Smit, W. (2019). 'CityLab reflections and evolutions: nurturing knowledge and learning for urban sustainability through co-production experimentation'. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability. Vol 39, August 2019. pp 9-16. [online first]. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2019.05.008

Culwick, C. (2019). 'Disasters and Disaster Risk Management in South Africa' in: Knight, J., Rogerson, C.M. (Eds.), The Geography of South Africa : Contemporary Changes and New Directions, World Regional Geography Book Series. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp. 295–304.

Culwick, C. (2018). Quality of Life IV Survey (2015/16): City Benchmarking Report. GCRO Occasional Paper, 12. Johannesburg: Gauteng City-Region Observatory

Culwick C. (2018). Enhancing knowledge for thinking differently about future African cities. SALGA Akanani Magazine, 14-16.

Mushongera, D., Culwick, C. (2017). Boundary organisations and the New Urban Agenda: the importance of policy research for evidence-based planning. International Development Planning Review 39(4), 368–371.

Culwick, C., Götz, G., Butcher, S., Harber, Maree, G. and Mushongera, D. (2017). Doing more with less (data): Complexities of resource flow analysis in the Gauteng City-Region, Environmental Research Letters,12(12) 125006. doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/aa7c21.

Graeme Götz

Director of Research Strategy

Graeme is Director of Research at the Gauteng City-Region Observatory, where he works with a team of researchers to define and drive the research agenda of the GCRO.

Until June 2009, Graeme was a Specialist: Strategy & Policy in the Central Strategy Unit, Office of the Executive Mayor, at the City of Johannesburg. He developed a number of strategies including the 2006 Growth and Development Strategy and the 2007 Inner City Regeneration Charter.

Before joining the City he was a consultant for four years, specialising in local government and urban development. During this period he was the principal author of the 2004 State of South African Cities Report.

Between 1997 and 2001 he was a member of staff at the Graduate School of Public & Development Management (P&DM), University of the Witwatersrand, serving as Manager of the Local Government Programme, lecturer on the Masters of Management: Public & Development Management, and designer and convener of the MM: Local Governance and Development. In 1995 and 1996 he worked as a researcher at the Centre for Policy Studies.

Graeme’s academic work focuses on city development and urban renewal, urban economic development, local government, government strategy, intergovernmental relations and state theory.

Selected recent GCRO outputs

Mosiane, N., and Götz, G. (2022). Displaced urbanisation or displaced urbanism? Rethinking development in the peripheries of the GCR. GCRO Provocation #08, Gauteng City-Region Observatory, April 2022. DOI: 10.36634/SVRW2580

Götz, G., Hamann, C., Maree, G. (2022). Economic impacts of COVID-19. GCRO Map of the Month, Gauteng City-Region Observatory, April 2022.

Mkhize, T., Gotz, G., Naidoo, L., Seedat, R. (2021) Voting patterns in the 2021 local government elections. GCRO Map of the Month, Gauteng City-Region Observatory, December 2021. https://doi.org/10.36634/WVKF9598

Götz, G. (2021). Patterns of new work for those economically impacted during COVID-19. GCRO Vignette, Gauteng City-Region Observatory, December 2021.

Maree, G., Culwick Fatti, C., Götz, G., Hamann, C., Parker, A (2021). Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Gauteng City-Region: Findings from the GCRO's Quality of Life Survey 6 (2020/21). GCRO Data Brief, Gauteng City-Region Observatory, September 2021. https://doi.org/10.36634/2021.db.2

De Kadt, J., Gotz, G., Hamann, C., Maree, G., and Parker, A. (2020). ‘Mapping vulnerability to COVID-19 in Gauteng’, GCRO Map of the Month, Gauteng City-Region Observatory, March 2020. https://doi.org/10.36634/YJFL8903

Selected recent academic publications

Culwick, C., Götz, G., Butcher, S., Harber, Maree, G. and Mushongera, D. (2017). Doing more with less (data): Complexities of resource flow analysis in the Gauteng City-Region, Environmental Research Letters,12(12) 125006. https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/aa7c21

Culwick, C., Götz, G. Katumba, S., Trangoš, G. and Wray, C. (2015) ‘Mobility patterns in the Gauteng City-Region, South Africa’. Regional Studies Regional Science. 2(1), 308-310. https://doi.org/10.1080/21681376.2015.1034294

Götz, G. & Schäffler, A. (2015) ‘Conundrums in implementing a green economy in the Gauteng City-Region’, in journal special issue edited by Simon, D. & Leck H. ‘Bearing the brunt of environmental change: understanding adaptation and transformation challenges in urban Africa’, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 13, April 2015, 79-87. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2015.02.005

Harrison, P. Götz, G. Todes, A. & Wray, C. (eds.) (2014) Changing Space, Changing City: Johannesburg after apartheid. Johannesburg, Wits University Press. https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.18772/22014107656

