There has been significant growth in urban land cover over the past two decades mainly occurring on the suburban fridges of the GCR. It is essential to plan for the kind of growth trajectories and policies that promote spatial, mobility and energy efficiencies, as it is with ‘green’ infrastructure. The number of informal housing units not situated in backyards has decreased across the province, but the number of backyard dwellings has increased, reflecting the relentless population growth in the province. The number of households in Gauteng has grown by 31% between 2001 and 2011, compared to the rest of South Africa which grew by 20%.
Just over half (53%) of the GCRO’s Quality of Life Survey respondents in 2011 were enjoying a high or good quality of life. In the GCR 75% of whites enjoy good and high quality of life as opposed to 48% of African respondents. The city-region also sees high levels of marginalisation on an examination of psycho-social variables. Many are so alienated, hold such extreme views, and are so disconnected from mainstream life, that they are unlikely to be either identified or reached, or to benefit from existing types of help or assistance.