oa Africa Insight - A spatial and socio-economic profile of urbanization in Southern Africa

Volume 21, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0256-2804



Urbanization, the universally experienced transformation whereby communities change from a rural to an urban way of life, has close relationships with industrialization and regional development. Industrialization - by virtue of its employment creating potential and the sound economic base it affords towns and cities - is a catalyst par excellence for urban growth. However, the location of industry being dependent upon a whole range of factors - a suitable resource base, agglomeration economies, markets and infrastructure to name but a few - it is subject to their uneven spatial distribution, resulting in selective industrial concentration and urbanization at certain places only. The outcome is an unbalanced space-economy featuring relative over-concentration in large urban cores and economically lagging peripheral regions.

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