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Responses to migration: tensions and ambiguities of churches in Pretoria central and Mamelodi east

Image: CoDesign Studio, Department of Architecture (2021)

This article is a result of research being conducted to explore how churches in two regions of the City of Tshwane – Pretoria Central and Mamelodi East – respond to urban change and vulnerability. Both regions are deeply affected by urban migration patterns. Firstly, I will explore various forms of migration – transnational, rural-urban, urban–suburban and generational – and the causes of migration – social-economic and political – as experienced and described by the churches themselves. Secondly, I will seek to reflect on some of the tensions or ambiguities of how churches respond to migration, how the identity, self-understanding or locatedness of churches inform their responses to migration, and/or how churches and their identity are shaped by migration – commuter or local church, home or temporary church.

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