Premium Journalist
1 minute read
17 Sep 2015
2:58 pm

Urbanisation an opportunity, not a challenge – Parks Tau


Migration and urbanisation should not be seen as simply a problem but also an opportunity, says Johannesburg mayor Parks Tau.

“In Johannesburg, we believe urbanisation comes with opportunities, and it is all about harnessing these opportunities,” Tau said.

Tau was speaking at a breakfast briefing in Johannesburg as part of a panel, where issues regarding the seventh Africities Summit were debated.

The summit provides a platform for international businesses to meet with African city leaders such as Tau and will be taking place in late November,

Joining him on the panel was Thabo Manyoni, chairperson of the South African Local Government Association (SALGA), and the secretary-general of the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa Jean-Pierre Elong Mbassi.

Tau said Johannesburg was using a developmental approach to tackle issues associated with rapid urbanisation and migration, such as service delivery. This approach would – it was envisioned – see Johannesburg become a city that used all the resources at its disposal to improve citizens’ lives.

“Johannesburg has an influx of 10 000 people every month,” he said: “These people need to be integrated into the city.”

Migrants could bring entrepreneurship to the city, something Tau believed needed to be encouraged. It also presented the city with an increased pool of human resources.

“We want to capture the capabilities of young people to lead them to prosperity,” he said.

“This is not merely a challenge but also an opportunity.”