Measuring the growth potential of towns in the Western Cape, South Africa

Zietsman H.L. ; Ferreira S.L. ; Van Der Merwe I.J. (2006)


Urban settlements in the Western Cape sustain regional development and are vital to the national spatial economy, but because not all contribute or participate equally they do not grow at the same rate - some flourish while others decline. The Provincial Administration of the Western Cape therefore commissioned a study to evaluate and monitor their functions and performance. This paper assesses the study's methodology and procedures. It describes the variables used and explains how the raw data were transformed into comparative indices and combined into a single composite development potential index. It evaluates the sub-indices and the composite index by mapping the results and uses multivariate statistical techniques to explore the logic and validity of the results. It confirms that the indices created for measuring urban growth potential were well chosen and constructed, laying a sound theoretical and methodological base for future decisions about public investment in rural towns.

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