Publications

2017 - Click here

February

  • BRICS Cities: Facts & Analysis is a compendium of research that presents comparative information about urban growth and development in the five BRICS states: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
2016 - Click here

September

June

  • Hidden Urbanities: South Africa's Displaced Settlements 30 Years after the Abolition of Influx Control is the third in a series of exploratory papers that seek to ­understand and give practical expression to what is meant by the ‘differentiated approach to governance.’
  • Use of Energy Performance Contracting by Municipalities in South Africa is a report that summarises an online tool, which has been designed to help municipalities to increase their energy efficiencies through performance contracting.
  • A workshop was held on integrating waste pickers into the municipal system, resulting in the production of a workshop report, a framework for the development of guidelines and a proposal on future research and engagements, all of which support greater integration.
  • Beyond Gentrification investigates ways in which South African cities and urban development practitioners can move beyond the impacts of gentrification towards better inclusivity and transformation.
  • The Guideline “Developing a collective approach to mixed use development in Transit Orientated Development (TOD) Precincts” provides a ten year review of city experience in using TOD approaches to land development in the vicinity of public transport stations. Cities used as case studies are Cape Town (Bus – My City), Johannesburg (Rail – Gautrain) and Tshwane (Rail – Prasa). Based on the cities’ experience, a set of guidelines for the public and private sector are proposed that seek to improve the spatial planning, land use management and urban management of TOD precincts. The Guideline is a collaboration between the SACN and the South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA). It was first circulated at the SAPOA Convention in June 2016.
  • As part the five year programme beginning in July 2016 the SACN is seeking to undertake the first State of the Cities Infrastructure Report. To determine the content and nature of such a report the SACN commissioned PDG to draft a brief Scoping Study, which is provided. This Scoping Study will be used by SACN to frame the compilation of the actual SOCIR.
  • The Urban Safety Reference Group produces its first annual compendium of research and practice findings in the management of violence and crime prevention in South African cities.
  • The State of South African Cities Report 2016. The 2011 SoCR, which was themed “Towards Resilient Cities”, laid the foundation for the guiding theme for SACN’s 2011–2016 five-year strategy: “South African cities as effective drivers of local and national development”. For more information on the State of South African Cities Report 2016 click here.
  • The Peoples Guide Is a supplementry product to SACN's main State of South African Cities Report 2016. It has been compiled by Siphelele Ngobese and Angel Bolosha with Geci Karuri-Sebina and Kristina Davidson.
  • Transport User Experience Poster seeks to elevate the lived experiences and voices of people using transport systems on a daily basis. The outcomes from two separate projects were used to develop this poster. A photographic based observation technique was used to capture a visual story of the daily travel experience of 5 people using different modes of transport in the city of Johannesburg during transport month. As well as a project where ten different people using different modes in the Gauteng metros kept a travel diary to map, record and reflect on their travel experience for a full week.
  • The Transit Oriented Density Framework is a report that seeks to engage with the notion of higher density in relation to public transport. Higher urban density along public transport corridors has been a constant pillar of post-apartheid urban policy. However, there is limited insight into what such ‘high density’ actually entails. This report unpacks the concept of density and its relationship to transport to inform a framework for assessing the extent to which areas in cities are transit-oriented. To illustrate how such a framework could be used, it was applied to case study sites in the cities of Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni. The results of these case studies are presented in the report. The report is accompanied by a pull out poster and video outlining and explaining the framework.
  • BRT Impacts at a neighbourhood level Volume 2 is study assessing the impacts which BRT introduction in the Soweto, through Rea Vaya Phase 1 A, has had at the community and neighbourhood level. The study is a follow up to a 2013 study assessing the impacts of the Diepkloof Station. This study repeats the approach to assessing impacts in Diepkloof two years later but also includes an additional station Thokoza Park. The intention of these studies is to provide a baseline analysis for a longer term narrative on the transformation of BRT corridors over time.

May

  • State of City Water in Cities Analysis of water resource and its management in cities. The South African Cities Network (SACN) has included water management on its agenda as one of its focus areas: Dealing with City Vulnerabilities, owing to the growing threat of freshwater scarcity largely as a consequenceof increasing demand, pollution, unsustainable use and climate change.

