Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Deputy Minister Andries Nel has participated in the Second International Conference on National Urban Policy, in France.
During the four-day conference, which kicked off earlier this week at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) headquarters in Paris, France, the Deputy Minister participated in the Ministers and Mayors dialogue session.
“The purpose of the urban policy conference was to consider in a global forum the role of national urban policies in the implementation of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and the New Urban Agenda (NUA),” said the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) on Friday.
The Deputy Minister said the conference that began with a plenary looked at managing global urbanisation, offered a platform for shared experience and shared learning between countries.
Preliminary talks, led by Deputy Minister Nel and members of OECD Directorates, focused on urban development and the urban economy. This initiated further conversations on South African and OECD knowledge exchange and cooperation.
The mayors and ministers from countries like Cameroon, Chile, the Czech Republic, and Guinea, amongst others, discussed value processes and features of National Urban Policies (NUP) for strengthening the role of cities in sustainable development.
“This session enabled delegates to identify common issues and good practices in these policy areas, with a global linking thread being the focus on the urban challenge to combat rising inequality, and the platforms to be utilized to forge an inclusive city,” said the department.
In addition, Deputy Minster Nel also highlighted South Africa’s urban policy — the Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF). 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 for people.
Deputy Minister Nel highlighted the specificities of the legacy of apartheid spatial planning and how South Africa urgently needs to transform its national space economy to bring about spatial justice and inclusivity.
This objective he said, which resonates from the country’s National Development Plan (NDP), informs the vision of the IUDF.
Having described the key elements of the IUDF in respect to its objectives and levers, the Deputy Minister emphasised the importance of integrated spatial planning between all spheres and sectors, and how these plans must guide investments, and build stakeholder support and participation in the implementation of the national urban agenda by multiple role-players.