Adaptive governance

Stepping into action while embracing and adapting to uncertainty lies at the heart of the practice of adaptive governance. The EDP brings a multidisciplinary approach to designing and implementing adaptive governance frameworks within government and across sectors. This includes an emphasis on systems thinking, embedding collaborative behaviours and promoting adaptive learning practices that drive continual innovation. 

City of Cape Town guidelines for Partnership Organisations

The City of Cape Town has a long history of working with Partnership Organisations, with valuable urban regeneration and economic development gains made by the Greater Tygerberg Partnership, Hout Bay Partnership and the former Cape Town Partnership, among others.

In 2022, the EDP is supporting the City to capture this valuable institutional knowledge and develop a framework that outlines the City’s approach to Partnership Organisations in relation to partnership entities. The methodology, tools and outcomes will be piloted before wider rollout in the City to support their application.

Stakeholder Engagement for City of Cape Town’s Spatial Planning and Environment Directorate

The City of Cape Town has an extensive history of working with relevant stakeholders to further its Integrated Development Plan mandate and objectives. The City’s Spatial Planning and Environment Directorate aims to reinforce a systematic, coherent and constructive approach to engaging with its stakeholder network to support long-term, sustainable growth. The EDP is assisting in the development of a Stakeholder Engagement Framework and updated City of Cape Town Partnering Toolkit to support the Spatial Planning and Environment Directorate and other City Directorates in their stakeholder relations.



Wellbeing Economy

A wellbeing economy recognises that the ultimate goal of economic development is enhanced social and ecological wellbeing. South Africa remains the world’s most unequal country with limited success in GDP growth seen over the last decade. The southern African region also faces some of the worst climate change risks, including widespread droughts, flooding and mass migration. The EDP enables partnerships across government and society in support of an economy which enables all citizens to thrive.

Western Cape Safety Programme: Keeping communities safe

The Western Cape Safety Programme uses a public health approach to safety, with a focus on preventing violence by identifying and addressing its underlying causes. The programme merges law enforcement and violence prevention under an integrated programme which is delivered by Area Based Teams (ABTs) established in the most crime affected areas.

The EDP supports the Western Cape government in the design and capacitation of these ABTs and the Liaison Officers tasked with establishing and running ABTs in priority areas. Given the cross-cutting nature of crime prevention, the EDP is represented across the relevant technical work groups to support the programme’s goals of improved collaboration and partnering. Having developed the conceptual framework for the ABT approach, the EDP will continue to develop and support its joint implementation in 2022.

Garden Route Development Partnership: Promoting development in the Garden Route

Previously known as the South Cape Economic Partnership (SCEP), the Garden Route Development Partnership (GRDP) is a platform facilitated by the EDP that brings together key public sector, private sector and civil society role players in the Garden Route District to collaborate meaningfully around key priorities for the region. Specifically, the GRDP supports the implementation of the Garden Route Growth and Development Strategy (and the associated Recovery Plan) developed by the EDP and adopted by the District Council in 2021. The EDP provides backbone support and capacitates partners towards effective collaboration. Lessons learned from the unique GRDP structure will be shared to promote regional collaborative solutions for sustainable socio-economic development.

Supporting the manufacturing sector in Cape Town

The COVID-19 pandemic and related lockdowns have had a significant impact on the manufacturing sector in the Western Cape. A City-led programme established with the EDP in 2019 to support the manufacturing sector has pivoted towards building the necessary resilience to cope with the ongoing disruptions and recessionary operating conditions caused by COVID-19.

The EDP is supporting the City’s Enterprise and Investment Unit to conduct research and facilitate stakeholder engagements across the Food and Beverage industry as a catalytic sector to promote economic growth and facilitate trade and investment within the City. This includes the establishment of a Food and Beverage sector support platform to promote skills development and job creation while promoting industrial development.

Developing a City-wide strategic approach to Light Manufacturing

The City of Cape Town aims to develop light manufacturing as a pathway to boost economic development and job creation. The redevelopment of sites such as the Mfuleni Light Manufacturing Hub is a potential catalyst for local economic growth that would benefit local communities. The EDP is assisting the City’s Enterprise and Investment Unit to undertake stakeholder engagements with key players to prepare for the co-design and use of key light manufacturing hubs, as well as develop a light manufacturing framework and related partnering strategy. These engagements will support their sustainable management, including possible partnerships to assist with operations, as well as alignment with the City’s overall policy priorities to boost township economies.

