Status and Pathways to Sustainable Development of Growth Centres: Lessons from Makhado Biaba, South Africa

Ngudo-Nthangeni, Winny and Gumbo, Trynos and Ingwani, Emmaculate and Ekelund, Nils (2022) Status and Pathways to Sustainable Development of Growth Centres: Lessons from Makhado Biaba, South Africa. Mobility, Knowledge and Innovation Hubs in Urban and Regional Development. Proceedings of REAL CORP 2022, 27th International Conference on Urban Development, Regional Planning and Information Society. pp. 689-700. ISSN 2521-3938

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Growth centers are a common and prevalent phenomenon that have been in existence for a very long time, particularly in Sub-Saharan African countries. While some growth centers have been developing, physically, economically and socially, others have not been performing well. Although several reasons have been attributable to declining or stagnant growth centers, very little is known about the effective and efficient pathways to developing these centers. For instance, amidst faltering growth centers in South Africa, very few studies have been conducted to determine the appropriate strategies and approaches to developing these spaces sustainably in the country. It has been observed that, the pathways to developing growth centers in South Africa have not been documented in a clear and convincing manner. Consequently, this paper explores the pathways to establishing and developing growth centers in South Africa. The work adopted a mixed methods research approach, which employs both quantitative and qualitative research approaches. A case study research design where Makhado Biaba growth center in South Africa was studied to get insights on the influence of rural growth centers on local economic development and the impact it has on the livelihoods of the people in and around Makhado Biaba area. The growth center was aimed to attain a positive livelihoods outcome through creating a balanced socio-economic development of an area thus, spill over effects covering more than just economic growth. Questionnaires survey and key informative interviews was applied as primary data collection methods, and excel and thematic analysis were employed for data analysis respectively. Findings shows that some parts of the communities lack services because the local municipality cannot meet the service demands. Hence, some areas will remain poor, as social services are necessary for socio-economic growth. Insufficient and inadequate stall structures are a handicap to informal traders in the growth center as in the raining and cold season it becomes both uncomfortable and unprofitable to them. The paper concludes that the level and nature of the services provided confirm that social growth and economic empowerment will have to take on a different shape as some areas still lack access to services. Therefore, the paper ends by recommending policy planning to make innovative adjustments to create more inclusive and advantageous environments for the informal street traders. Borrowing strategies’ in organisational networks to create access to economical and livelihoods, which requires the establishment of networks with surrounding growth centres to “tap into” some of the benefits they offer and “borrow” some of their “strategies”. Future studies are necessary for evaluating growth centers as a toll in creating a balanced socioeconomic development for rural areas.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: South Africa, Makhado Biaba, Sustainable development, Pathways, Growth Centers
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GB Physical geography
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Depositing User: The CORP Team
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2022 17:44
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2022 13:58

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