Varsity course to help transform SA’s urban landscape

In an effort to realise spatial transformation, plans are underway to include the Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF) into the curricula of institutions of higher learning.

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.

On Thursday, the Deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), Andries Nel, met with the South African Council for Planners (SACPLAN) chairperson, Khetha Zulu and Chief Executive Officer Martin Lewis on the implementation and the realisation of the ideals of the IUDF.

President Cyril Ramaphosa urged the department to be bold in implementing IUDF and it should form part of urban revolution and redressing the spatial imbalances of the past. To this effect, we will work with all stakeholders to ensure the realisation spatial transformation within the democratic South Africa guided by the IUDF, said the Deputy Minister.

Various stakeholders such as the Department of Higher Education, Committee of Heads of Planning Schools and Local Government Sector Education and Training (LGSETA) discussed ways to include the IUDF into a module for institutions of higher learning.

Lewis said the IUDF is an important urbanisation policy in South Africa and organisations such as theirs are committed to ensure that the framework is integrated into their curricula.

A module will be developed and sufficient space will be available for institutions of higher learning to incorporate and evaluate what is required. An opportunity will also exist to address accreditation issues, said Lewis.

Issues discussed at the meeting included the need for training of planners on IUDF and capacity building; the curricula and accreditation by institutions of higher learning as well as partnerships and having a Memorandum of Understanding among the stakeholders.

The meeting underscored the need to work aggressively on the Back to Basics programme, particularly as CoGTA rolls up its sleeves to clean up municipalities following a report by the Auditor-General detailing the woes of 87 municipalities classified as dysfunctional or distressed with financial and governance challenges.

In light of this, Nel said district support teams will be deployed to these municipalities to look at the impact of spatial planning on service delivery in those municipal areas.

Source: South African Government News Agency