South African Township Economies Are Booming, Bloomberg Says

South African Township Economies Are Booming, Bloomberg Says

From Bloomberg. Story by Amogelang Mbatha.

The Maponya Mall is a five-minute drive from one of the starting points of the June 16, 1976, Soweto Youth Riots where police killed at least 200 people.

It epitomizes the increasing gentrification of townships, with more than 200 shops and restaurants, health clubs, and a movie theater offering the latest blockbusters.

Township economies can become an important driver of near-term growth, according to the World Bank’s Economics of South African Townships study.

South Africa has about 2,200 townships on the outskirts of almost every town and city, a legacy of apartheid that imposed separate residential areas for blacks far from manicured suburbs where whites lived.

Owned by business tycoon Richard Maponya, the Maponya Mall is one of seven-plus shopping centers that mushroomed up in Soweto alone as large retailers compete with small local businesses to cash in on South Africa’s emerging black middle class.

Read more at Bloomberg.