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SALGA convenes annual Small Towns Regeneration Conference in De Aar, Northern Cape

Posted: 11 July 2017


SALGA is hosting the 2nd Karoo Small Town Regeneration and Regional Economic Development Conference under the theme “The Karoo: Small Towns. New Futures”, at Emthanjeni Local Municipality in the Northern Cape from 10-11 July.

The Small Town Regeneration (STR) and Regional Economic Development (RED) initiative has been one of the flagship initiatives of SALGA since 2014/15. It is aimed at influencing municipalities to target small towns as entry points to effective spatial transformation, stimulate economic growth, create employment and make optimum use of available services and resources. 

This gathering is aimed at reporting on the progress made since the 2016 Karoo Conference and plans for the future.

Northern Cape Premier Sylvia Lucas, MEC for the Department of Roads and Public Works honourable Mxolisi Sokhatsha as well as Mayor Hilaria Mukapuli from the Local Council of Luderitz municipality in Namibia are part of the conference delegates.

Guests were welcomed by the Mayor of Emthanjeni Local Municipality, Councillor Sipho S’thonga who urged all role players involved in the initiative to assist in coming up with innovative ways of generating revenue to these small towns. “We must carefully look at opportunities that these areas possess so that they can be harnessed for maximum benefit by our communities”, S’thonga added.

National Executive Committee Member, Councillor Deon De Vos said the STR initiative is SALGA’s priority programme aimed at fulfilling the economic potential of small towns to promote a better quality of life for people dwelling in these towns. “We, therefore, encourage inter-municipal cooperation for the development of the Karoo,” said De Vos.

Northern Cape Premier, Sylvia Lucas declared government support to the STR and RED initiative.
"The STR and RED venture should be lauded from all its quarters for its relevance and innovation; small towns serve as the entry to the markets for the Farming Communities; small towns are the pathways to the livelihoods of hundreds of our people in the Karoo”, said Premier Lucas.

Other stakeholders who contributed to the programme by making insightful presentations were Centre for Scientific Industrial Research (CSIR), Square Kilometre Array (SKA), the South African Weather Services, University of Stellenbosch, the Municipal Demarcation Board as well as the departments of Water and Sanitation, Agriculture and Environmental Affairs.

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