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Title: Malota, an urban slum compound : an aspect of urbanization in Zambia
Author: Allen, Robert Michael
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1978
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The rapid growth of slums in recent decades in Africa has posed problems of both an academic and a political nature. In this study two specific problems associated with the process of urbanisation - housing needs and political participation - provide the focus for a study of change in Livingstone, Zambia which was carried out in 1970/1971. Malota, the town's oldest housing area, has over the last two decades come to be seen as a squatter area and there have been continual demands for its demolition. It is thought by many people in the town to be a separate community; marginal in social, economic, and political terms and resistant to change. However, the analysis of data from a variety of sources over a twenty-year period shows that there have been major changes in the compound's social composition, particularly in terms of an increasing social and economic heterogeneity. It is evident that the compound is, and always has been, an integral part of the urban system. Malota is also regarded as politically marginal with general tendencies to conservatism and traditionalism, and with an exaggerated emphasis on rural origins and values. A discussion of two particular institutions - tribal folderol and the local-level leadership of the ruling political party - suggests that this belief is also inaccurate. Viewed within the historical development of Zambian urban politics, the contemporary dominance of these two institutions by specific ethnic groups can be seen as the consequence of a series of factors relating to the distribution of resources in the urban sector. As a result, it is more appropriate to view the relationship between tribe and political participation in terms of the intervening variable of socio-economic status. Many of Malota's supposed characteristics cannot be supported by fact. Though it is undoubtedly a slum, it has been a crucial factor in the town's development, providing the flexibility needed in periods of rapid urban growth and a 'legal' alternative to the squatter areas that surround so many African towns and cities.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available