Evolution of Space

Evolution of Space: a focus on Urbanization as a driving-force behind development of the city

Urbanization can be defined as the movement of people from rural areas into urban (the city), suburban (encircling the city) and semi-urban areas (outside the city but within an urbanised setting, e.g.: townships). This phenomenon has brought about change into the lives of the majority of South Africans.

As many of them leave rural areas for the city in search of job opportunities and a decent education, life in the city changes in the sense that the environment presents the city-dweller with innumerable chances to shape their life as they wish.

A recent study shows that “two-thirds of South Africa’s population now lives urban areas” (SA Institute of Race Relations). That means thirty one million people out of a total of fifty million currently reside in urban areas in South Africa.

Moreover, although urbanization does not ensure opportunities for employment, determined city-dwellers have or rather are presented with an opportunity to become self-employed. This is precisely because urbanization allows for more freedom of movement the populace of the city.

In addition to the freedom to move about, the city-dweller has an opportunity to equip themselves with as much knowledge as they need through government services such as community libraries and government
institutions.

According to a study by Turok (2012), “South Africa has the largest and most industrialised economy in Africa and the 28th largest economy in the world” (p. 8).

This therefore means that South Africa is one of the few countries in Africa whose population enjoys unlimited opportunities to improve their standard of living. This then places South Africa at the fore of
developing its rural and urban areas alike, ensuring that the space in which people live is conducive enough to support growth.

In conclusion, the more the environment within which people live improves in terms of infrastructure and facilities, is the more individuals and groups gain the power to ensure that their interests are taken care of. In turn, this then fuels growth and development both as a country and as a people, placing South Africa on a good standing within the international community.

SOURCES:
1. www.southafrica.info/news/urbanisation
2. Ivan Turok. “Urbanization and Development”. (2012). www.delog.org

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