Socio-economic development activation of small towns in the Northern Cape

Cupido, Omar-Shariff (2020-12)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2020.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY : When South Africa’s first fully democratically elected government came to power in 1994, the new government was faced with inequality at a Gini coefficient of 0,59 and an unemployment rate of 24,7%. This was a direct result of more than 300 years of oppression, under colonial and apartheid rule. Hence, the government put addressing the triple challenge of poverty, inequality and unemployment high on its agenda, making this a priority, and included it in its first manifesto, promising the people of South Africa that poverty and deprivation would be reduced. The African National Congress-led government introduced several programmes to fulfil this mandate, focusing on reconstruction, fundamental transformation, and economic growth. The current programme, the National Development Plan, is specifically targeted at addressing poverty, inequality and unemployment. However, after more than two decades of democracy, the triple challenge remains, with the Gini coefficient worsening to 0,63 and the unemployment rate at 29,1%in the third quarter of 2019. This presents a worrying trend and poses a serious challenge to policy researchers, developers and implementers. The resources available to address poverty are diminishing. Hence, many commentators argue that the government must focus its investment where it has the most impact. To this end the focus is now on localities with a high population density and growth potential. This implies that rural areas, and especially small rural towns, are allocated development resources based on a generalized categorization which favours towns with a larger population and economic growth potential. In this dissertation, various theoretical concepts and models were analysed. In addition to the interpretation of the relevant literature and qualitative research conducted through focus group discussions and in-depth interviews, a people-centric capability investment (PCCI) approach was developed. The main elements of this PCCI approach are fourfold. The first is profiling small rural towns, consistent with a people development capability methodology. The second is categorizing small towns based on the Social Investment Capability Principle, the Human Development Capability Principle and the Economic Development Capability Principle. The third is aligning these categories to related intervention vehicles. The fourth is implementing the intervention vehicle through a people-centric implementation method appropriate to the categorization of the small rural town concerned. In conclusion, the dissertation proposes a people-centric capability investment approach in the allocation of resources and implementation of programmes in small rural towns based on their capability and growth potential. It is suggested that on the one hand, premised on this approach, small towns with a larger population and growth potential be considered for economic investment. On the other hand, towns with very small populations and little or no growth potential should be considered for social investment, basic standard of living investment and market intelligence to allow for migration to towns that are economically active and with development activation potential. Even more importantly, the dissertation highlights the need to ensure that socio-economic development in small rural towns is driven by a progressive policy shift to target under-development and poor resource allocation, and to promote people-centred interventions underpinned by sustainability.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Toe Suid-Afrika se eerste volkome demokraties-verkose regering in 1994 aan bewind kom, het ‘n Gini-koëffisiënt van 0,59 en werkloosheidsyfer van 24,7% hulle in die gesig gestaar. Dit was ‘n direkte resultaat van meer as 300 jaar se onderdrukking, onder kolonialisme en apartheid. Daarom het die nuwe regering dit hoog op sy agenda geplaas om armoede, ongelykheid en werkloosheid aan te spreek, en het dit ‘n prioriteit gemaak. Dit is ingesluit in die regering se eerste manifesto, en die regering het die mense van Suid-Afrika beloof om armoede en ontbering te verminder. Die regering wat deur die African National Congress (ANC) gelei is, het verskeie programme bekendgestel om hierdie mandaat te vervul, en het gefokus op rekonstruksie, fundamentele transformasie, en ekonomiese groei. Die huidige program, naamlik die Nasionale Ontwikkelingsplan, teiken veral armoede, ongelykheid en werkloosheid. Desnietenstaande is die drieledige uitdaging na twee dekades van demokrasie steeds daar: die Gini-koëffisiënt het versleg na 0,63 en ‘n werkloosheidsyfer van 29,1% in die derde kwartaal van 2019. Dit bly ‘n kommerwekkende neiging en stel ‘n sterk uitdaging vir beleidsnavorsers, ontwikkelingsagente en -implementeerders. Die hulpbronne wat beskikbaar is om armoede aan te spreek kwyn. Gevolglik meen baie kommentators dat owerheidsbelegging moet fokus op waar dit die grootste impak sal hê. Daarom word die klem nou geplaas op geografiese areas met hoë bevolkingsdigtheid en groeipotensiaal. Dit impliseer dat ontwikkelingshulpbronne aan landelike gebiede, en veral klein plattelandse dorpe, toegeken word op grond van ‘n algemene kategorisering, wat dorpe met ‘n groter bevolking en meer ekonomiese groeipotensiaal bevoordeel. Hierdie proefskrif ontleed verskeie teoretiese begrippe en modelle. Buiten die interpretasie van die toepaslike literatuur en kwalitatiewe navorsing deur middel van fokusgroeponderhoude en in-diepte onderhoude, stel dit ‘n menssentriese vermoënsbeleggingsbenadering (people-centric capability investment, PCCI) voor. Daar is vier hoofelemente in hierdie PCCI benadering. Die eerste berus op profielontwikkeling vir klein dorpe, op die basis van ‘n menslike ontwikkelingsvermoë- metodologie. Die tweede is die kategorisering van klein dorpe, gebaseer op die Maatskaplike Beleggings-vermoëbeginsel, die Menslike Ontwikkelingsvermoëbeginsel, en die Ekonomiese Ontwikkelingsvermoëbeginsel. Die derde is die belyning van hierdie kategorieë met verwante ingrypingsopsies. Die vierde is die implementering van ingrypingsopsies deur middel van ‘n menssentriese implementeringsmetode wat toepaslik is vir die kategorisering van die betrokke klein plattelandse dorp. Die proefskrif stel dus ‘n menssentriese vermoënsbeleggingsbenadering voor vir die toewysing van hulpbronne en die implementering van programme in klein plattelandse dorpe, op grond van hulle vermoë en groeipotensiaal. Daar word voorgestel dat onder hierdie veronderstelling, enersyds, klein dorpe met ‘n relatief groter bevolking en groeipotensiaal in aanmerking moet kom vir ekonomiese beleggings. Andersyds moet dorpe met ‘n baie klein bevolking en min of geen groeipotensiaal in aanmerking kom vir sosiale beleggings, beleggings in die opheffing van basiese lewenstandaarde, en mark-intelligensie deelname wat voorsiening maak vir migrasie na dorpe wat ekonomies aktief is en ontwikkelingsaktiveringspotensiaal toon. Inderdaad beklemtoon die verhandeling dan ook die noodsaaklikheid daarvan om te verseker dat sosio-ekonomiese ontwikkeling in klein plattelandse dorpe gedryf word deur ‘n progressiewe beleidsverskuiwing wat klem lê op die ommekeer van onderontwikkeling en oneffektiewe hulpbrontoewysing, en deur menssentriese ingrypings te bevorder, onderskraag deur volhoubaarheid.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/109159
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