Maputo is the capital of Mozambique and one of the most economi- cally developed provinces of the country. It is divided into 7 urban districts, including Catembe and Inhaca[1]. Costa do Sol (or Triunfo) is located on the coast and is 10 km² from the centre of the city (see Map 9.1, cahier couleur). According to Araújo (1999: 182), this suburb has a population of about 14 190, (7 316 men and 6 870 women). A study of the urban division showed that most of the population (about 75%) lives in the periphery of the city, where we can find houses built of poles and reeds (caniço*) of about 10 m² and accommodating 7 people on average[2].

This chapter discusses the question of urban dynamic as well as the spatial and social impacts of condominiums* (gated residential develop- ments*) in Costa do Sol, Maputo, Mozambique. Complementarily to Fabrice Folio’s chapter (in this book) that analyses the dynamics of private developments in Maputo, this chapter focuses more narrowly on the impact of such developments on those who live in their surroundings.

Indeed, the condominiums were developed in the 1980s through the destruction of informal houses made of poles and reeds (caniço), first built by those who occupied the suburb* during the Civil War, and through the removal of their inhabitants. The emergence of condo- miniums, by bringing a new category of occupant to Costa do Sol, changed the spatial organisation of the suburb.

We cannot necessarily assume that there are no interactions between those who live in condominiums and those who surround them in the caniços, even though the social and economic gap is huge between them. However, this article will show that there are few, and the benefits of the proximity to the riches is limited for the poor. The fact that residents of the caniços are gradually being evicted by condominium development yet constitutes another form of relationship that this article will discuss, through the analysis of the displacement process of the residents of the caniços, their reaction, how it is processed and what are the consequences for the victims[3].

Condominium Development: Nature, Urban and Political Context and

Spatial Contrast with the Caniços

The development of condominiums took place at the beginning of 1980s. The first were public, namely Oásis, in 1980, Parque Sabié in 1984 and Parque Miramar (Gomez, 2003). These were built in the context of a post-colonial effort to improve the economy of the country. The Frelimo government benefiting from a partnership with different coun- tries, thereby benefiting from experts to fill the lack of skilled workers and to train locals. As a part of this effort, the first condominiums were built to accommodate these foreign experts.

Although condominiums began to be built in the 1980s, most of them emerged from 1992 onwards following the Peace Agreement signed during the same year[4]. The agreement brought a new socio-economic, political and cultural context that allowed the influx of foreign capital and foreigners. In association with this, there was an increase in the construc- tion of luxurious houses and condominiums, taking on a different dynamic, thereby allowing the expansion and urban transformation of Costa do Sol[5].

The condominiums were developed at a time of rapid urban growth, political change and degradation of urban conditions for the poor. In February 3, 1976 after the independence of Lourenço Marques, the colo- nial city changed its name to Maputo[6]. The independence of the country was followed by a generalised influx of African populations to the urban areas from the periphery, and Maputo was no exception. Urban problems such as insufficient water supply, drainage and sewage disposal emerged. These were caused for many reasons. Among them: i) the new occupants maintained their rural way of life and had no basic instructions about how to live in the city, ii) after independence, there was little upgrading of the water system, drainage, etc. to cater for the new wave of occupation (Muchangos, 1987).

In 1989, Maputo was already a city of above-average population growth. Its infrastructure (streets, water system, drainage, electricity and services) were unable to respond to this growth. In addition, there was a problem of unemployment and criminality. The reasons for this scenario were the civil war, the fact that the South African government decided to decrease the number of Mozambican mineworkers and the declining economic viability of State or privatised enterprises. At the time, there was also an increase in the number of war refugees in the city (Olson,

1990). Many families came to Maputo from the neighbouring provinces of Gaza, Inhambane and from rural areas of Maputo[7]. Civil war thus intensified urban problems[8]. Most of the people who came from rural areas and who occupied the area of Costa do Sol were poor, unemployed or underemployed. They did not have enough money to build houses according to the standard required by the municipality. They built houses using poles and reeds (caniços).

