“Hybrid Infrastructures: Expanding Spatial Typologies for Electricity constellations in Durban and Cape Town” (working title)
As in most cities of the Global South, electricity access in South Africa is not exclusively through a homogenous infrastructural network but rather it is improvised and co-produced. The resulting infrastructures are neither entirely the work of service providers nor of users, rather they are ‘hybrids’, co-produced by both residents and service providers. While most of the everyday urbanism literature on hybrid infrastructures has mobilised the concept to explore the unequal geographies of infrastructure access usually at a micro (household) scale, there has not been adequate work focusing on different urban scales, different income groups, land uses as well as intra and intercity comparisons. In this research we draw on a spatial typology of electricity by Koepke et al. (2021) to explore how hybrid electricity infrastructures manifest in spatially distinct forms within and between the cities, shaped by environmental factors and urbanisation processes in Durban and Cape Town. In doing this, we seek to expand the range, methods and ways of analysing hybrid infrastructures in Global South cities.