Planning for economic development in a secondary city? Trends, pitfalls and alternatives for Mangaung, South Africa
Secondary cities, urban development, South Africa, Mangaung
This paper examines Mangaung's economic development initiatives against the background of the latest literature on secondary cities, with a specific emphasis on the 20-year period that has elapsed since the dawn of the postapartheid era. Although some of the plans aim to reverse apartheid planning it is argued that these plans are being hampered by the fact that they tend to focus on a local "buzz" option, and run counter to historical pathways for the city. Moreover, they do not take the value of an increasing knowledge economy into account, and they fail to contextualise the city's development and future prospects in terms of its regional role. The paper identifies a number of pathways that build on history and include options for ensuring active participation in an increasing knowledge economy. Our contention is that the regional role of the city remains one of the key assets with a view to building future economic development pathways. Finally, a number of research themes are identified.