Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO)
Permanent URI for this community
The Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO) was established in 2008 as a partnership between the University of Johannesburg (UJ), the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (Wits) and the Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG), with local government in Gauteng also represented on the GCRO Board. Behind the motivation for setting up the GCRO is a vision for South Africa's economic heartland as a region that is competitive, spatially integrated, environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive. GCRO is charged with helping to build the knowledge base that government, business, labour, civil society and citizens all need to make this vision a reality. GCRO collects data and benchmarks the city-region, provides policy analysis and support, undertakes applied research, and publishes critically reflective academic work. Visit the GCRO home page at www.gcro.ac.za
For information on accessing Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO) content please contact Bongi Mphuti via email : email@example.com or Tel (W) : 011 717 1978
Browsing Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO) by Issue Date
Now showing 1 - 20 of 44
Results Per Page
- ItemBenchmarking the way cities and regions around the world are responding to the global recession(2009-09) Everatt, David; Gotz, Graeme; Phakathi, Sizwe; Makgetla, NevaThe Gauteng Provincial Government Department of Economic Department (GPGDED) approached the Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO) to provide them with a fast turn-around report that benchmarks sub-national responses to the economic crisis globally. The brief was to provide a review of what cities and regions are doing in response to the crisis in other parts of the world, and to emphasise the action side of the story – what is being done, rather than analysing the differing nature and impact of the crisis in different places.The report is filled not so much with specific recommendations as a suite of possible interventions that the Gauteng Provincial Government may wish to choose from and implement.
- ItemThe political economy of the Gauteng City-Region(2010-07) Greenberg, StephenThe Gauteng city-region (GCR) is a relatively new concept for South Africa, although the model has been growing in other parts of the world for over a decade. This paper considers some of the global debates about the importance of city-regions in the current economic and political context. It provides an overview of the concept and the context within which it has been deployed. Debates about the role of cities in the global economy are regarded. Some critical reflections on the city-region, both conceptually and in practice, are made along economic, social, ecological and governance dimensions. This forms the backdrop for an analysis of the growth of the GCR, again both conceptually and practically along the same dimensions, with an emphasis on two key drivers of the city-region, transportation and housing/settlement.
- ItemThe decanting of acid mine water in the Gauteng City-Region: analysis, prognosis and solutions(2010-09) McCarthy, TerenceThe large void beneath the Witwatersrand created by gold mining over the last 120 years is filling with water, which is rising at about 15m per month. The void will fill and water will begin to leak out (decant) on surface in about three years from now. It is likely that multiple decant points will develop in municipal areas across the Witwatersrand from Roodepoort to Boksburg. experience on the West Rand has shown that the quality of the water is likely to be poor and toxic. The prime risk area where decant points are likely to develop is in a zone about 500m wide straddling Main Reef Road and the M2 motorway, plus a secondary zone some two kilometres to the south. deep basements of buildings and other sub-surface infrastructure in the risk zones could experience flooding and the underground facility at Gold Reef City, a national treasure, will be lost. The problem can be solved by establishing pump stations at shallow depth in the mining belt to keep the water at a safe depth below surface. a depth of 300m is recommended in order to protect the Gold Reef City facility. The technological capability to do this is readily available, and the necessary water treatment processes are well established. although initially expensive, the pumping operation may ultimately generate a profit. Moreover, the cost of not pumping may ultimately vastly exceed the cost of timely intervention. establishing the necessary pumping and water treatment infrastructure will take considerable time, and therefore immediate action is required.
- ItemState of the Gauteng City-Region review 2011(2011-10) Everatt, David; Gotz, Graeme; Nyar, Annsilla; Phakathi, Sizwe; Wray, ChrisThis 'State of the GCR' Review aims to contribute to ideas around how to build an integrated, sustainable and globally competitive city-region which provides more equal opportunities and a better quality of life for all its residents. The Review offers image- and map-rich representations of the considerable datasets and information that GCRO has collected and produced on the GCR, providing an overview of the key dynamics and trends affecting the economy, society, governance and environment of a city-region that is predicted to be the twelfth largest in the world by 2015. The State of the GCR is intended as both an information base and a platform for debate for all stakeholders in the region – government, business, academics and residents – around how to build on the region’s advantages and address its challenges, including rapid urbanisation and migration, poverty, and unequal distribution of wealth. GCRO’s 2011 State of the GCR Review was formally launched on Monday 17 October 2011. A second review, State of the GCR Review 2013, was launched in October 2013.
