Assessing the extent of informal markets integration into spatial planning frameworks: a case study of KwaMashu, eThekwini Municipality.
Ntaka, Minenhle Nyaniso.
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Spatial inequality is the net result of urban imbalances in relation to the equal and sufficient distribution of resources. The urban environment is a mechanism in its own right and its functionality is determined by various forces of concentration, integration, scattering, poverty and segregation. The distribution of space is affected by various elements such as health, politics, education, economic significance and income levels. The latter being one of every community’s essential needs. Systematic evidence of the extent of economic difficulties in developing countries shows that this issue affects Black communities the most. This has an impact on the creation of job opportunities, which in turn leads to an increase in unemployment rates thus the increase of informality within urban areas. Therefore, people in need of income enter the informal economy as means of survival. Understanding the developmental role of spatial planning frameworks towards urban construction is vital due to the level of influential affect it has on urban spatial distribution. The functionality of the urban space is guided by the urban planning informed by spatial planning frameworks. The level of equality and inclusiveness distribution of urban socioeconomic spaces is determined by the levels of productivity in every sector. Identifying the levels of productivity in the informal economy reveals the extent to which the informal economy is integrated into spatial planning frameworks thus influencing urban spatial distribution and sector productivity. The urban space is not only constructed by policy and systems but the most significant constituent of the city is the role played by major role players (state/government), stakeholders and beneficiaries. There is a growing body of documented work that reveals the existence of informal markets in many forms in various areas. It supports the view that the urban form does not appreciate informality thus it aims to reduce if not eradicate it. A sufficient strategic way to reduce informality is to spatially limit it. With the rapid recognition of the informal market in recent years, there has been a certain degree of informality acceptance within urban spaces, but there are still important unresolved barriers issues. Authorities mention various challenges informal trader and government have in practice linked to the productivity rate of existing spatial planning Frameworks and the urban spatial structure. There are also challenges faced by the society and its powers when attempting to integrate informal markets into spatial planning frameworks. The study incorporates the use of a Mixed methods due to that the approach entail systematic processes of data collection that influenced the nature of result obtained, it also consist of strategies that analysis and constructs the presentation the data. The approach extracts information on the topic where interrelated ideas and realities are identified using numbers and documented data. The approach formulates a clear view on how spatial planning frameworks have affected the informal economy. The approach allowed for the use of secondary data method and primary data method. Secondary Data that has been processed and analysed informed the study by constructing a basic theoretical framework and the ability of the government to facilitate a sustainable urban planning policy that is inclusive, promotes equality and spatial justice. Primary data consist of raw information obtained through mapping, survey questions and observation which derived the study to critically analyse existing environments spatial advantage’s, disadvantages, potential, operational model and level of functionality. Findings obtained through the critical purpose, sampling on successive occasions approach and thematic data analysis informed study findings. The approaches appropriate the study by allowing ground work observation, validating the research’s topic, objectives and questions. the conclude that claim to informality acceptance is suspected to be greater on paper than what is on the ground, even though there are few spatial frameworks formulated by the government/municipality that have been implemented. These frameworks address the socio- economic factors for the poor through the implementation of programmes and projects that attempt to increase job opportunities for the poor. Nevertheless, despite these concerns, there seems to be little consensus on the cause of spatial inequality as the factor influenced by policy weakness and failure. The paper recommendations explain the possibility of sustainable spatial transformation through a series of process, strategies and models that can be implemented to improve policy efficiency in increasing informal market business accessibility into Industrial Development Corporation, Access to assets for financial assistance and placing emphasis on Investment as a key factor for economic sustainability In Conclusion the elements of attempt to understand how policy makers should respond to growing community values, needs and issues is directed should be directed by the society itself whether the government addresses spatial inequalities via spatial planning frameworks and strategies or in other ways, the community must be involved in all processes of urban planning.