South Africa’s vision of integrated urban planning continues to be negatively impacted by the development of of urban centres, says Deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Andries Nel.
However, the challenge is not exclusive to the country, as Nel discovered during his meeting with Ecuador Housing and Urban Development Minister, Xavier Torres.
The two leaders held a meeting on the sidelines of the 12th Federal Congress on National Urban Development Policy in Germany this week.
During the meeting, it also emerged that access to strategically located urban land for housing delivery was another challenge that both Ecuador and SA have in common, the Cogta said in a statement.
Cogta said the two leaders also discussed housing delivery and urbanisation within the context of national urban policy.
“Minister Torres shared some of their challenges in the delivery of housing, which were made worse by the two earthquakes that ravaged their country and impacted their housing delivery programme negatively.
“Minister Torres was therefore keen to understand the housing delivery programme of South Africa, including the types of houses that are being delivered to communities and how these are funded.”
An area of mutual interest was how both countries could both learn from one another on the typology of houses that are being delivered, especially in areas where indigenous communities live in Ecuador and in rural areas and traditional areas in South Africa.
Nel, the department said, provided background and context within which SA implements its housing programme.
Nel also provided context and perspective on the issue of land reform in South Africa, with a specific focus on the importance of urban land reform.
“He emphasised the importance of the SA land reform process being discussed within the framework of the Constitution. Deputy Minister Nel emphasised that land reform will be implemented with due respect of the provisions of the Constitution of the country.
“He emphasised the importance of the Integrated Urban Development Framework as South Africa’s national urban policy that informs and guides human settlements within the broader context of urbanisation,” Cogta said.
The meeting was concluded with Nel inviting Ecuadorian officials to South Africa to engage further on housing issues and the Integrated Urban Development Framework.