The end of the civil war (1992) did not mean that people would return to their original places. They stayed and, at the same time, contributed to the increase in condominiums and luxurious houses, sharing the same urban space (Costa do Sol) with caniço, causing what could be consid- ered as urban contrast between precarious houses made by poles and reeds, on the one hand, and condominiums and luxurious houses with modern security system (electric fences), private security guards on the other (see Photo 17.3, cahier couleur)

Photo 17.3 testifies to the main characteristic of the way condo- miniums and caniços share the same urban space (Costa do Sol). There is a disparity not only between the buildings, but also in terms of the living conditions and the socio-economic status of the residents of the condo- miniums and caniços. The condominiums are permanent buildings with sophisticated fences, water systems, electricity; some of them with swim- ming pools. The caniços are the opposite. They are made of reeds and poles (which means that they are not permanent buildings), most of them have water pumps and no electricity (residents use candles at night). The socio-economic status of the residents is also contradictory. Most of the residents in the caniços are unemployed or underemployed. Those who are working earn minimum salaries[9]   Most of the women living in the caniços are domestic workers or practice agriculture for subsistence.

In contrast, condominiums, with a rent of between 1.000,00 and 4.000,00 US dollars per month,[10] are largely beyond the reach of the majority of Mozambicans[11]. Mozambican residents are actually a minority, as condominium residents are generally expatriate foreigners; however, an increasing number of wealthy Mozambicans (especially working in big business or in government) are moving in.

There are more elements of contradiction between condominium and caniço residents. The privileged socio-economic status of condominium residents allows them to buy modern cars to drive between home and work. Caniço residents generally use public buses to do their routine or simply walk. To accommodate children living in condominiums, shops (e.g. Super Marés) and schools (e.g. Portuguese schools) were built. The same social services are practically denied to those who reside in the caniços mainly because of the visible poverty.

Municipality Faced with Consequences: No Consolidation for the Poor, no Intervention in the Condominium Development

The people living around the condominiums feel discriminated against and are disappointed. This is because the municipality is not concerned with the critical condition in which they live[12]. That is why they face many problems like water supply, drainage, communication systems, roads or streets, etc. The municipality’s position in this regard, associated with the absence of a culture of urban resistance in Maputo and the absence of title deeds among the residents around the condominiums, limit the negotiation capacity when confronted with the developer. Therefore, when there is any problem, the residents go to the local government (secretary, chief of the quarteirão or local residential area), who help them to find a solution. Nalsa[13]  and Almeida[14], some of the resi- dents of the caniços, mention that the municipality give a different level of consideration to caniço residents compared to that given to those from other suburbs of Maputo, and even those suburbs with the same charac- teristics as Polana Caniço. This occurs in relation to water supply, the communication network, drainage and transportation. For example, the only road that exists in their area was built by the owner of the Costa do Sol restaurant and the municipality did not help in this regard. The area does not have a single point of public water supply, whereas in Maxaquene[15], where there are also buildings without title deeds, there is at least one such point of supply. Residents also face difficulties related to transportation. When they are ill, they have to walk or sometimes use Txhova Xitaduma[16]  until they reach the main seafront avenue. It is only from this road onwards that they can take a bus. Despite these problems, residents are happy and proud to live where they are. This happiness and p r i d e  c a n  b e  e x p l a i n e d , a c c o r d i n g  t o C h a m b e[17] , b y  t h e  f a c t  t h a t  Mozambicans prefer to live in a single house than to live in condo- miniums or flats because of their way of life. In a single house they can raise animals, which they cannot do in condominiums. They can also grow crops, which is part of the copying strategy to reduce the impact of poverty. Because of the lack of money, residents of caniços practice what is called urban agriculture, from where they can supply themselves.

The new occupation and development of condominiums affect the people around them. According to Chitsotso[18], if removed from their existing homes, they go to places like Zimpeto or Marracuene, about35km and 15km respectively from the city centre. Many of them work in the city and their children are also studying in the city. From Marracuene or Zimpeto, they will always need transportation which they do not need from Costa do Sol. In addition, in places like Marracuene and Zimpeto, there are no hospitals and fewer schools.

Although the group interviewed[19]  said that they did not refuse to be moved because they could not fight the government, they also said that if they could choose, they would never move out because they feel better in the place where they are now.

