- The Gauteng city-region, with a population of 11.2 million inhabitants (22% of the national population), encompasses a series of connected cities, including Johannesburg and the national capital of Tshwane (formerly named Pretoria), that function as a single, integrated region.
- Population is growing rapidly, especially from in-migration: 3.2 million residents were added to the Gauteng city-region between 1995 and 2009. Compared to OECD metro-regions, the Gauteng city-region features the highest growth rate, growing at more than 2.7% annually between 1997 and 2007, nearly three times as fast as the OECD metro-region average (0.96%).
- The Gauteng city-region accounts for 34% of South Africa’s GDP, 11% of Africa’s GDP, 52% of the share of national R&D (2008-2009), and 63% of national trade.
- Key challenges include high unemployment (26.9%), HIV (12%), and low life expectancy (51 years).
key policy issues
- How to balance the priorities of expanding infrastructure with productivity growth and job creation
- The links between spatial integration, economic opportunity and reducing racial and class inequalities
- Leveraging mass transit to stimulate connectivity, mobility, and inclusion
- The governance advantages and disadvantages of a city-region approach
- Improving education and apprenticeship programmes: upgrade apprenticeship training, improve the relevance of training in public institutions, and spearhead a campaign to attract and retain teachers.
- Increasing the supply of modest cost housing: facilitate the construction of more affordable homes; incubate a larger non-profit housing development community; and increase mixed-cost developments.
- Improving mobility by enhanced transportation-oriented development and growth management: develop mechanisms to encourage drivers to switch to public transport; support broader experimentation with transit-oriented development including incentives for developers.
- Improving productivity growth: expanding tertiary and vocational education; enhancing technological capacity of firms; enhancing linkages between government and the academy.
- Expanding Gauteng’s green growth: place Gauteng city-region in the pole position to create new sectors in renewable energy and clean tech in Africa and beyond; expand solar energy provision; leverage the green economy as a basis for regional export.
- Enhancing city-region transportation: ensure inter-operability between all public transit fare systems in the city-region and utilise the Gautrain system as a platform for cooperation in Gauteng
- Enlarge city-region environmental policy-making: enlarge intermunicipal co-operation on waste collection and disposal, develop a metropolitan approach to climate change action planning, and deepen metropolitan cooperation on environmental data collection and management.
For more information about urban policy at the OECD please visit www.oecd.org/regional/regional-policy/urbandevelopment.htm.