March

  • The Citizens Guide to the State of City Finances 2015 aims to inform a broader audience about the key messages emerging from the 2015 State of City Finances report, which is the latest in a series of reports published since 2006. The guide is not a summary of the main report but rather a translation of the content into meaningful city specific messages. Nine standard city finances indicators, which first appeared in the 2011 guide, are used to analyse and explain the state of finances in the nine cities.
  • Expanded Public Works Programme - Reflections on Over a Decade. This book commissioned by the SA Cities EPWP Reference Group reflects upon what has been achieved in 12 years of EPWP, both by way of addressing unemployment, and in policy and practice. The edited volume of papers also concludes by making suggestions for the future of the programme.
  • The State of Expanded Public Works Programmes in South African Cities – 2014-2015. This annual report reflects on how the SACN member cities have performed over the period 2014 - 2015.
  • Infrastructure Dialogue Report: Financing Government’s Capital Programme - Toward sustainable municipal financing for the future
  • South African Local Government Response to Climate Change. This publication showcases local government’s response to climate change thus emphasizing the role it ought to play in combating climate change. As it was developed during COP21 it also reflects on the Paris Agreement in the context of local government.

January 

  • The BE Integration roadmap was developed to determine and strengthen the role of metros in guiding and enabling spatial interventions that will result in more equitable, just and sustainable spatial outcomes.
2015 - Click here

December

September

  • MOVEMENT Cape Town . Sponsored by SACN and Edited by DESIGNING_ZA / The City Agency, this is one of a 3-part series by urban thinkers and writers on the economic, political, spatial, social and cultural movements that have created South Africa’s big cities.
  • MOVEMENT Johannesburg . Sponsored by SACN and Edited by DESIGNING_ZA / The City Agency, this is one of a 3-part series by urban thinkers and writers on the economic, political, spatial, social and cultural movements that have created South Africa’s big cities.
  • South African Township Economies and Commercial Property Markets. This report provides a picture of township economies and related commercial property markets, and offers a conceptual framework as a basis for understanding the nature of (and prospects for) township economies.

November

  • State of City Finances. Under the theme of Basics + Innovation, the report calls upon cities to address gaps and inefficiencies in the current system, while keeping a close eye on the complexity of their future role. It considers the need to rethink how cities are financed and funded, so that they are able to drive important agendas, such as green growth, the provision of sustainable human settlements and improved mobility through affordable and integrated public transport.

October

  • The Urban Land Paper Series Volume 1. This set of eight working papers seeks to define land and outline the roles that land can play as a catalyst for spatial transformation in municipalities.

July

  • Infrastructure Dialogue Report: Towards Sustainable African Cities. The creation of the ‘Africa that we want’, interrogating critical issues and formidable trends such as urbanisation, integrated city planning and management, as well as  infrastructure development and maintenance.
  • Agro-food Value Chain. An assessment of South Africa’s urban and rural agro-food value chains and their interdependencies.
  • Current and Future Realities for Urban Food Security in South Africa. A study that gives an overview of current urban food insecurity in South Africa. And argues that food security should be understood within the context of the wider food system.
  • Youth Policy Field and Institutional Analyses at Municipal Level in South Africa. This report analyses the existing structures (institutions, actors and networks) pertaining to youth development at municipal level in South Africa, examines the political and legal framework conditions and relevant ongoing processes in the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality, Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality and Buffalo City, and puts forward a number of recommendations based on the analysis.
  • Minibus Taxi Scenarios 2015. This report is based on a scenario exercise that brought together mobility thought leaders from national government, the cities, the minibus taxi industry and civil society, to explore the possibilities for collaboration, with a focus on innovation, service improvement and integration of the industry with other public transport modes.
  • Infrastructure Dialogue Report: Towards Sustainable African Cities. The creation of the ‘Africa that we want’, interrogating critical issues and formidable trends such as urbanisation, integrated city planning and management, as well as  infrastructure development and maintenance.
  • Youth Policy Field and Institutional Analyses at Municipal Level in South Africa. A study of the existing structures pertaining to youth development at municipal level in South Africa, based on the cases of  Johannesburg, Nelson Mandela Bay and Buffalo City.
June March
  • Infrastructure Dialogue Report: Pricing and Paying for Municipal Rates and Charge.
  • 4th South African Urban Conference. The 2015 Urban Conference took place at the Innovation Centre, City of Tshwane on 4–5 March 2015 under the theme of "Are cities driving local and national development".
  • SPLUMA as a Tool for Spatial Transformation. This study seeks to understand the extent to which the introduction of the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act (16 of 2013) (SPLUMA) could assist in achieving spatial transformation.
  • State of Water in Cities. An assessment of the current state and quality of water infrastructure within cities as well as the condition of the freshwater resources (rivers and wetlands).
February January
2014 - Click here

