The sites and the node
The Gauteng Research Triangle proposes a dispersed node comprising two main sites – Hillbrow (50 000 in the selected Small Area Layers – see maps), Atteridgeville (30 000 within selected SALs), and near to Atteridgeville is Melusi (20 000), a slowly formalising informal area. The selected Small Area Layers from Stats SA form a single contiguous space for each site; the three sites together comprise the node.
These three sites taken together offer SAPRIN a remarkable range of urban form and socio-economic status, providing a richer, more nuanced and more accurate representation of urban Gauteng than any single site. All three sites are already working extremely closely with the academic partners in this proposal, and SAPRIN access – dealt with below – can take advantage of decades of work in these three communities.
We guarantee single-point accountability, strong management integrating all three universities in the ‘Gauteng research triangle’, and complete integration of systems and data.
This complementary set of sites which comprise ‘the node’ meet the population threshold of 100 000, according to GeoTerraImage (GTI) population estimates updating Census 2011 to 2018 for the SALs. Importantly, all sites are very strongly associated with our presence on the ground in health outreach, testing, clinic services and hospital links, extension services, and on-going community research. This is true of all three partners in the ‘Triangle’ and all three sites in the proposed node. Existing relationships and partnerships with the communities in the proposed sites, particularly around health interventions, are strongly evident; so are other community relations and research projects (into urbanism, migration, poverty, sex workers, substance abuse and so on), and we believe our long-standing community relationships, combined with the different urban forms covered by these sites (rather than one single site), will add substantial value to SAPRIN.
In part, this dispersed approach reflects our desire to include a range of different urban forms, rather than locate the HDSS in one, so as to provide a greater richness of analysis and understanding of the relationship between urbanism and health outcomes. The complexities of Gauteng’s urbanisation patterns demand sensitive treatment. At another level, we are also seeking to learn from African urban experience, such as in Nairobi, where the HDSS is moving from two slum sites to multiple smaller sites in many slums, in order to gain greater policy purchase and to limit ‘capture’ by gate-keepers (interview with Dr. Catherine Kyobutungi). We have not tried to propose the 10+ sites Nairobi is planning, but we do believe that the intervention should take account of at least some of the complexity of the urban form in Gauteng.