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situation remains a source of conflict, such as in 2012 with the Marikana massacre, a violent police action against mine strikers in the western part of Gauteng. Segregation continues to be a paradigm for the “self-contained megaprojects [that] represent the utopian dreamscape of the postmodern age, where privilege elites seek to isolate themselves from the harsh realities of impoverishment, jobless and straitened circumstances that exist all around them” (Herbert & Murray, 2015). Corridors of Freedom GOOGLE STREET VIEW

KNOWLEDGE HABITAT Gauteng is considered the economic hub of both South Africa and the continent as a whole, making up 7% of the total African GDP. It has clusters of financial, manufacturing, transport, technology, and telecommunications sectors. It also hosts a large num-

Gauteng Province – Johannesburg (ZA)

“So we are looking now at tourism, growing the tourism sector. The Maropeng [Cradle of Humankind] site, as a world heritage site, is the new gold for us. We would like to invest in the infrastructure there.” DAVID MAKHURA, PREMIER OF GAUTENG SINCE 2014

Maboneng FLICKR


Mining belt of Johannesburg FLICKR



ber of overseas companies requiring a commercial base in Africa. Gauteng is home to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, the largest stock exchange on the continent. Some of the largest companies in Africa and abroad are based in Gauteng, or have offices and branches there, including Vodacom, MTN, Neotel and Microsoft South Africa. Besides these sectors, Gauteng has strong government, culture and creative sectors - fashion, music, visual arts, in the form of both startups and larger companies. Education and research are also important, concentrated mainly in two of the 19 university campuses of Gauteng: University of Pretoria and University of the Witwatersrand. The Gauteng Growth and Development Agency, which focuses on natural and social capital, opened the Innovation Hub Pretoria in 2014 (, an internationally accredited science park that brings together smart industries, bioscience and green economy projects and their companies, providing support and event venues. History plays an important role in the identity and development of Gauteng. Examples of cultural heritage are The Cradle of Humankind Unesco World Heritage site, which shows the recent discovery of Homo Naledi, a branch in the family tree of Homo Sapiens (2013), as well as Freedom Park, the Apartheid Museum, the historical center of Pretoria and the Golden Reef City. Although Johannesburg is not a main tourist destination in South Africa, the local heritage in combination with life sciences and

cultural activities certainly holds great potential. On its way to becoming a knowledge-intensive economy, Gauteng faces several challenges, including high unemployment rates, access to education and other amenities, public safety and accessibility by different forms of transport throughout the territory. In 2008 the Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO) was created in order to monitor the transformation of the urban system and contribute to provincial planning policies, by offering maps, fact and figures about the metropolitan landscape of Gauteng. Kerry Bobbins and Guy Trangoš (GCRO, 2015) explain that an integrated planning system is difficult to implement in light of the current situation where economic growth comes first and equality second in the list of priorities. Landscape is currently not a planning priority. Below we will discuss a few key policies for the metropolitan development of Gauteng. METROPOLITAN LANDSCAPE POLICIES The “National Development Plan 2030” (NDP) aims to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality. It focuses on economic growth, living conditions, sprawl and accessibility. Even though the plan mentions goals regarding sustainability and resilience, landscape is not mentioned in the document but is rather a result of its implementation. Additional national policies shaping the metropolitan landscape are the “Environmental Management Act” (1998) and “The Heritage Act” (1999). On the local level there are the “Local Government Municipal Act” (2000) and “The Biological Act” (2004). “Gauteng Pillars of Radical Transformation” (PRT, 2014) is the main strategy used by the current Premier of Gauteng, replacing the “Gauteng Vision 2055”. The PRT pledges for radical changes and for “making Gauteng an integrated global competitive city-region.” It aims to revive the economy, re-industrialize and modernize public transport, social transformation and “decisive spatial transformation”. By improving the relation between working and living areas, the province seeks to develop “integrated sustainable human settlements” and an “inclusive spatial landscape” (PRT, 2014). While, landscape and quality of life aspects are mentioned here, no clear actions are outlined. The “Green Strategic Programme for Gauteng” covers various topics from food security and sanitation to climate change. The document emphasizes the need for a sustainable region that must “proactively invest in natural capital and the green economy” (Gauteng Province, 2011). Moreover, it defines objectives for more sustainable land use based on productive landscapes and more efficient, resilient and equitable settlements forms, where biodiversity and ecosystems are protected (Gauteng Province, 2011). “Joburg 2040” is a holistic strategy for Johannesburg aimed at transforming the unjust apartheid city of the past into a just, equitable, multi-cultural, multi-racial city of the future (Groesser, 2013). The strategy presents four drivers of change: environment and services, social development, gover-

BOEK Blind Spot - metropolitan landscape in the global battle for talent (4/2016, Deltametropolis)  

Publication in English, webpage in Dutch: De publicatie Blind Spot bekijkt de relatie tussen kwalitei...

BOEK Blind Spot - metropolitan landscape in the global battle for talent (4/2016, Deltametropolis)  

Publication in English, webpage in Dutch: De publicatie Blind Spot bekijkt de relatie tussen kwalitei...