Harrison, P. Götz, G. Todes, A. & Wray, C.(2014) ‘Materialities, subjectivities and spatial transformation in Johannesburg’, in Harrison, P. et al (eds.) Changing Space, Changing City: Johannesburg after apartheid. Johannesburg, Wits University Press. https://doi.org/10.18772/22014107656.5

Götz, G. Wray, C. & Mubiwa, B.(2014) ‘The ‘thin oil of urbanisation’? Spatial change in Johannesburg and the Gauteng City-Region’, in Harrison, P. et al (eds.) Changing Space, Changing City: Johannesburg after apartheid. Johannesburg, Wits University Press. https://doi.org/10.18772/22014107656.6

Götz, G. & Todes, A. (2014) ‘Johannesburg’s urban space economy’, in Harrison, P. et al (eds.) Changing Space, Changing City: Johannesburg after apartheid. Johannesburg, Wits University Press. https://doi.org/10.18772/22014107656.10

Christian Hamann

Researcher

Christian completed his undergraduate studies in Town and Regional Planning at the University of Pretoria before embarking on a Honours degree in Geography (BSocSci Hons), also at the University of Pretoria. He then enrolled for a Master’s degree in Geography at the University of South Africa, which he completed at the beginning 2016. His research interests primarily relate to the Changing Social Fabric and Landscapes in Transition research themes but he enjoys engaging in a variety of projects related to analytics, cartographies and visualisations. His most recent work focussed on socio-spatial change, specifically racial-residential segregation and socio-economic inequality.

Most recent publications

Parker, A. Hamann, C., and de Kadt, J. (2021). ‘Accessing Quality Education in Gauteng: Intersecting Scales of Geography, Educational Policy and Inequality’. Urban Forum. Vol. 32 No. 2, pp 141–163.

Ballard, R., Hamman, C., and Mkhize, T. (2021). ‘Johannesburg: Repetitions and Disruptions of Spatial Patterns’. In Lemon, A., Donaldson, R. and Visser, G. (eds.) South African urban change three decades after apartheid: Homes Still Apart? Cham, Switzerland: Springer, pp. 35-55.

Ballard, R. & Hamann, C., 2021: Income inequality and socio-economic segregation in the City of Johannesburg, in van Ham, M., Tammaru, T., Ubareviciene, R. & Janssen, H. (eds) Urban Socio-Economic Segregation and Income Inequality. Springer. p 91-109

Hamann, C. & Horn, A. C., 2015: Continuity or Discontinuity? Evaluating the Changing Socio-Spatial Structure of the City of Tshwane, South Africa, Urban Forum, 26 (1), 39 – 57.

Hamann, C. & Horn, A.C., 2014: Contextualising two decades of socio-spatial change in South African urban areas, in Cities in a Complex World: Problems, Challenges and Prospects, edited by Mierzejewska, L. & Parysek, J. J., Bogucki Wydawnictwo Naukowe, Poznan, 53 – 62.

Samkelisiwe Khanyile

Researcher

Samkelisiwe Khanyile joined the Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO) as an intern in 2016 and became a junior researcher in 2017. Before that, she worked as a GIS student assistant at the GCRO.

She obtained a MSc in GIS and Remote Sensing from the University of the Witwatersrand in 2016, where she is also currently enrolled for a PhD. Her PhD project is investigating the application of GIS in enabling the integrated conceptualisation, visualisation, analysis of the contemporary and historical characteristics of the urban post-mining landscape of Gauteng.

She has a broad interest in data access and data quality, in particular, data that can be used to inform evidence-based urban planning and governance. Her specific interests include investigating the impact of mining legacies on natural and human communities, access to mining-related geospatial, environmental justice-related issues and the applications of geographic information systems (GIS) for informing sustainable and equitable urban development. Samkelisiwe also has a keen interest in analytics, cartographies and visualisations.

Most recent publications

Crous, C., Owen, J.R., Marais, L., Khanyile, S. and Kemp, D. (2020). Public disclosure of mine closures by listed South African mining companies. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management. [Online first] https://doi.org/10.1002/csr.2103

Parker, A., Maree, G., Gotz, G. and Khanyile, S. (2020) How COVID-19 puts women at more risk than men in Gauteng, South Africa, The Conversation, 21 December 2020.

Nino, E. C., Lane, S., Okano. K., Rahman, I., Peng, B., Benn, H., Culwick, C., Maree. G., Khanyile, S., and Washbourne, C. (2020). Urban agriculture in the Gauteng City-Region’s green infrastructure network. GCRO Occasional Paper no. 15. Johannesburg: Gauteng City-Region Observatory.

