10 Jul PLANNERS PAY TRIBUTE TO NELSON MANDELA
The greatest tribute that Planners can pay to former President, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, is to escalate the spatial transformation of our country.
Let us not forget that the struggle for freedom that Mandela fought for was essentially a struggle against forced removal, restriction of movement and segregated spatial planning. Planners operating under the apartheid system were responsible for designing and organizing our country into group areas. Every town and city in our country is racially segregated into White, Black, Colored and Indian areas separated by railway lines, roads or green buffer zones. Planners operating in the free dispensation that Mandela and his fellow generation of selfless leaders helped bring about have to deepen our commitment and dedication to the task of stitching together the spatial fabric of our towns, cities and rural areas.
Twenty years into democracy the spatial footprint of apartheid still looms large and it remains an immense and costly task to rearrange the physical landscape. The National Development Plan addresses the objective of spatial transformation in a number of ways and provides a beacon for change that all Planners whether in the public or private sector ought to embrace and help implement.
Planners have to push the envelope and strive for excellence in the way we approach long-range forward planning, spatial development frameworks, land use managements systems and the day to day submission and decision-making with regard to development applications. Such excellence can ensure that we start making better choices so that the process of integrated sustainable development is well embedded into our system of governance.
As we continue with the campaign of “Making Great Places” towards the forthcoming Planning Africa conference to be held in Durban in October 2014, let us dedicate it to the values and example of Nelson Mandela. We must make places that are safe, healthy and vibrant. Places which are inclusive and non-racial.
Our deepest condolences go to the Mandela family and to the many friends and comrades of Madiba. We share today in commemoration with billions of people around the world and celebrate the gift of Mandela’s legacy to humanity. Hamba Kahle Madiba!
YUSUF PATEL| PRESIDENT
Download: SAPI – A TRIBUTE TO NELSON MANDELA