Document: Guidelines for the Revitalisation of Rural Towns and Regions in South Africa


The study of the revitalisation of small rural towns and rural areas in South Africa is primarily aimed at providing guidelines to inform the state of our rural towns and rural areas, their growth challenges and the potential range of planned interventions to revitalise them. Documents for ‘The Study of the Revitalisation of Rural Towns and Regions in South Africa’ and ‘Guidelines for the Revitalisation of Rural Towns and Regions in South Africa’ have been separated for ease of use, but are inherently related and are suggested to be read in sequence. Herein contains ‘Guidelines for the Revitalisation of Rural Towns and Regions in South Africa.’

The situation in rural South Africa is complex and in a state of decay. The present government, mainly through the efforts of the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform and other institutions, seeks ways and means to improve the country’s rural areas.

On the journey to come to terms with how one might address the situation, this study starts with outlines of the background, problem statement and the scope and methodology. Next the conceptual underpinnings of rural town and regional rejuvenation, is followed respectively by the examination of international best practice and South Africa’s own experimentation with its rural areas and rural towns in the Apartheid era and in the period of the democratic dispensation. The outcome of the research clearly indicates that the rural development challenges South Africa faces are not unique, but are rather part of an intractable global phenomenon that many governments and citizens of both Developing and Developed nations have to confront and deal with.

There are lessons of successes and failures from the study of other nations’ experiences as well as those of South Africa itself. What comes out clearly from the selective studies of the USA, Canada and the European Union, (as the Developed countries) and China, Russia, Mexico and India, (as Developing countries) is that there are no quick solutions or “magic bullets” that address rural revitalisation. Whilst South Africa’s planning superstructure is reasonably sophisticated in its structures, regulations, processes and programmed implementation, like other countries, the results aimed for are slow to be realised and often do not materialise at all. The growing service delivery crises and protests epitomises this predicament in which South Africa presently finds itself. What is learnt from other countries and from South Africa itself is that what is essential is ideological clarity, the placing of sound structures and processes by the State, the willingness of stakeholders to work together to uplift themselves, being open to thinking out of the box and long term planning.

The guidelines proposed herein can be conceptualised as a focus on transforming rural places, rather than the blanket application of policies and approaches in rural development. The guidelines consist of a cluster of 21 matrixes’ that address the range of challenges that the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform identified.

The guidelines are a set of questions that are generated from the findings from other countries’ and South Africa’s experience. What the guidelines uncover is the variety of enquiries that would enhance current rural planning.



Your rating: None
Average: 3 (1085 votes)


Department of Rural Development and Land Reform

Publication Year




Zibele XubaAnonymous's picture
Zibele XubaAnonymous replied on

small towns in South Africa, like elsewhere in Africa remain underdeveloped. it is noteworthy to mentione that there are attempts by government to revitalise our rural towns but it seems there is still a lot to be done more especially in terms of capacitating our local councillors to understand the significance of renewing our towns in rural areas. in my observation in the 3 years i have been a councillor i have learnt that few  understand the spatial development dynamcis and this make things slow and at times even feeble. we ought to intensify education.  much as rural areas have to be developed, we can not neglect the nearest urba areas that service them 

David L Ollis's picture
David L Ollis replied on


Hey guys my wife and I have been married for 15 years. For over five years I have been dealing with jealousy issues because of flirting and her having emotional type affairs with other men. I felt like my masculinity was in question and if I said the way she was acting bothered me, it seemed to make matters worse or I was accused of being controling. During this period I did state I wanted a divorce if the behavior was not going to end: texting men a night, leaving for the weekend without letting me know where she was going or not responding to messages. We do have a son and basically it's been him and I for the last year on the weekends. She disconnected completely from being a good wife and mother. In April she said she wanted a separation and I said no we need to get into marriage counseling. We did try that, but she was not very responsive and didn't give any effort. Afterward she was adamant about separation and divorce. I continued to say no and that we needed to save our family. She presented a separation agreement and I had to hire a lawyer. Because of the above behavior my lawyer suggested a private investigator. The investigator discovered my wife was having an affair with a close friend of the family who also is married with children. We know the extended families. I feel like I should tell this man's wife about what happened. This adultery has devastated me emotionally, I feel betrayed and I'm physically drained. I know my wife is passionate in terms of her sexuality, and I can't get the thought of them out of my head. It makes me question my own manhood, and I feel very inferior or that he must be a better lover or what ever. The problem is my wife pursued him. She would go to him and she lured him into this adultery. I felt this was coming for some time and could not stop it. She was not only lying to me but also to our son about what she was doing and where she was going. My family is important, my son loves her and as crazy as it sounds so do I. Can you respond with a course of action on how to proceed? I was still have a very huge place in my heart for her. so i searched for help online and I came across a website that suggested that Dr Ahmed can help solve marital problems, restore broken relationships and so on. So I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he told me what to do and i did it then he did a spell for me. 28 hours later, my wife came to me and apologized for the wrongs she did and promise never to do it again. Ever since then, everything has returned back to normal. I, my son and my wife are living together happily again.. All thanks to Dr Ahmed. as it is a place to resolve marriage/relationship issues, do you want to be sure if your spouse is being faithful to you or Do you want your Ex to come back to you Contact.: E-mail: or call/Whats-app: +2348160153829 save your crumbling home and change of grades its 100% safe. I suggest you contact him. He will not disappoint you.
David L. Ollis, 43yrs, UK

Williams chabros's picture
Williams chabros replied on