DCoG Deputy Minister Andries Nel

Address by Deputy Minister Nel at the Metropolis Annual Meeting Media Launch

ADDRESS BY THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF COOPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS, MR ANDRIES NEL, on Implementing the Integrated Urban Development Framework to address global and national urban challenges at the

METROPOLIS ANNUAL MEETING MEDIA LAUNCH,

Nasrec, Johannesburg,

14 June 2018

 

Programme Director, Mr Mpho Nawa;

Premier of Gauteng, Hon David Makhura;

President of SALGA and UCLG, Cllr Parks Tau;

Secretary General of Metropolis, Mr Octavi de la Varga;

MECs present here today;

Director-General of Gauteng, Phindile Baleni;

Mayors;

Heads of Departments;

Members of the media;

Ladies and Gentlemen;

 

We join Premier Makhura in welcoming Metropolis to South Africa and to the province of Gauteng.

 

This important Metropolis annual meeting will take place from 26 to 29 August 2018 at the Sandton Convention Centre, shortly after we celebrate the centenary of Nelson Mandela and before we celebrate that of Albertina Sisulu.

 

President Nelson Mandela was born on 18 July 1918. Every year people across the world commemorate this day by performing 67 minutes of community service in memory of the 67 years that Nelson Mandela sacrificed struggling against injustice and oppression.

 

When receiving the Freedom of the City of Cape Town on 27 November 1997 Nelson Mandela said:

 

“We need such creativity to develop the City’s economy, to create jobs and resources for reconstruction and development.

 

To succeed in this we must harness all the energies and resources of our people. Your determination to build a partnership for development between government and the private sector is encouraging.

 

So too are the plans to integrate your booming informal business sector into the City’s mainstream economy. Not only will this boost growth, but it will create real openings for those who were previously excluded from the world of business.

 

 

Like all our cities, and in some ways even more than others, Cape Town bears the scars of our past in its still largely separated residential areas, and the great disparity in the conditions and opportunities they offer.”

 

South Africa’s history and present has forced it to be at the forefront of the international urban agenda for the sake of our own future.

 

We cannot allow the grip of the past on the present to strangle and hold back our future.

 

The President of the United Cities and Local Government (UCLG), the world’s leading organisation for cities, local and regional governments, and municipal associations throughout the world, is none other than our very own Cllr Parks Tau.

 

Premier David Makhura is now the Co-President of Metropolis, the World Association of the Major Metropolises, the largest association of governments of major cities all over the world.

 

One of the defining features of the 21st century is that it is an Urban Century.

 

The UN Habitat III Conference of 2016 recognised urbanisation as a tool for development and set out the New Urban Agenda, which calls for sustainable urban development by rethinking how cities are planned, managed and inhabited.

 

South Africa’s own National Development Plan (NDP) sets the objective that by 2030 South Africa should observe meaningful and measurable progress in creating more functionally integrated, balanced and vibrant urban settlements.

 

The country’s national urban policy, the Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF) responds to, and also builds on various chapters of the NDP, particularly chapter 8, ‘Transforming human settlements and the national space economy’.

 

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 by addressing current urban inefficiencies as outlined in the NDP.

 

The IUDF aims to guide the development of inclusive, resilient and liveable urban settlements, while directly addressing the unique conditions and challenges facing South Africa’s cities and towns.

 

It thus provides a framework for reorganising the urban system so that cities and towns can become more inclusive, safe, productive and resource efficient, thus becoming good places to work and live in.

 

The IUDF challenges our traditional forms of urban planning, and urges us to change, and change quickly.

 

As UN Habitat has pointed out in its analysis of how we need to implement the New Urban Agenda, globally, cities and human settlements are being refashioned by economic and demographic growth, migration, climate risks, disruptive technologies and social fragmentation.

 

 

We have to challenge the way we have been doing things because, and I quote from a UN Habitat Publication, on integrated planning, called Leading Change:

 

“We’ll need to do a better job managing this planet of cities over the next decades than we did during the last few. The next half-century presents our last and only opportunity to get urbanization right. As we welcome hundreds of millions of people into our cities in the coming decades, we’ll need our best tools to craft them into the cities we, and the planet, need.”

 

To this extent, our spatial plans, our integrated development planning approaches, and our land use management systems must be sufficiently agile to respond to this reality.

 

Failure to do this will make it impossible for us to reverse the stubborn apartheid spatial planning legacy and leave our communities in desperate conditions.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

Responsive, differentiated and spatially informed integrated planning is essential if we wish to spatially transform South Africa.

 

The effective implementation of the IUDF is thus dependent on all our partners mainstreaming the discipline of integrated planning across spheres and sectors, and promoting sustainable land use in the interests of appropriate development that meets the needs of the people.

