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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Journal of Arid Environments
Title Marginalisation and demographic change in the semi-arid Karoo, South Africa
Volume 72
Issue 12
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2008
Page numbers 2264-2274
URL http://urbandevelopment.yolasite.com/resources/Marginalisation and demographic change in the​semi-arid Karoo, South Africa.pdf
Semi-arid areas are often considered to be environmentally and economically marginal, a situation which has been
exacerbated by economic change, shifts in agricultural production and land use, and changing state policy. These
themes are explored with reference to a semi-arid landscape, namely the Karoo, which covers some 40% of the
geographic space of South Africa and is used primarily for extensive livestock farming. Despite long-term decline in
agricultural output, the traditional mainstay of the region, and weakening small town economies, the Karoo's
population and the economies of its largest service centres are growing. There are, real socio-economic needs and
development backlogs, and the situation has been exacerbated by recent political marginalisation. In this study, the
small towns of the region are focal points of investigation and provide a lens to investigate the changing demographic
and economic dynamics of the Karoo. Most of the region's population lives in these centres which are service,
collection, and distribution points for what traditionally has been an agriculture-based regional economy. This paper
explores the concept of marginalisation with specific reference to historical, economic, and demographic change.

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