Project details

Regional and structural policy in South Africa. Country study: Analysis of the structural and regional development strategies and visions of the nine provinces

The desk study was linked to the overall aim of the constitutional development process in South Africa (RSA) and to policies aimed at decreasing inter and intra-regional disparities and at promoting socially and economically balanced development. This policy background is expressed in the national reconstruction and development programme (RDP) and its spatial aspects (growth and development, rural and urban strategy, national spatial development framework). The RDP reflects a human development approach to improving the provision of education, health services, housing, water supply, land, electricity, roads etc.

The purpose is to implement a consensus-based strategy for development which is based on the socio-economic and political realities, taking broader socio-economic needs rather than immediate macro-economic problems as a point of departure. In the study, the participation of local people and interest groups in development planning, policy formulation and implementation is seen as a key issue. It follows that the allocation of responsibilities between the tiers of government ought to leave sufficient room for own efforts and decisions in the execution of the regional development programmes. Only if the interests and motivations of different stakeholders and institutions are taken into account (and co-ordinated) will it be possible to initiate a self-sustained regional development process.

The actual institutionalisation and implementation of the regional planning and policy formulation process, transparency, accountability, consistency, operationability and the appropriateness of plans are dealt with as central questions in the study. In the conclusions, it is stressed that a consistent strategy of socio-economic development needs to be based on a generally agreed concept of spatial, regional and structural change at the national level, in order to reduce disparities (in income, jobs, economic development, living conditions) within the country and to be able to implement individual support measures in a co-ordinated way. In terms of promoting regional growth it is emphasised that the more spatially oriented planning and support measures (rural clusters, development corridors etc.) need to be effectively co-ordinated with the more sector-oriented development programmes.

Project no.: 



Consulting | International cooperation |


German Agency for Technical Co-operation (GTZ) GmbH, Eschborn

Executing Organization: 

Institut für Ländliche Strukturforschung e.V.



Contact person/s at IfLS: 

Karlheinz Knickel