Transforming South Africa’s Divided Cities: Can Devolution Help?

Year Published 2013
Business unit: Special Projects
Resource type: Discussion papers
File type: PDF
Theme(s): Economic Development


This paper presents new evidence for the inefficient and inequitable spatial layout of cities and examines some of the main reasons for the lack of substantial change. These include inertia, economic forces and weak spatial management. In the light of this, it proceeds to assess the prospects for current attempts to devolve additional responsibilities to city governments for planning and managing the built environment. It argues that there is potential for more integrated city-level decision-making to bring about a shift in approach, provided municipal leadership and technical capabilities are also reinforced, and national government works in partnership to provide appropriate support.

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