Unlocking “Kasi Wealth”: Perceptions of Transformations through Spatial Planning and Local Economic Development in Soshanguve

Mafela, Nkalipho and Gumbo, Trynos (2020) Unlocking “Kasi Wealth”: Perceptions of Transformations through Spatial Planning and Local Economic Development in Soshanguve. SHAPING URBAN CHANGE – Livable City Regions for the 21st Century. Proceedings of REAL CORP 2020, 25th International Conference on Urban Development, Regional Planning and Information Society. pp. 913-925. ISSN 2521-3938

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The buzz concept of inclusive economic growth has been receiving great emphasis in both academic and industry dialogues, thus placing the socio-economic transformation agenda on the spotlight not only in South African cities but also in cities across the African continent. Drawing from the urgent need to restructure the South African economy as well as the relevant institutions that support the economy as a whole; this study investigates the role of spatial planning and local economic development strategies in Kasi wealth transformation, using Soshanguve Township as the case study. It can be argued that, as an empowering strategy, effective strategic spatial plans need to be clearly expressed in LED policies. Using the social capital and the Right to the City theoretical lenses, the paper assesses the perceptions of black business owners in Soshanguve on spatial planning and the way it has shaped, or not, the viability of their businesses. The transformation of small-scale informal and semi-formal businesses into successful enterprises that have a fair share in the national economic space is investigated through perceptions. The paper also interrogates the influence of the interplay among spatial, economic and social dynamics in socio-spatial and economic transformation. A qualitative research approach was applied where data was gathered from twelve (12) small scale and informal business owners in Soshanguve using semi-structured interviews. Qualitative data was also gathered from four (4) key informants; who are professionals that actively participate in spatial planning and local economic development of Soshanguve Township. Content analysis was used to analyse the data, where categories were deciphered and used to create themes and GIS maps were produced to visualise the spatiality of the small businesses in Soshanguve. The paper argues that despite the City of Tshwane having LED initiatives, the clear and explicit relationship and expression between strategic spatial planning and LED remains blurred. In order to achieve inclusive and transformative growth, LED should find clear and precise expression in strategic spatial planning and property management to support township entrepreneurs. Pursuant to that, strategic spatial planning should be simplified in order to accommodate the informal economy and place emphasis on strong community relation networks between local authorities and planning policies. It is recommended that economic transformation needs to begin epistemologically andideologically through the advancement of human development through sustainable planning practice and community building efforts. The study concludes that this can also be achieved through the development of stronger community networks (internal and external) that ensure township residents and business ownersequally participate in the national economy and contribute to shaping its planning practice. From thisperspective, the City of Tshwane has ground to cover in the coproduction of planning epistemologies and practice towards a platform for inclusive and transformative growth and social and economic justice.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Inclusive economic growth; Economic transformation; Social Capital; City of Tshwane; Spatial Planning
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Depositing User: REAL CORP Administrator
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2021 17:07
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2021 17:07
URI: http://repository.corp.at/id/eprint/615

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