Future prospects

The GCR’s significant, urban and centralised economy places a major burden on those in power both locally and provincially, given the massive impact of the Gauteng economy not just on South Africa but also southern Africa. That said, unemployment remains a terrible blight on the GCR landscape, and employment creation remains a key priority for the Gauteng provincial and local government. Given that Gauteng exerts a strong attraction for migrant populations both local and foreign, employment creation assumes an even greater urgency for servicing the labour needs of this constituency.

A conundrum facing the city-region is how to manage infrastructure already under pressure – in ways that allow for inclusive and equitable service delivery – but at the same time moving towards resource efficiency and separating growth from further increases in resource consumption. In rethinking the discussion on infrastructure and resource use, an important, but often neglected consideration is how green infrastructure can function as an augmentation or an alternative to existing built infrastructure systems. Green infrastructure can allow for cost efficient alternatives for over-stressed systems. As Gauteng rolls out infrastructure and services to meet the needs of a growing population, natural and manmade ecological systems offer an alternative opportunity to more strategic investments in these systems that are undervalued in conventional infrastructure planning, and under threat from development and urban expansion