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The prospectus and challenges of rural urban migration in South African cities: perceptions from integrated development plans.

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Rural-urban migration is a global phenomenon which been constantly shaping economies and societies. Rural-urban migration has played an important role in many countries' urbanization processes and continues to be important. There are a number of reasons why this migration is mainly about seeking better sources of income. Similarly, rural-urban migration has a variety of implications. In South Africa, rural-urban migration has occurred since the early 1990s during the gold rush period and was deterred by apartheid policies such as the community areas act and influx control legislation that limited the movement of Black Africans. In post-apartheid South Africa, urban areas have seen increasing numbers of people moving to urban areas for work-related purposes, but ending up settling down. Therefore, it becomes essential to understand how receiving metropolitan areas interpret the rapid rural-urban migration occurring in South Africa. The study aimed to explore the prospects and challenges of rural-urban migration in South African cities based on the perceptions from Integrated Development Plans (IDPs) of metropolitan municipalities. As such, the study utilised secondary data from IDPs and supplemented by data from Statistics South Africa on population dynamics. The study finds that metropolitan IDPs are generally aware of the socio-economic benefits of ruralurban migration for migrants and receiving cities, mainly through attracting skilled workers and enriching diversity. The findings also reveal that metropolitan municipalities in South Africa are experiencing major housing blockage problems, lack of infrastructure, informal settlements and a lack of urban planning strategies due to the increase in rural-urban migration. This is largely because the population growth in cities is putting tremendous strain on the availability of utilities which places pressure on governments to identify alternatives and establish plans to tackle service delivery issues in communities. It is recommended that the government needs to proactively introduce spatial planning and land-use management strategies that promote the creation of inclusive cities that protect sustainable development.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.