The Manifestation of Street Safety and Security as Spatial (in)justice in Selected Small Rural Towns of Vhembe District, South Africa

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Wendy Wadzanayi Tsoriyo
Emaculate Ingwani, Dr
James Chakwizira
Peter Bikam


Safe and secure street spaces for pedestrians translate to spatially just urban environments. This study examined pedestrians' safety and security elements on street spaces in three selected Small Rural Towns (SRTs) in South Africa and assessed the users' physical perceptions of street safety and security in SRTs and their implications on spatial (in)justice. Forty-three street spaces from three SRTs in South Africa were purposively sampled and assessed in this study. The study adopted a mixed-method approach involving the use of a case study and a survey.  Data were collected through key informant interviews, a questionnaire survey and a street space design quality checklist. The distribution of safety and security elements across the studied 43 street spaces reflect the existence of justices and injustices concurrently. Users' theoretical perception of the meaning of street safety differs significantly from their actual experiences. The study recommends that the design and management of streets be informed by users' vision of street safety and security, as well as innovative project financing strategies to ensure spatial justice on street spaces.

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Author Biographies

Wendy Wadzanayi Tsoriyo, University of Venda

Biography of authors

*Tsoriyo WW: Currently studying towards a PhD in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Venda, South Africa. Her PhD research project is on spatial justice and street spaces in Small Rural Towns of South Africa. Research interest; urban design,  spatial justice and urban resilience. Her qualifications are BSc (Hons) and MSc RUP (University of Zimbabwe). Affiliation: M.ZIRUP. 

Emaculate Ingwani, Dr, Universityof Venda

Senior Lecture in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Venda. Research interests; peri-urbanity, expansion of small  towns, informal settlements. Qualifications: BEd (Univ. of Zimbabwe), MSc (Univ. of Zimbabwe), PhD (Stellenbosch), Diploma (project planning) (Univ. of Zimbabwe), Diploma Ed (Univ. of Zimbabwe), Affiliation: SAPI.

James Chakwizira, University of Venda

HOD Department of Urban and Regional Planning at University of Venda. Research interests: transportation dynamics, spatial transitions. Qualifications: BSc (Hons) and MPhil RUP (Univ. of Zimbabwe), PhD (Univen), PGDip. Trans. (CIT&L) (UK), PGDip. Urban Planning (Netherlands), Cert. PMUE (Intan Malaysia), Cert. GIS&RS (Univ. of Zimbabwe). Affiliation: M.ZIRUP, M.IFRT&D, M.CIT&L, SACPLAN, SAPI.

Peter Bikam


Research Professor, Department of Urban and Regional Planning at University of Venda. Research interests: infrastructure development, service delivery planning. Qualifications; BSc, MSc (Univ. of Tours, France), MPhil (Univ. of Paris Sorbonne, France), PhD (Univ. of Paris Sorbonne, France), Diploma in Cartography (Kaduna Polytechnic Kaduna, Nigeria), Affiliation: SACPLAN, SAPI.