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Historically, the urbanisation process in Zimbabwe was designed to facilitate the development of a prosperous settler community with black Africans providing migrant labour.
The black Africans were seen as sojourners in the urban areas.
This “two-legged” existence in both rural and urban areas meant that only the able-bodied were resident in the urban areas but who would eventually retire to their rural homes on termination of their employment contracts.
This implied that only the colonial settlers eventually retired in the urban areas, a factor which necessitated the then colonial government to put in place welfare measures for the elderly people.
On the other hand, the loosening up of the racist political framework in 1980 opened urban areas to the black Africans not only for employment, but also legitimised their residence in urban areas more permanent basis.
But then, what is the government doing to accommodate and improve the welfare of this greying population in the urban environment? What are the survival strategies of the elderly people in urban areas? This book will try to answer these questions.
Loveme Chipungu is a lecturer in the School of Architecture, Planning and Housing at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.His areas of research include housing policy, urban design, informal housing and rural development.
Hangwelani Hope Magidimisha is a researcher at Human Sciences Researcher Council (DGSD), South Africa.
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