The Spatial Transformation Imperative for SA Cities
Host: Nellie Lester
Nellie Lester is currently a consultant with the Development Bank of Southern Africa. Prior to that, she served development institutions in various capacities including being General Manager at the Housing Development Agency, and Deputy Director General at the Department of Cooperative Governance, and Executive Director at Planact. Ms Lester is a former Board member of South Africa Cities Network (SACN), the Housing Development Agency, and the Habitat International Coalition (HIC) among others. Ms Lester has over a decade of experience in urban planning, policy reviews and housing related institutions. She holds a Master’s degree in Urban and Rural Planning from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada.
Presenter: Stacey-Leigh Joseph
Stacey-Leigh Joseph is the Built Environment Programme Manager at the South African Cities Network. Before joining the South African Cities Network she worked as a senior researcher at the National Department of Human Settlements and a number of NGOs. She holds a Masters in International Relations from Rhodes University.
The Productivity of Cities
Host:Diane Abrahams (TBC)
Dr. Diane Abrahams is the Director of the School of Tourism and Hospitality at University of Johannesburg’s School of Tourism and Hospitality Management. Prior to this, she was Chief Director: Economic Policy at the Department for Economic Development. Diane graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand with a BSc, BSc Honours, a MSc (Local Economic Development and Land Restitution in the Northern Cape) and a PhD (Base conversion and Local Economic Development in South Africa). Her academic reputation is strengthened by several accredited articles, conference proceedings and trade press contributions.
Presenter: Shirley Robinson
Shirley Robinson is an economist with over 20 years applied public policy experience. She holds a Masters Business Science (Economics) degree from the University of Cape Town (1996) and has worked extensively in the public sector at the senior management level, as well as in the non-governmental sector. Shirley is currently an independent economic development consultant working as an associate basis with Rebel Southern Africa, specialising in public policy concerns targeted towards urban and regional economic analysis as well as public finance management concerns. Her particular interests and expertise in urban and regional economic development are focused on spatial transformation as a key driver of regional economic productivity and competitiveness.
Host: Dora Nteo
Dora Nteo is a sustainability specialist with over 17 years’ experience in the field and currently serving as a Strategic Executive Director: City Sustainability at the City of Tshwane. Until December 2012, Ms Nteo was a Chief Policy Advisor for Sustainable Development at the South African Government Department of Environmental Affairs. Ms Nteo holds an MBA from the University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute for Business Science (GIBS), a Master’s Degree in Environment and Development from the University of Sussex, UK; a Post-Graduate Diploma in Environmental Diplomacy from the University of Geneva, Switzerland and a first Degree in Environmental Health from the Tshwane University of Technology. Ms Nteo is currently a member of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Government Advisory Group, a non-executive director of the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) board.
Presenter: Gillian Maree
Gillian Maree is a Town Planner specialising in spatial and strategic environmental planning, and is currently part of South African Cities Network’s Sustainable Cities programme. She has a BSc Hons (Town Planning) from Wits University and an MSc (Environmental Science) from University of Greenwich. She has 14 years of experience gained at the CSIR, Department of Trade and Industry, private sector consulting and currently at now at the SACN. Her areas of specialisation have primarily focused on strategic environmental planning, water resource management, biodiversity, spatial planning, environmental policy and environmental reporting as well extensive experience in GIS and working with environmental data in South Africa. Her current responsibilities as a Researcher focus on sustainable cities in South Africa.
Host: Ahmed Vawda
Ahmed Vawda is the Deputy Director General overseeing Human Settlements for the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) in The Presidency. Between 2002 and 2005 he was responsible for policy and programmes at the national Department of Housing and Human Settlements, and then worked as a Technical Advisor to the Minister’s offices working on Strategic Projects, focusing on the regional and international initiatives. Previously he was Executive Director responsible for Community Development (Including Housing) and Chief Director at the Department of Land Affairs.
Presenter: Nisa Mammon
Dr. Nisa Mammon is a professional planning practitioner in private practice. She holds a Master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of Cape Town, and a PhD from the same focusing on the urban land question (management and access for the urban poor in post-apartheid South Africa). Her planning and design work focuses mainly on making the public realm accessible to the majority of people to help create an inclusive urban environment. Nisa’s research interest is in making urban land and land markets accessible to the urban poor.
