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Why Does South Africa Need a Spatial Policy?

Population Migration, Infrastructure and Development

Article image

Catherine Cross

01 January 2001

Human Sciences Research Council


stepSA Librarian

Journal article

Spatial Temporal Evidence for Planning South Africa (stepSA)

South Africa

As of July 30, 1998, cabinet delegated to the Executive Deputy President’s office responsibility for a review of the spatial implications of infrastructure and development delivery. This initiative is taking place at an important time for South Africa, and migration processes appear to be a critical factor. Large-scale changes seem to be taking place in the distribution of urban/rural population as households reposition themselves in relation to the rural poverty crisis of unemployment, violence and environmental collapse.


Results suggest that these migration processes respond directly to infrastructure as a reason to move in situations where previous livelihoods have become untenable but jobs are not available. So far as this holds it is important for policy to provide for population movement, which will have major implications for public spending, for development delivery and for transformation and social justice. 


This article is based on a research paper originally prepared for the Cabinet Co-ordination and Investment Cluster review process, and was presented at the national workshop for contributors in Pretoria on April 21, 1999. It draws on the Development Bank of SA migration research programme for the coastal provinces, carried out by Stellenbosch University Department of Sociology (under the directorship of Professor Simon Bekker) and by the Rural Urban Studies Unit at University of Natal (under the direction of Catherine Cross).


Abstract based directly on source.


Website References

Built environment


Human settlements





Pollution control

Poverty & inequality

South Africa


Urban and Regional Dynamics

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