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Financing sustainable development in secondary cities

ICLEI Africa have recently published a report on financing green infrastructure in secondary cities. The report explores support and finance alternative options in the context of risk and uncertainty in rapidly urbanising municipalities, using Saldanha Bay as and example.

Financing the transition to a new infrastructure paradigm: A Case Study of Saldanha Bay Municipality



On 25 February, by ICLEI Africa and the Saldanha Bay Municipality launched the report: Financing the transition to a new infrastructure paradigm: A Case Study of Saldanha Bay Municipality.

This report engages with this concept of transition to a new infrastructure paradigm and explores how to support and finance alternative options in the context of risk and uncertainty as well as urbanisation. Secondary cities, such as Saldanha Bay Municipality, will see some of the greatest impacts of urbanisation. The municipality also sits in the tough place between a designated Special Economic Zone (SEZ) with huge economic potential and a series of local constraints and issues that hamper its ability to engage and respond, a situation many secondary cities find themselves in. Low emissions development offers these cities and towns a new paradigm to address the current spatial and resource inefficiencies. The challenge is to show that integrating these initiatives will contribute towards reducing poverty, unemployment and inequality while building the ecological resilience and sustainability of cities and towns. This report illustrates the need for initiatives at both the national and local levels.

The launch of the report included a round table discussion on financing green municipal infrastructure and drew a wide range of people together from the three spheres of government, academia, civil society and the private sector. The round table discussion was facilitated by Kam Chetty, with participation by Jerome van Rooij (African Climate Finance Hub), Steven Kenyon (Director of Local Government Process from National Treasury), Goosain Isaacs (Director: Climate Change from the Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs and Development), and Dr Louis Scheepers (Municipal Manager of Saldanha Bay Municipality).
Key points of interest from this discussion included:
1. The need for improved readiness support and project preparation facilities to aid the development of bankable green infrastructure projects in municipalities.
2. The need to develop a local body of knowledge on green infrastructure, including case studies focusing on South African experiences.
3. The greatest challenge is implementation of green infrastructure in a silo-based system when climate change is a transversal issue. Need to have all municipal projects to be approved through the lens of climate change.
4. Rigid definitions and funding requirements can make it difficult to be innovative in secondary cities – there is a need for a more nuanced and differentiated approach to funding instruments for secondary cities (sitting between metropolitan and lagging municipalities).

Read the full report here. For further information, please contact Grace Stead or Rebecca Cameron.