- ItemBrazil: innovation and development(2012-10) Arbix, Glauco; de Toledo, Demétrio G. C.; Felizardo, Rafael G.This essay discusses recent developments in Brazil´s innovation policies. These policies are part of a long-term developmental process and the current search for a new national configuration of policies and instruments capable of steering Brazil in the midst of globalisation and economic systems that have knowledge as their backbone. Industrialisation became the main source of inspiration as a means of attaining social evolution in countries like Brazil, South Africa, India, Mexico, Argentina and South Korea, to name a few; and in a sense this remains true today. These roots have marked state institutions and underscore the modus operandi of government planners. Brazil´s prospects for overcoming poverty, inequality and the burden of late development can be described as a process of attaining a better balance between earlier achievements and the current process of institution-building aimed at providing Brazil with the policies and instruments to support innovation as a means of achieving social and economic development.
- ItemSurvey of surveys: a survey of citizen-based surveys conducted by provincial and local government in Gauteng(2012-10) Jennings, RossThis publication contains the findings from a GCRO survey of citizen-based surveys undertaken at provincial and local government level in Gauteng. The Survey was conducted in order to understand the efficiencies at play with different role players conducting similar exercises at similar points in time.
- ItemHistorical spatial change in the Gauteng City-Region(2013-03) Mubiwa, Brian; Annegarn, HaroldThis Occasional Paper is one of two that GCRO has commissioned specifically to deepen our understanding of the past of the GCR. Both focus on aspects of the region’s spatial past, and ought to be read together. This paper by Brian Mubiwa and Harold Annegarn explores the historical spatial evolution of the GCR. It examines key spatial changes that have shaped the region over a century and provides a remarkable picture, based on satellite imagery, of regional spatial growth in the last two decades. The companion paper by Alan Mabin asks the different but related question of how the idea of a city-region found expression in various statutory planning frameworks over the course of the last century, and how embryonic city-region concepts influenced spatial decisions and developments.
- ItemThe map of Gauteng: evolution of a city-region in concept and plan(2013-07) Mabin, AlanThe mission of the Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO) is to help illuminate trends and dynamics shaping the region of towns and cities in and around Gauteng, and also enhance understanding of the idea of the Gauteng City-Region (GCR) as a project – a different way of thinking about and governing this space.While much of the data collection and analysis work of the GCRO is focused on the present, we also consider the city-region’s past and its possible futures. This Occasional Paper is one of two that GCRO has commissioned specifically to deepen our understanding of the past of the GCR. Both focus on aspects of the region’s spatial past, and ought to be read together. This paper by Prof Alan Mabin explores how the idea of a city-region found expression in various statutory planning frameworks over the course of the last century, and how embryonic city-region concepts influenced spatial decisions and developments. The companion paper by Brian Mubiwa and Harold Annegarn considers the different but related issue of the actual historical spatial evolution of the GCR.
- ItemState of green infrastructure in the GCR(2013-07) Schäffler, Alexis; Christopher, Natasha; Bobbins, Kerry; Otto, Emmarie; Nhlozi, Mduduzi W; de Wit, Martin; van Zyl, Hugo; Crookes, Douglas; Gotz, Graeme; Trangoš, Guy; Wray, Chris; Phasha, PotsisoThis State of Green Infrastructure report is both an assessment of the set of natural and manmade landscape features in the Gauteng City-Region (GCR) and an interrogation into how the services provided by these assets are perceived, understood and valued. Inspiration is drawn from the conceptual and planning framework of ‘green infrastructure’, through which ecological systems, green spaces and other landscape features are regarded as providing services to society in the same way as those offered by traditional ‘hard’ infrastructure.