December

November

October

  • Know Your Block toolkit: Work to make a great place. The result of a collaboration between the South African Planning Institute(SAPI)and SACN in preparation for the Planning Africa 2014 Conference held in Durban on 19–21 October 2014. The toolkit’s aim is to deepen community involvement in local spaces by exposing South Africans to planning and empowering them to improve their neighbourhoods.
  • Cities Resilience to Climate Change. This research study analysed cities’ climate change resilience relating to food security, transportation and water provision, through three case studies: the City of Johannesburg, Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality and Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality (EMM). The study links climate change issues at a municipal level to the daily operations of the cities with regards to service delivery and achieving the goals set out in these cities’ planning documents. A longer, synthesis report is also available.
  • State of Waste Management in Cities – Phase 2: Modelling the effects of landfilling as a disposal method. This report demonstrates the negative impact of relying on landfilling as the main disposal method for solid waste.

September

  • Infrastructure Dialogue: Financing Public Infrastructure: The Case of Student Accommodation 
  • How to Make Cities Safer. A report on the urban safety study tour to Rio de Janeiro, Bogata and Medellin in March/April 2014.
  • Integrated Urban Development Framework: Draft for Discussion. The Draft IUDF takes forward the arguments and thoughts outlined in the IUDF Discussion Document, and outlines the strategic goals, policy levers and strategic priorities that should inform a concrete implementation plan for attaining the urban futures vision outlined in the National Development Plan

August

July

  • Msunduzi CDS Booklet. Msunduzi's City Development Strategy (CDS), which is a growth path directive and scenario planning instrument.
  • Modelling Energy Efficiency Potential in SACN Cities. This study was commissioned to establish the energy  savings  potential  that  can  be  realised  from  energy  efficiency  (EE)  interventions  in  municipal  facilities and operations in its nine member cities. The full report is also available.
  • Understanding Affordable Housing Markets in South Africa. In order to understand the affordable housing market in South Africa and its potential opportunities for both city governments and the private sector, the South African Cities Network (SACN) partnered with the Centre for Affordable Housing Finance (CAHF) to develop affordable housing profiles for each of its nine member cities.
  • Urban Shelter: Citizens Rights - understanding the role of cities. This document reflects on the experience of metro municipalities with regard to urban shelter rights, and poses some recommendations to address the current challenges faced by cities.

June

March

2013 - Click here

December

November

October

  • RE-EE Lessons Learned Booklet. The publication contains recommendations for the nine categories of lessons learnt, which were identified based on information gathered through a literature review, a legislative analysis and a workshop where practical information was gathered.

September

August

  • State of Cities Finance 2013. This report updates the financial indicators contained in the 2011 State of City Finances report looks at other issues, such as the green economy, tariff increases and their effect on municipal finances, and the housing assignment process (and its effect on the bottom line).
  • South African Urban Strategies Alignment Study. The study analyses how various long-range development strategies and plans of relevance to South Africa’s large (primary and secondary) cities align (or not) and reflects upon national urban development and settlement planning.

July

June

  • Land Acquisition Report. This research paper looks at four case studies (Buffalo City, Ekurhuleni, eThekwini and Mangaung) on the acquisition of urban land by municipalities from state-owned companies and other organs of state.

April

  • The Space Economy: An Important Consideration in Spatial Development Planning. A summary of the second in a series of knowledge sharing sessions jointly held by the Department of Economic Development (EDD): National Social Dialogue and Strategic Frameworks Programme; and the South African Cities Network (SACN). The sessions are intended to contribute to a knowledge network by inviting a diverse set of perspectives to advise policy making and business planning.

January

2012 - Click here

September

August

  • Roundtable Law Reform In Planning. This report captures some of the key themes that emanated from discussions at the Roundtable held on the 22nd and 23rd of August 2012 at the Protea Hotel in Sea Point.

