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BRICS is in town to tackle urbanisation challenges

Date: 2023-07-31 15:51:48

BRICS is in town to tackle urbanisation challenges

 From left SALGA President Bheke Stofile, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Deputy Minister Parks Tau, Housing and Urban Rural Development Vice Minister Qin Haixiang, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Thembi Nkadimeng, eThekwini Deputy Mayor Councillor Zandile Myeni, and Director General for Housing and Urban Affairs Kuldip Narayan at the BRICS Urbanisation Forum held at the Durban ICC on 26 and 27 July. INSERT: An artists impression of the waterfront.

ETHEKWINI Municipality was the proud host of the BRICS Urbanisation Forum held at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre on 26 and 27 July. The opening day of the forum was characterised by sustainability, solidarity, cooperation, and innovative ideas to counterattack urbanisation. The forum was held under the theme ‘Advancing, strengthening and building urban resilience.’ The task of BRICS member states is to play a significant role in localising the Sustainable Development Goals and implementing actions at a local level to address challenges related to sustainable development, urban resilience, and rapid urbanisation.

Preceding the forum were site visits by a delegation of member countries to the City’s interventions to create a resilient City. The delegation visited the Brickworks Project, the Cato Ridge Multi Model Development Project, the New Durban Bay Waterfront and Marina Project, and the KwaMashu River Rehabilitation and Recycling Project. Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Thembi Nkadimeng said sharing best practices on the implementation of resilient infrastructure, energy, and climate change scenarios could enhance cities capabilities on urbanisation and climate change. “Collective commitment is required to inspire change to create urban resilience for the benefit of future generation,” said Minister Nkadimeng. 

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube congratulated South Africa for being nominated to be BRICS Chairperson in January this year. She said this is an opportunity to cement global partnerships for the adoption of climate-smart agriculture, sustainable urbanisation, and continued investment in industrial decarbonisation and building an environment that is safe and healthy for communities. 

President of the South African Local Government Association Bheke Stofile said climate change could strain the environment and jeopardise economic growth. He said cooperation in the implementation of practical programmes could be the lasting solution to mitigate urbanisation and climate change. EThekwini Deputy Mayor Councillor Zandile Myeni in her welcome address acknowledged the impact climate change and urbanisation are having throughout the world. She said the BRICS Urbanisation Forum comes at a time when cities around the world are grappling with rapid urbanisation and struggling to meet the service delivery demands due to the increase in population.