- ItemModelling urban spatial change: a review of international and South African modelling initiatives(2013-08) Wray, Chris; Musango, Josephine; Damon, Kavesha; Cheruiyot, KoechUrban growth and land use change models have the potential to become important tools for urban spatial planning and management. Before embarking on any modelling, however, GCRO felt it was important to take note of, and critically assess lessons to be learnt from international experience and scholarship on spatial modelling, as well as a number of South African experiments that model future urban development. In 2012, GCRO initiated preliminary research into current international and South African modelling trends through a desktop study and telephone, email and personal interviews. This Occasional paper sets out to investigate what urban spatial change modelling research is currently being undertaken internationally and within South Africa. At the international level, urban modelling research since 2000 is reviewed according to five main categories: land use transportation (LUT), cellular automata, urban system dynamics, agent-based models (ABMs) and spatial economics/econometric models (SE/EMs). Within South Africa, urban modelling initiatives are categorised differently and include a broader range of urban modelling techniques. Typologies used include: provincial government modelling initiatives in Gauteng; municipal government modelling initiatives; other government-funded modelling research; and academic modelling research. The various modelling initiatives described are by no means a comprehensive review of all urban spatial change modelling projects in South Africa, but provide a broad indication of the types of urban spatial change modelling underway. Importantly, the models may form the basis for more accurate and sophisticated urban modelling projects in the future. The paper concludes by identifying key urban modelling opportunities and challenges for short- to long-term planning in the GCR and South Africa.
- ItemMobility in the Gauteng City-Region(2014-08) Gotz, Graeme; Wray, Chris; Venter, Christo; Badenhorst, Willem; Trangoš, Guy; Culwick, ChristinaMobility in the Gauteng City-Region has been written in a remarkable moment in the history of transport development in Gauteng. On the one hand the region appears to be in a new ‘golden era’ of transit infrastructure design and investment, as well as long-term planning for ever-growing commuter transport needs. On the other hand, the transport difficulties faced by the Gauteng City-Region’s (GCR) fast-growing population, as well as the many financial, spatial, social, economic and environmental challenges that flow from the region-wide architecture of this population’s daily commuting, appear to be growing ever more acute. It is, therefore, important to delineate the existing flows of traffic across the GCR; to understand the challenges of transport efficiency, access and affordability; and to gauge the impact of key transport interventions like the Gautrain Rapid Rail Link, the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Programme and associated e-tolling, and municipal Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) infrastructure. The report is structured as follows: a summary of recent transport infrastructure projects and key transport challenges are described in Chapter 1 written by Graeme Gotz and Chris Wray. The second and third chapters, by Prof Christo Venter and Willem Badenhorst, provide an in depth analysis of the 2011 Quality of Life survey transport questions, including the generation of a Quality of Transport Index. In Chapter 4, GCRO researcher Guy Trangoš provides a multi-scalar analysis of the public space design around four existing Gautrain stations – valuable research to be considered by authorities should the proposed extensions to the Gautrain go ahead. An often ignored but, from a sustainability perspective, an increasingly important aspect of transport is non-motorised transport (NMT). The report concludes with two NMT chapters by GCRO researcher Christina Culwick, exploring the state of NMT in the GCR and portraying the challenges and potential opportunities for the future of NMT in the city-region. It is not within the scope of a report such as this to review every strategic intervention, nor critically assess every challenge. However, a wide-ranging analysis of the current ‘state of mobility’ in the GCR, and the impact of key infrastructures – or the consequences of their absence – is warranted. Within the frame of the enormous scale of transport planning and infrastructure development underway, as well as the GCR’s many deep and enduring transport challenges, it is hoped that this report will make a contribution to understanding past and current trends, the impact of and (missed) opportunities in key infrastructure investments, and some of the key current priorities that need more attention in this new ‘golden age’ of transport planning.