 

We are making progress, but much more needs to be done, and we need to do it faster.

 

In February 2018, COGTA presented a progress report on the IUDF to a joint sitting of Cabinet committees.

 

Whilst the report was well received, President Cyril Ramaphosa challenged us to be bolder and more ambitious and much more deliberate in how we manage   intergovernmental, multi-sectoral cooperation for managing urbanisation. In particular we were directed to return with an action plan and institutional arrangements.

 

President Ramaphosa has urged us to move from developing an Integrated Urban Development Framework to leading an Integrated Urban Development Revolution.

 

This is a collective responsibility, and involves each and every one of us.

 

Our IUDF Implementation Plan is being updated and sharpened to give effect to the President’s call for bolder, more integrated implementation based on a firmer institutional foundation.

 

It will be aligned the New Urban Agenda, adopted at Habitat III in 2016, by over 150 countries.

 

Here we must thank the Department of Human Settlements, for their outstanding leadership of the New Urban Agenda development process, and for their continuing close partnership and collaboration with COGTA on this critical agenda.  

 

In short, the IUDF Implementation Plan adopts an ‘all of government, all of society’ implementation approach, that we are working consistently to bring into force.

 

We are deepening our partnerships with many technical cooperation partners, private enterprises and academic institutions, and trust that closer engagement with communities will also assist us all to better understand what makes a space ‘liveable’ and ‘safe’ for all South Africans.

 

Momentum is building across the country: SALGA continues to be active partners, managing a significant programme built upon deepening support along the rural-urban interface, through the Small Town Regeneration programme, which focuses on 65 smaller urban places to regenerate, restore and strengthen small town economies. This recognises the role of small towns, which play an important role in anchoring rural economies.

 

Furthermore, COGTA continues to work and partner with National Treasury on the successful City Support Programme, which provides targeted support to the eight metros to build the capacities and linkages for cities to really lead the development of more inclusive, productive and sustainable environments.

The support programme follows an outcomes-based and results-focused approach underpinned by the development of the Built Environment Performance Plans, which are key in helping cities to drive an urban programme that delivers specific spatial objectives in areas of jurisdiction.

 

We have also developed and are implementing the Intermediate City Municipality (ICM) Programme, which is a support initiative for, over the medium term, 39 identified intermediary municipalities. The ICM programme is supported by the World Bank and SECO (Swiss Government aid).

 

The ICM support programme focuses on four areas, which include:

 

  • Improving Integrated Development Plans (IDPs) and spatial development frameworks (SDFs); Linking sound SDFs and longer term development plans to the 10-year capital expenditure frameworks (CEF);
  • Putting in place a grant framework (such as the Integrated Urban Development Grant), which incentivizes integrated and compact development;
  • Sustaining investments in the right places over time, via better project and programme preparation and better multi-year implementation management;
  • Outcome focused monitoring that tracks impact.

 

Two municipalities were identified as intermediary city pilots i.e. Polokwane and uMhlathuze, with whom the IUDF team have developed very positive relationships, at both city and provincial levels.

 

Diagnostic assessments have been completed in both pilots, focusing on Spatial Planning, Infrastructure asset management, and delivery management and Capital Expenditure Framework Support. These diagnostics provide the insights needed to implement interventions that will lead to achieving our IUDF goals and outcomes.

 

Ladies and gentlemen,

 

The IUDF Political Steering Committee, that is chaired by COGTA and comprises of deputy ministers from many sectors departments, provides political oversight, support and guidance on the implementation of the IUDF.

 

We believe that South Africa needs to think differently about how to plan and build sustainable cities, towns, small towns and villages.

 

We have seen that an agenda for making local government an environment of hope and opportunity for all residents will need to cover many issues, including infrastructure, housing, transport, finance, governance and regulation. We need the Back to Basics (B2B) programme to forge the baselines for functionality in all these areas.  

 

The IUDF clearly states that, as a principle for how we manage our sustainable development opportunities, we must more strongly commit, to the ‘all-of-society, all of government’ approach.

 

Let us therefore prioritise the importance of partnerships for capable, sustainable, and developmental local government.

 

Let us work with communities, with civil society, with every organ of state, and with the private sector to make sustainable local government an experienced reality for all South Africans.

 

The urbanisation challenges that South Africa faces are not dissimilar to those of many African cities across the continent. We are glad that African metropoles will meet prior to the Metropolis Annual Meeting in August, to find common ground and agree on a way forward.

 

It is vital that African voices are heard in the conversations on urbanisation. After all, we have the most to gain, or lose, should we fail to take advantage of the opportunities that the Metropolis Meeting provides.

 

Certainly if we are to collectively achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 11 to ‘Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable,’ it is crucial that we work together.

 

I thank you.