President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa delivers his 3rd State of the Nation Address. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA

Parliament - South Africa has not built a new city since the dawn of democracy and the time has arrived time to think about building a "smart city", said President Cyril Ramaphosa.

He said South Africans should imagine a country wherein all enjoy comfort and prosperity and where "bullet trains pass through Johannesburg as they travel from here [Cape Town] to Musina, and they stop in Buffalo City on their way from eThekwini back here". 

"I dream of a South Africa where the first entirely new city built in the democratic era rises, with skyscrapers, schools, universities, hospitals and factories."

Ramaphosa said his idea of a smart city was fuelled by a conversation he had with several people including Chinese President Xi Jinping, local government Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor and ANC deputy secretary Jessie Duarte. 

"We have not built a new city in 25 years of democracy. Seventy percent of South Africans are going to be living in the urban areas by 2030. The cities of Johannesburg, Tshwane, Cape Town and eThekwini are running out of space to accommodate all those who throng to the cities. 

"Has the time not arrived for us to be bold and reach beyond ourselves and do what may seem impossible? Has the time not arrived to build a new smart city founded on the technologies of the 4th industrial revolution? I would like to invite South Africans to begin imagining this prospect," Ramaphosa said.

* For more on President Cyril Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address visit IOL's #SONA2019 trend page.

African News Agency/ANA