Platinum City and the New South African Dream

Rajak, Dinah (2012) Platinum City and the New South African Dream. Africa, 82 (2). pp. 252-271. ISSN 0001-9720

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Much has been written about the persistence of economic apartheid inscribed on the geography of South Africa’s cities. This has intensified fragmentation, producing spatial configurations that are at once reminiscent of the old order of segregation, and simultaneously embody the particular inequities and divisions of the new neoliberal order (Turok 2001, Harrison 2006). Through an ethnographic study of Rustenburg, the urban hub of South Africa’s platinum belt, (once labelled the ‘fastest growing city in Africa’ after Cairo) I explore how the failure of urban integration maps onto the failure of the promise of market inclusion. What is particular about mid-range towns such as Rustenburg, is that the opportunities of ‘empowerment through enterprise’ are seen, or believed to be, all the more attainable than in large cities. Here the extended supply chains of the mining industry and the expanding secondary economy appear to offer limitless possibilities to share in the boons of the platinum boom. Yet as the account below shows, the disjuncture (and friction) between corporate authority and local government, has given rise to increasing fragmentation and exclusion, as only a very few are able to grasp the long-anticipated rewards of the new South African dream.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Anthropology
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DT History of Africa > DT1701 South Africa
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labour > HD0072 Economic development. Development economics. Economic growth
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Depositing User: Dinah Rajak
Date Deposited: 02 May 2012 10:42
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2017 05:11

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