Apartheid, decentralization and spatial industrial change

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The programmes for industrial decentralization, which were introduced progressively after 1948, became incorporated as a key component in apartheid, forming part of the mythology of the state attempting to help develop the Bantu peoples. The only substantive attempt so far to draw up a balance between the employment gains and losses resulting from decentralization concluded that for every one job created in the decentralized areas, nine potential jobs were lost in South Africa’s metropolitan areas. Contrary to government propaganda of the supposed beneficial effects of the strategy for Blacks, the major impact of the industrial decentralization programme has been to further contribute to raising levels of Black unemployment and poverty in South Africa. Furthermore, it is argued that the employment creating effect of decentralization for Blacks is a myth; rather, the chief effect of the implementation of the Environment Planning Act has been to contribute towards further raising levels of Black unemployment.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLiving under Apartheid
Subtitle of host publicationAspects of Urbanization and Social Change in South Africa
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781000928112
ISBN (Print)9781032551753
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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