Supporting economic recovery and development for Cape Town’s Area East

The City of Cape Town has adopted Area Economic Development as an approach to promote and encourage participation in local economic development as part of its delivery of urban management services to four service delivery areas. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated economic challenges across all areas, requiring the City to pivot towards supporting economic recovery for businesses and informal traders, among others. The EDP is assisting the City with the development and implementation of an Economic Recovery Plan for Area East, which comprises 11 suburbs with a population of around one million people. The plan includes support to 12 catalytic projects spread across sub-councils that could boost economic growth and development in local communities by creating sustainable partnerships.



Sustainable systems

As the impact of climate change unfolds, it is increasingly clear that social systems and ecological systems are closely interlinked. Sustainable systems emphasise alignment between people and the natural environment and embrace the complexity and resilience in each. The EDP convenes partnering processes that support regenerative practices towards enhanced social and ecological wellbeing, livelihoods and resilience to future shocks.

Cape Town Carbon Neutral 2050: Developing sustainable transport planning

The City of Cape Town has committed, along with 100 cities worldwide to achieving zero carbon emissions by 2050, while adapting to the impact of climate change. This commitment is embedded in the City’s new Climate Change Strategy and Climate Action Plan. To support the implementation of these plans, the EDP has been working with the City’s Sustainable Energy Market team since 2019 to help catalyse action across all sectors.

In 2022, the EDP is focussing on transport as a key driver of climate change in Cape Town and will facilitate engagements with the transport sector to inform the sustainable planning and delivery of the City’s Comprehensive Integrated Transport Plan The EDP continues to support the Sustainable Energy Markets team in promoting a carbon neutral lens across departments.

Coastal Park landfill site: Stakeholder engagement support for materials recovery

Cape Town’s Coastal Park landfill site in Muizenberg is expected to reach capacity within five years. The City of Cape Town has plans to develop an on-site Materials Recovery Facility to integrate the surrounding community using a recyclable sorting model. This community co-operative is envisioned to complement the Facility’s operations and develop skills and create jobs among community members while helping to meet Cape Town’s ambitions as a resilient, resource-smart city.

The EDP is assisting the City to develop a stakeholder engagement process and a research review that outlines a holistic approach to the future of the site, building on the work of key players in this area, including academia, private sector and local government. The project aims to document existing models to help advance waste management processes in Cape Town more broadly.

Futurecasting Cape Town: Dialogues around the City’s resilience

Futurecasting Cape Town is a series of webinars that promotes exchange across sectors and disciplines to reflect on critical issues facing Cape Town, with panelists invited to share their thoughts on how to build an inclusive and resilient future.

Futurecasting is a well-established approach to model the future and anticipate changes in a sector or society in the coming 10 to 15 years. It combines past patterns and trends with current insights and includes futures thinking to help shape the future and mitigate any possible risks.

The Futurecasting Cape Town series, which is convened by the City of Cape Town’s Resilience Department and hosted by the EDP, underscores a key element of the City’s Resilience Strategy, which aims to encourage participation in urbanisation solutions, access to shared knowledge and expertise and the ability to tap into the inherent economic opportunities inherent in rapid urbanisation and technological transformation.

See previous Futurecasting Cape Town webinars here

Food: Addressing food insecurity and malnutrition

Access to quality food and nutrition is both an economic and social need, and key to unlocking productivity and wellbeing. As with the rest of South Africa, there are massive disparities in access to food and nutrition in the Western Cape, with one in three households facing severe food and nutrition insecurity. While the COVID-19 pandemic revealed and worsened these challenges, the sustained efforts by civil society, private donors and government showed that multi-sectoral coordination is both possible and necessary to address food insecurity and malnutrition.

Since early 2020, the EDP has supported the delivery of food aid to community kitchens across the Western Cape to help alleviate food insecurity. Building on the network of kitchens supported and created by the Community Action Networks, the EDP created a voucher programme which was initially funded by private donations and managed with the help of the DG Murray Trust. Over R10 million was channeled to support 555 kitchens. In 2021, the Department of Social Development provided R2 million to continue the voucher programme which ended in December 2021.

In 2022, the EDP continues to convene the Western Cape Food Forum, comprising around 70 organisations and close to 400 individuals, with an increasing shift towards promoting local production for consumption across all levels of the food system. The EDP is also deepening its support to the Western Cape Government’s ‘Nourish To Flourish’ programme by promoting partnerships around food and farming activities at community level. Similarly, the EDP is working with the City of Cape Town to support the implementation of the Food Systems Programme by enhancing good governance across all actors in the City’s food system.

