Densely populated informal housing has mushroomed in formerly segregated South African townships, attracting migrants who survive on the edges of the economy, excluded from basic services. In the pandemic, they have been even more vulnerable, unable to practice social distancing and forced to continue with marginal work such as scavenging to eke out a living. Drawing on interviews with residents of a Johannesburg settlement, the authors emphasize how urban space structures inequalities in every aspect of everyday life, requiring a new approach to city planning and governance with a focus on justice.

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