Paper presented at the 20th Annual South African Transport Conference 16 - 20 July 2001 "Meeting the transport challenges in Southern Africa", CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa. ABSTRACT: This document was prepared as background information for newly elected Councillors of the City of Tshwane, to highlight the development challenges that they will face in the coming five years. It has been modified slightly for the CODATU SEMINAR ON THE SOCIAL ASPECTS OF TRANSPORT but remains a presentation, rather than a paper. To this end, its focus is on
illustrations of the spatial development of the city. The text is written in plain language and is deliberately non-technical.
A sub-theme for the presentation could well be, “City of Tshwane: A Tale of Two Cities ”. This is because there is a stark contrast between the southern half of the city, which is populated by people
who are relatively affluent, and the north, in which most of the residents are disadvantaged. The contrast shows up in voting patterns, incomes, demographics and the transport and travel characteristics of the population. Most South African cities have similar characteristics but the
development challenges in Tshwane are more extreme, owing to long commuting distances.
Metropolitan Tshwane extends across the borders of Gauteng into North West Province. Until there is commitment to the full devolution of powers and functions to municipal government, the fragmentation of roles and responsibilities between, national, provincial and local government will challenge the ability of municipal government to deliver services. This applies particularly to transport. In the paper, reference is made to the relatively uncoordinated plans and actions of the
South African National Road Agency (SANRA), the South African Rail Commuter Corporation
(SARCC,)provincial transport departments (roads and public transport)and municipal transport departments. All these agencies serve different masters and have their own, often conflicting, objectives and agendas.
At the heart of development and service delivery problems is the challenge associated with the assignment of fiscal powers, political accountability for the execution of functions within those
powers and the political will to make decisions that will be socially just, sustainable and cost-effective.
Apart from institutional and financial problems, the main challenge to politicians will be to approve Integrated Development Plans that are realistic and practical, yet acceptable to the voting public.
Even in the medium-term, it will not be acceptable to prioritise development and services delivery,largely in favour of the disadvantaged, at the cost of ratepayers. On the other hand, developer-led decentralisation is not sustainable and should not be encouraged, even if developers are willing to pay a premium for development and services. As is demonstrated in the presentation, decentralisation in Tshwane has already severely damaged the public transport system.
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