The South African Cities Network (SACN) is partnering with the City of Tshwane, the Department of Cooperative Governance, and the South African Local Government Association to convene the Fourth South Africa Urban Development Conference in March 2015.


In 2016, the SACN will produce its 4th State of South African Cities Report (SOCR), the main barometer of city development performance in the country. The SoCR has traditionally been preceded by a national urban development conference, which gives the range of urban sector stakeholders an opportunity to comment on the emerging data and analyses towards this important report. 2015 also happens to mark an important year for South Africa’s urban agenda as public consultations around South Africa’s first national urban policy, the Department of Cooperative Governance-led Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF), are in motion.


Furthermore, in 2015 South African cities will be hosting two pre-eminent Pan-African urban development events, namely the African Capital Cities Sustainability Forum (ACCSF) being hosted by the City of Tshwane in June 2015, and the seventh AfriCities Summit being convened by the United Cities and Local Government of Africa (UCLG Africa) and being hosted by the City of Johannesburg in December 2015.


The 2015 Urban Conference is thus being convened on 4-5 March 2015 in the City of Tshwane to encompass these flagship initiatives – dialogue and debate towards informing the SoCR, the IUDF, ACCSF and AfriCities. It intends to lead the engagement by asking the bold question “Are cities effective drivers of local and national development?”


The envisaged outcomes of the Urban Conference are to:


  1. Facilitate urban policy and planning dialogue with key urban development stakeholders, experts and partners (local and international);
  2. Interrogate and enhance preliminary data and findings towards the State of South African Cities Report (SoCR) IV;
  3. Contribute to strengthening of the Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF); and
  4. Build up national content towards the African Capital Cities Sustainability Forum and 7th AfriCities.


Building upon the success of the Spatial Transformation Conference held a year ago in Johannesburg, this conference intends to convene urban sector experts and stakeholders through an interactive and rigorous programme of dialogue and engagement. The event is to be held in the City of Tshwane, South Africa from 4 to 5 March 2015, with additional media- and side-events (by invitation) held throughout the week.


If you are an urban sector stakeholder, please join us in sharing our respective knowledge and perspectives, thus helping to further develop our common understanding of the state of urban South Africa, and identifying core urban development priorities.



08:30 Opening Plenary:
Facilitator: Sithole Mbanga

  • 08:40 – Opening: Spatial Change & Continuity in South Africa’s Cities (20)
  • 09:00 – Welcome address – Cllr Ramokgopa, City of Tshwane (10)
  • 09:10 – Keynote address – Minister Gordhan, Cooperative Governance (15)
  • 09:30 – Programme overview – S Mbanga, SACN (10)
  • 09:40 – Missioning panel – Cllr Tau, Deputy Minister Nel, Cllr Ramokgopa, Cllr Manyoni (40)
  • 10:20 – Q&A engagement with panel /speakers (40)
Media Briefing – BdRm 2&3
11:00 – 11:30 Tea
11:30 – 13:30 Plenary II:

  • 11:30 – Presentation of main IUDF themes (20) – Dr. Malahlela
  • Q&A (10)
  • 12:30 – “Shifting gear” session (30) – Dr. Elsbeth Dixon
  • 1st Learning Groups
    At lunch area (13:00)
13:30 – 14:30 Lunch
14:30 – 16:30
  • World Café on various urban themes (Parallel sessions)
    1. City support programme
    2. Image of Local Government
    3. Township development
    4. Spatial change
    5. Secondary cities studies
    6. Rural prosperity & urban success
    7. Social Cohesion
    8. Urban Safety
    9. Youth development
    10. Municipal Green Transport
    11. Smart cities
    12. Cites, and regional economies
    13. Food security
  • 2nd Learning Groups (16:15)
    • LG1-15 at Aud 1
    • LG 16-30 in Tea marquis
17:00 Cocktail & Talking-Heads Exhibit

  1. The Architects Collective
  2. Cityscapes
  4. Isandla Institute & Good Governance Learning Network (GGLN)
  5. The Infrastructure Dialogues
  6. Khanya: African Institute for Community-driven for Community-Driven Development (AICDD)
  7. Mobile Media Mob
  8. National Business Initiative (NBI)
  9. “Wake up, this is [YOUR CITY]!”
  10. South African Council for Planners (SACPLAN)
  11. The Capital Collective
  12. Play Africa
18:00 – 22:00 Instagram competition judging ceremony

