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Eastern Cape’s Cradock part of government plan to revive small towns

Article image

Xolisa Phillip

25 April 2022

Daily Maverick


Phefumlela Bam

Media article

Towns Action Network

South Africa

Cradock, northeast of Gqeberha in the Eastern Cape, is a small town rich in history and blessed with rugged scenery but is in desperate need of regeneration.

This media article describes the situation in this town, one of many such places around the country surrounded by commercial farms and a large rural population which hosts the gateway to moderate upward mobility which is an important mitigator of rapid urban migration.

Small towns in South Africa are in distress, especially towns located on the fringes of rural areas whose populations are taking the flight to urban centres in search of greener pastures.

Basics, including schools, healthcare and jobs are contributing to the brain drain in small towns which have lost economic vitality due to the lack of incentives to retain the economically active labour force. The economies in small towns are not diversified enough which puts strain on single industries that are vulnerable to shocks and even total collapse.

The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs has reviewed and updated the Small Town Regeneration Strategy to stop the further decline and turn the tide on the trend.




Website References

Agricultural areas

Built environment






Small Towns

Social facilities

South Africa


Urban regeneration

Water and sanitation

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