Reducing spatial inequalities through better regulation

OUTPUT TYPE: Research report- client
TITLE AUTHOR(S): I.Turok, A.Scheba, J.Visagie
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 9893
HANDLE: 20.500.11910/11097

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Stark spatial divides have persisted post-Apartheid, despite government efforts to undo the damage of the past by creating a unified, national regulatory framework. This report discusses two of the many dimensions of spatial inequality: (i) the physical separation of people from productive activity, and (ii)the under-development of informal settlements and enterprises. It identifies key legislation that appears to inhibit more equitable and integrated development. This includes rules and procedures related to land-use planning, housing, environment, business licencing, building regulations and public procurement. They create difficulties through their complexity, rigidity, poor alignment and associated costs. These are not the only obstacles to shared prosperity, and they do not operate in isolation. They are compounded by other economic, social and institutional processes. Therefore, simple deregulation is unlikely to be the solution. Better regulation is more important, i.e. rules and procedures that are more consistent, less burdensome, more responsive to socio-economic realities and more developmental in orientation. The balance of emphasis should be tilted from bureaucratic mechanisms designed to restrict and control social and economic actors, towards more flexible, problem-solving systems to enable balanced and inclusive development.