Rapid urban development and fragmentation in a post-apartheid era : the case of Ballito, South Africa, 1994 to 2007.
Duminy, James William Andrew.
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Since 1994 a rapid rate of large-scale development in the region of Ballito, KwaZulu Natal, has generated significant urban spatial changes. This dissertation aimed to identify and examine the factors that have generated and sustained these changes. Qualitative information, sourced from interviews conducted with various professionals and actors involved in Ballito's recent development procedures, was utilized to this extent. The study focused on localised institutional, socio-economic, historical, physical/environmental, policy- and agency-based explanations of Ballito's spatial metamorphosis. It was found that the town's resulting pattern of spatial growth reflects tendencies towards urban fragmentation that have been observed in many South African and international urban contexts. Whilst forces of globalisation have played a role in driving the urban changes of Ballito, many localised and region-specific trends have influenced the development process in unobvious manners. In particular, issues relating to local government incapacity have served to undermine state planning initiatives, which take as their focus the reversal of apartheid's socio-developmental discrepancies. Likewise, incongruencies within the South African developmental policy position have served to create uncertainty in the local urban management arena. As a corollary of these trends, the interests of private-sector and central government institutions have assumed the position of greatest power within Ballito's urban process, to the neglect of local governmental and communal concerns. It is concluded that the representative capacity of local government and disenfranchised communities must be improved as a means of promoting the delivery of complex political concerns such as 'integrated' and 'sustainable' development. It is also suggested that urban analytical models involving institutional explanations of urban change are more effective in providing recommendations for the reversal of socio-spatial inequalities than traditional, economic-based analytical models.