Culwick, C. and Khanyile, S. (Eds.) (2019). Towards applying a green infrastructure approach in the Gauteng City-Region. GCRO Research Report No. 11. Johannesburg: Gauteng City-Region Observatory.

Khanyile, S. and Ballard, R. (2019). Spatial variation of political attitudes in the Gauteng-City Region, PositionIT, 19 May 2019.

Parker, A. and Khanyile, S. (2019). Graffiti is an eye-catching way to create lively spaces in cities, The Conversation, 08 April 2019.

Parker, A., Khanyile, S. and Joseph, K. (2019). Where do we draw the line: Graffiti in Maboneng, Johannesburg. Gauteng City-Region Observatory Occasional Paper no.14, Johannesburg: Gauteng City-Region Observatory. March 2019.

Khanyile, S. N. (2016) Digital platform for mining activity data, Position IT, 14 July 2016.

Gillian Maree

Senior Researcher

Gillian Maree is a Senior Researcher at the GCRO. She is an Urban Planner specialising in sustainability, environmental management and spatial planning; with a specific interest in water and biodiversity.

Gillian has worked in both the public and private sectors examining how urban and infrastructure development relates to sustainability, natural resource management, spatial planning and policy. Before joining the GCRO she worked at the South African Cities Network (SACN) as a Researcher within the Sustainable Cities programme and had a project focus on water, climate change, urban indicators and support to local government on environmental issues. From 2001 to 2007 she worked at the CSIR as a researcher in systematic biodiversity planning, water resources management, GIS and governance.

Her research interests focus on the intersection, and interdisciplinarity, between science, society and spatial planning within urban environments. Recent work has brought a strong focus cities, indicator development and data management what this means for more sustainable urban areas.

Most recent publications

Culwick, C., Götz, G., Butcher, S., Harber, Maree, G. and Mushongera, D. (2017). Doing more with less (data): Complexities of resource flow analysis in the Gauteng City-Region, Environmental Research Letters,12(12) 125006. doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/aa7c21

South African Cities Network (2016) 'Chapter 5: Sustainable Cities' in State of South African Cities Report 2016, SACN: Johannesburg

South African Cities Network (2016) 'Data Almanac' in State of South African Cities Report 2016, SACN: Johannesburg

Sthembiso Pollen Mkhize

Junior Researcher

Sthembiso Pollen Mkhize joined the Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO) as a Research Intern for the Quality of Life survey in late 2019, and was promoted to a Junior Researcher position in late 2021. During the time at the GCRO, Sthembiso has grown as a young professional and researcher, and have contributed to the organisation’s research work, organisational tasks, and government engagements.

Sthembiso obtained his Masters in Population Studies from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in 2019. His research was an exploratory assessment of health services in meeting sexual health needs of LGBT youth in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. His work was recognised and acknowledged by the university, media/newspapers and several health organisations that focus on health promotion and disease prevention for key populations.

As an emerging researcher, Sthembiso’s research centres around understanding the influence of structural entities on LGBT youth development and health. His research interests continue to broaden and extend across multiple constructs that lie at the heart of promoting quality of life and wellbeing, health, development, and social justice for the marginalised individuals. Sthembiso continues to be driven by his interest regarding the problems that beset Africa and its people, and is planning to positively influence the diverse society through a career research and advocacy.

Most recent publications

Hatcher, A., de Kadt, J., Mkhize, S. P. & Parker, A. (2021). ‘Fixing data blind spots is the key to solving violence against women and children. Daily Maverick, October 2021.

Mkhize, S. P., de Kadt, J. & Parker, A. (2021). ‘Gauteng health and wellbeing survey highlights the plight of women and black Africans. Daily Maverick, September 2021.

De Kadt, J., Hamann, C., Mkhize, S. P. & Parker, A. (2021). Quality Of Life Survey 6 (2020/21): Overview Report. GCRO Data Brief, September 2021.

Hamann, C., Mkhize, S. P., de Kadt, J. & Naidoo, Y. (2021). Quality of Life V (2017/18) survey viewer. GCRO Interactive Data Visualisation, June 2021.

De Kadt, J., Hamann, C. & Mkhize, S. P. (2021). What are participants telling us as we collect data for the next QoL survey? GCRO Map of the Month, February 2021.

Mkhize, S. P., & Maharaj, P. (2021). Meeting the Sexual Health Needs of LGBT Youth: Perceptions and Experiences of University Students in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Journal of Social Service Research, 47(1), 56-72.

Mkhize, S. P. (2020). COVID-19 cases in children and adolescents (0-19 years) in Gauteng. GCRO Vignette 38, December 2020.

Mkhize, S. P., & Maharaj, P. (2020). Structural violence on the margins of society: LGBT student access to health services. Agenda, 34(2), 104-114.

