Yesterday we celebrated Africa Day. Over a third of Africa’s one billion inhabitants currently live in urban areas. By 2030 that proportion will have risen to a half. According the UN the population of some cities is set to swell by up to 85% in the next 15 years. The most populous city, Cairo, will grow by 23% to 13.5m people. By 2025, however, it will have been overtaken by both Lagos (15.8m) and Kinshasa (15m).
Africa has a rich history of great cities such as Timbuktu, Great Zimbabwe and Mapungubwe.
SA cities are shaped by the apartheid legacy of racial segregation, poverty, exclusion from social and economic opportunities. Despite phenomenal service delivery gains since 1994, spatial patterns in SA have stubbornly resisted transformation.
SA is urbanising rapidly. UN estimates that 71.3% of SA population will live in urban areas by 2030. Nearly 80% by 2050. SA urban population is growing larger and younger. Two-thirds of SA youth live in urban areas.
Cities and large towns produce over 80% of the national gross value added. Metros are growing twice as fast as other cities. Towns have much higher (by about 40%) average incomes, compared to the country as a whole.
Employment grew twice as fast in metros. Between 1996 and 2012, metros accounted for 75% of all net jobs created in SA. Despite this ‘urbanisation of poverty’ is increasing, especially in townships, informal settlements and inner cities.
Urban areas are dynamically linked to rural areas – flows of people, natural and economic resources. Urban and rural areas are becoming increasingly integrated, as a result of better transport, communications and migration. Interdependence of rural and urban spaces needs a comprehensive, integrated approach to urban development.
High concentrations of people, buildings and infrastructure, increases risk to natural disasters, climate change and variability. Reducing urban risk is critical to achieving sustainable urban growth. Safety, particularly in public spaces, is an essential ingredient for the creation of live-able and prosperous cities.
Urban spaces need to be designed and managed in a way that makes citizens feel safe from violence and crime.
We realise the urban dividend when people, jobs, livelihood opportunities and services are aligned. The IUDF seeks to unlock the synergy that comes from coordinated investments in people and places.
We want cities to be inclusive, resilient and liveable. The IUDF marks a new deal for South African cities and towns.
The IUDF builds on the National Development Plan and its vision for urban South Africa. The NDP places ‘transforming human settlements and the national space economy’ at its centre. By 2030 SA should see reviving rural areas and creating more integrated, balanced and vibrant urban settlements.
To achieve this the country must clarify and relentlessly pursue a national vision for spatial development. We must sharpen the instruments to achieve this vision and build the required capabilities in the state and among citizens.
The IUDF aims to guide development of inclusive, resilient and liveable urban settlements.
It provides a new approach to urban investment by the developmental state, guiding the private sector and households.
Vision: Live-able, safe, efficient cities – socially integrated, economically inclusive and residents participate actively in urban life.
IUDF vision recognises that SA has different types of cities and towns, which have different roles and requirements. IUDF vision must be interpreted and pursued in differentiated and locally relevant ways.
To achieve this vision, four strategic goals are introduced: Access, growth, governance and spatial transformation.
Access: To ensure people have access to social and economic services, opportunities and choices.
Growth: To harness urban dynamism for inclusive, sustainable economic growth and development.
Governance: To enhance the capacity of the state and its citizens to work together to achieve social integration.
Spatial transformation: To forge new spatial forms in settlement, transport, social and economic areas.
Implementing these goals requires 8 policy levers that are premised on an understanding that:
(1) Spatial planning forms the basis for achieving integrated urban development.
(2) Integrated transport informs (3) targeted investments into integrated human settlements, underpinned by, (4) Integrated infrastructure systems and (5) efficient land governance, which jointly can trigger (6) economic diversification and inclusion, and (7) empowered communities, which will demand (8) deep governance reform to enable and sustain the above.
The IUDF policy levers address in combination all of the structural drivers that promote the status quo.
Integrated spatial planning is essential for coherent development – a more rational organisation and use of urban spaces. We must guide investments and encourage prudent use of land and natural resources to build sustainable communities.
Integrated transport and mobility is a vital component of South Africa’s economic infrastructure investment. Integrated transport contributes to denser and more efficient urban form, economic and social development, and strengthens rural-urban links.
Integrated human settlements are key to redressing apartheid geography, restructuring cities, shifting ownership profiles. We need to create more humane, environment-friendly, safe living and working conditions.
Integrated urban infrastructure must be resource efficient and provide for universal access and more inclusive economic growth. Urban infrastructure must be strong enough to meet industrial, commercial and household needs. Urban infrastructure must support an efficient and equitable urban form and facilitate access to social and economic opportunities.
Municipalities and private investors have a vested interest in land value remaining stable and increasing. But property values reflect apartheid spatial patterns and mono-functional use – this must change to promote spatial transformation. Efficient land governance and management will contribute to the growth of inclusive and multi-functional urban spaces.
Inclusive economic development is the backbone the NDP’s economic policy to deal with poverty, unemployment and inequality.
Cities cannot succeed without the energy of citizens. The power of cities stems from bringing together social and cultural diversity. Democratic-citizenship is at the core of the ‘active citizenship’ agenda advocated by the NDP. Empowering communities will transform the quality of urban life.
Complexities of urban governance include managing dynamics within the city, with the province and neighbouring municipalities. City governments must manage many fiscal, political and accountability tensions to fulfill their developmental and growth mandates.
The result of success will be inclusive, resilient and liveable urban spaces – of failure will be a nation living together separately.
The IUDF is being consulted on extensively. The final draft will be complete by November 2015.
We thank the Deputy Ministers in the IUDF political oversight committee for their continued guidance and wisdom.
They are Finance, Human Settlements, Water & Sanitation, Rural Development and Land Reform, Transport, Environmental Affairs, Economic Development.
We also thank partners in academia and business, SA Cities Network, SALGA, international partners GIZ and EU.
But spatial transformation and rapid urbanization cannot wait for policies to be completed.
Gil Scott-Heron said, “The revolution will not be televised, it will be live.” Urbanisation is also very live. It will not be televised.
The 2015/16 budget already realigns public spending to support spatial restructuring of our urban areas by:
Modifying the infrastructure grant system to support mixed-use, mixed-income precincts. Performance-based allocations to reward cities that demonstrate progressive changes in their urban form, improve access to basic services, reduce barriers to social and economic opportunity, and
Refocusing the Neighbourhood Development Programme to support development of economic hubs in large urban townships.
Treasury is working with metropolitian municipalities on initiatives such as the Corridors of Freedom in Johannesburg, Metro South East Corridor in Cape Town and Cornubia mixed-income commercial and residential area in eThekwini.
Many elements of the Back-to-Basics approach are meant to improve the capacity of our cities to manage urbanisation.
We urge the committee to input into the IUDF.
Success or failure with spatial transformation and integrated urban development will mean the difference between being a nation united in our diversity or being people living together separately.
SOURCE: South African Official News