Photography by:
  • Amanda van der Walt & Kabelo Mohlapo & Andrea Shapiro

City responses to the global economic crisis (2009)

In July 2009, the Gauteng MEC for Economic Development and the Department of Economic Development asked GCRO to do a quick turn-around ‘benchmarking’ study of how cities and city-regions in other parts of the world were being affected by the economic crisis, how they were responding, and what lessons can be learnt for Gauteng. The paper was submitted in mid August. The paper was researched and written in conjunction with Neva Makgetla from the Development Bank of Southern Africa. It provided a synthesis of the causes and consequences of the crisis internationally and in South Africa; an anatomy of the crisis using a range of indicators of economic impacts; a city by city summary of what key cities and city-regions were doing in response to the crisis; and a thematic analysis of key responses from which Gauteng Provincial Government and municipalities could learn.

In late August 2009, the Department of Economic Development requested GCRO to provide follow-up support, drawing together other inputs commissioned by DED into a draft strategic response framework in tabulated format. This was submitted in early September 2009.

On 16 September 2009, GCRO co-hosted a follow-up workshop on 'The Economic Crisis in South Africa: Local Government Impacts & Responses'. The workshop was convened jointly with the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), the Presidency and SALGA, and included representatives from the City of Johannesburg, SALGA national and SALGA Gauteng, Naledi, Gauteng Department of Economic Development, GEDA, Gauteng Department of Housing and Local Government and Wits University. It examined the impact of the current crisis on South African local government; considered possible responses that may assist municipalities to manage the impacts; and defined a possible longer term research agenda around the issue.

In October 2009, GCRO was requested to sit on a Steering Committee to prepare for a Gauteng Economic Recovery Summit held on 12 November 2009. GCRO contributed to Steering Committee meetings in October and November. GCRO also assisted with the synthesis of key discussion points at the Summit.


Everatt, D., Gotz, G., Phakathi, S. & Makgetla, N. (2009) ‘Benchmarking the way cities and regions around the world are responding to the global recession’, GCRO Occasional Paper 1.

Last updated 20 October 2017.


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