- ItemA composite index of quality of life for the Gauteng city-region: a principal component analysis approach(2015-03-30) Greyling, TalitaGCRO's 'Quality of Life' survey and outputs are increasingly part of the research landscape, with both policy and academic uptake. However, to ensure that the results are as accurate as possible, we commission external reviews using alternative analytic methods, to see if they generate similar or very different findings, in addition to the in-house quality control measures in place. In this way, all spheres of government - and GCRO ourselves - can be reassured that rigorous peer review and critique is an integral part of our work. In this paper, UJ economist Talita Dalton-Greyling uses PCA (Principal Component Analysis) to re-run the 2011 Quality of life data and see if her outcomes are similar to ours - which they were. The paper also provides an interesting overview of the global move away from GDP and other economistic measurements of growth to more quality of life and/or well-being measures, and locates her and our work in a broader global context.
- ItemTowards more effective collaboration by higher education institutions for greater regional development in the Gauteng City-Region(2015-03-30) Bergman, RobertHigher education institutions (HEIs) in the Gauteng City-Region (GCR) and elsewhere are increasingly being called upon to do more than their traditional roles of teaching and research. They are now expected to collaborate and engage with other stakeholders with a view to contributing directly and indirectly to social and economic development in their localities. Such an orientation includes having HEIs actively fostering public-private partnerships and other initiatives that enhance equitable regional development. The adoption of such a focus has implications for all aspects of these institutions’ activities, as well as for the policy and regulatory framework in which they operate. This Occasional Paper reflects critically on the role of HEIs in regional development. It surveys current debates on the matter and draws out some of the implications on how we ought to think further about the current state of government-industry-academia interaction and collaboration for development in the GCR.
- ItemThe GCRO barometer 2014(2015-04-17) Mushongera, DarlingtonThe GCRO Barometer 2014 depicts developmental progress in the Gauteng City-Region (GCR) in a single interactive graphic using 38 indicators across ten key sectors. It serves as a tracking and diagnostic tool to inform policy makers and the public on where development progress is being made, and areas of concern. It also serves as a tool for benchmarking Gauteng against other South African provinces and similar sized city-regions across the world. The GCRO Barometer 2014 is the first release and shows progress in 2012 against three base years: 2002, 2007 and 2011. Overall, the Barometer shows that the developmental outlook for Gauteng is positive with significant progress realised between 2002 and 2012 in nearly all sectors. For instance, the poverty rate has fallen dramatically since 2002 and access to basic services has improved. However, there are challenges in areas such as Social Cohesion, Governance, the Labour Market and Sustainability. Sadly, people’s perceptions of government, as well as their unwillingness to participate in governance matters do not correspond to the achievements made by government during this period. This should be a cause for concern for policy makers in all spheres of government as it reflects dissatisfaction with the nature and quality of services being provided as well as the methods of provision. The Barometer also shows that the impact of government programmes is minimal over shorter time spans – change between 2002 and 2012 is considerable, but change between 2011 and 2012 is insignificant. This is a cause for concern given the 5-year cycle of electoral terms for local government in South Africa. The Barometer’s outcomes underscore the need for government to step up policy and programme monitoring with a view to achieving immediate and positive short-term impacts on communities.
