Original Research

The South African developmental landscape: restricted potentials or expansive, complex adaptive opportunities?

C J Burman, R Mamabolo, A Aphane, P Lebese, P Delobelle
The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa | Vol 9, No 1 | a216 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/td.v9i1.216 | © 2013 C J Burman, R Mamabolo, A Aphane, P Lebese, P Delobelle | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 March 2016 | Published: 31 July 2013

About the author(s)

C J Burman, The Development Facilitation and Training Institute (DevFTI), University of Limpopo, South Africa
R Mamabolo, The Development Facilitation and Training Institute (DevFTI), University of Limpopo, South Africa
A Aphane, The Development Facilitation and Training Institute (DevFTI), University of Limpopo, South Africa
P Lebese, The Rural Development and Innovation Hub, University of Limpopo, South Africa
P Delobelle, Department of Public Health, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium

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Abstract

This article argues that the South African developmental landscape is currently locked into an overly technical, path dependent paradigm that is unlikely to be capable of embracing the complex challenges identified by the recent National Development Plan. The article explores the internal logic of the existing path dependent, technical condition from the perspective of complexity, in the context of the Department of Science and Technology’s Fifth Grand Challenge and “continuous change”. It is argued that drawing ideas from complexity into future developmental trajectories can add value to the National Development Plan: Vision 2030, but to do so will require dynamic mind-set shifts across multiple developmental scales and interfaces if new approaches to managing development that embraces complexity, rather than denies it, is to emerge.

Keywords: development; complexity; path dependency; epistemological vigilance; sense-making; National Development Plan

Disciplines: Complexity Studies; Transdisciplinary studies; Management studies; Public management; Political studies; Economics; Development Studies


Keywords

development; complexity; path dependency; epistemological vigilance; sense- making, National Development Plan

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