Population and Public Management in South African Cities

South Africa, as developing country is still in an urbanization stage with less than 65 per cent being urbanized. This puts significant strain on the existing management and future planning of towns and cities, who according to the country’s constitution, is responsible for all housing and land use matters. Although local- and metropolitan municipalities are responsible for the aforementioned, they are also legally obliged to integrate principles of public participation, sustainability and urban integration in spatial planning matters. Regarding these, we will be focusing on the population and public management in South African cities in this issue of IGLUS Quarterly. As a collaborative work of IGLUS and the Urban and Regional Planning Department of North-West University, four articles from the experts of their field will be covered in this issue.

The following articles reflect on the interpretation of these themes, applied on local, metropolitan and national levels. At a stage where a national development plan has been drafted for the first time in many decades, these innovative approaches could appositely be applied as principles and guidelines in the finalization stages of the existing draft National Spatial Development Framework (2021).

In the first article, Gert Carel Basson and André De Wet Brand discusses the ageing populations in South African metropolitan regions and subsquent planning implications. The article focuses on the changing elder population distribution in South African metropolitans. It further draws attention to the planning and management related issues of ageing population by also signifying how a focus on insights should encourage policymakers and researchers to confront the multiple ways of being distinguished as ‘old’ or ‘elder’. We believe this article will shed light on the future researches bringing solutions to the cities with population aging.

In the second article, Lindelwa Sinxadi and Maléne Campbell focus on the sustainable neighborhood performance and the influence of community participation by planners on it by giving illustrations from Mangaung Metropolitan Area. After giving a literature review on community participation in an urban planning context, community participation strategies and sustainable neighbourhood performance – encumbrances for the optimal level of community participation, the authors talk about the challenge of community participation during the planning and implementation of planning projects. They also explores the influence of planners on community participation with other urban stakeholders for planning projects.
The third article is from the City of Cape Town. In the article, Danette de Klerk first talks about the recent history of record management in the Development Management Department of the City of Cape Town. Then, she continues by introducing the Development Application Management System (DAMS) and illustrates how the very timeous shift to online-only submission and management of applications through the DAMS enabled continued processing of applications by also touching upon on the City’s initiatives to stimulate economic growth and create local employment opportunities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last but not least, in the fourth article, Kevin Parry presents the residential racial segregation across South African metropolitan areas. He applies Theil’s entropy index to measure segregation across South Africa’s eight metropolitan cities, using data from Census 1996, 2001 and 2011, and analyses the current level of segregation in South African cities by comparing them with the cities of United States. We believe his discussions will provide insight into the segregation patterns of many other cities in the world.
We sincerely hope that you can enjoy this issue of IGLUS Quarterly. We invite you to join the discussion at iglus.org.

If you feel there are innovative practices underway in your city/region and you would like to contribute to an upcoming edition of IGLUS Quarterly, we encourage you to contact us at umut.tuncer@iglus.org.

You may also contact the editors of this issue through Ernst.Drewes@nwu.ac.za and numanyanar@hotmail.com.

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