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4th State of the Cities report depicts a positive growth by South Africa’s Cities

Posted: 23 June 2016


The 4th State of the Cities report shows that South Africa’s Cities have been performing and are relatively well-governed, but they have functioned under dynamic and difficult circumstances, and therefore have had a mixed performance.

The report also shows that South Africa’s institutions and systems need to be reconfigured in order to support positive urban growth – something that is echoed strongly in the Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF).

This includes a shared recognition and appropriate support across government for the role of cities; better intergovernmental cooperation across the public spheres and sectors; conducive relations with the private sector; the strengthened role and constructive participation of an active civil society; and greater use of the knowledge industry.

The report also shows that cities and towns are the backbone of regional and rural economic networks. Cities and major towns are not only home to the majority of the population but are also the engine rooms of the South African economy – an estimated 57% of the formal economy is generated in the city-regions alone.

South Africa’s cities play key roles as a gateways to and/or anchors of spatial networks – connecting people, places, freight, logistics, financial, service, learning and institutional networks (ESPON, 2014). A 2014 analysis conducted by EDD and the CSIR (2014), which was based on a range of municipal and functional city area indicators, highlighted the critical role of cities as international, regional, and more localised networks.

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