Activity streets as economic opportunity generators: Case study of the Langa Township, Cape Town, South Africa

Natacha Jasmine Michel-Yacinthe, Florida International University


The Republic of South Africa since the 1948 inception of Apartheid policies has experienced economic problems resulting from spatially dispersed growth. The election of President Mandela in 1994, however, eliminated the last forms of Apartheid as well as its discriminatory spatial, social, and economic policies, specially toward black Africans. In Cape Town, South Africa, several initiatives to restructure and to economically revitalize blighted and abandoned township communities, like Langa, have been instituted. One element of this strategy is the development of activity streets. The main questions asked in this study are whether activity streets are a feasible solution to the local economic problems left by the apartheid system and whether activity streets represent an economically sustainable approach to development. An analysis of a proposed activity street in Langa and its potential to generate jobs is undertaken. An Employment Generation Model used in this study shows that many of the businesses rely on the local purchasing power of the residents. Since the economic activities are mostly service oriented, a combination of manufacturing industries and institutionally implemented strategies within the township will have to be developed in order to generate sustainable employment. The result seem to indicate that, in Langa, the activity street depend very much on an increase in sales, pedestrian and vehicular traffic flow.

Subject Area

Urban planning|Area planning & development|Transportation|Welfare|Geography

Recommended Citation

Michel-Yacinthe, Natacha Jasmine, "Activity streets as economic opportunity generators: Case study of the Langa Township, Cape Town, South Africa" (1998). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI1390771.