- ItemAcid mine drainage and its governance in the Gauteng City-Region(2015-05) Bobbins, KerryAcid mine drainage (AMD) in the Gauteng City-Region (GCR) has been described in the media as a ticking time bomb after it was officially reported to have begun surfacing from old mining works on the West Rand in 2002 (Masondo et al., 2011; TAU SA, 2011; Slack, 2013). Acid mine drainage occurs when ‘fool’s gold’ (FeS2) or iron pyrite found in mined rock oxidises. This occurs when either underground mine shafts, or crushed conglomerate in Mine Residue Areas (MRAs) on the surface, become exposed to oxygen and water creating run-off that is very high in sulphates – effectively sulphuric acid – and is hazardous to both humans and the environment (McCarthy 2010). Over the last decade, a flurry of news articles have highlighted the threat of acid water decant and its likely effects on human health, the environment, water quality, municipal infrastructure and building foundations in the Johannesburg Central Business District (CBD). These reports have fuelled anxieties around when and where decant will take place and who will be affected by AMD. In response to these concerns, government, through the National Department of Water Affairs (DWA), has introduced a set of immediate and short-term interventions to overcome decant in the West Rand. These have allowed AMD to be framed as an environmental emergency. DWA has also set in motion a process to develop a long-term solution that, through a broader and more inclusive approach, will solve various AMD issues over time including its impact on the Gauteng water supply. In relation to both these two government interventions – the immediate/short and long-term solutions – very few stakeholders or members of the public know enough about AMD and its governance to understand what the real challenges are and how they should respond. Even fewer are able to piece together the series of events that led up to the current and proposed set of actions taken by DWA to tackle AMD. This paper argues that the current trajectory of government-led responses has suspended meaningful public engagement and debate, and the result is a grey cloud of misinterpreted facts and presumed motives that has cast a shadow of misunderstanding, which in turn exacerbates the anxieties of affected communities and interested stakeholder groups
- ItemA framework for a green infrastructure planning approach in the Gauteng City-Region(2016-09) Bobbins, Kerry; Culwick, ChristinaAs the population, economy and urban built environment in the Gauteng City-Region (GCR) expand, government is increasingly under pressure to provide urban infrastructure to support growth. It is increasingly important that this infrastructure is sustainable, minimising the negative environmental impacts often associated with traditional forms of urban development. Green Infrastructure (GI) is the interconnected set of natural and man-made ecological systems, green spaces and other landscape features that provide services and strategic functions in the same way as traditional infrastructure. In harnessing the benefits of ecosystem services, GI has emerged as a more efficient, cost effective and sustainable alternative – and sometimes accompanying approach – to conventional forms of infrastructure. Despite international evidence demonstrating how GI can be used as an alternative to, or in tandem with, traditional infrastructure, the GI approach has so far gained only limited traction in the GCR. In 2013 the GCRO published the State of Green Infrastructure in the GCR report. The report established the principles that underpin GI, used available data to map the extent of GI networks in the region, assessed to what extent municipalities were aware of and applying a GI approach, and demonstrated a possible way to value GI in local government financial systems. The conclusions of the State of Green Infrastructure report were used to guide the next phase of GCRO’s research in support of the adoption of GI approach – a phase focused on better understanding the opportunities for implementing GI in planning and infrastructure development programmes and on addressing some of the challenges associated with shifts towards this approach. A framework for a green infrastructure planning approach in the Gauteng City-Region, GCRO’s fourth Research Report, builds on the foundations laid in the State of Green Infrastructure report. It assembles expert inputs and reflections from collaborative stakeholder discussions in what was known as the Green Infrastructure CityLab to illustrate important considerations for the development of a GI planning approach in the Gauteng City-Region (GCR). The report is divided into three broad sections. Part A introduces the theoretical underpinnings of a GI approach and builds an argument for the importance of incorporating GI into planning and infrastructure development in the GCR. Part B presents three pieces written by external experts. They consider how GI and ecosystem services can be valued by municipalities, and how so-called ‘grey-green’ infrastructure design solutions can be implemented in the GCR. Part C reflects on the stakeholder engagement process that has been undertaken, primarily through the GI CityLab, to deepen understanding of how GI can be embedded in municipal practice. Based on these research findings, this report concludes with a strategy for GCRO’s next phase of work in its ongoing Green Assets and Infrastructure Project.