  • 18h30 Welcome by SACN CEO
  • 18h35 Address by Tshwane Mayor
  • 18h45 About the Instagram competition
  • 19h00 Announcement of finalists

Cocktail Dinner
Entertainment by Ayo Solanke & Band


09:00 Chapter Conversations

  • Systematic Analysis: The State of South African Cities 2016 Chapters – Emerging content & links to IUDF
    1. The Spatial Transformation Imperative for SA Cities – Stacey-Leigh Joseph (Host: Nellie Lester)
    2. The Productivity of Cities – Shirley Robinson (Host: Diane Abrahams)
    3. Sustainable Cities –Gillian Maree (Host: Dora Nteo)
    4. Inclusive Cities – Nisa Mammon (Host: Ahmedi Vawda)
    5. City Governance & Governability – Godfrey Musvoto (Host: Seana Nkhahle)
    6. City Financing & Innovation – Sharon Lewis & Carmen Abdoll (Host: Simphiwe Dzengwa)
    7. Enabling Cities: Policies, Strategies, Actors, Institutions – Wendy Ovens (Host: Modjadji Malahlela)
  • 3rd Learning Groups
    At lunch area (10:15)
11:00 – 11:30 Tea
11:30 – 13:30 Chapter Conversations (Continued)

  • Strengthening the evidence-base: The State of South African Cities 2016 Chapters – Information-bases, Data & Indicators
  • 4th Learning Groups
    • At lunch area (13:00)
13:30 – 14:30 Lunch
14:30 – 16:30 Closing Plenary:

  • Report-backs – Key recommendations from the Commissions
  • Reflections on implications – Cllr Ramokgopa and Deputy Minister Nel
  • Closing & Vote of thanks.


The South African Urban Conference is facilitating a number of side events at the Innovation Hub from the 2nd – 6th March. These side events are closed to the public, and are by invitation only.


08h30 – 11h00 Assessing the impact of urban growth on local economy with a focus on climate change and water scarcity
Venue: Lecture room 3,4, Ground Floor, SAPI Technology Centre
09h00 – 16h00 5th Session of SA Urban Safety Reference Group
Venue: Board Room 2,3, Innovation Centre
14h30 – 17h00 COT Financing mechanisms strategy dialogue: Funding the green economy transition
Venue: Lecture room 3,4, Ground Floor, SAPI Technology Centre


09h00 – 16h00 SA Cities Knowledge Managers Reference Group
Venue: CSAPILect3&4
10h00 – 16h30 IUDF Urban Safety Consultation
Venue: SAPIConf1&2
10h00 – 15h00 IUDF Peer Review Workshop
Venue: Knowledge Centre
10h00 – 16h00 SACN Board & AGM
Venue: Auditorium 1
10h00 – 13h00 Green Transport Mini-Workshop
Venue: SAPILect1
13h30 – 16h30 State of Energy in Cities Session
17h00 – 20h00 SACN Inter-Reference Group Reception & Dinner
(Please note: venue is offsite at Casa Toscana)


09h00 – 13h00 SALGA Climate Change Champions Committee
Venue: Auditorium 2, Innovation Centre

Minister, Corporate Governance and Traditional Affairs
During the period 1991 to 1994, Dr Pravin Gordhan co-chaired the Transitional Executive Council until the 1994 elections. After the elections, he served as a Member of Parliament for the ANC until 1998. Over this period he helped to oversee the drafting of the White Paper on Local Government which laid the foundation for developing the local government authorities. Having played a key role in drafting the South African Constitution at CODESA, he was elected as Chairperson of the Constitutional Committee in Parliament, which had oversight over the implementation of the new constitution, adopted in 1996.

Deputy Minister, Corporate Governance and Traditional Affairs
Mr Andries Carl Nel holds a Bachelor of Civil Law from the University of Pretoria.

From 1990 to 1994, Mr Nel was Co-ordinator of the Lawyers for Human Rights’ Capital Punishment and Penal Reform Project from 1990 to 1994 and a member of ANC structures at branch and regional level in the Pretoria area. Mr Nel was a member of the National Executive Committee of the ANC Youth League from 1996 to 2001. Mr Nel also served as Whip of Portfolio Committee on Justice and House Whip from 2000 to 2002.

