South African municipalities, prospects and challenges : an African perspective

Show simple item record Thornhill, Christopher 2015-06-23T06:18:19Z 2015-06-23T06:18:19Z 2014-12
dc.description.abstract In order to understand how African cities function, they should be considered from a political, social, economic, cultural and geographical perspective. Most of the cities that serve as African countries’ capitals today were established in colonial times, for example, Harare (Salisbury in Zimbabwe), Lusaka in Zambia, Tripoli in Libya, and Pretoria in the Republic of South Africa. They were created to serve the political aims of that era – to govern colonial territories and provide avenues to export raw materials. Because many African cities were not originally established by indigenous communities, if the future of African cities, including South African cities, is considered, attention should be paid to the artificial nature of their initial geographical locations, demography and construction. Cities need a vibrant economy to survive and prosper. Africa’s economy in general is less robust than that of most European cities, partly due to unstable political regimes, poverty and predation by the politicians in power, rather than due to a lack of natural resources. The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the Sudan (North and South) are blessed with some of the richest oil fields in Africa. Countries such as Zimbabwe, Zambia, Angola and Mozambique have the most fertile soil for agricultural production. Botswana has some of the world’s largest diamond deposits. However, these countries, and by implication, their cities, are characterised by large numbers of indigent people, unable to access basic services due to their inability to pay for services. This untenable situation is exacerbated by large numbers of refugees residing in or adjacent to cities on a temporary, but long-term basis. The question to be considered is what governmental, administrative and managerial actions are required to promote the development of African cities to meet the political, social and basic service needs of African people? The methodology involved extensive research into the economic, governmental and administrative situation in selected African countries, by reviewing selected contemporary sources, such as the World Bank’s Annual Report for 2013, Africa i2012, released by Consulting Africa Intelligence in 2012, and African Union Summits in 2013: Africa’s second transition. These are supplemented by supporting documents on administrative arrangements and local government structures to establish whether (South) African cities can meet contemporary urban requirements. en_ZA
dc.description.librarian am2015 en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Thornhill, C 2014, 'South African municipalities, prospects and challenges : an African perspective', African Journal of Public Affairs, vol. 7, no. 4, pp. 140-155. en_ZA
dc.identifier.issn 1997-7441
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher African Consortium of Public Administration en_ZA
dc.rights African Consortium of Public Administration en_ZA
dc.subject African cities en_ZA
dc.subject Economy en_ZA
dc.subject Indigenous communities en_ZA
dc.subject South Africa (SA) en_ZA
dc.title South African municipalities, prospects and challenges : an African perspective en_ZA
dc.type Article en_ZA

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