The Midrand area: An emerging high-technology cluster?

Type Journal Article - Development Southern Africa
Title The Midrand area: An emerging high-technology cluster?
Volume 15
Issue 5
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 1998
Page numbers 851-873
This article takes a close look at art emerging high-technology cluster in a developing country - Midrand in South Africa - to develop a deeper understanding of its nature, why it emerged and the problems it faces. Midrand lies within the Gauteng province, which has a disproportionately large share of South Africa's private and public demand, as well as factor inputs for high-technology sectors. The cluster is growing rapidly and includes a large contingent of high-tech multinationals and blue-chip local firms. The cluster is not, however, based on research and development but rather on head office, warehousing and distribution functions, and manufacturing. Its success is built on a central location, high visibility, a positive high-tech image, good quality of life, a visionary town council, good investment returns, low operating costs and a lack of local competition. Its weaknesses are that it has not been built on a solid foundation of high-tech infrastructure and lacks high-tech dynamism, rendering its locational advantage somewhat fragile.

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