Urban renewal strategy : the case of Klerksdorp City Council / Lebu Ralekgetho
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With the massive urbanisation taking place on a global scale, international interest and concern increasingly center on the ability of local government(s) to be able to manage the ever-increasing urban population. The unprecedented developments that have taken place within South African towns, cities and metropolitan areas over the past years have served to emphasise the vital necessity for intelligent planning of the country's urban communities. It is in the light of these arguments that urban management and town planning should be practised in such a manner to satisfy both the social and physical well-being of communities. One of the most pressing challenges for urban managers across the world, particularly in developed and mid-developed countries, is the reduction of social exclusion and the redevelopment of deprived neighbourhoods and communities. Unfortunately, urban planning and management in some towns and cities - particularly with the emphasis on service delivery - has not yet reached its full potential in furthering public planning and developmental policies. The provision of basic services to urban residents is another of the numerous problems that local governments face. High population density and the concentration of industries (in some municipalities) in the rapidly growing cities of the world are leading to a significant increase in problems, such as air pollution from households, industry, power stations and transportation. Water pollution, inadequate sanitation, overcrowding and poor quality housing, are other concerns for many cities, including Klerksdorp. Furthermore, it has become increasingly important to address issues at local level in partnership with key stakeholders. A multidimensional approach in solving urban problems is crucial, with some dimension (sector) addressing comprehensive community development initiatives on a city-wide basis, incorporating a planning component (IDP) and others addressing the implementation of more specific community-based projects. The approach as a whole is purposively political and process-oriented, promoting political commitment and advocating fundamental change in local government and its relationship with communities. These types of approaches to urban management and planning involve a wide variety of stakeholders. These stakeholders are increasingly becoming involved in all stages of policy-making and implementation, from the initial definition and prioritisation of issues (IDP process), the collection and analysis of information, to the development and implementation of plans (National Key Performance Indicators). In order to ensure long-standing commitment, it is important that stakeholders are properly involved in the definition of problems as well as in problem solution (community participation and involvement). The concerns, needs and preference of all relevant interested and affected parties, including service users, need to be articulated in the form of IDP priorities. Partners bring their knowledge, expertise and perceptions of the problem and could also frequently benefit by gaining a better understanding of the technical and financial constraints that might have a bearing on plans that are subsequently developed. Although the initiatives of urban planning and management should come from local government, all parties must be brought on board so that the whole urban renewal and management process can be seen as a collective effort of multipartners.
- ETD@PUK