Why do we have high levels of Urbanisation in South Africa? Let’s first look at what urbanisation really is. Urbanisation refers to the population shift from rural to urban areas of the country, the corresponding decrease in the proportion of people living in rural areas, and the ways in which societies adapt to this change.

Did you know? South Africa is urbanising rapidly: 63% of South Africans are already living in urban areas and the statistics will rise to 71% by 2030. By 2050, eight in 10 people will be living in urban areas and this will increase demand on basic infrastructure requirements.


Why do we have high levels of Urbanisation in South Africa?

Why do we have high levels of Urbanisation in South Africa? Well, South Africa is a leading services destination, due to it being one of the most industrialised countries in the whole continent of Africa. The majority of the country’s gross domestic product comes from the services sector, where more than 70 percent of the employed population works. (Statista). Bellow are the main causes of urbanisation in South Africa:

  • Industrial Growth: The explosion of industrialization and manufacturing enterprises within urban area such as Johannesburg, Cape town, Durban and others, gives rise to more employment opportunities.
  • Employment: Rural areas commonly are agricultural in most parts of the country. Urbanization and industrial growth create opportunities for jobs high paying jobs which are more diverse, and may be less physically demanding as compared to the ones in the rural areas.
  • Social Factors: Many urban areas allow for better living standards, including superior educational facilities, better water and electricity supply, access to better healthcare system, modern housing, and more recreational activities.
  • Modernisation: New technology upgrades the infrastructure of urban areas. Better transport, communication, medical facilities, and various social amenities can attract those from rural areas.

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