The problem of legal construction, displacement and the establishment of new occupants (mainly those who build condominiums) must be examined carefully. The interview with Chambe showed that according to the general urbanization planning rules of Mozambique, condominiums do not fit, because the plot given for the building of a house is too small (30 m² x 15m²) for a condominium. The developer therefore buys many plots to build the condominiums. The municipality does nothing to stop condominiums from being built. In the eyes of municipality officers, it is a good thing to promote housing and contribute to the end of homeless- ness in Mozambique, which is one of the main government strategies for development. It is possible to argue against this last argument, that condominiums do not solve the homeless issue in Mozambique, because those who live in condominiums are not part of the poor who face home- lessness. Indeed, whenever condominiums are built, this means the removal of poor people to places far away from the city. This seems to be a new government strategy to relocate people to places where they came from during the civil war.

Relations between Condominium and Caniço Residents

Between the residents of condominiums and those surrounding them, there is not so much a relationship as the absence of a relationship. In the words of Nalsa[20]  and Jemusse[21], “There is no relationship between them and us. They are there and we are here, each one has his own way of life, nobody wants to know about [the] other”, although there does not seem to be resentment between the different categories of residents. Looking at the social behaviour and level of interaction of residents, Chambe[22] accepts the possibility of fragmentation in the future if the present absence of linkage between them is maintained. In fact the number of people living around the condominiums tends to decrease as the condo- miniums develop. Here support is found for Araújo’s position (1999) according to which the urbanisation of Costa do Sol increases through the removal of the poor who are living in the surroundings.

Given the apparent division of the people in terms of political affilia- tion, the fragmentation of residents in the Costa do sol area can be used to sustain the idea according to which the rich people of the country or those who are privileged all over the country or particularly in the Maputo city (where Costa do Sol is located), are Frelimo members or have its protec- tion. During the political campaigns, the permanent contradiction, antago- nism and disparity found between the different layers of people living in the same urban space (Costa do Sol being one example), is used by oppo- sition parties to elaborate their discourse. Although it could be said that nothing indicates that people living in condominiums benefit from the protection of the Frelimo or belong to the party.

The area of Costa do Sol is of great social importance. It is where the most populous beach in the city is situated and where crowds of people go mainly on Sundays. It means that even if the removal process remains, the place will be characterised by social diversity, unless the beach is privatised.

At this stage, one could risk a few hypotheses. Firstly, crime origi- nating in poor areas concerns the residents of condominiums where people speak about crime in Maputo in general and not from neigh- bouring caniços. Currently, the most dangerous areas in Maputo are Mafalala, Chamanculo and a part of the Military zone (far from the condominiums). According to the crime distribution map by area in Maputo, Polana Caniço (close to the condominiums) is not considered dangerous. Yet, some use the fences characteristic of condominiums to argue that they serve as protection against criminality from caniços. One can argue that the fences of condominiums reproduce the South African style of condominiums (where condominiums are fenced indeed because of crime). The USAID condominium enjoys the most sophisticated fencing of all condominiums in Maputo, although it is far from the caniços. Perhaps there is a crime relationship between condominiums and their surroundings, but it is far from being proven. The sophisticated security scheme visible in condominiums can be explained as a culture of fear. Given the increasing rate of criminality, violence, robbery, high- jacking, assassination etc., fear is becoming part of the culture. Or, according to Bénit-Gbaffou[23], this is merely a way to manage the huge social contrast in found in close spatial proximity.

The second hypothesis is that condominiums and the surrounding areas are linked through employment relations. However, in one area near the Sommerschield II condominium, only one woman works in the condominium. Most of the domestics working there come from other areas of Polana Caniço. Costa do Sol restaurant is another example: it does not employ workers from the caniços.

With regard to spatial changes, compared to the way space was organ- ised before construction, condominiums clearly contribute to the new form of urban organisation in Costa do Sol. Indeed, that is why today the area tends to be considered as urbanised, mainly because of the increasing number of condominiums and luxurious houses. Today the area is characterised by a mix of modern and luxurious buildings on the one hand, and caniços on the other. According to Araújo (1997), the mixture between the precarious and the modern, between the suburban and the urban, is one of the characteristics of African cities. The Costa do Sol area is changing: before the 1980s, common houses were made of reeds and poles, they were precarious building, the area was habited by refugees, people were fleeing the dangers of civil war in rural areas. According to the municipality of Maputo, the area was considered suburban. The emergence and establishment of condominiums from the

1980s onwards that gained dimension after the Peace Agreement (1992), forced the municipality to reconsider its position in the urban division of the city. The area is no longer considered suburban, although the caniços still exist. Moderate men working for the municipality[24]  perceive it as a transition into a definitely urbanised place, taking into account that the caniços will gradually disappear as condominiums grow.

