The Causes of Unemployment in Post-apartheid Johannesburg and the Livelihood Strategies of the Poor

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Abstract

Central to the increase in urban poverty in the post-apartheid period is the rise in unemployment. This provides the point of departure for this paper. The first section shows how Johannesburg and its environs, although constituting the industrial and commercial heartland of South Africa, is a city that has not reached its potential economic development. Having outlined the causes and dimensions of this sluggish economic position, next is considered how the poor survive in Johannesburg through both economic and non-economic strategies. With this in mind it is argued that addressing the current situation of growing poverty and inequality (as well as redressing the legacy of past inequities) requires broad municipal response to urban unemployment. Instead of the current tendency to view poverty simply as the product of income and consumption deprivation, a more widely defined response to urban poverty reduction, based on a livelihoods framework, is proposed. Copyright Royal Dutch Geographical Society 2000.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie
Publication statusPublished - 2000

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