Urbanisation in South Africa: a critical review of policy, planning and practice

T M Ruhiiga


The purpose of the study was to assess the extent to which urban policy, planning and practice are adequately responding to the inherent demographic and economic forces that underpin South Africa’s urbanization. The methods involved the analysis of data on population size, change and household income and official policy and planning documents to trace trends, key principles of urban policy, planning and practice. Based on the eight metropolitan municipal areas in South Africa, spatial development frameworks (SDF) were analysed to establish the extent to which they indicate alignment between policy-planning and practice. The results indicate limitations of urban policy design; the low priority accorded to population change in the urbanisation process, planning outcomes out of tune with policy objectives, failure to reform the urban land market and continuing growth of informal settlements on the urban edge. The findings call for a radical review of urban policy, planning and practice. 


Population change; Process; Spatial development framework; Urban form; Urban growth

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11564/28-0-519


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