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The political economy of urban and regional planning in South Africa, 1900 to 1988 : towards theory to guide progressive practice.

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The dissertation has three major objectives. The first is to examine the relation between the nature and trajectory of urban and regional planning in South Africa, and developments within the, South African political economy of which it is an integral part. The second is to contribute to the sparse literature on the history of urban and regional planning in South Africa. The third is to consider the historical record on and the prospects for facilitating progressive social change through planning in South Africa. An empirical analysis of the history of urban and regional planning for the period 1900 to 1988 provides the basis for the achievement of all three objectives. In attempting to fulfil the first objective Sate emphasis is placed on examining the relationship between territorial apartheid and planning. The experiential basis of the distinction often made between planning and apartheid by South African planners is explored. The conclusion reached is that whilst a distinction between the trajectory of professional town planning and territorial apartheid is sustainable, there has also been a very substantial measure of articulation. Special emphasis is also given to examining the relationship between planning and the specific nature and history of the accumulation process in South Africa. In this regard it is concluded that the accumulation process has bone both an indirect and direct relation to planning at different junctures. At times the trajectory of accumulation has simply provided a context which has affected the definition of social priorities and placed limits on what could be pursued through planning. At other times the momentum of accumulation has quite directly affected planning, providing opportunities for or requiring responses from planners. As far as the record on the social role played by planners is concerned, it is concluded that planning has not cut a particularly progressive profile. The emergence of a progressive planning movement in South Africa is however noted. Possibilities for pursuing progressive practices are identified against the background of a detailed analysis of the contemporary period.


Thesis (Ph.D.)-University of Natal, Durban, 1989.


Theses--Town and regional planning., City planning--South Africa., Regional planning--South Africa., Regional planning--Political aspects--South Africa., Regional planning--Economic aspects--South Africa., City planning--Political aspects--South Africa., City planning--Economic aspects--South Africa.