Dr Mark Ingle

 AfrikaBurn is a South African version of the Burning Man festival, held annually at Black Rock, Nevada, USA. AfrikaBurn is a participatory explosion of creativity, art, and innovation, which arises for a week on a remote desert floor in the Tankwa Karoo. 

Ingle, M (2010), “Making the Most of ‘Nothing’: Astro-tourism, the Sublime, and the Karoo as a ‘space destination’”, Transformation 74:87-111.

In recent years perceptions of South Africa’s arid Karoo have been radically transformed. Whereas the Karoo was once regarded as a desolate wasteland, it is now being punted as a positively trendy region, both to live in and to explore. Many enterprising niche tourism operators have positioned themselves to profit from this phenomenon. This article briefly articulates the concept of ‘the Sublime’ and shows how the nexus of cognitive associations suggested by ‘space’ and ‘nothingness’ is being harnessed to rebrand the Karoo as a dynamic and desirable destination. The paper also reflects on how these developments might redound to the benefit of local communities and flags some of the tensions occasioned by the intrusion of tourism into a relatively undeveloped region.


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Ingle, M (2013), Counterurbanisation and the emergence of a postproductivist economy in South Africa’s arid Karoo region, 1994-2010.



This review article serves to broach the concept of the “post-productivist countryside” where the primacy of agricultural production is supplanted by tertiary industries such as tourism, recreational farming, and arts and crafts production. The essay maintains that advances in communications technology have facilitated the phenomenon of “counterurbanisation” whereby a new breed of well-qualified, highly mobile professionals (a “creative class”) opt for rural living, all the while continuing to derive urban-denominated incomes. In recent years South Africa’s arid Karoo hinterland has enjoyed something of a renaissance occasioned by an influx of human capital from the cities. Although the onset of post-productivism inevitably entails costs it is argued that these are more than compensated for by the beneficial cultural and economic impacts of the new rural creative class in the Karoo.


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Ingle, M (2009), A ‘Creative Class’ in South Africa’s Arid Karoo Region, Urban Forum, 21(4).



There is an increasing number and variety of creative small enterprises in South Africa’s desert Karoo region. The Karoo has come to acquire considerable cachet in recent years and is being rebranded as a desirable tourist destination. It has also attracted many well-qualified and experienced migrants from urban areas. This paper draws on mainstream ‘lifestyle media’ coverage to describe this phenomenon and examines it through a lens informed by Richard Florida’s influential work, The Rise of the Creative Class. The concept of the ‘creative class’ refers to those people who make a living from creative pursuits, including artists, designers and knowledge-based professionals. The paper analyses a sample of entrepreneurs in-migrants to the Karoo, and speculates on what informs the recent re-visioning of the region. It posits the new rural ‘creative class’ as a form of social capital and explores some of the implications of this for the socio-economic upliftment of the Karoo.

Item can be purchased at http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12132-010-9095-4?no-access=true, or contact the author at vdpost2002@yahoo.com.



Ingle, M (2006), “What Price Developmental Land-use in South Africa?: paying lip service to law”, Journal of Public Administration 41(4):750-760.


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Ingle, M (2010), An Assessment of the Karoo-Hoogland Integrated Development Plan, Politeia 29(2): 85-102.



The Karoo-Hoogland Local Municipality is situated in the extreme south of the Northern Cape, perched atop the escarpment, and consists of the three small towns of Sutherland, Fraserburg and Williston. The municipality’s Integrated Development Plan (IDP) provides an interesting example of a very small municipality that deliberately restructured itself to give effect to a rather novel, do-it-yourself approach to planning. After providing some contextual background, this case study analyses Karoo-Hoogland’s distinctively ‘home grown’ IDP with a view to assessing its strengths and weaknesses as a strategic planning tool. The evaluation uses a range of criteria that local government practitioners may find useful in performing similar exercises. It is found that, notwithstanding an undue emphasis on the touristic potentials held out by the Southern Africa Large Telescope (SALT ) for Sutherland, the municipality was remarkably prescient in identifying its intangible assets, and astute in positioning itself to capitalise on these. It is concluded that this IDP embodies the spirit of real local engagement which the IDP process aspires to nurture within communities.


