Informality is a defining characteristic of cities in the global South and most especially across the region of sub-Saharan Africa. Policy responses by governments towards the informal economy impact the livelihoods of informal entrepreneurs. In South Africa the informal economy is a critical source of livelihoods in urban areas. Many participants in the informal economy of South Africa’s major urban centres are international migrants, mostly drawn to the country from other parts of sub-Saharan Africa. The objective in this paper is to examine the challenges faced by international migrant entrepreneurs in relation to policy development for the informal economy of the City of Cape Town. The analysis uses qualitative interviews with key stakeholders, documentary sources and secondary surveys. It is revealed that in Cape Town despite a pro-development rhetoric in the inner city there is evidence of a subtle but systematic exclusion of street traders, including of migrant entrepreneurs. Little evidence exists of a coherent analysis by city policy makers to understand and foreground the contributions made by migrant entrepreneurs for the urban economy.
Local Economic Development (LED) planning is a place-based approach to development planning and increasingly significant across much of the global South. One of the key challenges facing LED planning is the necessity to adjust planning in relation to the dynamic nature of both international and national framework conditions. The purpose of this article is to show this challenge by examining the dynamic nature of the national policy environment impacting upon LED planning in South Africa, a country which has a relatively long history of LED planning. Five dimensions of the changing landscape of national economic development planning in South Africa are identified. These relate to (a) LED within the context of new national economic and development plans; (b) initiatives for reindustrialising the South African economy, the associated importance of localisation and promotion of the green economy; (c) changing programmes around small business development; (d) shifts in rural development interventions; and (e) the fluid spatial context within which LED planning as a form of placebased economic development is embedded.
Slum tourism is an expanding domain of research focused on organized tours to poorer areas of cities in the global South, such as South Africa’s urban townships. The aim is to contribute towards a reframing of scholarship on slum tourism by directing attention to the phenomenon of tourism development occurring in rural slums or poverty areas of South Africa, namely the former rural Bantustan or Homeland areas. These rural areas are presently the focus of government attention for tourism promotion as part of economic upgrading and employment creation. The key findings are that the expanding tourism economy of these rural slumlands is dominated by domestic tourists rather than international visitors with most tourists engaged in VFR travel including trips to rural second homes. In addition, these areas are important foci for religious pilgrimage. In terms of international scholarship on slum tourism the paper offers the significant observation that the largest share of tourists originate in the country’s urban township areas which are the attractions for international slum tourists. The destinations for visits by international slum tourists are therefore the essential source regions of tourists for visits to the rural poverty areas or slumlands of South Africa. This points to an imperative for broadening the research agenda of slum tourism to incorporate research which examines the tourism mobilities of ordinary residents of townships or favelas.
Domestic tourism is relatively under-represented in tourism scholarship. This article attempts to analyse the role of domestic tourism in one of the ‘emerging world regions’ of tourism. In the case of South Africa domestic tourism represents a significant element of the country’s tourism economy. The objectives are to provide (i) an analysis of the growth, contemporary spatial patterns and restructuring of domestic tourism in South Africa; and (ii) an assessment of emerging policy debates issues taking place about domestic tourism. Using a detailed local level data base on tourism flows this paper provides fresh insight into the character and changing geography of domestic tourism in South Africa. The nature and dynamics of domestic tourism are shown to have shifted since democratic transition. The restructured geography of domestic tourism exhibits a number of continuities and changes with earlier times. Government is seeking to use domestic tourism as a basis for addressing spatial unevenness in patterns of tourism development. In terms of recent spatial change it is revealed the most significant developments are the strengthening of Ethekwini as the country’s leading domestic tourism destination and the relative demise of Cape Town as a hub for domestic tourists.
One vibrant topic within the emerging scholarship around geographies of tourism development and planning concerns that of tourism and local economic development planning. Across many countries tourism is a core base for planning of place-based local economic development programmes. In post-apartheid South Africa the country’s leading cities have promoted tourism as part of economic development programming. This article examines planning for South Africa’s aerotropolis around the O.R. Tambo International Airport in Ekurhuleni, which is adjacent to Johannesburg. Under circumstances of economic distress and the need for new sources of local job creation Ekurhuleni is undertaking planning for tourism development through leveraging and alignment to aerotropolis planning. The nexus of aerotropolis and urban tourism planning is analysed. Arguably, the strengthening of tourism in Ekurhuleni offers the potential for contributing towards inclusive development goals.
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.
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.
Local economic development agencies (LEDAs) are increasingly important actors in place-based local economic development particularly in the global South. In South Africa there has been an expanded role for LEDAs in terms of the policy significance of local economic development. Although considerable research has been undertaken concerning the merits, challenges and contributions of LED in South Africa only limited material is available concerning the institutional and organisational arrangements to support the implementation of LED. Using policy documents, close engagement with the key national policy-making government departments and a national survey of the activities, operational challenges, and institutional constraints facing LEDAs, the findings from this investigation provide new insight into their role in place-based development. From the unfolding South African experience the strategic establishment of LEDAs potentially can contribute to maximizing the efficiency of place-based strategies. Arguably, key findings confirm the important contribution that LEDAs can make to locality development in the global South albeit that contribution is influenced by context realities.
Research on the accommodation sector attracts only a small fraction of contemporary tourism scholarship relating to sub-Saharan Africa. This paper contributes to this expanding literature on segmentation and the accommodation sector in South Africa. Specifically, it examines the establishment and making of the timeshare industry as a distinctive form of accommodation within the national tourism economy. The timeshare industry in South Africa is the largest and most mature in sub-Saharan Africa and among the most important in the developing world. The analysis uses a longitudinal perspective in order to interpret the emerging spatial organisation and evolving structural issues that impacted upon the development of the timeshare industry in its formative years from 1978 to 2002. The study addresses a knowledge gap around the minimal pursuit of historical research within the existing international literature about timeshare.
Business incubation is a relatively new phenomenon in scholarship and policy development for small enterprise development. Business incubators offer targeted business support and technical support services to accelerate the growth of emerging and small start-up business enterprises into financially and operationally independent enterprises. South Africa has adopted business incubation as one vehicle for upgrading the SMME economy. This article examines the evolution of policy towards business incubation, current progress, institutional issues and emerging geographies of business incubators as part of the unfolding and dynamic SMME policy landscape in South Africa. Considerable differences are observed between the activities of the network of state-supported incubators as opposed to private sector operated incubators.