A Compendium of the BEITT Journey 2017-2020
This Compendium reveals the basic questions and contradictions that city officials confront everyday, even
if not all are resolved – and highlights the passion and creativity of practitioners working to better South
Africa’s cities. The BEITT initiative is a tactile tool to assist communities and city administrators to find each
other and is an excellent contribution to IDP public participation. It should also be seen as a means for city
officials to find each other and to share their own experiences of identifying and solving service delivery
matters while implementing plans for better cities.
In 2017, the South African Cities Network (SACN) re-established the Built Environment Integration Task Team
(BEITT), as a core pillar of its built environment programme 2017–2021. The BEITT aims to develop a deeper
intelligence on the realities of municipal built environment practice (how things actually work), and to start
to shift built environment practices. It does this by bringing together a community of city practitioners to
engage in generative conversation, learn together, fail forward and reflect on how to change the institutions
tasked with transforming South Africa’s cities. The city practitioners own the narrative, teach others about
effecting change, and find ways of coming together to build fundamentally different cities.
The BEITT comprises built environment practitioners from various disciplines across the SACN’s participating
cities, members of the SACN Secretariat, the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs
(COGTA), the National Treasury’s City Support Programme (CSP), as well as the SACN Built Environment
Integration Programme’s funding partners, the French Development Agency (AFD) and the Development
Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA). The BEITT’s objectives are:
• To formulate a collective city voice on issues of built environment integration and spatial transformation
that is led by city practitioners and rooted in their lived experiences.
• To deepen the collective understanding of practice through case studies, thereby creating a repository
of city experiences and practitioner voices to shape the discourse on spatial transformation.
• To continuously improve built environment practice in cities, by using a collective understanding of
practice as shaped by the case studies and experiences.
This Compendium provides an overview of the meetings and research work of the BEITT since 2017.