Between 2006 and 2007, he served as Acting Chief Whip of the African National Congress (ANC) and as a Chairperson of House of the National Assembly between 2008 and 2009. He was also the Deputy Minister for Constitutional Development from May 2009 until 09 July 2013 and has been a member of Parliament for the African National Congress (ANC) since 1994.

He has served as Deputy Chief Whip of the ANC from 2002 to 2008, a member of Portfolio Committees on Justice and Constitutional Development, Correctional Services, Health, Home Affairs, Communications, and the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA). He has also served in various Ad hoc committees as well as internal parliamentary committees such as the Rules, Joint Rules and Programme Committees, the Chief Whips’ Forum and Parliamentary Oversight Authority.

He has also served on the Constitutional Assembly Committee dealing with the judiciary and legal system and was a Co-ordinator of the Legal and Monitoring Team and ANC National Elections Team.

Executive Mayor, City of Tshwane 
Cllr Kgosientso Ramokgopa is the Executive Mayor of Tshwane and Chairperson of the African National Congress (ANC) in the Tshwane Region. He also served as Tshwane’s Ward 51 Councillor between 2000 and 2005.

He served in the leadership of the South African Students Congress (SASCO) and the ANC Youth League at the University of Durban-Westville.

His qualifications include BSc Civil Engineering from the University of Durban-Westville, Master of Public Administration from the University of Pretoria, Master of Business Leadership from the University of South Africa, and a Certificate in Executive Leadership from the University of Stellenbosch. He is currently writing his PhD thesis on local government finance at the University of Pretoria.

He has extensive experience in corporate governance and served as the CEO of the Metropolitan Trading Company (MTC), an entity of the City of Johannesburg, and of the Johannesburg Market which is the largest fresh produce market in the world by volume.

Chairperson of the South African Local Government Association
Cllr Thabo Manyoni holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) Degree; a Diploma in Business Management; a Certificate in Voter Education and successfully completed the University of South Africa’s Executive Development Program.

Manyoni has worked extensively towards the empowerment of disadvantaged communities through education and training. He made an immense contribution to the post-apartheid South Africa’s first democratic general elections in 1994, responsible for voter education.

Currently he is serving as the first Executive Mayor of the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality in the Free State Province, South Africa and also as the Chairperson of the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) since September 2011,

As an elected public representative, in addition to his current responsibilities, Cllr Manyoni held positions such as Chief Whip of the Mangaung Municipality and Member of the Free State Provincial Executive Council (MEC) responsible for Police, Roads and Transport in the Free State Provincial Government.

Between 1992 and 2006, Cllr Manyoni worked for some of the most influential institutions in our country, including holding positions such as Chief Executive Officer of the Free State Tourism Board, Chief Executive Officer or Municipal Manager of Maluti a Phofung Local Municipality, Executive Director for Economic Development and Planning, and was later appointed as City Manager of Mangaung Local Municipality.

In a party political capacity, he served as Deputy Chairperson of the African National Congress (ANC) (South Africa’s ruling party) Free State Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) from 2008 – 2012. He also served as Regional Chairperson of the ANC in Motheo Region since 2002.

Recently, Cllr Manyoni has been elected as President of the UCLGA’s SADC Region in December 2012.

Executive Mayor, City of Johannesburg Chair of South African Cities Network
He has served as Councillor since 1995 in the transition Council and has led portfolios such as Urban Development, Development Planning, Transportation and Environment, Economic Development, and Finance before being elected as Executive Mayor of Johannesburg in 2011.

In addition to his responsibilities within the Johannesburg Metro Municipality, he is also the Chair of the ANC Regional Executive Committee in Johannesburg. Chair of the Gauteng Executive Committee of the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) and a member of the National Executive Committee of the South African Local Government Association (SALGA). He is also Chairman of the South African Cities Network (SACN). His global responsibilities include being Vice Chair of the Global Network on Safer Cities (GNSC) and member of the Council of the United Cities and Local Government (UCLG) and UCLGA.

During his tenure as Executive Mayor, he pioneered the development of the Johannesburg 2040 Growth and Development Strategy (GDS). This long-term strategy charts Johannesburg’s long term development path in the face of a rapidly changing domestic and global economic, social and ecological climate.  Some of the key elements of the GDS 2040 are the expansion of the City’s Capital budget from R3.9bn in 2011/12 to R7.6bn in 2012/13. Amongst the flagship projects that he is championing are the Joburg Smart City and the Corridors of Freedom – a spatial transformation initiative of the City.

