Germany and South Africa have been working together on the topic of integrated urban development since 2013. Last week Gunther Adler, State Secretary for Building, along with his delegation, visited South Africa to expand the cooperation between the two countries.
He attended the opening of parliament, met with Deputy Minister Andries Nel and had the opportunity to exchange ideas with Chairpersons of Portfolio Committees and Members of Parliament. Successful talks were also held with representatives of local authority associations, civic groups and the scientific community about the many and various opportunities offered by joint integrated, sustainable urban development policy.
In Cape Town Gunther Adler, State Secretary for Building met with Patricia de Lille, the mayor of the city, to discuss current challenges of South African cities.
The Integrated Urban Development Framework/IUDF was subject of the meeting between Gunther Adler and Yunus Carrim, Head of the Select Committee on Finance in the National Assembly. The project was developed and supported by Germany and is a key part in the bilateral cooperation. Attention was brought to new approaches in the area of urban transport, water supply and waste disposal, which are central to the project Cities Fit for Climate Change (CFCC) that is supported by the German government. Concerning the discussion about the countries challenges, especially in the area of city development, Carrim noted “We are very different and yet very similar”.
The delegation of the Federal Building Ministry met with representatives of the South African-German city network, in which cities and towns from the two countries have been working on specific urban development projects since 2016.
It was agreed to deepen the existing collaboration and to continue working towards the aim of creating livable neighborhoods. Last year, the city network gave the South African Ministry of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs significant support in drawing up the country's first national Integrated Urban Development Framework.
In Johannesburg Gunther Adler signed a Joint Declaration of Intent with MEC Ismail Vade from the Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport, for the „Green Logistics Indicators for Exports- GLI-X“. The Indicator serves as a measurement and quantification instrument of the state of freight logistics in Gauteng. At the same time it will help to make political decisions to meet the challenges of growing cities.
South African partners thanked Germany for the good cooperation and continuing support. The State Secretary Adler remarked: "South Africa is one of the most important countries in Africa and has enormous potential to realize opportunities presented by democratic and participatory urban development. International cooperation on urban development is becoming more and more important. After just a few years, it's already clear that the cooperation between German and South African cities and towns on urban development projects is a great success."