SA facing rapid urbanisation over next three decades
The South African government has been urged to take a fresh approach to dealing with apartheid spatial planning in order to accommodate an expected urban population boom.
The South African Cities Network (SACN) on Friday released its State of Cities Report 2021, which shows the country’s population is expected to grow by between 19 and 24 million people by 2050, many of whom will live in cities or towns.
South Africa has been experiencing rapid urbanisation, with more than two-thirds of its population (in 2020) living in urban areas.
The SACN report examines people and households, the economy, social fabric, sustainability, city finance, service delivery, citizen engagement and transport.
It also takes a close look at the need for a whole-of-government and all-of-society approach to addressing problems and shortcomings, especially in light of the many financial, health, corruption and climate challenges faced by city authorities and their residents.
SACN Chief Executive Sithole Mbanga said given that cities were crucial for global development, their performance in delivering basic services and positive development outcomes was inextricably linked to the wellbeing of their citizens, regions, countries and the world.
Mbanga said co-operative governance and all-of-society practice was integral to service delivery and overcoming challenges.
“In order for cities to meet their objectives of becoming more economically and socially inclusive, sustainable and spatially transformed, a whole-of-government and all-of-society approach is required.