Thinking regionally: Aviation and development implications in the Karoo region

Full Title:

Thinking regionally: Aviation and development implications in the Karoo region


Author: Doreen Atkinson and Mark Ingle
Publication: Development Southern Africa pp. 1-16 | DOI: 10.1080/0376835X.2015.1120647
Date: 2016


Abstract

This study focuses on regional economic development in South Africa, across provincial political jurisdictions. The article argues that remote hinterlands can be more usefully understood as forming an integrated whole, rather than functioning as the poor rural cousins of their provincial metropoles. This article considers three propositions: that key transport projects (such as airports) may unlock regional development; that this may stimulate regional spatial integration; and that this may spur the South African government to address its weak regional planning system. All three propositions are speculative, drawn from the international literature, but they contribute to an argument for greater spatial coherence in South African planning in rural regions. The argument is illustrated with reference to the Karoo region of South Africa, and the potential of a new airport to impact on regional economic dynamics. Furthermore, the article argues that such impacts will require new regional planning systems, which are currently absent from the South African political system.

 

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