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SA, Germany bolster co-operation

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South Africa’s Co-operative Governance Deputy Minister Andries Nel has met with his counterpart, the Secretary of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature, Building and Nuclear.
The meeting, which was held on Friday in Cape Town, was aimed at strengthening existing relations and cooperation between the two countries.
“Following the South Africa-Germany Bi-National Commission (BNC), which was established in 1996, bilateral relations between the countries continued to grow stronger,” the Department of Cooperative Governance said in a statement after the meeting.
“The BNC includes various joint committees such as Development Cooperation, amongst many others. Under the development cooperation, the two countries signed five agreements worth €414,26-million (approximately R5,89-billion) in June 2014.”
The department is a recipient of development cooperation technical and financial support through the Governance Support Programme (GSP) made available through this agreement.
The South African and German Ministries signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2013 dealing exclusively with collaboration and peer exchange in the field of integrated urban development.
“Going forward, the meeting agreed that the shape and form of development co-operation should benefit from a larger, more comprehensive programme approach to the multifaceted demands of effective implementation,” the department said.
The meeting agreed on the following key areas in which the Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF) implementation strategy requires support:
• Capability to drive the IUDF: technical and financial support.
• Integrated, spatially informed planning: revised legislation and instruments. Government needs to radically review and revise the legislative and governance arrangements for SA’s highly concurrent and duplicated planning functions across government.
• Creating multi-disciplinary spatial contracts in pilot regions to facilitate key restructuring zones in districts and metros.
• Creating a data and analysis observatory. This entails building a good central information base on urban development initiatives across the country.
• Introduce support for the implementation processes for urban development plans. There is a plethora of metro/municipal plans, especially at metro level. However, more support is needed for intermediate or secondary cities.
• Concrete projects support in the implementation of the IUDF, such as the preparation of diagnostic reports on planning and development, across a spectrum of urban contexts.