The Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Honourable Des van Rooyen, attended the Geomatics Indaba 2016 that was held today (13 September 2016) at the Emperors Palace at Ekurhuleni Metro in Gauteng. The conference was held under the theme – “Geomatics skills and technologies: Growing professionals to secure our future”.
The Minister addressed the Indaba acknowledging the vital role played by the South African surveying and Geospatial community in facilitating municipal service delivery and infrastructure planning.
Speaking to the delegates, the Minister said – “Your work provides a good opportunity to strengthen strategic initiatives in our department, where we work with municipalities primarily through the Back to Basics (B2B) programme, enhancing forward planning and the implementation of the Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF), as well as Infrastructure planning and investment.
“The system used by Stats SA and the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services system during the recent 2016 Local Government elections that was rolled out to provide addresses to households and voters without formal addresses is an important for the country”, said Minister van Rooyen. This system which was used previously by Stats SA during the census, was able to provide geo-coded addresses to those that requires them.
Through the efforts of the geospatial community, the constitutional court judgement was complied with, especially in Tlokwe. “Going forward, we believe that through your assistance, we will continue to comply with the constitutional court judgement within the prescribed 18 months period”, said Minister.
Informal settlements and rural areas make it difficult to provide every citizen with a formal addresses as about 8 million dwellings do not have a formal address. In May this year the IEC indicated that it did not have proper addresses for 46 percent of the almost 26,3 million registered voters and this remain our concern and task that we should deliver on within the timeframes outlined by the court.
The Municipal Systems Act requires that local government should ensure integrated development planning in its areas of jurisdiction and endorses the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) as the principal strategic planning instrument, which guides and informs all planning, development and decisions in the municipality. In addition, the IDP should also include the Spatial Development Framework (SDF), which is a core component of a municipality’s economic, sectoral, spatial, social, institutional and environmental vision.
The Minister also indicated that on a municipal scale, there is a dire need to track new developments, ability to track trends in terms of settlement growth patterns in order to enhance proper planning. There is also a need to be able to identify vacant land, monitor encroachments, identify geo-technical hazardous land as well as determine illegal land uses in the space.
In terms of land-use planning, the Minister indicated that it is important to regulate land use in an efficient and ethical way as it requires the intervention of land surveyors to ensure that there are no conflicts in that area. He further indicated that CoGTA is in a process of rolling out a GIS Capacity support programme which focuses on implementing the following core areas:
- GIS Institutionalisation and Training (This includes the deployment of interns to municipalities to support the institutionalisation process. The interns will receive intensive training during the deployment process and also be supported to register with the relevant registration body e.g. Plato. Mentors will also be assigned to them).
- Enhancing GIS data quality
- Enhancing the GIS analytical capabilities of our municipalities
- GIS infrastructure Support
The Minister sounded a clarion call and encouraged communities to go Back to Basics, build sustainable partnerships and create an enabling environment for municipal service delivery & infrastructure planning to take place and flourish.
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