The Deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), honourable Andries Nel addressed the High-level International Forum on Sustainable Urban Development held in Chengdu Municipality, Sichuan Province, People’s Republic of China on 21 July 2017.
“The late Former President Nelson Mandela said that we need creativity to develop the City’s economy, to create jobs and resources for reconstruction and development”, said Deputy Minister Nel.
It is important that we succeed in ensuring the development of the city’s economy by harnessing all the energies and resources of our people, hence the importance of building a partnership for development between government and the private sector. To this effect, we all have a role to implement the New Urban Agenda and make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
He urged that all must strive to ensure that the most rapidly developing cities in the world develop sustainably as this is of vital importance to our planet. DM Nel mentioned the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which represents a universal, transformative and integrated development plan. The successful implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, the New Urban Agenda, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction are mutually dependent and reinforcing. Their implementation requires of us to strengthen collaboration in international organisations and multilateral mechanisms.
The Johannesburg Summit of the Forum for China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) that was held in December 2015 committed itself actively to explore the linkages between China’s initiatives of building the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road – the Belt and Road Initiative – and Africa’s economic integration and sustainable development agenda, and seek more opportunities to promote common development and realise our common dreams.
The main challenge is still in Africa as its cities are still highly spatially fragmented due to colonial planning systems, and in South Africa, apartheid planning policies. South Africa adopted an Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF) in April 2016 as a direct response to this challenges. The IUDF marks a New Deal for South African cities and towns and sets out the policy framework for transforming and restructuring our country’s urban spaces, guided by the vision of creating “liveable, safe, resource efficient cities and towns that are socially integrated, economically inclusive and globally competitive, where residents actively participate in urban life.”
In conclusion, DM Nel called for leadership and strong political will to ensure a highly coordinated, systematic, collaborative and people centred approach by the various levels of government, labour, business, and citizens.
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