SA cities cannot be allowed to fail - Nene

Johannesburg – Cities in South Africa are faced with many financial challenges which may be the reason some cities are on the “brink of collapse”, Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene said on Monday.

Speaking at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) forum, he said South Africa's cities cannot be allowed to fail. He encouraged delegates, mostly municipal managers, to build strong foundations to ensure that cities do not fail.

His remarks, combined with international factors, sent the rand down to R12.15/$, before the unit recovered somewhat to trade down 0.53% at R12.09/$ at 17:03.

"Cities are key to how we build a prosperous South Africa.

"South Africa is close to 70% urbanised and still growing, the assessment of the contribution shows that 80% of our GDP comes from our cities,” Nene said.  

Administration problems between local and national government also have to be addressed. Nene said the country needs more accountable leaders in municipalities that can ensure successful management of cities.

Nene also warned that political challenges can affect the rate of success of SA cities.

Nene also mentioned that economic development is key when addressing the triple challenges that can be found in the National Development Plan (NDP), namely poverty, inequality and unemployment .

“Achieving success in these areas requires that our cities are well governed,” he said.

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