CEO, SA Cities Network and Overall Facilitator
Sithole Mbanga is Chief Executive Officer of South African Cities Network and has been with the organization since 2002. He was previously the Local Government Coordinator at the National Business Initiative (NBI), was involved with conducting capacity building training in Municipal Service Partnerships (MSP), and participated in the development and improvisation of DPLG’s national policy on Integrated Development Planning (IDP).

Executive Manager: Urban Development, Department of Cooperative Governance.
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). Prior to joining DCOG, Modjadji served as Deputy Director: Planning Coordination for Limpopo Office of the Premier; Municipal Director: Planning and Development for Polokwane; and Regional Executive Director for City of Tshwane. She holds a Masters in Development Studies and a PhD in Public Administration

Chairperson of the South African Local Government Association
Dr. Geci Karuri-Sebina is the Executive Manager: Programmes at South African Cities Network. She previously worked with National Treasury, the CSIR, the HSRC, and the UCLA Advanced Policy Institute. She holds Master’s degrees in Urban Planning and in Architecture & Urban Design, both from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), and a PhD (planning and innovation systems) from Wits. Geci additionally serves as a founding director of the Southern African Node of the Millennium Project, an Associate Editor of the African Journal for Science, Technology, Innovation and Development (Taylor & Francis) and is the Africa Regional Editor for foresight: the international journal of future studies.

Dr. Elsbeth Dixon
Elsbeth is the Chief Executive Officer of Common Purpose South Africa, a not-for-profit organisation delivering experiential leadership programmes. She joined Common Purpose SA in this capacity in 2006. In addition to this role, she has headed the student programmes team of Common Purpose Charitable Trust, the global leadership company, and led the delivery of student courses at leading international universities such as Harvard, Oxford and the National University of Singapore.

s She is currently a member of the international organisation’s executive team, responsible for the Africa region. Her two passions are the facilitation of transformative growth of individuals, and contributing to the future of Africa through enhancing the quality of its leaders.

World Café Conversations: Host Profiles


This is a “Café”-style conversation session, which enables participants to engage with a range of invited guests (“Hosts”) presenting on a range of key themes for short periods of time in small groupings. This has been specially designed and facilitated, with an explicit briefing given to each Host.

Hosts will share their perspective on their topic with a series of small groups at a table, as participants relocate between tables in 20-minute sets. For the participants, this will be an opportunity to experience a series of rapid “ deep dives” and focused engagements on urban themes relating to the Urban Conference’s overall purpose.

For Hosts, this will be an invaluable opportunity to showcase and debate their particular research or thematic areas.
Host: Samantha Naidu National Treasury: City Support Programme
Topic: Local government reforms in differentiated support of cities

Host: Sithole Mbanga South African Cities Network (SACN)
Topic: SACN and SALGA’s collaboration on the Image of Local Government

Host: Douglas Cohen Neighbourhood Development Programme
Topic: Catalysing township development through spatial planning and public investment

Host: Prof. Phillip Harrison South African Research Chair in Spatial Analysis and City Planning
Topic: Case-based findings about spatial change and continuity in parts of our cities

Host: Prof. Lochner Marais University of Free State / Centre for Development Studies
Topic: Why is rural prosperity tied to urban success?

Host: Louise Scholtz World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
Topic: Urban Futures: Demographic change & resource capacity

Host: Julia Middleton Common Purpose Charitable Trust
Topic: Cities and Social Cohesion – International Lessons

Host: Tina Silbernagl GIZ Violence & Crime Prevention Programme/ SA Urban Safety Reference Group
Topic: Urban Safety as a priority issue  in achieving the potential of cities

Host: Baba Buntu Ebukhosini Solutions
Topic: Youth development in South Africa – challenges and opportunities

Host: SANEDI: Energy and Mobility & Linkd Environmental Services Mr Carel Snyman & Mr Crispian Olver
Topic: Municipal Green Transport Programme

Host: Ms. Nontokozo Hadebe City of Johannesburg
Topic: “Smart cities” for South Africa?

