Key Points:

  • Patterns of human settlement in South Africa often differ markedly from those in other countries. Lower-income people elsewhere tend to live close to their places of work, while in South Africa the reverse is often true.
  • The formation of urban settlements in places such as the for¬mer KwaNdebele has been referred to as displaced urbanisation.
  • Despite being so widespread, this phenomenon is not well understood. It also presents post apartheid South Africa with some of its most intractable planning problems; the challenges it poses lie at the core of the difficult policy choices facing those who have to allocate scarce national resources.
  • The situation surrounding the future of these areas is by no means simple or clear-cut.
  • It was in this context that CDE began, in late 1996, an extensive research project on displaced urbanisation. Its objectives were to develop a deeper understanding of displaced urbanisation and its policy implications for various tiers of government as well as development and other agencies (including those in the private sector) involved in determining development and investment priorities in post-apartheid South Africa
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