Spatial economic attributes of airport-centric developments in Cape Town and Johannesburg

Mokhele, Masilonyane (2016-03)

Thesis (DPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2016.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The existing knowledge lacks empirically informed description and explanation of the economic fundamentals driving the forces of attraction of airports. This void is arguably a result of the absence of an appropriate theoretical framework to guide the analyses. The aim of the study was therefore to contribute towards a theoretical framework that describes and explains forces that drive the location and mix of airport-centric developments. Towards achieving this aim, the objectives of the study were: one, to establish the type of economic activities that are located on and around the Cape Town and OR Tambo airports, and analyse the reasons for locating there; two, to identify a propulsive economic element found around the Cape Town and OR Tambo airports, and analyse the linkages they have with the airport-centric developments and airports; three, to analyse the spatial, economic and structural linkages within the airport-centric developments of the Cape Town and OR Tambo airports, between the airport-centric developments and the airports, as well as the airport-centric developments’ linkages with their metropolitan areas and other regional, national and international airport-centric developments and locations; four, to establish the changes that have occurred over time in the form of the airport-centric developments of the Cape Town and OR Tambo airports. To address the research objectives, the study adopted a case study approach, centred on the Cape Town and OR Tambo international airports and surrounds in South Africa. A survey was used as a main data collection method, with the investigations informed primarily by the conceptualisation of the growth pole theory. From the findings, the Cape Town and OR Tambo airports were discovered to have propulsive economic qualities that act as significant forces of attraction in the clustering of firms. Together with their airport-centric developments, the two airports were discovered to have growth pole properties because of the linkages that occur within the study areas, and the linkages that exist between the airport-centric firms and the airports. It was noted that the transport-oriented firms (typified by couriers and freight carriers) act as anchors in some fellow airport-centric firms making use of elements of urbanisation economies, particularly as regards the use of the two airports for airfreight services. The study contributed towards a spatial economic theory of airport-centric developments, using the following concepts as building blocks: economic space, relational firm, geographical and organisational proximity, relational scale and pattern; understood in terms of their interconnections with the concepts of linkages, agglomeration economies, clustering, and the propulsive economic element. The theoretical framework is summarised as follows. One, airport- centric firms are not atomistic islands that merely transmit market transactions, but are characterised by intra-firm and inter-firm linkages. Two, the economic space that airport-centric firms are part of is not equivalent to geographical space. Three, in their business operations, airport-centric firms rely on a combination of geographical proximity and organisational proximity. Four, geographical scale does not restrict the operations of the economic space of airport-centric firms, resulting in a combination of spatial clustering and organisational clustering.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: In die bestaande kennis is daar ’n gebrek aan empiries geïnformeerde beskrywing en verduideliking van die ekonomiese grondbeginsels wat die kragte van aantrekking van lughawens dryf. Hierdie leemte is moontlik ’n gevolg van die afwesigheid van ’n gepaste teoretiese raamwerk waarvolgens analises gerig kan word. Daarom was die doel van hierdie studie om by te dra tot ’n teoretiese raamwerk om kragte wat die ligging en vermengsing van lughawe-sentriese ontwikkelinge dryf te beskryf en te verduidelik. Om hierdie doel te verwesenlik is die oogmerke van die studie die volgende gewees: een, stel vas watter soort ekonomiese aktiwiteite in en rondom die Kaapstad en OR Tambo Lughawens geleë is, en analiseer die redes vir die keuse van hierdie ligging; twee, identifiseer ’n voortdrywende ekonomiese element wat rondom die Kaapstad en OR Tambo Lughawens te vinde is, en analiseer die koppelvlakke wat hulle met die lughawe-sentriese ontwikkelings en lughawens het; drie, analiseer die ruimtelike, ekonomiese en strukturele koppelvlakke binne die lughawe-sentriese ontwikkelinge van die Kaapstad en OR Tambo Lughawens, tussen die lughawe-sentriese ontwikkelinge en die lughawens, sowel as die lughawe-sentriese ontwikkelinge se koppelvlakke met hulle metropolitaanse areas en ander streeks, nasionale en internasionale lughawe-sentriese ontwikkelinge en liggings; en vier, stel vas watter veranderinge in die vorm van lughawe-sentriese ontwikkelinge van die Kaapstad en OR Tambo Lughawens oor tyd plaasgevind het. Om die navorsingsoogmerke te bewerkstellig, het die studie ’n gevallestudiebenadering gebruik en dit toegespits op die Kaapstad en OR Tambo Lughawens en omliggende omgewings in Suid-Afrika. ’n Opname is as die belangrikste dataversamelingsmetode gebruik, met die ondersoeke primêr geïnformeer deur die konseptualisering van die groeipoolteorie. Aan die hand van die bevindinge is ontdek dat die Kaapstad en OR Tambo Lughawens voortdrywende ekonomiese eienskappe het wat as beduidende kragte van aantrekking in die saambondeling (clustering) van firmas optree. Saam met hulle lughawe-sentriese ontwikkelinge, is ontdek dat die twee lughawens groeipooleienskappe het, as gevolg van die koppelvlakke wat in die bestudeerde areas voorkom, en die koppelvlakke wat tussen die lughawe-sentriese firmas en die lughawes bestaan. Daar is gelet dat die vervoer-georiënteerde firmas (tipies koeriers en vragdraers) as ankers in sommige mede- lughawe-sentriese firmas optree en gebruik maak van elemente van verstedelikingsekonomieë, veral rakende die gebruik van die twee lughawens vir lugvragdienste. Die studie het bygedra tot ’n ruimtelike ekonomiese teorie van lughawe-sentriese ontwikkelinge, deur gebruik te maak van die volgende konsepte as boublokke: ekonomiese ruimte, relasionele firma, geografiese en organisatoriese nabyheid, relasionele skaal en patroon; verstaan in terme van hulle interkonneksies met die konsepte van koppelvlakke, opeenhoping-ekonomieë, saambondeling, en die voortdrywende ekonomiese element. Die teoretiese raamwerk word vervolgens opgesom. Een, lughawe-sentriese firmas is nie atomistiese eilande wat bloot marktransaksies oorbring nie, maar word ook gekenmerk deur intra-firma- en inter-firma- koppelvlakke. Twee, die ekonomiese ruimte waarvan lughawe-sentriese firmas deel is, is nie ekwivalent aan geografiese ruimte nie. Drie, in hulle sake-werksaamhede maak lughawe-sentriese firmas op ’n kombinasie van geografiese nabyheid en organisatoriese nabyheid staat. Vier, geografiese skaal beperk nie die werksaamhede van die ekonomiese ruimte van lughawe-sentriese firmas nie, wat lei tot ’n kombinasie van ruimtelike saambondeling en organisatoriese saambondeling.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/98739
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