Urbani izziv Volume 25, No. supplement, July 2014
Etienne L. Nel
University of Otago, Department of Geography, Humanities Division, New Zealand and University of Johannesburg, Faculty of Management, School of Tourism & Hospitality, South Africa
Christian M. Rogerson
University of Johannesburg, Faculty of Management, School of Tourism & Hospitality, South Africa
Re-Spatializing development: Reflections from South Africa’s recent re-engagement with planning for Special Economic Zones
In 2014 the South African government formally sanctioned the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in that country. The importance attached to SEZs reflects a clear return to spatially-based economic interventions following the recognition of the persistence of deep-rooted structural and spatial inequalities in the country. This paper discusses South Africa’s past and present involvement in processes of spatial economic development and how the SEZ concept has emerged. The potential of SEZs is assessed relative to local experience with the lack-lustre performance of what were termed Industrial Development Zones (IDZs) since 2001. While re-engagement with issues of how to address ‘uneven geographical development’ is clearly significant, it would be difficult to argue that SEZs will achieve guaranteed success.
Special Economic Zone, Industrial Development Zone, South Africa, spatial planning, regional development