Creating Cities of Hope: Before you Vote, Ask Questions, Demand Answers

Although it is not true that every urban society is rich, no country that has ever become rich has done so without urbanising. Cities, with their dense populations, deep labour markets and highly differentiated economies, make human labour far more productive than is possible in other settings. Cities also facilitate social prosperity by generating economies of scale in the provision of infrastructure and public services. A genuine political commitment to urban-led growth could transform the country’s economic prospects, and contribute significantly to making South Africa a more inclusive society. Too many South African policy makers are still ‘reluctant urbanisers’, however, and seem to believe that people would be better off staying in the rural areas and that it is government’s job to bring opportunities to them there. Human history shows that this is certain to fail.