Nexusing Water, Energy and Food to increase resilience

The South African National Research Foundation together with the Dutch Research Council, under the Cooperation South Africa-Netherlands Programme are funding research to support studies on solutions that balance trade-offs and amplify synergies between the water, energy, and food sectors while preserving the environment. The project aims to boost governance arrangements and improve collaboration across these sectors, based on research conducted in collaboration with six local urban labs. The EDP is supporting the consortium of research and societal partners, specifically around engagement with stakeholders in the food, energy and water sectors and supporting capacity building among stakeholders.

Hydro-Economic Study of the Western Cape Water Supply System

The Western Cape is a water scarce region which has recently faced significant droughts with severe social and economic consequences. A long-term view of the region’s water resilience is needed to help protect against these catastrophic effects. The World Bank and 2030 Water Resources Group is funding a multi-year hydro-economic study of the Western Cape Water Supply System which provides water to over four million people in Cape Town and towns in the Overberg, Boland, West Coast and Swartland municipalities as well as agriculture. The study will provide a strong base for water resource management decisions while building relationships and empathy between key stakeholders to support institutional cooperation and partnership for future water security.

As part of the project task team, the EDP is supporting the overall management of the study with partners while leading the engagement process through a representative Steering Committee. The study concludes in 2022 with knowledge sharing.

Partnering guidelines for catchment management agencies

Catchment Management Agencies (CMAs), as endorsed by the National Water Act of 1998 can play a critical role in delegating water resource management to regional or catchment levels and involving local communities in decision making. Yet to date, only two of an anticipated nine CMAs have been established. Funded by the Water Research Commission, the EDP in collaboration with Stellenbosch University’s Centre for Complex Systems in Transition is developing a guiding framework and recommendations for collaborative and adaptive management approaches for improved catchment management in South Africa.

The project draws on the lessons learned by the Breede River Partnership between the Breede-Gouritz Catchment Management Agency and the Western Cape government, which was designed and implemented with support from the EDP between 2017 to 2020. In 2022, a partnering framework will be released that will facilitate improved water management at catchment level.

Athlone Power Station redevelopment: Support to stakeholder engagement processes

The Athlone Power Station in Cape Town was decommissioned as a coal-fired power station in 2003, but the site’s infrastructure holds strong potential for redevelopment towards renewable and sustainable energy generation. The EDP is supporting the City of Cape Town’s Sustainable Energy Markets team to conduct an extensive stakeholder engagement process to help develop a shared understanding for the future of the site. The process will inform the City’s pre-feasibility study and aims to build strong relationships with stakeholders across sectors to ensure adequate information sharing and foster collaboration in the years to come.



Spatial transformation

South Africa’s apartheid-era planning left a legacy of spatial inequality that in many places has worsened as social inequality has risen. In turn, spatial imbalances such as unequal access to economic opportunities, decision making and mobility further perpetuate social and economic inequality. The EDP brings partnering practices that engage the whole of society in promoting spatial integration and transformation in South Africa’s towns and cities.

Changemaker Towns Network: National learning and support network

South African towns and their regions face many challenges, from persistent drought to ‘brain drain’ to bigger cities. Municipalities are overwhelmed, with many struggling  to provide basic services. The Changemaker Towns Network is an action-inspired national learning and support network convened by the EDP and five Support Partners – In Transformation InitiativeRanyakaKagiso TrustRestaurare/ Citeplanand Democracy Works Foundation – which aims to connect, support and promote cross-sectoral efforts to bring about change and regeneration in small to intermediate towns. Bi-monthly full network meetings for the 90+ participating organisations are complemented by projects with local partnerships. Discussions are ongoing with potential partners and changemakers. Interested individuals and organisations can get in touch here.

Rethinking the economics of public spaces in South Africa

As towns across South Africa rebuild their economies and social structures from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical to acknowledge the role that public spaces can play in economic recovery and building collective well-being and resilience. In a series of articles published in the Daily Maverick, EDP Programme Lead Marcela Guerrero Casas engages with South African thought leaders and pioneers in their fields in rethinking the economics of public spaces and the concept of the commons more broadly as a key investment in the provision of basic services such as housing, transport, health and recreation.

This series is funded by the Heinrich Böll Foundation Southern Africa with a view to sharing best practices across African cities and accompanied with photographs by Ashraf Hendricks.