Call to rethink SA cities, towns

2013-10-29 19:10

Cape Town - MPs were urged on Tuesday to involve their constituents in a national dialogue on the future shape of urban South Africa.

"I want to call on all members of this House, across party lines, to get involved - and also to involve their constituencies - in a national dialogue on the future of our cities and towns," Deputy Co-operative Governance Minister Andries Nel said in the National Assembly.

Referring to the recently released Integrated Urban Development Framework discussion document, he noted that six in 10 South Africans currently lived in urban areas. This figure would rise to seven in 10 by 2030.

"[And] those [matriculants] who are writing exams today, when they reach retirement age after 2050, eight out of 10 of them will be living in urban areas."

Government was proposing a "national approach" toward dealing with urbanisation, including reversing "apartheid spatial patterns", he said.

The discussion document, tabled last week, refers to the "profound spatial, economic and social divides and inequalities" that mark the country's towns and cities, and calls for these to be arrested and reversed.

It was approved by Cabinet last month.

Nel said municipalities alone could not deal with the problem.

"We recognise that municipalities alone cannot deal with the challenges of urbanisation and the transformation of apartheid spatial patterns, that still persist in our towns and cities.

"We are proposing a national approach that brings together three spheres of government and all sectors of society. We need a national dialogue [on this matter]," he said.

  • Karlien Chantelle de Beer - 2013-10-29 19:59

    The easist way to win votes and the ugliest way to CONFUSE people with renaming street/town names :/ #confused

  • Timothy - 2013-10-29 20:25

    All the poor demand their stolen land back but also prefer urbanisation?

  • Ol Mabaso - 2013-10-29 20:43

    Calling for National Dialogue (?) or ... just a Monologue ?

  • Richard Scully - 2013-10-29 21:30

    A start would be to have most voted by the people and not the thieving corrupt ANC

  • Lara A. - 2013-10-30 02:50

    What does 'apartheid spatial patterns' mean?

      Lydon Daniel McGrane - 2013-10-30 08:33

      The development of large, dense townships on the outskirts of cities, served by inadequate public transport, while middle class low-density suburbs are allowed to grow rampantly, served by highways and very little to no public transport. It's expensive, unsustainable and the cause of many of our urban issues today.

      Sht Stirrer - 2013-10-30 10:25

      Lydon, is anyone prohibited to go and live in the middle class suburbs? No. A lot of people who can afford middle class suburbs actually PREFER to live in the townships. It's a cultural thing.

  • Andrew M - 2013-10-30 07:12

    What is this about, is South Africa the only country in the world where towns and cities have differences in wealth. People migrate to the places they can afford and find employment to suit their lifestyle. Apartheid has nothing to do with this, so stop living in the past. Make it more affordable to all citizens not as at present where due to total mismanagement by government the costs have risen to the point of making people poorer. Except if one is in Government be it central, provincial or municipal and hold a gravy train office. The creation of the large mega type cities has also exacerbated the problem where little or no control is or can be exerted. So back to the drawing board and allow for smaller towns where the officials are accountable to the residents and not a political party.

      Mc Apple - 2013-10-30 07:35

      The ANC wants RDP houses and hostels in high value areas. It also means they want to give blacks “special prices” and “special loans” so that they can buy into these areas even though they can’t afford it. I also know of one development in a high value area where the developer is trying to build a hostel to accommodate “single” people and I think everyone knows what will happen there. Say goodbye to your property value. On the other hand this will probably lead to more self contained and self reliant developments outside the borders of towns. I know of one town where this idea is already being discussed, land has been earmarked, investors are lining up and I also know the ANC town council is stonewalling this specific development. Makes you wonder what they are really trying to achieve.

  • Junior Jay Tyala - 2013-10-30 08:33

    That's great and I support the initiative. TJ Tyala

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