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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Balancing Urban and Rural Needs in South Africa: Some Policy Issues
Author:Nattrass, Nicoli J.ISNI
Periodical:South Africa International
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:rural development
rural-urban disparity
Development and Technology
Urbanization and Migration
Politics and Government
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Abstract:This paper first examines the relationship between urban and rural areas in South Africa. The outstanding characteristic of the present relationship between the various separate homelands and the rest of the South African economy is that of economic dependence, which is chiefly manifested through the migrant labour system. It is, however, not necessarily the case that simply putting an end to the migrant labour system would improve the lot of the rural poor. The question of alleviating rural poverty boils down to one of development policy. The author isolates three broad approaches to rural development policy. 1) The integrated rural development approach, popular in World Bank circles in the late 1970s, which holds that a balanced programme of rural industry, agricultural betterment, infrastructural improvements, health care, and education, could result in the development of rural areas. 2) The approach that seeks to remove the 'obstacles' to development, be they market-related or institutional constraints. This approach is popular among neoclassical economists. 3) The approach that places rural development projects in the wider development context and weighs the cost of development resources in terms of income-generating opportunities foregone in other parts of the economy. For South Africa, this approach has a significant advantage over the other two alternatives, because it explicitly recognizes the opportunity costs of development projects, given limited resources. Ref.