Picture: ANA reporter

East London – South African Deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Andries Nel, on Thursday said it was critical to debate how to plan for industrial growth, manage urban influx, and sustainable urbanisation.

“We should also develop rural areas and smaller towns and ensure viable municipal spaces going forward, our session on urban rural infrastructure development will hopefully provide answers to some of these questions,” Nel said at the BRICS meetings hosted by the Buffalo City Municipality in East London.

BRICS is the acronym for five major emerging national economies -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

He said the key lever is for inter-disciplinary and logistical planning, and that these integrated infrastructure investments, public transports and human settlements needed to be sustained for building more inclusive urban economies, improving the ways that cities are governed, strengthening the management of city finances and empowering communities to participate in urban design.

“Our urban agenda permits us to action these levers through mobilisation from government and the whole of society approach, which at a global level invites our BRICS partners to support and engage us on our mutual commonalities, challenges and opportunities,” he said.

African News Agency (ANA)