Much has been written about the persistence of economic apartheid, inscribed in the geography of South Africa's cities, producing spatial configurations that are reminiscent of the old order of segregation while simultaneously embodying the particular inequities and divisions of the new neo-liberal order (Turok 2001; Harrison 2006). Through an ethnographic study of Rustenburg, the urban hub of South Africa's platinum belt (once labelled the ‘fastest growing city in Africa’ after Cairo), I explore how the failure of urban integration maps onto the failure of the promise of market inclusion. What is particular about mid-range towns such as Rustenburg is that the opportunities of ‘empowerment through enterprise’ are seen, or believed, to be all the more attainable than in large cities. Here the extended supply chains of the mining industry and the expanding secondary economy appear to offer limitless possibilities to share in the boons of the platinum boom. Yet as this account shows, the disjuncture and friction between corporate authority and local government have given rise to increasing fragmentation and exclusion, as only a very few are able to grasp the long-anticipated rewards of the new South African dream.