As SA continues to debate radical economic transformation, Gauteng appears to have completed the sloganeering phase and is formulating a policy instrument that leads to implementation. In 2014, the province adopted a Township Economic Revitalisation Strategy as a policy lever to transform, modernise and stimulate township markets and enterprises. In demonstrating the commitment to implementation of the strategy, the MEC of finance, Barbara Creecy, reported in her 2017 budget speech that the Gauteng government spent more than R6bn sourcing goods and services from more than 2,800 township enterprises. Underlying the strategy is the assumption that government procurement spend at township-based enterprises will catalyse local activity and set in motion a ripple multiplier effect of economic transformation. But the spatial organisation of economic activity and the market structure in SA may dilute the stimulus effect of state procurement on township spaces. Townships are laden with comm...

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