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    In acceleration to implement National Development Plan 2030, Department of Human Settlement directed by Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, Deputy Minister Zou Kota-Fredericks as well as COGTA Deputy Minister Andries Nel led the South African delegation comprised of Maluti A Phofung Local Municipality, SALGA, Ethekwini Metropolitan Municipality and Gauteng Province at the nineth session of World Urban Forum, convened at Malaysia in Kaula Lumpur from 07th – 13th February 2018.

    The World Urban Forum that was convened by United Nations Human Settlements Programme established in 2001 by the United Nations serves as a paradigm shift that advocates for innovation economic emancipation, advancement in technology and integrated intelligence for sustainable urban development. It also afforded a plethora of opportunities for more than 22000 participants from different walks of life made of 165 countries among 100 government leaders to robustly engage in concrete implementation approaches and methods on how to work collaboratively to ensure that New Urban Agenda results in Cities for all by 2030 as South African government is also mandated by National Development Plan Vision 2030.

    The World Urban Forum themed ‘cities for all’, was aimed at uniting countries globally by imparting knowledge, sharing ideas and strategies on how to address rapid urbanisation, eradication of informal settlements and heighten sustainable urban development though technological advancements. Moreso the forum’s ripple effect of continuous revolution also addresses challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality, and unites leaders to build an institutional resilience and administrative capabilities.

    MMC Cllr Moeketsi Lebesa responsible for SPLUMA together with Director Mr Moeketsi Mokoena and Chief of Staff in the Office of the Executive Mayor, Mr Mzwakhe Mlangeni participated in robust engagements, workshops and networking sessions to exchange good practices on mechanisms on how to integrate technology in human settlement planning and encourage collaboration with key role players to mobilize resources to build an urbanised South Africa. Among other network sessions embarked on, included stakeholders’ roundtable, youth dialogues, urban safety, local economic development, slum upgrading and municipal finance.

    During the presentations Mr Rodhan alluded that it is pivotal to unlock the economic potential to consolidate investments for sustainable cities and communities that propels a better urban future. As the programme progressed during the course of the week, in one of the side events, a Slum Dwellers International (SDI) Know Your City launched Slum Dwellers Count Book, of which is a catalyst that conglomerates hard data and rich stories from urban poor communities across the Global South.

    In conclusion of the World Urban Forum Gauteng Province hosted speakers by the likes of Mr Rashid Seedat, Head of Gauteng and Mr Octavi de la Varga, Secretary General of World Association of the Major Metropolises, to deliberate on stratagems on how to develop cities and others areas for a better future for communities. “We would like to thank all participants for the sterling teamwork and May God bless everyone as they travel back home”, articulated Me Zou Kota-Fredericks.