Employing a functional region approach to promoting inclusive and sustainable rural development: The case for Xhariep District Municipality, Free State Province.

This abstract has open access
Abstract Summary
Since the onset of democracy in 1994, rural development has been a key concern for government. Translating this into practice has however, proven to be far more difficult than had originally been imagined. Rural communities are still characterised by poverty, inequality, limited access to basic social infrastructure, underdevelopment, lack of economic opportunities fragmented spatial patterns and environmental degradation. Previously, rural communities relied more on agriculture and subsistence farming for food and income/exchange benefits. Land use practices in these areas were in most cases done in unsustainable manner with no proper plans in place to manage and guide development to maximise improvement of livelihoods of the rural communities, as a result these areas have been left displaced, segregated, underdeveloped and impoverished and in most instances people were left with no option but to travel long distances to places of better employment, access to services and economic opportunities. Various growth and development initiatives and interventions being promoted in South Africa have resonated in suggesting the need to establish functional regional areas in the space economy. This spatial (re) configuration is dependent on factors such as regional value chain analysis; market trends; transportation flow; journey-to-work data and corridor-node relationships. Optimised and appropriately defined functional economic regions as an example can act as platforms for engaging in better economic integration between rural and urban areas; deployment of improved cross-boundary infrastructure planning and making it easier to adopt effective sharing formulae regarding economic and non-economic assets to secure economies of scale.
Abstract ID :
ISO67
Submission Type
Managing Director - Urban Planner
,
Multi Integrated Development Services

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