Prof Atkinson, D (2006), An Analysis of the Aberdeen Business Sector, Institute for Social and Economic Research, Rhodes University. Unpublished paper.
Introduction: Why study small towns?
Small towns are a neglected topic of study in South Africa, as well as other countries. Much more focus is typically placed on metropolitan issues, as well as “deep rural”, traditional communities. In South Africa, the small town sector has not appeared on any government department‟s list of priorities. This is a major problem, because many Departments‟ activities have indeed impacted on development in small towns – and most of this has been negative, in the sense of undermining local economies. Small towns represent valuable “sunk capital”, and many people wish to live there, but they are increasingly condemned to poverty and unemployment in these towns. In fact, the scale of urbanisation taking place, with rural people moving to small towns, is so dramatic that it amounts to a “social revolution” in its own right – and there has been no official cognisance yet of this fact.