March

January

2011 - Click here
September
July
June

May

  • Partnership Models for Accountability and Monitoring in Municipal Programmes. This booklet focuses on government accountability in Africa, and specifically on social accountability – civil society finding ways and taking steps to hold politicians and officials accountable for planning, for budgets, for expenditure and for delivery.
  • State of City Finances Report. This report is written under the broad theme of resilient cities, reflecting the economic and social challenges facing cities, as well as  the financial fortunes of South Africa municipalities in this report.
April
March
  • State of Cities Report 2011. This third edition of the State of Cities Report reflected on the first decade (2001 to 2011) of a democratic and transformed local government in South Africa.
2010 - Click here

December

November

July

June

  • Green Economy Summit Report 2010, The Green Economy Summit was convened from 18 to 20 May 2010 under the overarching theme: Towards a Resource Efficient, Low Carbon and Pro-Employment Growth Path.
2009 - Click here
  • Township Transformation Timeline. An overview of the history of the evolution of townships since 1900 and the lessons that can be learnt for the future. The timeline sets out to provide a better understanding of townships and how they can be transformed and integrated into South Africa’s urban areas today.
  • Poster of Township Timeline. The changing townships at a glance.
  • Township Renewal Sourcebook. Collection of papers and materials from the Training for Township Renewal Initiative workshops 2008–2009.
  • Case Study in Township Renewal: Kwamashu.A study into mobilising and focusing public and private capital expenditure in the KwaMashu Town Centre.
  • Report: Securing Municipal Finance in South Africa. Cities are responsible for providing many of the basic services essential to modern life and health, from water and electricity distribution to sanitation, transport and the upkeep of local roads. How can such services be funded on a sustainable basis?
Pre-2008 - Click here
  • Good Practice Guide for State of the Cities Reporting: 2008. State of Cities reports are a growing way of focusing attention on urban issues. The purpose of most State of Cities reports is summed up well in the purpose of the planned State of Commonwealth Cities Report, which is intended to “assess the opportunities and threats of urban growth in relation to poverty alleviation, sustainable and people-centred development and reducing disparities in living conditions”.
  • Effective Utility Management: A Primer for Water and Wastewater Utilities 2008. This Primer is intended to  help  utility  managers  identify  and  address  their  most  pressing  needs  through a customised, incremental approach that is relevant to the day-to-day challenges utilities face.
  • Inclusive Cities Annual Report 2008. The inclusive cities theme aims to address the challenge of South Africa’s segregated and dispersed cities, exploring a range of perspectives on how urban citizens access opportunities and the extent to which poor residents can share equitably in the socio-economic benefits of city life.
  • Sustainable Cities Report: 2008. This report looks at the progress made and lessons learnt in the areas of energy, service delivery and environmental protection as South Africa seeks to establish sustainable cities, as well as ways of taking development forward.
  • A National Overview of Spatial Trends and Settlement Characteristics 2008. This overview forms a key baseline input to the forthcoming national urban development framework, building onto work already done within the National Spatial Development Perspective (NSDP) and taking into account recent trend data and enhanced capabilities to conduct more nuanced spatial analysis.
  • Report of the South African Cities Network: Expanded Public Works Programme 2008. This report is an input into the inclusive cities annual report and focuses on the progres in implementing the EPWP by the nine SACN member cities and other urban municipalities.
  • State of the City Finances Report 2008. This report analyses the finances of the nine cities between 2003 and 2008, updating the data used for the 2006 State of City Finances Report, to identify major changes in the financial position and performance of the cities.
  • Inclusive African Cities Conference 2007. Over 150 delegates attended the conference seeking to deepen understanding of how to make rapidly urbanising African cities more inclusive and to provide the basis for developing locally appropriate tools for doing so. A summarised report is available here.
  • Local Government Performance Review 2006. A reflection on the first five years of Democratic Local Government in Gauteng(2000-2005)
  • State of Cities 2006 report. The second State of Cities report that looked at how city development strategies stimulated economic growth and the extent to which cities had provided access to services, amenities and opportunities for all residents.
  • Quality of Life Survey in eThekwini Municipality 2005.
  • State of Cities 2004 report. provided a first-of-its-kind overview of how the nine largest cities in the country had performed between 1996 and 2001 against the thematic ideals of productivity, inclusivity, sustainability and good governance.
  • Urbanisation & Housing Challenges: Cities in Africa. Report of the Conference on Urbanisation & Housing Challenges: Cities in Africa held in October 2003.
  • Study into Urban Poverty 2002. The project covers five South African urban poverty reduction strategies and interventions.