Sandiswa (Zo) Mapukata

Sandiswa (Zo) Mapukata

MPhil/PhD Candidate in Human Geography and Urban Studies

Department of Geography and Environment

Connect with me

Afrikaans, English, French, Spanish
Key Expertise
Black Geographies, Financial Geographies, Spatial Imaginaries

About me

Sandiswa (Zo) Mapukata's project is a comparative study of Black queer geographies in both London and Johannesburg. Situating both London and Johannesburg as postcolonial cities, they explore the relationship between spatialities, Blackness and queerness in both cities. The nature of comparison in their project is both physical and temporal as Sandiswa (Zo) explores the temporal comparison of both past and present Black queer geographies in each city. 

Their methodologies include archival research, auto-ethnography of Black queer spaces and events (including Pride events, parties, and Balls) as well as walking interviews with Black queer individuals. At present, Sandiswa (Zo) is interested in how the body functions to create transient spaces of belonging and safety for Black queer people on both an individual and collective level.

Prof Gareth Jones
Dr Ryan Centner

Publications/Conference Papers/Working Papers

  • Ballard, R.; Parker, A.; Butcher, S.; de Kadt, J.; Hamann, C.; Joseph, K.; Mapukata, S.; Mkhize, T.; Mosiane, N.; Spiropoulos, L. 2021. “Scale of Belonging: Gauteng 30 Years After the Repeal of the Group Areas Act”. Urban Forum, 32, pp. 131-139. DOI:
  • Mapukata, S.; Verachia, S.; Webster, E. 2021. “Decoding Algorithmic Control”. Global Dialogue, 11 (3). [Online]. 
  • Castel-Branco, R.; Mapukata, S.; Webster, E. 2020. “Work from home reserved for the privileged few in SA”. Business Day Live. [Online]. 


  • LSE PhD Studentship (2021-2025)
  • National Research Foundation Block Grant (2017-2018)
  • University of the Witwatersrand Academic Merit Award (2016)

Positions held:

  • Research Associate, Future of Work(ers) research project: Southern Centre for Inequality Studies, University of the Witwatersrand
  • Research Intern: Gauteng City-Region Observatory, University of the Witwatersrand/University of Johannesburg/Gauteng Provincial Government

Expertise Details

Urban Renewal in Post-Apartheid South Africa; Future of Work in the Global South; Labour Processes in Banking