Peripheries and rural / urban transitions – people and peripheral areas in the GCR
This project is a component part of a joint project on peripheries and rural/urban transitions being run jointly with the NRF / SARChI Chair Prof Phil Harrison. The SARChi team will look at issues of economic and spatial change on the periphery of the GCR, whereas the GCRO team will focus on ‘people on the periphery’.
The overall objective of this project is to examine the changing demographic and social dynamics of peripheral urban areas in the GCR. It will involve investigating changes in age, race, sex, education, employment profiles, the place of birth/origin of residents as well as migration patterns (intra-provincial, interprovincial and cross border) of selected areas and their relationships to core areas of the GCR.
There is evidence of rapid change in the demographic and social dynamics of peripheral urban areas in the GCR but this change is poorly understood. Some areas seem to be attracting more migrants as people moving from rural areas may be trying to access the benefits of the region’s core while negotiating its costs. But there is also some data that indicates depopulation in other peripheral urban areas as people move to get closer to opportunities in the core areas of the GCR. Thus, five types of peripheral urban areas in the GCR have been identified for study: zones of displaced urbanisation (ex-homeland areas); mining and ex-mining towns; industrial towns on the edge of the GCR; towns in commercial farming areas; and peri-urban areas on the edge of the GCR.
Evidence regarding the dynamics of demographic and social change in different peripheral urban areas will useful to the GPG as well as municipalities. It will enable better understanding of: spatial differences between peripheral urban areas; patterns of migration and migrant profiles; changing demands for services in peripheral areas (e.g, housing, energy, health, education); opportunities for development; relationships between core and periphery in the GCR as well as the spatial extent of the GCR. It will also allow for theoretical engagement with conceptualisations of core and periphery in the context of the GCR as well as the geographical scope of the GCR.
This project runs alongside and in conjunction with the proposed ‘Trade and the economy of the GCR’ project as well as the second and third books envisaged in the Urban Spatial Change in the GCR project. Results will also be relevant to: a) two proposed GCRO books; b) the proposed ‘Conceptualisations of the GCR’ project; and c) the proposed ‘Poverty and Inequality in the GCR’ project. It will also lend itself to creative visualisations of data and will allow for further exploration the 2009 and 2010 Quality of Life data sets.
Year 2012/13 will focus on 7 peripheral urban areas using existing data sets (including 2009 & 2011 Quality of Life) supplemented by key interviews. Year 2013/14 will extend this qualitative research, and will include further interviews and focus groups.
This is part of a two-year joint project between GCRO and the NRF-South African Research Chair Programme in Development Planning & Modelling (SARChi) at the University of the Witwatersrand led by Prof Phil Harrison. The aim of the GCRO/SARCHi project is to examine the dynamics of demographic, economic and spatial changes in peripheral urban areas of the GCR.
Outputs in 2012/13
- Draft research report on changing demographic and social dynamics of peripheral areas in the GCR;
- Journal article on conceptualising core and peripheries submitted;
- Draft chapter for GCRO book on Pretoria and areas to the north.