Thembani Mkhize

Researcher

Thembani completed his MSc in Town and Regional Planning (Urban Studies) at Wits University in 2014. His research report, titled 'Managing Urban (Neighbourhood) Change for whom? Investigating the Everyday Practices of Building Managers in eKhaya Neighbourhood CID Hillbrow South,' explored the relationship between external and internal space management in inner-city Johannesburg’s Residential City Improvement Districts (RCIDs). The research uses (the everyday governance practices of) property caretakers – in their capacity as ‘transmission belts’ between tenants and other stakeholders in the RCID (property owners, the City, CBOs, etc.) – to understand the particularities and peculiarities of this relationship. The study is particularly interested in the extent to which the eKhaya property managers - via their everyday governance practices - appropriate, bend, resist, accept and adhere to norms governing the RCID, and what this means for inner-city management. He is a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society (GKIHS) and was also a recipient of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Planning Summer School Award.

In 2015, Mkhize was one of ten young researchers researching and writing up on innovative local and international responses to urban pressures that could be replicated in the South African context, and which will be documented in an edited book yet to be published by the DPME and the University of the Witwatersrand. He used eKhaya, in its capacity as an innovative response to urban crime and grime. Between late 2015 and early 2016, he assisted the DPME research team with the searching, collation, organisation, appraisal and coding literature on human settlements, in a project titled Evidence Mapping exercise in preparation for a Systematic Review in Human Settlements

With a research report titled The Challenges posed by the Political (Re)Branding of Competitive South African Cities: The case of (City and Street Name Changes in) Pretoria/Tshwane, Mkhize in 2012 graduated at the top of his class in the BSc(Hons) Urban and Regional Planning programme. The research report explored the extent to which branding/marketing and politics, two fundamentally different disciplines/concepts, converge and make themselves spatially manifest in the renaming of post-apartheid South Africa’s streets and big cities.

Most recent publications:

Mkhize, T. (2018). 'Urban crime and grime: lessons from Hillbrow’s eKhaya Residential City Improvement District. In P. Harrison and M. Rubin (eds.), Urban Innovations: Researching and documenting innovative responses to urban pressures. Department of Planning Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME): Pretoria, pp. 66–93.

Dr Mamokete Modiba

Researcher

Mamokete Matjomane joined the GCRO as a researcher in 2017. She holds a PhD from the University of the Witwatersrand, obtained in 2021. Her PhD project is titled “The role and influence of street trader leaders in urban governance: The case of Gauteng metros with reflections from Ahmedabad, India”. It investigates the extent to which street trader leaders participate in the everyday management of street trade and reflects on the practices of the state in governing the activity. With a background in urban planning, Mamokete’s research interests span across a variety of areas including inclusive economies, urban governance and management, poverty, inequality, social change and spatial transformation. She is particularly interested in understanding the complexities that inform local approaches towards achieving inclusive economic development; the strategic and regulatory frameworks that inform such approaches; local experiences and responses towards inclusive economies as well as the current role assumed by the state. Mamokete has a particular orientation towards improving public policy and practices to make them inclusive for the poor and marginalised.

Most recent publications

Matjomane, M. (forthcoming). From the Margins of the State to Quasi-State Bureaucrats: The Shifting Nature of Street Trader Leaders’ Agency in Tshwane, South Africa. University of Naples “L’Orientale”: Department of Asian, African and Mediterranean Studies.

Matjomane, M. (2021). The role and influence of street trader leaders in urban governance: The case of Gauteng metros with reflections from Ahmedabad, India. PHD thesis. University of the Witwatersrand, School of Architecture and Planning.

Matjomane, M. (2021). Dynamics of entrepreneurship in the context of COVID-19. GCRO Vignette #42. Johannesburg: Gauteng City-Region Observatory.

Ballard, R., Khanyile, S., Matjomane, M., Mkhize, T., & Naidoo, Y. (2021). Migration and moving home. In J. de Kadt, C. Hamann, S.P. Mkhize & A. Parker (Eds.), Quality of Life Survey 6 (2020/21): Overview Report (Section 9). Johannesburg: Gauteng City-Region Observatory.

Hamann, C., Götz, G., Matjomane, M., & Mushongera, D. (2021). Poverty, inequality and social mobility. In J. de Kadt, C. Hamann, S.P. Mkhize & A. Parker (Eds.), Quality of Life Survey 6 (2020/21): Overview Report (Section 4). Johannesburg: Gauteng City-Region Observatory.

Matjomane, M. and Benit-Gbaffou, C. (2019). Towards Integrating the Community in Governance of Urban Informality? Lessons from Yeoville, In Benit-Gbaffou, C.; Charlton, S.; Didier, S and Dormann, K. Politics and Community-Based Research: Perspectives from Yeoville Studio, Johannesburg. Pretoria: Wits University Press.

