The Deputy Minister (DM) for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), Mr Andries Nel unpacked the Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF) at the Human Settlements Development Summit 2017 taking place from 21 – 22 September 2017. The summit is held under the theme – “Building our future today – ensuring liveable spaces for every family”.
“This Summit provides a valuable opportunity for dialogue with various sectors in addressing issues that were highlighted at the G77 and China grouping, namely: the persistent inequalities as the greatest challenge to sustainable development; the high proportion of population living in informal settlements, which co-exist with modern urban centres”, said DM Nel.
The New Urban Agenda adopted in Quito, Ecuador, in 2016, by over 150 countries, informally termed as Habitat III, ix one of the key milestone towards achieving urban development agenda.
The second commitment is the Common African Position (CAP) adopted at Abuja in February 2016, calls for collective effort to address the many new and emerging challenges to sustainable urbanisation and human settlements. The CAP also acknowledges the multi-sectoral nature of urbanisation and human settlements development, and the need to adopt and integrated and holistic approach in building collaborations, partnerships and alliances with relevant government departments and institutions, as well as engagement with relevant stakeholders. DM Nel said that “This insight resonates totally with our business here at the Summit”.
South Africa developed the Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF) whose implementation plan represent a significant milestone and framing instrument. The Implementation Plan provides a very useful starting point for identification of common priorities and objectives for government during the current term of government and beyond. These objectives are highly intergovernmental in practice, involving multi-level government and interdisciplinary commitments.
Deputy Minister said that “Priorities articulated in our global agreements, the IUDF, and the various sector policies will begin to converge under the unifying banner of sustainable urbanisation. It is thus through this ‘harnessing of forces’ together with our partners and stakeholders, that we can say with confidence that our localised urban agenda will indeed reflect the ‘transformative commitments’ of the global New Urban Agenda”.
Urbanisation must be a positive experience and one that can bring the dignity of secure shelter, decent services, a safe and healthy environment, and economic opportunity for all South Africans.
From the discussions, it became clear that implementation of the urban agenda which is global call to action for cities is important as it encourages more coordinated efforts from all stakeholders. Stakeholders such as UN Habitat who adopted the new urban agenda, the private sector, governments and other organisations all play an important role in the realisation of the new urban agenda.
The summit is indeed a necessary opportunity for all stakeholders and role-players within this sector of urban development to discuss challenges and also plan going forward, whilst continuing to implement interventions.
It is important that this summit also focused on the demands of rapid urbanisation which is inclusive of the rapidly growing settlements in South Africa.
The DM Nel participated in the Commission on “Implementing South Africa’s National Urban Policy: Towards integrated and sustainable urbanization”. This Commission affirmed that everyone has a role to play in the implementation of the new urban agenda.
The Summit will end tomorrow (22 September 2017) and reports from commissions will be considered and further reflect on the way ahead.
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