South Africa’s municipalities are set to review their Integrated Development Plans (IDPs) to pave the way for new-look mining towns.

An Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) that was established to revitalise distressed mining towns have instructed municipalities to begin the process – with towns in South Africa’s North West Province first in line to receive part of the R2.1 billion development funding from government.

The director for Revitalization of Distressed Mining Communities Outcomes Monitoring and Evaluation, Mpho Ndaba made the announcement in Parliament no Wednesday.

Sustainable human settlement

Ndaba said the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) would lead the process of reviewing the IDPs of municipalities where mining towns are located to make a provision for town planning, amongst other things, to not only build human settlements, but incorporate Special Economic Zones (SEZs), reported SAnews.gov.

“An integrated sustainable human settlement approach needs to be followed. National strategic interventions need to be integrated, SEZs, social and labour plans integrated in IDPs.

“CoGTA will facilitate the participation of national sector departments in the on-going IDP reviews,” said Ndaba.

Task team

A national task team made up of various governmental departments and economic development agencies has been set up to strengthen district municipalities IDPs, with Bojanala District Municipality in the North West Province, South Africa identified as a pilot prioritised in the short term.

The Inter-Ministerial Committee has been mandated to revitalise 14 mining towns across five provinces – Mpumalanga, North West, Gauteng, Northern Cape, Limpopo and Free State.

Holistic intervention

Its formation came after President Jacob Zuma called for a holistic approach to address the challenges faced by mineworkers in mining communities.

To date, government has set aside R2.1 billion over the next three years to fund housing project implementation in mining towns.

According to SAnew.gov mining towns in the North West namely Rustenburg, Madibeng and Moses Kotane, will get a lion’s share of the package with about 50% of the allocation to be invested in the area.

R290 million in upgrades

Ndaba said R290 million had been approved for informal settlement upgrading for the 2014/15 financial year, a project under the Department of Human Settlements.

As part of the progress that has been done to date; 82 settlements are being assessed or planned through the National Upgrade Support Programme; 22 of these settlements have now moved into the implementation phase by provinces; 66 human settlements projects are being implemented, including 20 informal settlements being given services.

Tenure work is being done on 40 of the projects.

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