Matjomane, M. (2019). Running a spaza shop. In Benit-Gbaffou C., Charlton S., Didier S. and Dormann, K. Politics and Community-Based Research: Perspectives from Yeoville Studio, Johannesburg. Pretoria: Wits University Press.

de Kadt, J., Ballard, R., Cheruiyot, K., Culwick C., Götz, G., Hamann, C., Khanyile, S., Maree, G., Matjomane, M., Moore, R., Naidoo, Y., Parker, A. and Sondzaba, S. (2019). Insights from GCRO’s Quality of Life Survey (2017/18). Johannesburg: Gauteng City-Region Observatory.

Matjomane, M. (2018). Contestations of street trading on De Villiers Street. In J. Harber, A. Parker, K. Joseph and G. Maree (Eds.), Taking Streets Seriously, GCRO Research Report #8. Johannesburg: Gauteng City-Region Observatory.

Matjomane, M., Cheruiyot, K. and Katumba, S. (2018). Mapping unemployment. GCRO Map of the Month, August 2018. Johannesburg: Gauteng City-Region Observatory.

Ruth Mohamed

Finance and Office Manager

+2711 717 7286

Ruth joined Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO) as the Finance and Office Manager in March 2018, and is responsible for the financial health of the organisation.

Before joining GCRO, Ruth was at the Centre of Excellence for Bio-Medical TB Research, University of Witwatersrand, and she was responsible for the financial well-being and administration of the lab. Prior to this, she was a Junior Accountant at Fujifilm SA, the world’s largest photographic and imaging company. Ruth was also with Pick n Pay Retail and Clothing Division in various retail and financial positions for 16 years prior to moving from Cape Town to Johannesburg in 2008

Dr Ngaka Mosiane

Senior Researcher

My research interests centre around, provocatively, ‘the transformative potential of cities’. I use numerous entry points into this area of research. The first one is livelihoods, through which I examine how ordinary people use the city’s resources to reshape their lives within the context of changes in historical practices of livelihood formation, landscape forms and social identities. The second entry point is the state’s spatial interventions – the ways in which such interventions (the Master Plan, for example) facilitate and/or hinder ordinary people’s livelihood activities. The third vantage point into exploring the transformative potential of cities is the ways in which social payments, (local) state spending, and basic municipal services contribute to ordinary people’s livelihood assets. Taken together, I deploy these themes to reflect on the extent to which ordinary people are able to harness the city’s resources to build livelihoods and to use such livelihood assets to pursue their aspirations.

My other area of research interest is the intellectual history of informal housing: its major dimensions, the changes in the way this topic has been treated over time, the current emphases and future directions of informal housing research, theory, and methodology.

Most recent publications

Mosiane, N., and Götz, G. (2022). Displaced urbanisation or displaced urbanism? Rethinking development in the peripheries of the GCR. GCRO Provocation #08, Gauteng City-Region Observatory, April 2022. DOI: 10.36634/SVRW2580

Mosiane, N. (2022). 'Mobility, Access and the Value of the Mabopane Station Precinct'. Urban Forum. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12132-021-09454-4

Mosiane, N. (2021). 'Livelihoods, the Body and the Space of Phokeng, Rustenburg'. In: L. Marais, M. Campbell, S. Denoon-Stevens, and D. Van Rooyen (eds.). Mining and Community in the South African Platinum Belt: A Decade after Marikana. New York: Nova Science Publishers. pp. 38–64.

Mosiane, N. (2019) 'Review of AbouMaliq Simone and Edgar Pieterse (2017) New Urban Worlds: inhabiting dissonant times', Transformation 99, pp 133-135

Mosiane, N.B. (2019). ‘Informal Housing’ in Orum, A. and Smiley, S. (ed.) The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Urban and Regional Studies. London: Wiley-Blackwell. DOI: 10.1002/9781118568446.eurs0536

Mosiane, N.B. (2019). 'Credit, cash transfers, and distributive neoliberalism'. African Studies 78(1). pp 152-164 DOI: 10.1080/00020184.2018.1495388

Mosiane, N.B. (2012) Review of Sarah Mosoetsa (2011) Eating from One Pot: The dynamics of survival in poor South African households, African Affairs, doi: 10.1093/afraf/ads011.

Mosiane, N.B. (2011) Livelihoods and the transformative potential of cities: Challenges of inclusive development in Rustenburg, North West Province, South Africa, The Singaporean Journal of Tropical Geography, 32 (1): 38-52.

