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SA aiming for open cities
​Mayor Zandile Gumede and Deputy Minister of Human
Settlement Zoe Kota-Fredericks (left) with other mayors
from across Africa during the official handover of public
spaces in KwaMashu as part of World Cities Day
commemoration.
ETHEKWINI Municipality, together with other member states of the South African Cities Network, are two steps ahead of other countries in terms of attainment the New Urban Agenda.

This was revealed by Director of External Relations at the United Nations Habitat, Christine Musisi during the commemoration of World Cities Day held at Moses Mabhida Stadium on 31 October. Musisi said a year after the adoption of the New Urban Agenda at the Habitat III Conference in Quito, eThekwini Municipality together with the SA Cities Network is already moving towards localising the New Urban Agenda.

She said eThekwini is the first Municipality to host the commemoration of the World Cities Day in Africa. “This year’s theme is ‘Innovative Governance, Open Cities’ which aims to highlight the important role of urbanisation as a source of global development and social inclusion. We are proud that SA Cities Network is already unpacking the concept of open cities in the South African context.”
In 2013, the United Nations General Assembly designated 31 October as World Cities Day.

The international celebration and initiative aims to promote the international community’s interest in global urbanisation, to drive cooperation among countries with opportunities while addressing challenges of urbanisation as well as to contribute to sustainable urban development. President of the South African Local Government Association and United Cities and Local Government, Councillor
Parks Tau said the New Urban Agenda is both a vision and guide for addressing urbanisation and pursuing sustainable growth and the development of cities through 2036. “Our national urban policy, the Integrated Urban Development Framework, aligns well with the global developments agenda.

This agenda calls for a greater role for cities in driving economic growth, ensuring social cohesion and effecting spatial transformation.” Deputy Minister of Human Settlements Zoe Kota-Fredericks said South Africa is on the right path in terms of working towards an agreement on how the New Urban Agenda will be implemented.

Deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Andries Nel said the significance of innovative urban governance should not be underestimated. EThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede said while efforts to meet the needs of people within the context of the 2030 sustainable development agenda have been made, a number of areas needed continuous improvement. “We need to accelerate innovation around how we collectively govern cities.”

simphiwe.dlamini@durban.gov.za 
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