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State of Cape Town 2006. Development issues in Cape Town

This report was compiled by Emille van Heyningen, with input and assistance from Craig Haskins, Rasmus Levy and Phillip Romanovsky (Strategic Development Information and GIS).

City of Cape Town

The challenges facing Cape Town are enormous and broadranging; given the scale of demands and the limited resources available, it is inevitable that choices need to be made in terms of prioritising and targeting investments and resources.
The State of Cape Town report 2006 provides an overview of the key issues and challenges facing the city. It is intended to serve as a base to inform discussions on the choices that the city needs to make in relation to urban management issues.

Cape Town has increased 40% in area since 1985 and this has been mostly without coordinated direction, management or alignment with infrastructure provision. The result is that natural resources have been compromised and signs of environmental stress - air pollution, flooding and fires - are widespread and increasing. This growth has also lacked an integrated approach to transport and land use resulting in inefficient and costly transport systems and negative social and economic impacts.
Economic growth is not alleviating poverty, and economic development strategies are not linked to appropriate spatial and infrastructure development to contribute to shared economic growth. Spatially, the poor have become more marginalised and removed from economic opportunity.
Most of the urban growth in the past 20 years has also been ad hoc, forcing reactive and uncoordinated public investment in infrastructure resulting in ineffective and unsustainable urban development. Fragmentation between communities has increased, with associated social and economic dysfunction.

The challenges in the city must be addressed in a more integrated way, by expanding the broader leadership of the city to include a greater role for civil society and the private sector.
The City of Cape Town cannot resolve the problems on its own and there is a need for the expertise and participation by business, other spheres of government and civil society. Intergovernmental and public-private relations are therefore important in addressing these challenges as cities are intergovernmental entities and many difficult issues can only be resolved beyond any one sphere of government. The basis for the way forward in addressing the city’s challenges lies in integrated leadership of the city driven through partnerships between the major stakeholders in the city.

The formulation of this report draws on academic and strategic literature relating to international, national and local issues; an analysis of public attitudes about the state of the city relating to the key challenges facing it, and interviews with a limited number of key stakeholders in the city.
The key objective of the report is to provide an up-to-date snapshot of the most pertinent issues influencing the state of Cape Town. It highlights some of the opportunities and challenges the city faces, contextualised within an international, national and local context. The report attempts to provide practical suggestions that need to be considered to address the challenges.

The report is not intended to be a comprehensive analysis of all the issues affecting Cape Town, or a performance scorecard for the city, or a statistically valid public opinion survey and certainly it is not intended to be the final argument on development issues in Cape Town. The report attempts to provide a rational basis for engagement by highlighting the most pertinent developmental issues in Cape Town.
The State of Cape Town Report 2006 is intended to be slightly provocative in order to encourage stakeholders to embrace, discuss and debate a new development agenda for Cape Town. It is in fact aimed at policy makers, senior managers and other stakeholders, as well as researchers and Capetonians involved in and concerned about the diverse set of developmental issues facing the city.