Accessed at http://reference.sabinet.co.za/sa_epublication_article/polit_v29_n2_a6. To access the item via Sabinet, you would need to request permission here: http://www.sabinet.co.za/register_request. Or contact the author: vdpost2002@yahoo.com.



Ingle, M (2007), Exercising the Mind with Integrated Development Planning, Politeia 26(1):5-17.



The contention of this article is that an undue fixation on the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) as an end product, as opposed to the processes that should be implicit in its formulation, has tended to detract from the IDP’s considerable potential for instilling an ethos of real intellectual engagement within local authorities. All too often municipalities have elected to outsource the hard thinking that is part and parcel of the growth towards planning maturity that grappling with the IDP should engender.The paper presents a brief rationale for the IDP along with some of its envisaged outcomes. It then turns to unpacking different gradations of knowledge by way of showing how adherence to the IDP disciplines should take the form of a progression from ignorance to enlightenment. The article concludes with a short analysis of a Free State Local Municipality’s IDP where the focus is on its HIV / Aids programme. It is concluded that the document’s shortcomings betray a failure on the part of the municipality concerned to come to grips with its responsibilities as outlined by the legislative framework that informs the IDP.The fact that many local authorities have proved unequal to exhibiting the rigorous thinking that the IDP calls for is no good reason to abandon what is, in its essence, a sine qua non for effective developmental local government.


Accessed at: http://reference.sabinet.co.za/document/EJC88178. To access the item via Sabinet, you would need to request permission here: http://www.sabinet.co.za/register_request. Or contact the author: vdpost2002@yahoo.com.



Ingle, M and Van Schalkwyk, C (2002), Service delivery to farming areas, Unpublished report, Local Government Support and Learning Programme, Department of Local Government, Northern Cape.



Kareeberg Municipality consists of the three towns of Vanwyksvlei, Vosburg and Carnarvon, and their associated farming hinterland. The three towns form an inverted, roughly equilateral, triangle with Vosburg in the east and Carnarvon, much the biggest of the three towns, in the extreme south and very near the Municipality’s southern boundary. The farming districts correspond more or less with the area which, in the past, went to make up the Kareeberg Transitional Rural Council (TRC). It is the farmlands of Kareeberg with which this study will be primarily concerned.

Kareeberg Municipality falls within the jurisdiction of the Karoo District Council but it is important to note that roughly the western two thirds of the Municipality, as it is currently delineated, fell within the old Hantam District Council. The eastern portion, that centred on Vosburg, was always within the Bo-Karoo District Council and has therefore not had to adjust to an unfamiliar administration.


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Ingle, M (2011), Ammunition for the ‘War on Poverty’ in South Africa, African Journal of Business Management 5(30):11749-11755.



Poverty is a multi-faceted phenomenon that goes beyond mere paucity of income. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) reflects an understanding of poverty as human deprivation by including indices for health and education in its Human Development Index (HDI). This article reflects on South Africa’s chequered HDI performance. It cites China’s record in reducing poverty and hazards the suggestion that a similar economic approach, if adopted locally, could have the effect of freeing the business sector from regulations that have inhibited entrepreneurship, and by extension, pro-poor growth. South Africa has haemorrhaged skills at an unacceptable level and, where this is attributable to post-apartheid legislation, this legislation needs to be revisited.


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Marais, L, Ingle, M, Skinner, D, Sigenu, K (2012), An Evaluation of a Family Support Programme incorporating Early Childhood Development, in the southern Free State, Acta Academica, 44(1):86-121.


This article details the evaluation of an NGO Family Support Programme (FSP) that was implemented in the southern Free State’s Kopanong local municipality. The FSP is primarily aimed at strengthening Early Childhood Development (ECD) in what is a very socio-economically deprived environment for small children. The article argues for the critical importance of ECD within the human development paradigm. It then reports on the actual FSP assessment and advances a number of recommendations for how the initiative could be bolstered. It concludes that the FSP methodology is sound in principle and that it warrants replication at scale.


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