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Small Town Regeneration Strategy

The Department of Cooperative Governance (DCoG), acting as the implementing agent of the Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF), has embarked on a review of the existing Small Town Regeneration Programme (STR). Since the commission of the STR in 2013/2014 and the adoption of the IUDF in 2016, there have been varying degrees of success and important lessons to be learnt. 

The DCoG has therefore found it necessary to assess and review the success of the programme in the initial 18 identified towns and thereafter facilitate a coherent, revised, and implementable strategy that is aligned with the IUDF, as well as new national initiatives, such as the District Development Model (DDM), Cities Support Programme (CSP) and Intermediate Cities Municipalities Programme (ICM).

To bring about decisive spatial transformation and simultaneously manage the growing urban population, without neglecting the rural poor, South Africa (SA) can either:

  1.  Invest more in major cities to accommodate migrants and to avoid worsening urban poverty; 
  2. Sustain (or expand) rural investment to provide poor rural households with employment and income opportunities; and 
  3. Due to the stronger connections to the rural poor, invest in towns and secondary cities (Arndt, Davies & Thurlow, 2018:1).

In view of the above, the following research problems will be investigated to obtain an understanding of what can be done to bring about decisive spatial transformation and regeneration in SA’s small towns:

  • What are the blockages in the regeneration of small towns?
  • How can regeneration that is sustainable and progressive towards development in small towns be promoted?
  • How can current attempts to regenerate small towns in SA be improved?

You can download a copy of the STR Strategy