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Map 7: Areas and local municipalities with high levels of socio-economic vulnerability due to high population densities and growth

Areas characterised by high population densities and growth (2001-2007) are typically more vulnerable to risks and hazards due to high population numbers (See Map 7 – for local municipal areas marked in dark blue). In the South African context these are, in most cases, also places that are characterised by high levels of poverty, informal settlements and service delivery backlogs, as well as areas facing challenges in terms of quality of life, accessibility and mobility (See the National Spatial Trends Overview, 2009 and the South African Human Settlement Investment Potential Atlas, 2010). In this case migration trends have been indicated through tracking movement of registered voters during local elections for the period 1999 to 2009 (see http://stepsa.org/). Unfortunately the trend only reflects internal migration patterns, as detailed data for cross border in-migration is not currently available. Out-migration seems to take place from the northern and central parts of the country, and even from traditionally densely populated coastal districts. The biggest movement (see red arrows on Map 7) has taken place between the metropolitan areas with strong influx into Gauteng and Cape Town areas, as well as to the southern Cape towns in the George-Plettenberg Bay area, major regional centres such as Rustenburg, Middelburg and Mthata, and towns on major access routes and movement corridors. The areas under the biggest pressure are: • The extended Gauteng City region area and the network of towns around the corridors to Gauteng and Mpumalanga; • Strong attractors are also found in the northern parts of the country, extending from towards the densely populated areas of Bushbuckridge and Ehlanzeni in the north east, and the Tohoyando, Giyani, Polokwane areas in the north • The Southern coastal regions, including the Cape Town City region, Saldanah, Paarl, Stellenbosch and surrounds; Knysna and Plettenberg Bay area and surrounds; • The Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan area, Buffalo City and surrounds, as well as the coastal strip and inland areas of the densely settled former Bantustan areas of Transkei and Ciskei; • EThekwini metropolitan area and surrounds, the densely settled KwaZulu-Natal coastal as well as inland areas, with higher densities in the more economically viable coastal towns to the south and the north, as well as along the Gauteng-EThekwini corridor; as well as • Around towns such as Mmbatho in the North West, Kimberley in the Northern Cape and Motheo and Kroonstad areas in the Free State.

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