Regional economic resilience: exploring industrial decline in Bulawayo Metropolitan Province, Zimbabwe

Gambe, Tazviona Richman (2020-12)

Thesis (DPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2020.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study sought to investigate the strategy options for regional economic resilience in the face of industrial decline in Bulawayo Metropolitan Province in Zimbabwe. Bulawayo has been going through a protracted period of crippling industrial decline. Using the economic resilience concept and theories of regional development, the study analysed the different factors behind industrial decline, firm resilience strategies, policy strategy options for firm and economic resilience, strategy options for economic resilience in Bulawayo, and the conceptualisation of economic resilience in cities in the Global South whilst drawing lessons from the study area. The study utilised mixed methods. The positivist and interpretivist philosophies were both adopted to achieve a detailed understanding of economic resilience. Data was collected from 392 industrialists operating in Bulawayo through questionnaires and observations. Eight key informant interviews were also conducted. Data was analysed through chi-square analyses, Fisher’s exact tests, trend analyses, regression analyses, content analyses, and descriptive statistics. The study found that, a prolonged period of industrial decline has ‘locked-in’ the economy of Bulawayo in a path of economic decline that has altered the structure of the economy. The city is now dominated by micro, small, and medium enterprises constituting approximately 90% of the total number of firms. However, small firms were found to be more resilient, compared to large firms. The study also found that firm resilience, coupled with economic diversification, firm linkages, and regional patriotism are some of the important determinants of economic resilience in Bulawayo. It was also found that measuring and analysing economic resilience in cities in the Global South, such as Bulawayo, is marred by low quality and the dearth of data. Accordingly, the study recommends a long-term investment in the creation of quality datasets required for the analysis of economic resilience and for regional policymaking. A clear separation between national and regional policies in Zimbabwe is also recommended. This would encourage the formulation of policies that address unique and region-specific economic challenges. Finally, the study recommends complementary linkages.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die studie doen ondersoek na strategie opsies vir ekonomiese herstel en voortgesette nywerheidsgroei in die metropolitaanse streek van Bulawayo met die oog daarop om ‘n einde te bring aan die voortslepende gebrek aan nywerheidsgroei in die stad. Die studie maak gebruik van die konsep van voortgesette ekonomiese herlewing en teorieё van streekontwikkeling om enersyds die faktore wat gelei het tot die historiese nywerheidsagteruitgang van die Bulawayo metropolitaanse streek te indentifiseer, en andersyds strategieё vir besigheids herlewing en strategiese beleidsopsies vir nywerheids- en ekonomiese herlewing te vind wat ook wyer bruikbaar mag wees in die Ontwikkelende Wêreld. Die studie maak gebruik van ‘n gemengde-metode benadering. Beide posivistiese (kwantitatiewe) en interpretivistiese (kwalitatiewe) filosifiese benaderings word gebruik om ‘n gedetailleerde begrip van ekonomiese venuwing en voortsetting in die studiegebied te weeg te bring. Deur middel van vraagbriewe en waarneming is data van 392 industrialiste wat nog in die Bulawayo metropolis opereer, versamel. Dit sluit agt sleutel onderhoude in. Data is ontleed deur bebruik te maak van die metodes van Chi-kwadraattoetsing, Fisher se presiesheidstoetsing, neigingontleding, inhoudanalise en beskrywende statistieke. Daar is gevind dat ‘n langdurige periode van nywerheidsagteruitgang die ekonomiese vooruitgang van Bulawayo belemmer het. Dit het die struktuur van die ekonomie van Bulawayo verander. Die stad word nou gedomineer deur mikro-, klein- en middelgrootte ondernemings wat ongeveer 90% van die totaal vorm. Tog is daar gevind dat klein ondernemings meer deursettingsvermoё besit as groot ondernemings. Voortgesette groei van ondernemings gekoppel aan ekonomiese diversifikasie, skakelingseffekte en streek patriotisme is van die bepalende faktore wat die herstel en voortgesette groei van die ekonomie van Bulawayo sal verseker. Daar is ook gevind dat die meting en ontleding van ekonomiese herstel en groei van stede soos Bulawayo, wat tipes van stede in die Ontwikkelende Wereld is, gebrek gaan aan goeie kwaliteit en selfs ontbrekende data. Gevolglik doen die studie aan die hand dat ‘n langtermyn belegging gemaak word in die skepping van kwaliteit datastelle wat geskik is vir die ontleding van, en beleidsformulering vir volgehoue ekonomiese herstel en groei. ‘n Duidelike skeiding tussen nasionale and streekbeleid work ook vir Zimbabwe voorgestel. Die doel daarmee is om beleid daar te stel wat streek-spesifieke uitdagings die hoof kan bied. Ten slotte stel die studie voor dat onderling ondersteunende skakelingseffekte tussen formele and informele ondernemings as ‘n vereiste gestel word om dooie kapitaal in die informele sektor te ontsluit. Daar is ‘n groot behoefte aan kapitaal in die stad vir ondernemingsontwikkeling en -groei.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/109167
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