- ItemPathways to antiracism(2017-07) Abrahams, CarynThere is an apparent resurgence of racism, xenophobia, and discrimination on the basis of ethnicity in South Africa. In this context careful policy-focused analytical work is critical to advance the constitutional values of non-racialism and equality. Pathways to antiracism, GCRO’s fifth Research Report, builds on GCRO’s ongoing research into race dynamics in the Gauteng City-Region, and aims to inform and provoke discussion around pathways towards social change. The study results from a long-standing partnership between the GCRO and the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation (AKF) on the meaning and interpretations of non-racialism in contemporary South Africa. Pathways to antiracism consists of three substantive papers: ‘Antiracism in post-apartheid South Africa by Kira Erwin; ‘Doing antiracism work: Seeing through racial subjectivities’ by Caryn Abrahams; and ‘Global antiracism strategies and practice’, also by Kira Erwin. These papers are interspersed with photo essays, poetry and other short contributions. Antiracism in post-apartheid South Africa. This paper examines the contested nature of the concept of antiracism, and reviews selected strategies and practices by the state and various civil society and faith-based organisations to address racism in South Africa after 1994. Since antiracism is a less frequently used concept in South Africa than non-racialism, the paper starts with an overview of antiracism theories from within and outside the country. Against this theoretical backdrop, the paper then analyses interview data from selected South African organisations that have undertaken strategies and projects to address racism. Many of these initiatives are directed at the micro level of institutions and communities. They provide valuable learnings that suggest meaningful change within project participants and in specific sites, as well as sophisticated practices that acknowledge how race is interwoven with other forms of social difference, including class, culture, gender, sexuality and ethnicity. However, these projects do not collectively add up to a national success story of reversing racism. In its conclusion the paper makes a case for thinking about how we may best move these isolated pockets of practice into a broader national antiracism strategy. One key suggestion is to create a space for collaboration and collectivity between civil society organisations, as well as between government and civil society. This shared knowledge project may potentially leverage the strengths of existing strategies and facilitate the co-design of new strategies, in turn offering exciting possibilities for a national South African dialogue around plural rather than purist notions of antiracism that engages directly with many of the theoretical debates globally and locally. Doing antiracism work: seeing through racial subjectivities. This paper considers the way activists and others approach antiracism work. It begins with an explanation of the various ways people think through race, highlighting three typical subjectivities that shape racialised perspectives. The first, race essentialism, encompasses crass racism where there are assertions of superiority or inferiority. The second, race evasiveness, is when people distance themselves from accusations of racism by couching exclusion in other terms. The third, race cognisance, is when people acknowledge how race and racialised histories have shaped their ways of being and acting. The paper draws out these ways of seeing race, or acting in racialised ways, by looking at two recent examples that captured the public imagination, and demonstrates the complexities of race cognisance by capturing the voices of activists. The paper concludes that in this current conjuncture in South Africa, the challenge for activists is to teach people to be critical of their own race evasiveness, and, more generally, to think through ways to get beyond the struggle between race evasiveness, essentialism and awareness. Global antiracism strategies and practice. In 2001 South Africa signed the United Nation’s Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (DDPA) at the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance. One of the commitments in the DDPA was the development of a national action plan (NAP) against racism, xenophobia and related intolerances. Fifteen years after the conference, South Africa has now developed a draft NAP. While very few countries have produced monitoring and evaluation reports on their action plans, where these are available (for example, Canada and Ireland) some lessons can be drawn on what did not work and why. This paper examines NAPs within an international context, and outlines some of the key lessons South African policymakers could learn from the experiences of other countries that have implemented NAPs. It includes a discussion on some of the inherent tensions between NAPs and international compliance, and more specifically how South Africa may want to start thinking about these during the further development and implementation of such a plan. The paper’s conclusion also raises some critical questions on whether NAPs work and what is needed if they are to move beyond an exercise in international compliance.
