The South African Cities Network Research Areas, the City Development Strategy, Inclusive Cities, Productive Cities, Sustainable Cities & Resilient Cities and Well-Governed Cities prepares and publishes regular editions of work. These publications, with their thorough research, provide a basis on which to start looking at how to make South African cities better places in which to live, work and play.

SACN Research Compendium – 20 Years of Urban Research


Cities are complex and organic, and they are rapidly growing to be one of Africa’s biggest opportunities and challenges for the 21st century. As practitioners, public administrators, politicians, and institutions grapple with how to plan and govern these evolving cities, public interest knowledge intermediaries like…

Urban Resilience In South African Cities


This report seeks to identify and interrogate the opportunities that crises may present in encouraging the development of bottom-up, city-led urban resilience strategies. It also identifies and outlines various opportunities in the area of urban resilience. This report is complemented by an urban resilience strategy…

EPWP (Re)-Skilling Tomorrow’s Workforce


The Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), a South African public employment programme (PEP), was launched in 2004 to address mass unemployment by creating short-term employment through labour-intensive projects. Since its implementation, the programme has employed millions of people and offered social protection through income and…

EPWP Exit Strategy for South African Cities


Public Employment Programmes (PEPs) are described as public-financed employment-generation tools implemented by various national governments across the globe as part of their respective national social security/protection systems (ILO, 2010). The main objective of these programmes is typically to alleviate poverty, unemployment and underemployment through the…

A Compendium on the Water Resilient Cities Learning Events 2018-2022


With urban resilience taking centre stage, African cities are increasingly recognising the need to better understand water-related risks. They are also beginning to explore innovative approaches that will enhance and enable their water systems to perform in volatile and unpredictable environments and optimise performance under…

State of City Finances 2022

Annual Report

The State of City Finances Report is one of the flagship publications of the South African Cities Network. As with previous editions (in 2011, 2013, 2015, 2018 and 2020), this sixth State of City Finances Report examines the finances of the biggest cities in South…

City Diplomacy Papers Vol. 2

Paper Series

The South African Cities Network (SACN) International Relations (IR) Forum is a joint initiative of the SACN and eight of the largest cities in South Africa. Its primary purpose is to engage in and develop a collective city agenda that clearly positions South African cities…

Spatial Determinants of Wellbeing – Paper Series

Paper Series

This volume of papers explores spatial determinants of well-being. The papers look at spatial inequalities related to public transport and decent work, early childhood development and violence against ‘othered’ bodies. They also explore opportunities for building neighbourhood wellbeing and lessons from COVID-19 best practices on…

SoCR 5 People’s Guide

State of Cities Report

Cities are about people, first and foremost. And, as the national Integrated Urban Development Framework states, South African cities should be safe, liveable, socially integrated, economically inclusive and globally competitive, with an active citizenry.   The 2021 State of Cities Report (SoCR) reaffirms an important…

State of South African Cities Report 2021

State of Cities Report

The 5th edition of the State of South African Cities Report 2021. The SoCR is the SACN’s flagship output that presents a five-year perspective on the performance and analysis of the conditions of South Africa’s largest cities. The central concern of SoCRs is to produce solid and up-to-date information that helps inform and support the work of urban actors across different sectors of society, as well as research into how to make South African cities functional.