Host: Kirsten Pearson National Treasury: Economies of Regions Learning Network (ERLN)
Topic: The role of cites in relation to regional economies

Host: Prof Julian May Department of Science and Technology – National Research Fund (DST- NRF) Centre of Excellence in Food Security
Topic: Food security in relation to urban growth and developmentTBC


This “Talking Heads” exhibition will present various perspectives (and ways of perceiving) the City which may be informative and stimulating for urban development stakeholders. In addition to displaying their materials, the presenters will be on hand to speak about their project, its commentary on “the state of South African cities.” and what messages they would like to share in terms of the future of urban management and governance in our country

Host: Lone Poulsen: The Architects Collective
Topic: Co-producing the City: Lessons from the Informal Cities and SA City Futures Projects

Host: Tau Tavengwa: Cityscapes Editor
Topic: Popular and critical perspectives on the city

Host: Zahira Asmal & Alex Cunningham: DESIGNING_SOUTHAFRICA
Topic: Designing Democracy: Movement and Placemaking projects

Host: Adoné Kitching: Isandla Institute and Good Governance Learning Network (GGLN)
Topic: State of Local Governance Research Project

Host: Richard Goode: Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA)
Topic: Topics from The Infrastructure Dialogues

Host: Peter Ochola: Kanya: African Institute for Community-driven for Community-Driven Development (AICDD)
Topic: Community-Based Planning and  enabling an active citizenry

Host: Thoban Jappie: Mobile Media Mob
Topic: New media and crowd sourcing

Host: Joanne Yawitch: National Business Initiative (NBI)
Topic: Lessons from the World Business Council for Sustainable Development

Host: Tanya Zack: Author: ‘Wake up, this is Joburg!’
Topic: Wake up, this is (your city!)

Host: Martin Lewis: South African Council for Planners (SACPLAN)
Topic: Planning profession perspective

Host: Mareli Wassenaar; Capital Collective
Topic: 50 ideas for the City

Host: Gretchen Wilson Prangley: Play Africa
Topic: Safe and inclusive public spaces


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.

Sustainable Cities

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.

Inclusive Cities

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.

Well-Governed Cities

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).

City Financing

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

Host:Modjadji Malahlela
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.


Innovation Hub

The Innovation Centre
Mark Shuttleworth Street at The Innovation Hub
Pretoria, South Africa.

Dates: 4th – 5th March 2015

Visit The Innovation Hub Website


Recommended Accommodation: The City Lodge

City Lodge Hotel Lynnwood – Pretoria (3 Star)
Address: 146 Blue Gate Road, Corner Lynnwood and Daventry Roads,
Lynnwoon Manor,
South Africa
+27 12 471 0300

Booking reference: 90240 / “The Urban Conference at The Innovation Hub” to qualify for special conference rate for the hotel accommodation.

Visit the City Lodge Hotel Website

Conference Rate (per room per night):

  • Single: R 1 104.94
  • Double: R 1 345.32
  • Please note that this does not include breakfast. Breakfast will be an additional R125.00 per person per day.

The conference encourages participants to use public transport as far as possible, including use of the Gautrain.

The City of Tshwane will be arranging delegate transfers from The City Lodge Hotel and Hatfield Gautrain Station, as well as to and from the Conference Venue at the Innovation Hub.

Instagram Competition


The South African Cities Network will convene the 4th South African Urban Development Conference from 4 – 6 March 2015. The conference, will inform the preparation of the 4th State of Cities Report by focusing on the question: “Are cities driving local and national development?”

As part of the exciting build-up towards the State of South African Cities Report 2016, the South African Cities Network (SACN) is initiating a public initiative intended to engage youth in thinking and commenting about their cities. The 2015 SA Cities’ Instagram Photo Competition is thus aimed at welcoming young city residents, through a per-city competition format, to contribute to building up a reflective, visually compelling set of images about how citizens and urban dwellers view their cities and city life.

To leverage the growing interest and participation in social media and “insta-walks,” SACN has partnered with Mobile Media Mob (MMM) to orchestrate this Instagram Photo Competition where young people can “Instagram” images of their city in response to an overall competition theme:

The best images will be added to SACN’s image library for use across various outputs, and the winning entries will be featured in the State of Cities Report 2016.



I have a vision for this city… For my urban life and lifestyle.
I want to be able to live, work and play
as part of a wider community who can all do the same.
[How] does… or could… my city provide the
for us to have a fulfilling urban life?

Enter Here