Rapid Urbanisation Poses Urban Development Challenges in Gauteng

The rapid urbanisation of South African cities is especially challenging for professionals responsible for the planning of urban development in Gauteng. According to the United Nations Habitat Report, it is estimated that by 2050, more than 1,2 billion people will live in urban areas across the African continent, as opposed to the current estimated 400 million urban dwellers in Africa’s cities. Johannesburg, in Gauteng, is one of the 52 cities on the continent boasting a population of more than one million residents. It is estimated that more than 66% of South Africans already live in urban areas. As the smallest and most densely populated province in South Africa, Gauteng bears the brunt of urbanisation. With a population of around four million people, Johannesburg, especially, faces various urban development challenges. A significant number of people in Gauteng have migrated from places such as Sasolburg, Rustenburg, and Potchefstroom to Gauteng in search of jobs and better living opportunities over the past two decades. People also move towards the urban areas in the province to be closer to services. In 2007, the three metros of Johannesburg, Tshwane, and Ekurhuleni already had a population of more than 8,9 million people according to Stats SA 2007. It is expected that rapid urbanisation in Gauteng will continue in future. According to the information from the 2001 SA Census, Gauteng was home to more than 12,2 million residents at that stage. With the rapid increase in the province’s population, it is essential to address challenges regarding urban development in Gauteng, in order to ensure sustainability of the province. Why the Large Population? Reasons for the high...

The Roles and Functions of Town Planners in Gauteng

Town planners in Gauteng operate within the urban and regional planning profession. They focus on making the towns and cities of Gauteng economically, socially, and environmentally viable. The town planners in Gauteng work with local government in the analysis and research of how to improve towns and add new features to the urban areas. They collect relevant data, analyse such, and make recommendations based on their research and analysis to the local officials regarding the balanced and sustainable development of their urban areas. It is important to understand that town planners in Gauteng also provide town planning services to individuals, companies, and non-profit organisations, as well as local government. The profession forms an integral part of urban development. Town planners work with other professionals, such as engineers, architects, environmental consultants, developers, attorneys, land surveyors, quantity surveyors, and project managers, whether for the development of residential estates, sub-division or consolidation of land, or large transport development projects. The role of the town planner is to connect skills and action in such a way so as to ensure the best development and use of land for public and private good. The town planners of The Practice Group in Gauteng have expertise on a wide range of topics. They are qualified and registered with the relevant professional bodies, and they are called upon to recommend policy guidelines for housing, land use management, development design of recreational spaces, planning of transport routes, and more. They conduct research and compile reports on issues related to the use of land and what impact it has on communities and the environment. They review development proposals to...