World Cities Day feat. Cape Town
As we observe World Cities Day on October 31, we are reminded about the importance of cities as urbanized centers of opportunity and development. In today's episode, AfroVerdict host sits down with a representative of Cape Town City management to talk about the "Mother City" as a shining example of urban development for South Africa.
Interacting with the local populace of a city is "a very important point", according to Annelise de Bruin, Manager of Cape Town City's Metro Spatial Planning and Growth Management. If the residents "feel like they're just living" in the city and the local government does not care about them, the "city cannot go forward without its citizens".
"Cape Town is spending quite a bit of time on it is to make sure that we have very good local representation, political representation from community based organizations[...] Deep-rooted levels of political and technical representation and a system where people are participating in processes are very important," she says.
With its "annual system" of publicizing the "local government's budget", residents "can give input" on which projects they want to see developed. Two strategies have been implemented to monitor the efficiency of the local government.
"The one is called the Inclusionary Economic Growth Strategy, and there is also a Social Growth Strategy. And these strategies also have implementation plans and monitoring and evaluation mechanisms. So through that, the public can check that the local government is doing what it says it's going to do in deploying these strategies, Ms. de Bruin explains.
Another "creative and innovative" approach of Cape Town's local government is developing "green economy and technology", where landowners are encouraged to "provide solar energy back into the electricity grid" of the city.
"I think that is a really, really creative way in which the municipality is trying to deal with the energy deficit, but also to make citizens part of the solution and therefore solar generation on rooftops or on properties are now possible, and you can sell your electricity back to the local government," Ms. de Bruin elaborates.
To hear what else Cape Town's representative had to say, check out the entire episode of the AfroVerdict podcast, brought to you by Sputnik Africa.
In addition to the website, you can also catch our episodes on Telegram
► Check out all the episodes of AfroVerdict.