The Department of Human Settlements in partnership with the Western Cape of Human Settlements are commemorating Urban October by curating a series of stakeholder engagements, working sessions and events focused on local government, human settlements development and sustainable urban development. This programme will enable the finalisation of South Africa’s national report on implementation of the New Urban Agenda.

The National Development Plan (NDP) conceives of a South Africa that by 2030 no longer has “poverty traps in rural areas and urban  townships, workers isolated on the periphery of cities; inner cities controlled by slumlords and crime; sterile suburbs with homes surrounded by high walls and electric fences; households spending 30 percent or more of their time, energy and money on daily commuting; decaying infrastructure with power blackouts, undrinkable water, potholes and blocked sewers; violent protests; gridlocked roads and unreliable public transport; new public housing in barren urban landscapes; new private investment creating exclusive enclaves for the rich; fearful immigrant communities living in confined spaces; or rural communities vying as local production collapses”. The NDP calls on South Africa to “start a national conversation about cities, towns and villages”, and argues that “South Africa would benefit from greater public awareness, mutual understanding and discussion of the future of its villages, towns and cities”