Photography by:
  • Amanda van der Walt

Township economies in the GCR

The provincial government and municipal governments in Gauteng are pursuing policies with the intent to ‘modernise’, ‘formalise’ and ‘re-industrialise’ township economies in the province. Yet, it is not always clear how these terms are understood and the implications of government interventions on township economic development. The first part of the project interrogates the term "township economies" in the context of the GCR and how the term enhances or limits understanding of uneven development and how it might be remedied. The second part investigates various ways of intervening in townships to revitalise the economy, focusing on three main aspects: infrastructure and services, regulation and entrepreneurship.

A map of the month spatially representing unemployment in two distinct ways (unemployment rate vs unemployment density) was produced in August 2018. A Provocation titled ‘Interrogating the concept of “township economies” in the Gauteng context is currently being revised with external inputs. An extensive review of literature including academic papers and government strategic documents on township economies together with a limited number of interviews with government officials have been conducted to feed into the Provocation. Planning for the second leg of the project is currently underway.


Map of the month

Matjomane, M., Cheruiyot, K., Katumba, S. (2018) ‘Mapping unemployment’. GCRO Map of the Month. 31 August


Mamokete Matjomane (August 2020) ‘Interrogating the concept of “township economies” in the Gauteng context’, Southern African City Studies Conference, Online, 31 August 2020.

Mamokete Matjomane (July 2020) ‘Interrogating the concept of “township economies” in the Gauteng context’, GCRO Internal Review Workshop, 1 July 2020.

Mamokete Matjomane (December 2018) ‘Township Economies in the GCR’, City of Ekurhuleni Strategy and Corporate Planning Department Strategic Planning Session, Kempton Park. 12 December 2018.


Mamokete Matjomane was cited in an article on News24 (5 October 2020) on restriction of foreign nationals by the Gauteng Township Economy Development Bill to participate in designated sectors in the township spaces. Available:

Mamokete Matjomane was cited on Bloomberg (27 November 2020) on Lockdowns in South Africa Freed Township Entrepreneurs to Thrive - Bloomberg.

Mamokete Matjomane was interviewed on the Open News (Channel 120 on Open View) to comment on the Gauteng Township Economy Development Bill banning foreign nationals from opening business in townships on 6 October 2020.

Last updated: 03 October 2022.


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