The UN predicted that there will be a significant increase in urbanisation worldwide,
and estimated that South Africa’s urban population will increase from 64.8 percent in
2015 to 79.8 percent in 2050. Rapid urbanisation in SA has led to various social and
economic challenges such as, poor living standards, an increase in crime due to the
higher cost of city living, increased pressure on transportation and infrastructure,
safety and security issues and overcrowding due to a mushrooming of informal
The smart city concept is considered to be a means to manage the challenges and
needs of urbanisation as outlined above, through the utilisation of information and
communication technology (ICT). Although developed countries have implemented
successful smart city initiatives, developing countries including SA, are delayed in
the adoption of the smart city paradigm. This research sought to understand the
drivers and barriers to the adoption of the smart city paradigm within the SA context.
The literature review of this research revealed that there are no studies that
investigated a comprehensive set of drivers and barriers holistically within SA,
thereby, substantiating the need for this study.
This qualitative study provided and added key insights to the existing body of smart
city knowledge with respect to the rationale and barriers for smart city developments
in SA. This research was conducted via semi-structured interviews which included
13 public and private entity participants. This study further developed
recommendations to overcome the smart city barriers identified by this research, and
recommended the sectors and areas in SA that need to prioritise the implementation
of smart city projects to derive its benefits.
This study also proposed a framework (DBRB framework) by taking cognisance of
all key insights obtained. The framework, constructed and proposed in this study,
illustrates the interconnectivity between the drivers, barriers and recommendations,
and the subsequent benefits be derived by government, citizens and smart city
service providers. A limitation of this study is that the results may not be appropriate
for other developing countries that do not portray similar characteristics as SA. A
suggestion for future research is to duplicate this study in other developing countries.
Mini Dissertation (MBA)--University of Pretoria, 2020.