The changing post-apartheid city: Emergent black-owned small enterprises in Johannesburg

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47 Citations (Scopus)


This paper is concerned with the post-apartheid city and the changing racial complexion of small enterprises developing in the inner city of Johannesburg, South Africa's most important urban centre. South Africa's new democratic government has identified the support and upgrading of small enterprises owned by blacks as a priority policy issue. Earlier research highlights a long tradition of negative official policy attitudes towards black business develop-ment in South Africa's central-city areas as part of urban planning under apartheid. Against this background, the paper investigates aspects of the emergent black small enterprise economy in post-apartheid Johannesburg. The results are presented from a recently completed survey of small black enterprises operating in the Johannesburg inner city and of a series of in-depth interviews undertaken with key institutional actors dealing with the city commercial property market. Overall, the findings point to the important and changing role of the inner city as incubator for developing black small enterprises in post-apartheid South Africa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-103
Number of pages19
JournalUrban Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Urban Studies


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