WP 99/028 - Regional Institutional Structure and Industrial Strategy: Richards Bay and the Spatial Development Initiatives

Peter V Hall

Date of Publication: 
August 1999

This paper provides an institutional analysis of the South African Spatial Development Initiative (SDI) policy. It deals, firstly, with the concept of regional institutional structure, secondly, with the SDI program in South Africa and how it attempts to address national industrial strategy concerns in a spatially redistributive fashion, and thirdly, describes the case study of the growth-pole bulk-export port of Richards Bay. The central argument of the paper is that the SDI policy has been constrained by the regional institutional dynamics operating in the places where the policy is to be implemented. This leads to a variety of unintended and unpredictable outcomes, as highlighted through the case study of Richards Bay. The paper addresses wider debates about national-local relations, insitutions, and the prospects for growth-pole regional development.

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