Mosiane, N.B. (2009) Landscapes of Flexibility or Landscapes of Marginality? Spaces of Livelihood Formation in a Changing South African City, GeoJournal, 74, 541–549

Dr Darlington Mushongera

Senior Researcher

Darlington is a Senior Researcher and theme leader for Poverty and Inequality at the Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO). He joined the GCRO in August 2011. With a background in economics and urban planning, Darlington’s research interests span across a number of areas including poverty and inequality, governance, policy planning, and methods of measuring development. Darlington is an expert in multidimensional poverty methods and has published widely in this area. His work on governance and policy planning involves Actor-Network Theory analyses and ethnographic explorations of service delivery planning and management in South African municipalities with a particular focus on water services in the City of Johannesburg. Darlington holds a BSc in Economics, an MSc in Rural and Urban Planning, an MPhil in Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies and a PhD in Town and Regional Planning from the University of the Witwatersrand. His PhD thesis is titled 'Who governs Johannesburg Water? An Actor-Network reading of water services governance in the City of Johannesburg (2000-2018)'. Beyond his GCRO work, Darlington is the music director of a small church orchestra in Diepsloot township of Johannesburg and has a passion for changing the lives of the poor through music.

List of publications

Mushongera, D. (forthcoming) “Who is who in the Zoo?” Anatomy of water services governance in the City of Johannesburg. In Practices of the (local) state in urban governance – reflections from South African cities by Claire Bénit-Gbaffou (ed).

Mushongera, D., Zikhali, P., Ngwenya, P. (forthcoming). Multidimensional poverty in post-apartheid South Africa: the case of Gauteng Province. Palgrave Handbook of Global Social Problems.

Mushongera, D., Ngobese, S., Tissington, K., Toffa, T., Pingo, N., & Mokgere, T. (2022). Inclusive Cities: Transversal Cooperation for Inclusion and Wellbeing. In SACN (2022). State of South African Cities Report 2021. Johannesburg: SACN.

Mushongera, D. (2022). Who governs Johannesburg Water? An Actor-Network reading of water services governance in the City of Johannesburg (2000-2018). PhD Thesis, University of the Witwatersrand.

Bohlmann, J., Chitiga-Mabugu, M., and Mushongera, D. (2021). 'Youth and unemployment: Our present problem and a missed opportunity. Africa Today. Vol. 68, No. 2 (Winter 2021), pp. 142–148.

Hamann, C., Götz, G., Matjomane, M., & Mushongera, D. (2021). Poverty, inequality and social mobility. In J. de Kadt, C. Hamann, S.P. Mkhize & A. Parker (Eds.), Quality of Life Survey 6 (2020/21): Overview Report(Section 4). Johannesburg: Gauteng City-Region Observatory.

Mushongera, D., Götz, G., Khanyile, S., Mkhize, T., & Mosiane, N. (2021). Government performance and satisfaction with government. In J. de Kadt, C. Hamann, S.P. Mkhize & A. Parker (Eds.), Quality of Life Survey 6 (2020/21): Overview Report(Section 12). Johannesburg: Gauteng City-Region Observatory.

Mushongera, D., P. Magejo, and M. Ntuli. (2020). An analysis of well-being in Gauteng province using the capability approach. GCRO Occasional Paper # NO. 17.

Katumba, S. Cheruiyot, K. and Mushongera, D. (2019). Spatial change in the concentration of multidimensional poverty in Gauteng, South Africa: Evidence from Quality of Life Survey data, Social Indicators Research. 145(1), August 2019. pp 95-115. DOI 10.1007/s11205-019-02116-w

Mushongera, D., & Khanyile, S. (2019). Participation in Integrated Development Planning. GCRO Map of the Month, November 2019. Johannesburg: Gauteng City-Region Observatory.

Zikhali, P., Mushongera, D., & Katumba, S. (2018). Multidimensional poverty in the GCR (2015/16 data). GCRO Map of the Month, June 2018. Johannesburg: Gauteng City-Region Observatory.

Mushongera, D., Tseng, D., Kwenda, P., Benhura, M., Zikhali, P., & Ngwenya, P. (2018). Poverty and inequality in the Gauteng City-Region. GCRO Research Report No. 9. Johannesburg: Gauteng

Abrahams, C., D. Everatt, A. Van Den Heever, D. Mushongera, C. Nwosu, P. Pilay, A. Scheba, I. Turok (2018). South Africa: National Urban Policies and City Profiles for Johannesburg and Cape Town. SHLC, the University of the Witwatersrand and Human Sciences Research Council.

Cheruiyot, K and Mushongera D. (2018). Testing Economic Growth Convergence and Its Policy Implications in the Gauteng City-Region, in K. Cheruiyot (2018) The Changing Space Economy of City-Regions, pp. 213-239.

Mushongera, D., Culwick, C. (2017). Boundary organisations and the New Urban Agenda: the importance of policy research for evidence-based planning. International Development Planning Review 39(4), 368–371.

Culwick, C., Götz, G., Butcher, S., Harber, Maree, G. and Mushongera, D. (2017). Doing more with less (data): Complexities of resource flow analysis in the Gauteng City-Region, Environmental Research Letters,12(12) 125006. doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/aa7c21.

