Urban Forum

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 149–161 | Cite as

From industrialisation to de-industrialisation in the former South African homelands

The case of Mogwase, North West
  • Moserwa Rosina Phalatse


The case of Mogwase in North West in experiencing processes of industrialisation and subsequent de-industrialisation is repeated in many former growth points of South Africa’s peripheral homelands. It is clear that the withdrawal of incentives has had a negative impact on industrial development in peripheral areas in South Africa, affecting woman workers in particular. Indeed, with recession and high levels of unemployment in the formal sector, retrenched woman factory workers are increasingly forced to enter the informal sector. Alternatively, they function as casual or seasonal labourers, outside the purview of labour legislation and beyond the reach of trade unions. It is ironic that de-industrialisation linked to globalisation in South Africa is exaggerating spatial disparities, with those regions having the greatest need for employment having the least capacity to play the entrepreneurial role as regards local economic development. Finally, with the industrial decline in Mogwase, there has been a reversal in the progress made in the socio-economic lives of the beneficiaries of apartheid industrial decentralisation policy. Indeed, the Mogwase case shows that many localities which experienced growth due to industrial decentralisation are currently experiencing a decline. For woman workers, who are used as shock absorbers for global restructuring, this means a dramatic decline in income and living standards as they shift out of formal work.


Urban Forum Woman Worker Growth Point Industrial Employment South African Institute 
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© Springer SBM 2000

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  • Moserwa Rosina Phalatse

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