About this site

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

1. Introduction

This report summarises a larger study of levels and sources of regional inequality in South Africa. Inequality is analysed both across regions nationally and within former development regions E (KwaZulu/Natal) and F (Eastern Transvaal). The two regions chosen for detailed examination illustrate several regional implications of national policy. For example, growth in the two regions has been at opposite ends of the national spectrum, with KwaZulu/Natal experiencing low growth relative to the national average and Eastern Transvaal showing unusually strong growth. Population distributions in the two regions are divergent as well, in that Region E has a very high proportion of population in former homelands and Region F a low proportion. The sectoral composition of the regions is also dissimilar, with Region E abnormally concentrated in manufacturing and Region F uniquely tied to extractive and energy sectors. Comparing these two regions highlights how distinct population and sectoral structures have affected growth and hence inequality among regions. National employment and industrial policy will have very different effects on these two regions due to their varied structures.

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory site.