Host: Seana Nkhahle
Seana Nkhahle is currently the Executive Director for Corporate Strategy and Research at the South African Local Government Association (SALGA). He is also SALGA’s Acting Executive Manager in the Office of the Chief Executive Officer. Prior to joining SALGA, Seana had served as an Executive Manager at South African Cities Network (SACN). Seana has worked in various capacities in Local Government, civil society, academia and consultancy. He was recently been appointed as chairman of the Green Building Council of SA which was established in 2007 to guide the transformation of the building industry towards sustainability. He is also chairperson of Planact where he continues to pursue his desire to build and support grassroots community organisations towards active citizenship. Seana holds a Bsc. (Hons) Town and Regional Planning from Wits University, and is working towards completing his MSc Building Science (Property Development and Management) with Wits.
Presenter: Godfrey Musvoto
Dr. Godfrey Musvoto holds a PhD and Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of KwaZulu Natal. He is a registered professional planner with the South African Council for Planners (SACPLAN). Godfrey has worked on various development planning projects that include formulation of University Campus Master Plans and developing guidelines for sustainable urbanisation. In addition, Godfrey has extensive lecturing and research experience in Town and Regional Planning. Currently he is working as a researcher for the South African Cities Network (SACN).
Host: Simphiwe Dzengwa
Simphiwe Dzengwa is the Executive Director: Municipal Finance at the South African Local Government Association (SALGA). He was born and grew up in Zwelitsha, in the Eastern Cape. From an early age Simphiwe was involved in various leadership positions in student, youth and community structures. This laid a solid foundation for his character and further engagements in his adult and professional life. Simphiwe started his junior degree and later obtained his MBA at Rhodes, graduated and did his Honours degree at UWC and has an MPA degree from Florida Atlantic University in USA. Simphiwe has worked extensively in the area of government finances and management and generally considers himself a developmental activist. He has extensive experience in government having worked with all the three spheres mainly in the areas of finance, policy development, capacity building, project management, monitoring and evaluation, research and innovation, and others. Simphiwe has also worked in senior managerial roles within the private sector and has led various initiatives both nationally and internationally.
Presenter: Sharon Lewis
Sharon Lewis became interested in city development when she was a student of Town and Regional Planning at Wits in the 1990s. She has worked in the public sector in South Africa for 17 years, focusing on urban policy, public finance to incentivise sustainable urban development, local government’s role in urban development and urban management, and public infrastructure and property investments to improve urban systems. Sharon has worked for both National and Local Government, most recently with the Johannesburg Development Agency and South African Cities Network. Since March 2015, she has been employed by the Western Cape Economic Development Partnership.
Presenter: Carmen Abdoll
Carmen Abdoll spent five years with National Treasury in the Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations Branch and later in the Tax Policy Unit. She worked on the local government equitable share, and on various projects related to the structure of the intergovernmental fiscal system in South Africa. She also has experience in budget analysis, and various tax policy issues, including value-added tax, excise duties and all sub-national taxes. Since joining Cornerstone Economic Research in 2013, Carmen has worked on public expenditure analysis and costing projects covering the in-service training of teachers, the delivery of school infrastructure and the roll-out of library infrastructure. She has an M.Phil (Taxation) from the University of Pretoria, and a B.Com Honours (Economics) from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.
The Enabling Environment: Policies, Actors and Institutions
Dr. Modjadji Malahlela is the Executive Manager: Urban Development in the Department of Cooperative Governance. She is responsible for, among other duties, coordinating the development of South Africa’s Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF).
Presenter: Wendy Ovens
Wendy Ovens has had vast experience working on local government transformation and stabilisation. This has included policy development, the preparation of Spatial Development Frameworks, assessing municipal capacity, the implications of powers and functions for the performance of municipalities as well as governance and service provider considerations. She has also undertaken a number of research projects on land use management, integration and small towns in South Africa. Wendy was lead consultant to the City of Johannesburg in providing support and guidance to the City of Lilongwe for the preparation of the City Development Strategy. Wendy has a Masters in Town and Regional Planning and is a registered planner in South Africa. She has 25 years of experience in both the public and private sector.