Mushongera, D., P. Zikhali, and P. Ngwenya (2017). A multidimensional poverty index for Gauteng Province, South Africa: Evidence from Quality of Life Survey Data. Social Indicators Research Vol 13:277-303.

Mushongera, D. (2017). Beyond GDP in assessing development in South Africa: The Gauteng City-Region Socio-Economic Barometer. Development Southern Africa Vo. 34, No. 3, 330-346.

Mushongera, D., C. Abrahams and Z. Ebrahim (2017). A Caring City – what matters every day to ordinary people in the city. A new way of assessing the performance of cities across the world. Research Report. City of Johannesburg.

Mushongera, D., Z. Ebrahim, C. Abrahams (2016). Caring Cities Barometer. Web-based interactive visual. City of Johannesburg.

Mushongera, D., P. Zikhali, and P. Ngwenya (2015). A multidimensional poverty index for Gauteng (GMPI). GCRO Map of the Month, February 2015.

G. Götz (ed.), C. Abrahams, K. Bobbins, K. Cheruiyot, C. Chikozho, C. Culwick, D. Everatt, S. Katumba, D. Mushongera, S. Peberdy, G. Trangoš, & C. Wray (2015). Quality of Life Survey 2013. City Benchmarking Report. November 2015. Gauteng City-Region Observatory.

Mushongera, D. (2015). The GCRO Barometer 2014. GCRO Occasional Paper No. 9. Gauteng City-Region Observatory.

Wray, C., D. Everatt, D. Mushongera, S. Katumba (2015). Best and worst-performing public schools in relation to poverty. GCRO Map of the Month, April 2015.

Mushongera, D. (2015). The GCRO Barometer 2014. Web-based interactive visual. http://barometer.legacy.gcro.unomena.net/. Gauteng City-Region Observatory.

Mushongera D. (2013). Poverty dynamics and livelihood challenges among small-scale fishing communities on Lake Kariba - Zimbabwe. Programme for Land and Agrarian Studies, MPhil Thesis. University of the Western Cape, Cape Town.

Mushongera, D. (2013) Steel at Any Cost: A community perspective on the impacts of ArcelorMittal’s operations in Vanderbijlpark, South Africa. BenchMarks Foundation.

Mushongera, D. (2013). Prices and earnings in the Gauteng City-Region. Johannesburg in comparison to major world cities. GCRO Data Brief publication

Mushongera, D (2013). International wage differentials for primary school teachers. GCRO Vignettes #14. April 2013.

Mushongera, D (2012). Gauteng 2012 budget highlights GCRO Vignettes #7. April 2013.

Mushongera, D. (2012). Key findings from Statistics South Africa’s 2011 National Census for Gauteng. GCRO Data Brief publication.

Mushongera, D. (2011). Summary of Gauteng results from the 2010 General Household Survey. GCRO Data Brief publication.

Dr Laven Naidoo

Senior Researcher

Dr Laven Naidoo joined the GCRO in November 2021 after a 13 year researcher career at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). He completed his PhD in Geoinformatics at the University of Pretoria in 2018 and specialized in the use of Earth Observation technologies for monitoring savannah, forest and wetland vegetation. He has a specific interest in the use of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data for mapping and modelling woody structure in South African Savannahs. He has expanded his areas of interest in savannah tree species mapping using hyperspectral and Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) airborne sensors, and the assessment of soil moisture and grass biomass in Afromontane wetlands using SAR technologies. Additionally he has expertise in precision agriculture applications for maize structural attribute estimation using satellite and drone-based approaches. He has published his work in high impact Remote Sensing journals. Over the last 10 years, he has been involved in various national and international projects in the field of vegetation structure modelling and mapping at the local to national scale.

Within the GCRO, he will expand his research into the development of advanced AI/machine learning techniques, geospatial data science approaches and novel remote sensing applications within the urban environment and Sustainable Development Goals space. He is also looking to intersect potential research outputs with more policy related requirements. He is also currently a Y-rated scientist by the South African National Research Foundation.

