Analysing the spatial persistence of population and wealth during Apartheid
Niemand, Pieter Du Toit
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This dissertation undertakes an analysis of the spatial persistence of population in South Africa over the period 1911 to 2011. A comprehensive review is given of the history and development of geographical economics in order to understand the dynamics of the forces of agglomeration. In addition the history of the development of South Africa is discussed and special focus is directed to the geographical, economic and political factors that gave rise to the unequal distribution of population and wealth in the country. In the empirical analysis Zipf’s law was applied and it was found that South Africa’s population was more evenly spread in 1911. With the application of the law to the 2011 data the Pareto exponent of the OLS log-linear regression indicated that urban agglomeration was more persistent. Although this might indicate that apartheid did not influence agglomeration in South Africa it is argued that the nature of the agglomeration was in fact influenced by restrictive measures placed on the urbanisation of the population and industrial decentralisation policies. It is indicated that the apartheid policy altered the equilibrium spatial distribution of population and wealth which lead to a smaller than optimal primate and second largest magisterial districts, too many secondary cities of similar size, and also too many small and uneconomical rural settlements.