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Recombining Place: COVID-19 and Community Action Networks in South Africa


Year published: 2021
Categories: Articles
URL Link: https://www.igi-global.com/article/recombining-place/262514

Author / Authors:

  • Nancy Odendaal


The lockdown response taken by many governments in flattening the curve of coronavirus infections has of course increased the reliance on digital tools to enable work (for those able to do so) and social interaction. There are emergent, somewhat contingent, and coproductive dynamics at work between platforms and urban life and space with the contextual specificities of each, no doubt, leading to different ICTinformed solutions. In South Africa, the state has taken a phased but stronghold approach with unfortunate impacts on livelihoods and food security, especially those in the informal economy and those with part-time or insecure employment. The community action network (CAN) initiative started as a means to enable neighbourhood assistance through WhatsApp groups in Cape Town. In this article, the author reflects on how this initiative reflects the early hopes of William Mitchell (and others) that saw the potential for informational spaces to become more democratic as interfaces of connection. In Cape Town, one may see Mitchell's vision fulfilled.

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International Journal of E-Planning Research (IJEPR)
Volume 10, Issue 2, April - June 2021
Indexed by: Compendex (Elsevier Engineering Index), INSPEC, SCOPUS, Web of
Science Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI)
Published: Quarterly in Print and Electronically
ISSN: 2160-9918; EISSN: 2160-9926
Published by IGI Global Publishing, Hershey, USA
Editor-in-Chief: Carlos Nunes Silva (University of Lisbon, Portugal)


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