This collaboration between the City of Ekurhuleni (CoE) and the University of Venda (UNIVEN) began in 2014 continuing to date. The aim of the programme is to expose 3rd Year Bachelor of Urban & Regional Planning (B.URP) students to practical training in a highly urbanised metropolitan area, such as the City of Ekurhuleni.
The University of Venda, unlike most other planning schools, is located in a predominantly rural setting (Thohoyandou, Limpopo) far from any large cities and thus the students need to gain exposure to planning in an urban setting that demonstrates much about what they would otherwise learn only in theory. The aim of the programme is therefore to explain the planning environment that is found within CoE and to put that into practice through a practical assignment, which involves formulating a ‘Precinct Plan’ for an identified area and making planning and related proposals.
Through this collaboration the students are able to apply their theoretical knowledge that they have gained in their first three years of study from their lecturers and course work and put this into practice in a project that closely resembles the type of work that they would typically be expected to perform after graduating, especially in an urban environment. Further, this programme has allowed the B.URP programme to be accredited by the South African Council for Planners (SACPLAN), the statutory body for planners in South Africa, meaning that after graduating with this degree and gaining the necessary experience, they will be able to register as Professional Planners with SACPLAN.In 2016, the City of Ekurhuleni won the category for “Mentorship” at an awards ceremony of the South African Planning Institute (SAPI) based on this annual collaboration with the University of Venda.
“The success of this collaboration over a number of years illustrates the power of collaboration. In addition, it contributes towards the training and empowerment of the next generation of urban and regional planners in South Africa. It is an honour to be part of this initiative, as it contributes towards the leading role that City of Ekurhuleni’s City Planning Department plays in providing opportunities to communities from marginalized rural areas and it is through endeavours of this nature that we are able to impact positively.”
Thank you to Martin Bekker for submitting this Good Hood Story.
For more info:
City of Ekurhuleni
City of Ekurhuleni (through the involvement of multiple municipal departments and sections within the Ekurhuleni City Planning Department); The University of Venda (Department of Urban and Regional Planning); Private service providers / planning consultants.