Nel: SA making progress in urbanisation policy

South Africa has made significant inroads in the implementation of the country’s Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF) policy, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Deputy Minister Andries Nel says.

Nel recently met with Swiss Ambassador Raymond Furrer, who is the head of the Swiss Economic Cooperation and Development (SECO) in Bern.

Cogta said the purpose of the engagement was to discuss matters related to the implementation of the policy and the support Switzerland can offer.

The IUDF seeks to foster a shared understanding across government and society about how best to manage urbanisation and achieve the goals of economic development, job creation and improved living conditions for South Africans.

Also in the Swiss delegation were Switzerland Ambassador to South Africa Helene Budliger Artieda and SECO head Davorka Shepherdand and her deputy in the country, Gerhard Pienaar.

During the meeting, Cogta said, Nel gave an overview of the progress made with regards to the implementation of the IUDF and indicated that the policy is being rolled out in three areas. These are the City Support Programme by National Treasury; Intermediate City Municipalities (ICM) by Cogta and Small Town Regeneration (STR) through the South African Local Government Association (SALGA).

Nel emphasised that progress has been made on the implementation of the IUDF and governance structures have been established and are functional.

The ICM Support Programme has been developed and there is a pilot programme implemented in two municipalities, namely Polokwane and uMhlathuze.

Nel further stated that government’s approach is a solid consolidation towards bringing together all sectors – private and public, Cogta said.

Cogta said government is also prioritising coordinating partnerships effectively and mobilising private resources. An example of this is Anglo American being brought on board on the ICMs, with specific reference to mining towns.

Furrer said there are similarities between the two countries in terms of spatial development. The Swiss government, he said, is also developing into urbanisation and they are also learning how to manage space in urban areas.

Furrer also emphasised that they are happy with President Cyril Ramaphosa’s acknowledgement of the importance of IUDF. There is lot of common ground between two countries and he appreciates the strong team between South Africa and the Swiss government, Cogta said.

The South African Cities Network (SACN) Urban Conference will be hosted from 30 – 31 October 2018 in Gauteng.

Nel and Furrer agreed that both countries will look at what is feasible in terms of investing in learning from each other’s institutions, capacity building and implementation towards ICMs.

Source: South African Government News Agency