Most recent publications

Naidoo, L., Main, R., Cho, M.A., Madonsela, S., Majozi, N. (2022). Machine learning modelling of crop structure within the Maize Triangle of South Africa, International Journal of Remote Sensing, 43(1), pp27-51

Duncanson, L.,…, Naidoo, L. et al. (2022). Aboveground biomass density models for NASA’s Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) lidar mission. Remote Sensing of Environment, 270, 112845

Van Deventer, H., Linström, A., Durand, J.F., Naidoo, L., Cho, M.A. (2022). Deriving the maximum extent and hydroperiod of open water from Sentinel–2 imagery for global sustainability and biodiversity reporting for wetlands, WaterSA 48 (1)

Van Deventer, H., Adams, J.B., Durand, J.F., Grobler, R., Grundling, P.L., Janse van Rensburg, S., Jewitt, D., Kelbe, B., MacKay, C.F., Naidoo, L., Nel, J.L., Pretorius, L.,Riddin, T., Van Niekerk, L. (2021). Conservation conundrum–Red listing of subtropical-temperate coastal forested wetlands of South Africa. Ecological Indicators, 130, 108077

Naidoo, L., Main, R., Cho, M.A., Madonsela, S., Majozi, N. (2021). Estimating South African Maize Biomass Using Integrated High-Resolution UAV and Sentinel 1 and 2 Datasets. 2021 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium IGARSS, 2021, pp. 1594-1596, doi: 10.1109/IGARSS47720.2021.9554261.

Yashena Naidoo

Junior Researcher

Yashena Naidoo joined the Gauteng City-Region Observatory in 2018 as an intern and became a junior researcher in 2020. Before joining the GCRO, Yashena was part of Rand Water’s GIS graduate programme.

She completed her undergraduate degree in 2015 and Honours in Geoinformatics (with distinction) at the University of Pretoria. She
has also completed her Masters in Geoinformatics with distinction. Her project related to the evaluation of novel street-addressing approaches in South African settlements.

Yashena’s research interests broadly relate to data analytics, particularly the use of spatial analysis to understand the varying spatial patterns and socio-economic factors within urban environments. She has a keen interest in open science principles for visualisations and data management to ensure that data can be accessible and usable to broader audiences

Cher Petersen joined the GCRO as a GIS Intern in April 2022. She completed her undergraduate degree in Science (general) majoring in Geology and Geography in 2020 and Honours in Geography in 2021 at the University of the Witwatersrand. Her Honours research project focused on the use of multi-temporal satellite images to map surface water variability and determine the effects of rainfall in Gauteng, South Africa over time. Her research interests include GIS and Remote Sensing techniques, particularly related to the Environmental field and Water Management policies. Cher also has a keen interest in data analysis, data visualization and the use of GIS applications to promote sustainable urban development.

Rashid Seedat

Executive Director

+27 11 717 7287

Rashid Seedat is the Executive Director of the GCRO. Rashid joined GCRO in June 2021 from the Gauteng Office of the Premier (OoP), where he worked since 2011 as the Head of the Gauteng Planning Division. Here he was responsible for strategic, spatial and infrastructure planning, as well as performance monitoring and evaluation for the Gauteng Provincial Government. From 2016, he also headed the Delivery Support Unit in the OoP, designed to set priority targets and accelerate delivery across provincial departments. In this capacity as a senior provincial official, Rashid has had a longstanding relationship with the GCRO as a previous Board member.

Rashid has a long history of involvement in urban struggles, and work on urban development and local government, starting as an activist in the 1980s, then as employee of Planact, and subsequently as councillor and official in the emerging system of post-apartheid local government in Johannesburg. Before joining the Gauteng Provincial Government, Rashid headed the Central Strategy Unit in the Executive Mayor’s Office at the City of Johannesburg, a position he held for over a decade.

In his various positions in provincial and local government, Rashid has overseen a wide range of research projects and surveys to underpin the design of new policies, long term development strategies, and service improvement programmes. He also has a wealth of experience working on the international stage. In recent years this has included support to the Premier of Gauteng in his role as Co-President of Metropolis, with a portfolio focused on social cohesion; localising the SDGs and the new urban agenda; and building a network of African city-regions through the Forum of African Metropolises.

Rashid has a long standing intellectual interest in the history of minority communities' struggles against apartheid; in the social and spatial dimensions of minority communities' displacement by the Group Areas Act, and the dynamics of their gradual return to the suburbs in the democratic era; as well as the position of sub-national government in systems of intergovernmental relations. He made contributions to the Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF), and also engaged in the development of Chapter 8 of the National Development Plan (NDP) on the national space economy.

Rashid is a trustee of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation and was a member of the Council for the University of the Witwatersrand until the point at which he joined GCRO. He has a Master of Science (MSc) in Development Planning, and a Master of Management (MM) in Public and Development Management, both from the University of the Witwatersrand.

Melinda Swift

Senior Manager: Partnerships and Operations

+27 11 717 7280

Melinda Swift is the GCRO's Operations and Partnerships Manager. She has a background of twenty years in the civil service, most recently as the Specialist Advisor for Operation Phakisa: Oceans Economy, in the national Department of Environmental Affairs. She has a background in implementing integrated projects in multi-stakeholder environments and has previously worked for the Gauteng Provincial Government in community-based natural resource management projects, the environmental sector Expanded Public Works Programmes, and in the listing and development of the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site. Her focus is on developing organisational effectiveness and supportive networks, and purposeful project management.

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