The Karoo Region

The Karoo Region is a unique and awe-inspiring ecological, physical, social, cultural, and economic phenomenon stretching over four provinces in the South African landscape. The Karoo Regional Spatial Development Framework (RSDF) aims to apply regional scale thinking, conceptualisation and planning to the region in order to (1) harness the full development potential of the region in a sustainable and transformative way, and (2) address the shared, large scale regional challenges, such as climate change, poverty, inequality, and unequal access to, and participation in the economy.

List of Participating Municipalities

The Karoo RSDF will focus on regional attributes, characteristics, dynamics, flows and processes:

Regional development drivers and threats

Regional spatial economics, interactions, and flows

Regional settlement histories and futures

Regional institutional alignment and cooperation


In 2013 the Small-Town Regeneration (STR) programme was commissioned by SALGA, aiming to regenerate, restore and fulfil the economic potential of underperforming small towns. The STR initiative evolved towards a regional approach and in 2015 the first Karoo STR came about, calling for a regional outlook where there is a shift away from administrative regions to economic and functional regions. The Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act (2013) allows for the creation of a regional spatial development framework for a circumscribed geographical area characterised by distinctive economic, social or natural features which may not correspond to the administrative boundaries of provinces or municipalities. During the period of 2013 and 2017 the support of Premiers and municipal councils situated in the Western Cape, Free-State, Northern Cape and Eastern Cape were solicited and the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development was approach to develop a regional spatial development framework for the area.