- ItemUneven spaces: core and periphery in the Gauteng City-Region(2017-08) Peberdy, Sally; Harrison, Philip; Dinath, YasmeenPeripheral areas of the Gauteng City-Region – like small towns on the edge, large peri-urban and commercial farming areas, sprawling dormitory townships, huge swathes of displaced urbanisation in ex-Bantustans, and remote industrial and mining areas – are all poorly understood. Yet there is evidence that many of these areas are undergoing rapid change, with profound implications for many current policy debates including what to do about inequitable economic growth patterns, how to manage ongoing population movements in the post-apartheid period, where best to locate large public housing schemes, and so on. Uneven spaces: Core and periphery in the Gauteng City-Region, GCRO’s sixth research report, comes from a clear recognition that despite the comparative wealth of Gauteng and its role in driving the national economy there are places of relative ‘peripherality’ in the GCR that require attention. The report is also a response to a strong focus in the existing literature on the physical and economic core of the province, the City of Johannesburg in particular. By contrast there is a relative paucity of analysis on less central parts of the city-region. The work is the result of a research partnership between the GCRO and the South African Research Chair in Spatial Analysis and City Planning (SA&CP), in the School of Architecture and Planning at Wits University. GCRO’s Dr Sally Peberdy wrote the first part of the report entitled ‘Uneven development – core and periphery in Gauteng’. Prof Philip Harrison and Yasmeen Dinath from SA&CP compiled the second part, ‘Gauteng – on the edge’. Both parts, albeit through different modes, consider transitions in the social- and space-economies of outlying places. The first part investigates the dynamics of peripheral areas in Gauteng through the lens of theories of uneven development. Showcasing a wealth of data and maps generated from the Census and GCRO’s own Quality of Life surveys, it analyses the multiple ways that spaces may be peripheral. These include unequal access to housing and services; the spread of income, household assets and employment opportunities; variations in perceived quality of life; and so on. The analysis builds from an initial binary delineation of parts of Gauteng as either ‘core’ or ‘periphery. It then progressively nuances our understanding by showing that notions of core and periphery are relational, that processes of change across what may be counted as core or periphery are often indeterminate and contradictory, and that there are often ‘peripheral’ areas in the heart of the GCR, and ‘core’ features in areas conventionally regarded as on the margin. This section concludes with thoughts on the role of government in creating, sustaining and ameliorating multiple forms of peripherality, The second part of the report asks the question ‘what is happening along the geographic edge of the GCR?’, and seeks to answer this both through the lens of scholarship on edge cities, peri-metropolitan areas, and agglomeration, as well as through a number of in-depth case studies in six types of peripheral areas: 1. Areas with extractive economies (Carletonville); 2. Industrialising ex-mining areas (Nigel-Heidelberg); 3. Areas with state-implanted industry (The Vaal, including Vereeniging, Vanderbijlpark and Sasolburg); 4. Decentralised growth points (Babelegi); 5. Agricultural service centres (Bronkhorstspruit); and 6, Recreational hubs (Hartbeespoort). Through its exhaustive narrative accounts of the development of specific places on the edge of the GCR, this section of the report compellingly highlights the importance of history and timing, and asks us to consider how urban development drives economic development and vice versa. Although ‘core’ and ‘periphery’ are artificial constructs, these terms gesture at very real spaces of uneven growth and development. The two parts of this report, different but complementary, considerably deepen our understanding of what is going on in parts of the city-region that are less well researched, and help focus the attention of policy-makers concerned with the causes and effects of – as well as possible solutions to – spatially uneven development outcomes.
