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Human settlement transformation is a critical component of addressing the impact of SA’s spatial legacy on people’s lives and livelihoods and establishing a new development path. While the fundamental reshaping of the colonial and apartheid impact on the space economy is a long-term project, chapter 8 of the National Development Plan (NDP) states that “by 2030 SA should observe meaningful and measurable progress in reviving rural areas and in creating more functionally integrated, balanced and vibrant urban settlements”.

The network of major urban areas and diverse range of cities, towns and service nodes are “home” to more than 82% of South Africans. These are places where urbanisation acts as an enabler of growth and innovation (in spite of the associated service delivery challenges). As stated in the Integrated Urban Development Framework (2014) “in the economic history of humanity, urbanisation has always been an accelerator of growth and development, bringing about enormo...

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