Within sub-Saharan Africa South Africa is one of the leaders in greening and initiatives for sustainable urban development. Notwithstanding the central role of climate change impacts and of the green challenge for the future, the greening of urban development has not been a major focus in local geographical research. The task in this paper is to investigate one aspect of reorienting the economy towards a pathway of low carbon growth and of addressing the green urban challenge. Specifically, issues around the greening of commercial property developments in South Africa are explored. Under the ratings of the Green Building Council of South Africa 50 green buildings existed by early 2014. Geographically these properties cluster in South Africa’s major cities, in particular Johannesburg, the country’s economic powerhouse and centre for corporate headquarters, and Pretoria, the administrative capital. New proposals for building retrofitting may result in a greater spatial spread of green buildings in the near future.
This article makes a contribution to address the overwhelming ‘present-mindedness’ of tourism geography scholarship. Using a range of archival sources an analysis is undertaken of the rise and demise of racial segregation on South Africa’s beaches during the period 1953-1989. The division of beach space along racial lines is an aspect of the implementation of what was termed ‘petty apartheid’. This analysis reveals that the national government’s attempts to legislate the making of beach segregation were uneven and contested in different coastal centres. By the 1980s, however, mounting opposition and resistance to the apartheid state resulted in the crumbling of beach apartheid and the formal desegregation of beach spaces.
Urban tourism is of rising importance for economic and tourism geographers. One of the most important elements for urban tourism is the hotel economy. Against a backdrop of international debates around the location of hotels in cities in both developed and developing countries this article unpacks the changing geography of hotels in South Africa’s largest city, Johannesburg for the period 1990 to 2010. Johannesburg is one of the leading and growing destinations for urban tourism in South Africa. Its hotel scape has been radically transformed in the past two decades. It is shown that the shifting geography of hotel development in Johannesburg reveals a complex pattern of disinvestment in certain city spaces and subsequent reinvestment and re-vitalization of those spaces as well the changing patterns of hotel investment towards the new successful nodes of business and leisure tourism in the city.
The role of tourism for local economic development (LED) is a topic of critical importance for geographers. In the case of South Africa tourism is a priority sector for national economic development. The significance of research issues around tourism and LED is underlined by the ‘developmental’ mandate of local governments. Although tourism has received attention in a growing body of LED writings on South Africa issues around agritourism so far have been overlooked. Agritourism represents an evolving form of rural tourism which is targeted at mainly urban consumers. Against the background of a review of international scholarship on agritourism this article explores its potential implications for LED planning in South Africa. A national audit of agritourism is presented which shows its uneven geographical distribution. Agritourism is of special significance for small town economic development in South Africa’s intermediate tourism spaces. Policy suggestions are offered for strengthening agritourism as a driver for LED in South Africa.
Caravan parks are a largely overlooked theme in tourism scholarship. In South Africa, as in several other countries, local governments assumed an historical role in the establishment of caravan parks. Municipal caravan parks are assets which could be leveraged for tourism growth and local development. The planning and management of caravan parks in South Africa can be understood as an element of asset management by local governments. It is shown that across most of South Africa municipal ownership of caravan parks is of declining significance as compared to the dominance of privately owned parks. The coastal province of the Western Cape is the biggest focus for caravanning and for the location of all caravan parks, including for the largest cluster of municipal owned caravan parks in South Africa. Research interviews were conducted with local stakeholders concerning contemporary planning and management of caravan parks. The results reveal that most local municipalities currently are struggling to manage appropriately and optimally maximise for local development the operations of municipal caravan parks. Many municipalities are considering different options for privatisation through selling off or leasing parks to private sector investors.
Tourism studies, including by geographers, give only minor attention to historically-informed research. This article contributes to the limited scholarship on tourism development in South Africa occurring during the turbulent years of apartheid (1948 to 1994). It examines the building of racialized landscapes of tourism with separate (but unequal) facilities for ‘non-Whites’ as compared to Whites. The methodological approach is archival research. Applying a range of archival sources tourism linked to the expanded mobilities of South Africa's ‘non-White’ communities, namely of African, Coloureds (mixed race) and Asians (Indians) is investigated. Under apartheid the growth of ‘non-White’ tourism generated several policy challenges in relation to national government's commitments towards racial segregation. Arguably, the segregated tourism spaces created for ‘non-Whites’ under apartheid exhibit certain parallels with those that emerged in the USA during the Jim Crow era.
The accommodation services sector is a vital underpinning of the competitiveness of destinations in especially emerging tourism regions of the global economy. Within the environment of Africa building the competitiveness of countries as tourism destinations is inseparable from the challenge of establishing a network of different forms of accommodation at competitive prices and internationally acceptable quality standards. This paper uses a longitudinal approach to analyse the development of the accommodation services sector in one African country - Malawi - which is scaling up its tourism industry. Using historical evidence the objective is to examine the unfolding evolution of accommodation services as a factor in enhancing tourism destination competitiveness. The chequered pathway followed in Malawi to building the country’s network of hotels and small-scale accommodation establishments is traced from the colonial period to post-independence developments. It is argued that in understanding the historical evolution of accommodation services policy re-orientations have been significant drivers of change.
Transnational entrepreneurship is an evolving field of research which occupies an interface between social and regional sciences. The phenomenon of transnational entrepreneurship is driven by entrepreneurs that migrate from one country to another whilst maintaining business-related linkages with their former country of origin and the adopted country. The most critical distinguishing feature of transnational entrepreneurs is bifocality or the ability to function across two different business environments. Most writings on transnational entrepreneurship concentrate on business individuals from the global South operating enterprises in the global North. Absent are empirical studies of the nature and behaviour of transnational migrant entrepreneurs who operate across or between emerging or developing economies. This South-South gap in international research concerning transnational entrepreneurship is addressed in the paper which provides an exploratory analysis of the nature of transnational entrepreneurship occurring in Southern Africa using evidence of Zimbabwean transnational entrepreneurs based in Johannesburg, South Africa.
In recent years several new forms of lodging have developed as alternatives to the hotel. For business travellers the serviced apartment has emerged as a new phenomenon. Within extant accommodation scholarship the service apartment sector has attracted minimal international attention either from tourism or property researchers. This paper analyses the development and character of service apartments in one of South Africa’s major business tourism destinations, the city of Cape Town. It is disclosed that serviced apartments are clustered around different business nodes in the city and spatially differentiated in terms of serving distinctive business traveller markets.
Large corporates have come under increasing pressure to conduct their business in a more transparent and responsible manner. In order for business to fulfil its obligations under the ethic of accountability stakeholders must be given relevant, timely, and understandable information about their activities through corporate reports. The conventional company reports on annual financial performance, sustainability and governance disclosures often fail to make the connection between the organisation’s strategy, its financial results and performance on environmental, social and governance issues. Recognising the inherent shortcomings of existing reporting models, there is a growing trend to move towards integrated reporting. South Africa has been one of the most innovative countries in terms of integrated corporate reporting. Since 2010 companies primarily listed on the country’s major stock exchange have been required to produce an integrated report as opposed to the former sustainability report. The aim in this study is to review the development of integrated reporting by large corporates in South Africa and assess the impact of the required transition from sustainability reporting to integrated reporting on non-financial disclosure of eight South African corporates using content analysis of annual reports.