Connecting town and township

Township areas on the outskirts of Cape Town will be considered for economic inclusion with the city through Cape Town Partnership.

This was announced at the organisation’s 12th AGM where it was proposed that two platforms will be used to include the townships. These are the recently won World Design Capital 2014 and the Economic Development Partnership (EDP).

A socially minded approach to how design can be harnessed for effective sustainable living is what’s needed, explains Cape Town Partnership managing director Bulelwa Makalima-Ngewana, “Compiling the bid to be World Design Capital has been integral to understanding a new vision for Cape Town, one that sees the design process as a means for transforming lives by reconnecting infrastructural development with the rebuilding of social cohesion.”

South Africa’s political history has left us with many inequalities, says Makalima-Ngewana, “Design was used during apartheid to divide us, now it can be used to overcome that spatial legacy. The town-township connection is very important to our livelihood as a city.”

Cape Town Partnership will be offering its expertise in building partnerships across the city, which will result in economic inclusion of the impoverished areas, ensuring they are part of the city’s upcoming urban-renewal efforts.

According to Cape Town Partnership, more than 60% of South Africa is currently urbanised, and those numbers are rising sharply, with many moving from poorer rural areas to Johannesburg and Cape Town in particular, most to townships on the edge of our cities. This means that, in the context of our increasingly urban future, what happens in town can’t be divorced from what happens in the township.

“Cape Town might’ve been a tale of two cities but there’s no doubt we share one urban future. Through design, and harnessing the momentum of the World Design Capital in 2014, we can ensure that this future is more inclusive and more sustainable for all,” concludes Makalima-Ngewana.

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