The Issue of Population Displacement Linked to the Development of


There is no single criterion relating displacement to development; it depends on each particular case. People are normally removed through direct negotiation between the developer and the owners of the places where the condominium will be built. In many cases, the municipality is not involved, unless for the bureaucratic process once the negotiation is finished.

The process of the displacement started together with the emergence of condominiums in the 1980s. This point of view is valid when taking in account the fact that condominiums were not built in empty places. The places where each condominium was built were already occupied. It was done trough the removal of the previous occupants. Many families have been displaced in this context. Nalsa[25]   described the case of about 20 families (composed by 5 to 7 members each) being displaced to build a road to give rapid access to the condominiums. The families removed from this place were offered a plot at Marracuene (about 35km outside the inner city). Others were displaced from the area where the road to the Golf club was built. The work of Jemusse[26]  refers to the displacement related to the building of Golden Centre[27]. Instead of giving money to the people who were being displaced, the developer had to build houses for them. Maybe this gesture explains why the displacement process was easier. In this area, the money paid for displacement was between 15 000 and 26 000 USD. This range is higher than that described by Nalsa (between 350 and 700 USD).

The consequences of displacement vary according to the negotiations entered into between the different stakeholders. Some displaced families were given an alternative plot and negotiated money to build another house. The money given is not the same for all displaced family, even if all families are removed for the same reason. Normally, developers calcu- late the money to be paid according to the house in which the displaced family was living before. It depends on the financial capacity of the developer (the main variable of the negotiation), quality of the material used to build the house, its size and the political power of the developer. When the displaced are sent very far away from the city (places like Marracuene, Zimpeto, Drive In, Khongolote), it causes many problems for the families due to the fact that family members have their work places in the city or have their children in the schools around the city. Living far away from the city means increasing expenses in terms of transportation (in some cases they have to take two or more bus to go and back from work or school). This expense is critical when taking in account the fact that these are already poor families. There are also nego- tiations where displaced families are offered nothing else but money. These families find themselves new places to build houses. One of the alternatives is to build in suburban areas. They build precarious house given the lack of money[28]. This contributes to the degradation of the city, the expansion of suburbs and the growing of slums around the city.

Although the reaction of the displaced varies from one case to another, just like for the removal negotiation, the actual removal is generally pacific. Former residents complain when negotiated indemnifications or compensations are not paid. One of the interviewee said that if they were compensated, they would use that money to build another house else- where. One of the locality chiefs we interviewed said that it was better if the negotiations occurred on an individual rather than a collective basis, in that it is easier to convince people when they are on their owe as opposed to when they are together. This suggests that, as regards resis- tance to removal, people are not organised. This position may be explained first because the area is vulnerable to floods and erosion. People fear floods because if their house is destroyed, they will not be able to afford to build another, even in a different place. To build in that area and prevent floods and erosion, expensive earthworks are needed and the poor living there cannot afford this[29]. The absence of collective resistance to eviction is however puzzling when one compares it to similar situations in South African cities[30]: Is this due to the centralised structure of the Frelimo that somehow monopolised the structures of political emancipation of the Mozambican people? Is this due to the frag- mentation of the caniço resident communities* that are recent urban resi- dents and who were, for most, displaced from the rural areas during the civil war? For Chitsotso[31], one of the residents of caniços, displacement is welcome because the interaction between modern and luxurious buildings on the one hand, and caniço on the other, are not good for urban organisa- tion. However, displacement should not take place without some form of indemnification or compensation.

