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Industrial Restructuring in South Africa: The Case of Newcastle

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This paper examines the contemporary dynamics of industrial restructuring within Newcastle, a peripheral South African town that was, in many senses, a product of state industrial decentralisation and other apartheid policies. Processes of globalisation, and particularly the shift away from a regime of import substitution in the context of economic crisis, have been key to the form of restructuring that has occurred in Newcastle. But restructuring has also been shaped by local economic and political dynamics, as well as by South Africa's political transition. The paper explores the different ways in which globalisation has occurred in the main sectors: iron and steel, chemicals, and clothing, and their varying effects over time. It shows the limits of hypotheses assuming a recentralisation of production in the context of globalisation and the introduction of new technologies, but demonstrates nevertheless the vulnerability of towns such as Newcastle in the current era.
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Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: Town and Regional Planning Department, University of Natal, Dalbridge, South Africa

Publication date: 1999-11-01

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