Cape Town Time:


Cape Town resilience strategy a roadmap for a 21st century metropolis

22 August 2019

Cape Town’s first ever Resilience Strategy, developed in the aftermath of the worst drought the city has faced in recent history, has been approved.

“The strategy is a roadmap for a 21st century metropolis which aims to strengthen the city against sudden potential shocks in future, from storms and heat waves, to cyber-attacks, global financial crises and other unforeseen challenges,” says the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Corporate Services, Councillor Sharon Cottle.

“The decision by council follows from a two-year partnership with 100 Resilient Cities, pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation. The Strategy will guide Cape Town, inclusive of its households, communities and institutions, to build collective responses to the current and future social, environmental and economic challenges.”

Resilience is the capacity of individuals, communities, institutions, businesses and systems within a city to survive, adapt and grow no matter what kind of chronic stresses and acute shocks they experience. It is a guiding principle of the Integrated Development Plan for Cape Town.

Cape Town and its more than four million residents displayed remarkable resilience in navigating our city through the recent severe drought.

“There is no doubt that the whole city learnt many lessons during this experience. These lessons are useful as our city prepares for many other plausible shock events in the future including cyber-attack, global or national financial crises, heat waves and flooding,” says Cottle.

During the development of the Cape Town Resilience Strategy extensive public engagement was conducted to develop a deep understanding of the resilience challenges and opportunities for Cape Town. This includes large scale surveys across households in the city and engagement with stakeholders from business, academia and civil society.

“In so doing we were able to identify the shocks and stresses that required focus, and to develop a range of actions that should be pursued in order to build resilience,” Cottle says.

The strategy, which is fully aligned with the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals, contains 75 actions, ranging from initiatives to improve urban regeneration, developing a neighbourhood resilience assessment, rolling out adaptive management training for City officials and using data for resilient decision-making.

Cape Town is only the third city in Africa to now have an approved Resilience Strategy.

“We are grateful to 100 Resilient Cities and to the many stakeholders who contributed ideas and insights for their support during the process of developing this strategy. We will launch the strategy within the next three months,” added Cottle.

The Council report containing the Resilience Strategy can be accessed here.