Neither Jemusse[32]  or Nalsa[33]  offered much resistance to displacement. But for them, the reasons are not the same as Chitsotso’s. First, it is because the area is not parcelled out. Therefore, it is not included in some urbanisation programme, which means that they can be removed at any time to give way to any project accepted by the municipality. The fear they have for the government is another point. This position, expressed by Jemusse[34]  and Almeida[35], has its support in the latest reactions to the government that allowed strikes and other kind of resistance to be stopped. The absence of title deeds[36]   among the majority of the poor is another reason why they do not resist displacement. At this stage, it is important to remember that most of the families being affected by the removal process, occupied their plot in the context of civil war, i.e. most of them without the municipality’s authorisation. Those who received authorisations were given temporary permits, which meant that they had to move out from the plots once the civil war ended. These families are aware of their “illegal” situation and it partially explains why they do not offer much resistance when compensation is offered.

Some residents show an interest in remaining in the area. They present many reasons. For Jemusse[37], the area is close to a tourist beach instead of being far from his office. The fact that the area is close to the beach is also a good reason for the developer to build condominiums. And the distance from the office is not a constraint for the developer because most of their clients have their own means of transport. The group[38]   inter- viewed argued that they did a lot for the services in the area where they are now living; and today, they are highly disappointed with the govern- ment wanting to displace them. They built a road from the main road all the way to their houses, they planted trees, etc. But if they are compen- sated, they will not resist removal if the government gives the green light in this direction.

The relationship between the families affected by displacement and the local authorities is somehow collaborative. The families and local authorities (secretario dos bairros, chefe dos quarteirões) usually orga- nize themselves in what they call Nucleos do bairro. These are associa- tions that come together to face developers. The objective of these associ- ations is not to resist displacement, because they know that it is an inevitable process. Rather, they organise themselves to protect their concerns when the displacement occurs. However, the political power of these associations is almost insignificant. The local authorities are an institution created by the government and work together with the munici- pality that does not protect the interests of the poor; the municipality is favourable to the building and emergence of condominiums. According to Chambe[39]  condominiums are important because they help to reduce the shortage of housing which represents one of the most important concerns of the Mozambican government. The municipality is also interested in eliminating reed and pole houses around the city. According to the Municipality, this type of house does not fit in with the housing standards currently allowed in the city (in which case they are considered as an urban problem which must be sorted out). The local authorities and the families do not have enough power to fight the municipality or the devel- opers. Some of the local chiefs, such as Manyike, agree with the displace- ment process and even suggest good ways of dealing with the victims of displacement. According to Manyike (one of the local chiefs inter- viewed), a good strategy to negotiate with the residents of the caniços affected by the removal process is to deal with the displaced individually, rather than collectively: this way, the capacity for resistance is reduced more easily with individual strategies than with collective strategies through which a lot of people could otherwise converge their opinion to resist the displacement process. The position of Manyie reinforces the idea of organisational capacity fragility between the residents of caniços and the local authorities in resisting the displacement. Local authorities will not resist while they are nominated by the government, and the government which is represented by the municipality, is not concerned with caniço residents.

Some final remarks

Today, caniço residents are gradually being removed from the city centre to give place to the development of condominiums: this increases segregation at metropolitan level and creates a further distance between poorer residents and places of employment and economic opportunities.

In the face of this removal process, the victims are offered no protec- tion by the municipality. One of the solutions proposed is the creation of associations together with local authorities. But these social institutions do not have enough political power to face the developers or the munici- pality. While many reasons can explain people’s lack of resistance to displacement, the lack of title deeds appears as the main one. Another reason is that the people are not organised to resist. They are simply divided as to whether or not they should accept the removal process with or without indemnification.

The displacement or removal process happens through a casuistic negotiation between caniço residents and the developers. In some case, the victims are given an alternative plot (usually far away from the city centre) and money to build new houses. In other cases, they only receive a financial compensation and have to find on their own, another plot to build. The consequence of this process is not linear and depends on the negotiations. However, in all cases, caniço residents are at a disadvan- tage. If they are driven far away from the city, this means that they have to spend more money on transportation to go to work and on the children to go to school. Even to go to the hospital, they must come to the city centre since the places where they are being displaced do not have hospi- tals. Those who only receive financial compensations have no choice but to find a plot and build a new house. Even if they accept the money being paid, it is far from being enough to sustain the costs of a new house.

Oral sources : interviews and personal communications

Bénit-Gbaffou, Claire. 19.11.2005, Ibadan, senior lecturer, Université d’Aix Marseille (France).

Chambe, Aderito. 06.05. 2005, Maputo, Urban planning official of

Maputo city.

