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Demographic trends and exploitation of natural resources in South Africa - Essay Example

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Demographic trends and exploitation of natural resources in South Africa Name: Class: Professor: Institution: Demography and demographic trends are an important source of information to both students and academicians at large especially in the fields of Social Sciences, Politics and Policymaking and the Economic and Planning sectors…
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Demographic trends and exploitation of natural resources in South Africa
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Download file to see previous pages 372). Resources are also a contributing factor to the spread and settlement of a population; this is because the availability of the resources means the availability of job opportunities for both the local populations and other migrant workers. Even though contraceptive use and family planning are crucial and useful to reduce fertility, they are only palliative solution because of the built-in population momentum. To grapple with the myriad youthful population growth at hand, socioeconomic factors such as poverty alleviation (people exploit the resources because they are poor and poverty encourage large family as a hedge against mortality, disease such as AIDS, to provide more workers and to ensure social security) and enhance the status of women should be considered. The environment is an essential tool here because it provides resources that influence demographic issues. Africa as a whole is experiencing a bust of sustainable growth and development- in both the rural and urban settings. Although still largely rural, the experience of major changes in terms of population composition and their distribution has had both positive and negative implications on the environment and on the continents’ development (Hassan, 2005, p. 222). Challenging, is the critical task of ensuring better and more equitable sustenance and provision of returns to the people, while at the same time taking care of the environment through proper exploitation and little or no degradation due to either farming or resource exploitation. The changing demography, particularly, the shift towards a younger age structure of the population, a high rate of urbanization and a steadily rising population size, in relation to economic growth are critical drivers of their economies and contribute to the environmental change that the continent is experiencing. It is thus critical to address the issue of population growth and the resultant structural changes, to reduce the spread of environmental degradation (Hassan, 2005). Each passing year, the population increases, but the amount of natural resources with which to sustain this growth in population, to improving the quality of lives and to better stand a chance of eliminating poverty still remain finite(LLC, 2010, p. 12). This in itself causes an increase in the challenges that face the sustainability of development. Demographic change contributes heavily to “land-cover change” with its most direct and primary impact being the opening up of new land for agricultural activities, for the settlement of new populations, for infrastructural expansion and development and for the mining and logging industries. Urbanization, that is rated to be increasingly rapidly, places strain on both infrastructure and other services. This is due to the fact that majority of the newly urbanized live in slums. There is thus, a growing and urgent need for integrated approaches to environmental planning and management (LLC, 2010, p. 12). South Africa is situated in the south of the continent of Africa and as a country; it is endowed with resources that are critical to its economic wellbeing. Its economy has been driven by its primary sectors – ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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