'n Ekonomies-geografiese ondersoek na die agglomerasie en skakeltendense van metaalnywerhede in Vanderbijlpark
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This study is aimed at determining the relative importance of external agglomeration economies for metal industries in Vanderbijlpark, by way of an analysis of certain quantifiable industrial linkages. Vanderbijlpark is situated within the most important industrial concentration area in the RSA, viz. the PWV area. In 1980, the industrial sector within the PWV• area contributed 53,2% in GGP to the country's total industrial output [Bureau for Market Research, 1982:8, 9]. Therefore, within the South African context, the PWV area, or a sub-region within this area, forms an ideal territory for an investigation into external agglomeration economies. The term, (external} agglomeration economies, is well known, especially in the literature on industrial development. Confusion nevertheless exists regarding the meaning and extent of the term, because no generally accepted description or criterion exists for these economies. This gap results in uncertainty regarding the role of external agglomeration economies within metropolitan or urban areas, and especially its influence on intra-urban industrial development. The use of industrial linkages as a criterion for external agglomeration economies, is also a topic on which there is no general agreement. By making use of a conceptual framework, certain theoretical standpoints, as well as empirical findings on industrial location, external agglomeration economies and industrial linkages have been integrated. In this way it was indicated that certain industrial linkages can potentially reflect external agglomeration economies. Consequently, four hypotheses -were developed to verify these standpoints. The two secondary hypotheses are aimed •at determining the linkage tendencies which could be associated with internal/external factors. The findings according to these hypotheses, confirm the theoretically-founded standpoint that: External agglomeration economies should not necessarily be associated only with local industrial linkages within urban areas where industries are located, but can extend over longer distances within metropolitan areas; Industrial linkages, which are used as a criterion for external agglomeration economies, must comply with certain requirements, and they must therefore be analysed on an individual basis. The two primary hypotheses are aimed at linking external agglomeration economies to certain industrial linkages. This has been accomplished by making use of the agglomeration orientation concept, which takes the abovementioned standpoints further. It has been found that 36% of the metal industries in Vanderbijlpark are meaningfully influenced by external agglomeration economies. Following this, and allowing for the character of the activities with which linkage takes place, the industrial linkages of agglomeration orientated metal industries have been assigned, to the various components of external agglomeration economies, viz: Urbanization economies - Localization economies Industrial complex economies. It has been found that industrial complex economies and localization economies are of greater importance to metal industries in Vanderbijlpark than urbanization economies. This finding is in accordance with the metal-orientated industrial character of the area. The findings in this study suggest that quantifiable industrial linkages can thus be used to obtain greater clarity regarding the influence of external agglomeration economies within urban areas.