- ItemMotherhood in Johannesburg: mapping the experiences and moral geographies of women and their children in the city(2017-11) Parker, Alexandra; Rubin, MargotSouth African cities were designed and legislated to enforce spatial marginalisation of Africans, coloureds and Indians to peripheral urban settlements. The legacy of this intentionally constructed racially segregated space has been reinforced in the post-apartheid period by market forces around property prices, informal settlement of land, and the unintended consequences of state housing policy, amongst other factors. Patterns of race-based spatial marginalisation have also been overlaid by income and gender factors, creating hostile conditions for women, and poor women in particular. Whilst there is a rich mine of literature on spatial exclusions due to race, very little study has focused on the gendered spatial experiences of women, and more particularly mothers, in South African cities. Mothers sustain a number of multifaceted roles through, and beyond, the care of and provision for their children. They engage in multiple spheres of work, home, education, community and politics. Straddling these various realms, mothers are increasingly active ‘users’ of a diversity of city spaces. In some cases, the daily routines of mothers are confined within a single neighbourhood, but most often mothers enact their many roles on a day-to-day basis in many different areas of the city. The nature of motherhood (as both a relationship of care and a role constructed in society) and highly unequal urban conditions often impose heavy burdens – financial, temporal and emotional. However, the choices mothers make in the city by traversing diverse spaces in order to fulfil their multiple roles, and the responsibilities and costs this inflicts, is not well understood. This Occasional Paper speaks to this ‘gap’ by exploring the spatial dynamics of mothers in Johannesburg. It investigates how women who self-identify as mothers navigate their own and their families’ daily lives in the city in facing a variety of challenges and obstacles. Methodologically the research involved studying the everyday practices and experiences of 25 mothers in the city, who agreed to in-depth interviews and mapping exercises. The participants were a diverse group in terms of geographic location, income, race, age, and family situation. The women narrated their daily lives and the routes they took through various places and spaces that made up their everyday experiences of the city. They discussed their decision-making around the choice of home, work, school, shopping and recreation and detailed the social and spatial dynamics of their support networks. Exploring these ‘moral geographies’ of motherhood provides valuable insights into a group of people who engage the city extensively in ways that are under-recognised. In turn, understanding the spatial negotiations that typify mothers’ lives exposes the depth of spatial inequality and poor urban management of our city-region in new ways. This Occasional Paper is the result of a partnership between the South African Research Chair in Spatial Analysis and City Planning (SA&CP) and the GCRO, and specifically involved a collaboration between researchers Yasmeen Dinath, Margot Rubin and Alexandra Parker.
- ItemMining landscapes of the Gauteng City-Region(Gauteng City-Region Observatory, 2018-01) Bobbins, Kerry; Trangos, GuyThe extraction of gold along the Witwatersrand mining belt has fundamentally shaped the Gauteng City-Region (GCR) over more than a century. Mining in the region occurred across a vast area. The Witwatersrand basin is made up of three sub-basins – the West’, ‘Central’ and ‘East’ Rand – and stretches across a further seven distinct gold mining areas. These goldfields attracted prospectors, industrialists and work-seekers from across South Africa and around the world. They were responsible for the formation of Johannesburg and, over time, the development of large parts of the extended metropolis around it. For many years, gold mining produced immense wealth for mining companies, banks and residents – indeed the wealth extracted fired the entire South African economy. But there have been negatives. Gold mining also spawned a war, entrenched deep social divides, instilled exploitative labour practices, and devastated the natural environment. Though the industry is now in decline, the landscapes affected by mining are still identifiable by toxic scars that traverse the city-region. This Research Report, GCRO’s seventh, considers how the legacies of mining have been imprinted on the towns and cities of the Gauteng City-Region. The report uses ‘mining landscapes’ as a conceptual device to structure an analysis of the diverse impacts of mining, and to highlight the need for a comprehensive and collaborative approach to manage its after-effects. The report makes a unique contribution to existing literature on mining and mining waste in the city-region by presenting an integrated perspective on their urban, environmental, social and economic processes, characteristics and consequences, both historical and contemporary. While accounts are often told from the viewpoint of specific disciplines (such as history, geography or sociology), the analyses presented in this report – comprising of written pieces, archival excerpts and photo essays – are unbounded by distinctive disciplinary conforms. This allows for the diversity of the landscape to be explored in new ways. The report makes a call for the GCR’s mining landscapes to be understood as a connected landscape of systems rather than a set of isolated and forgotten features of a bygone mining era. From the abandoned mine areas that scatter the surface of the GCR, to earth tremors caused by hollowed out cavities below the earth, silicosis, acid mine drainage, distressed mining towns and more recent histories of artisanal mining – the legacy of gold mining in Gauteng has a variety of expressions, all emerging from the same interconnected history. The concluding chapter looks to the future and considers the possibilities for innovative and collaborative approaches to unshackle the towns and cities of the Witwatersrand from their gold-mining inheritance. This includes the prospects for spatial transformation, repairing social divisions, cultivating natural assets, and remedying the destructive health and environmental effects of a century of mining activity.
- 1 (current)