SACN CEO: Spatial transformation needed in our cities


This is one of the factors that was highlighted by the South African Cities Network (SACN) in the State of South African Cities Report that was handed over to the Mangaung Municipality at the Naval Hill Planetarium in Bloemfontein today.

Just like the census, the report presents a five-year outlook on the performance and conditions of South Africa’s nine largest cities.

SANC Chief Executive Officer, Sithole Mbanga, says the cities need to develop new sustainable energy sources.

“The point that we’re making is that it’s quite important that we start to move away from the use and reliance and over-reliance on fossil fuel for productivity and start to use much cleaner energy…  I think you are aware that we have a water scarce country, therefore we don’t have water as a source of energy. We lose water in the process of the production of [hydrolic] energy,” he said.

Mbanga also says spatial transformation needs to happen in order to accommodate more people coming in to cities through urbanisation.

He says that cities are operating well, but they are performing under pressure.

Mbanga says if city spaces are not well managed one could, for instance, find the Mangaung municipality overlapping Aliwal North if the municipality keeps expanding southwards.

“There is a lot of people that are moving away from other parts of the country, converging in urban spaces. That places a lot of pressure on the cities to create geographic areas that are economically productive so that economic productivity can contribute broadly towards the GDP of the country,” he added.

Moeketsi Mogotsi and Cathy Dlodlo/Courant News