Photography by:
  • Amanda van der Walt

Township economies in the GCR

The provincial government and municipal governments in Gauteng are pursuing policies with the intent to ‘modernise’, ‘formalise’ and ‘re-industrialise’ township economies in the province. Yet, it is not always clear how these terms are understood and the implications of government interventions on township economic development. The first part of the project unpacks the meaning and composition of township economies in the GCR in the form of a provocation while the second part investigates how policy intent (focusing on the Gauteng Township Economy Revitalisation Strategy) is translated into concrete programs and projects. Some of the policy interventions across the province will be analysed in terms of how they contribute towards the revitalisation of township economies and impacts on (informal) entrepreneurship.

An extensive review of available literature including academic papers and government strategic documents on township economies, inclusive economic development, innovation and industrialisation is being undertaken. Initial interviews with key government stakeholders have been conducted to understand the status of policy implementation in various townships and some of the initial impacts on entrepreneurship. A map of the month spatially representing unemployment in two distinct ways (unemployment rate vs unemployment density) was produced in August 2018. A provocation titled ‘what constitutes township economies in the GCR’ is currently being drafted. The second leg of the project will be conducted in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Johannesburg in the Innovation and Industrialisation unit.



Matjomane, M., Cheruiyot, K., Katumba, S. (2018) ‘Mapping unemployment’. GCRO Map of the Month. 31 August


Mamokete Matjomane (December 2018) ‘Township Economies in the GCR’, City of Ekurhuleni Strategy and Corporate Planning Department Strategic Planning Session, Kempton Park. 12 December 2018.


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