Chitsotso, Fernando M. 02.05.05, Maputo (Polana Caniço A), resident of

Polana caniço A and local Chief.

Jemusse, Ramiro. 07.05.05, Maputo (Costa do Sol), resident (caniço


Jemusse, Sónia Maria Xavier. 07.09.05, Maputo (Costa do Sol), resident

(caniço área).

Manyke, 07.05.05, Maputo (Costa do Sol), Secretary of the suburb

Matsinhe, Antônio. 07.05.05, Maputo (Costa do Sol) resident and local leader.

Mioche, Alberto. 07.05.05, Maputo (Costa do Sol), resident and local leader.

Nalsa. 02.05.05, Maputo (Polana Caniço), resident of Costa do Sol

(cabiço área).

Sitoe, Almeida. 07.05.05, Maputo (Costa do Sol), resident and local leader

Xiwodze, Eucilia. 07.05.05, Maputo (Costa do Sol), resident and local leader.

[1] Conselho municipal da Cidade de Maputo, Direcção de construção e urbanização (1999), Estudo comparativo entre a informação documental e a informação no terreno, e suporte legal ao planeamento e gestão do solo urbano. Maputo: Relatório da Direcção de Construção e Urbanização do Conselho Municipal da cidade de Maputo; Ministério da Administração estatal (2002), Folha informativa dos municípios 11. Relatório da Direcçao Nacional de Desenvolvimento Autárquico do Ministério da Administracao Estatal.

[2] Conselho municipal da Cidade de Maputo (1999), op.cit. ; António, E (1988), Subúrbios de Maputo: a vida é um drama. Tempo, Nº 948, 11 December, pp.15-19

[3] The chapter was based on literature review and interviews made with the residents of both caniços and condominiums (list at the end of the chapter). Municipality and local authority workers were also interviewed

[4] See the chapters of Folio, and of Morange et al. in this book

[5] Interviews: Chambe, 06.05.2005; Chitsotso, 02.05.05

[6] Name of the eponymous founder of the chiefdom of Maputo located in Matutuine, South of what is now known as Maputo Bay.

[7] Tempo, 1988

[8] Domingos, A.1, (1991), Construção em Maputo: como são obtidos os terrenos Tempo, 1072, pp.10-15.

[9] According to Folio mentioning the Agência de Informação de Moçambique – AIM, 2006 the minimum wage in 2006 was about 57,70 USD per month for industry and service wages and about 40 USD for agricultural workers

[10] See Folio’s chapter in this book.

[11] Acording to the Agência de Informação de Moçambique the minimum wage in 2006 was about 57,70 USD monthly. The rent for one of these houses is 20 to 70 times superior to the minimum wage.

[12] Nalsa, Chitsotso, Jemusse and group interviews. These are residents of the caniços residents

[13] Interview, 02.05.05.

[14] Interview, 07.05.05.

[15] A neighborhood very close and similar to Polana Caniço

[16] This is the Ronga-Tshangane term for a hand drawn- or pushed vehicle used as an inexpensive alternative to motorised transport for products, and, at times, for the sick or funerals.

[17] Interview, 06.05.05. Chambe is a worker at the municipality of Maputo

[18] Interview, 02.05.05.

[19] 07.05.05

[20] Interview, 02.05.05

[21] Interview, 07.05.05

[22] Interview, 06.05.2005

[23] Personal communication, 19.11.2005

[24] This argument is supported by Chambe, a worker of the municipality of Maputo

[25] Interview,  02.05.05

[26] Interview,  07.05.05

[27] According to Sónia Jemusse, interviewed 7 September 2005, Golden Centre is a condominium constructed by the Banco Austral in 1999. The apartments in the condo- minium are being sold to whoever is interested and has the necessary

[28] In most of the case the money given is not enough to build a decent house. It varies from 9 000 to 18 000.

[29] Nalsa, interview: 02.05.05

[30] Bénit-Gbaffou, personal communication, 2005

[31] Interview, 02.05.05

[32] Interview, 07.05.05

[33] Interview, 02.05.05

[34] Interview, 07.05.05

[35] Interview, 07.05.05

[36] Title is the document that gives the right to build and live in a specific plot

[37] Interview, 07.05.05

[38] Interview, 07.05.05

[39] Interview, 16.06.2006


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