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Cape Town’s Resilience Strategy Helps City Navigate Challenging Times

6 September 2021

The Cape Town Resilience Strategy is a useful roadmap for helping the City of Cape Town navigate challenging times, including the impact of Covid-19. August 2021 marked the two-year anniversary of the approval of the strategy by Council. The City’s Resilience Department provided feedback on the progress that has been made since 2019 at the Corporate Services Portfolio Committee on 2 September 2021.

Resilience is the ability of systems and institutions to adapt, survive and thrive no matter what shocks or stresses are experienced. Since 2019, the vast majority of the actions in the Resilience Strategy are either implemented and ongoing, or are in the early stages of implementation.

The strategy, developed in partnership with 100 Resilient Cities, was the outcome of significant engagement with stakeholders across Cape Town and followed an extensive resilience evaluation that attempted to identify the most critical vulnerabilities and the most relevant shocks.

“We have learnt that embracing resilience-building measures is a journey and not a destination. The implementation of the Cape Town Resilience Strategy essentially provides the municipality with building capabilities to respond to a wide range of shocks and stresses,” says City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Corporate Services, Councillor Sharon Cottle.

“The sort of preparatory work that goes into the various action items within the strategy is so critical during the times we are living in, especially while navigating our way through the uncertainties we have been faced with during the Covid-19 pandemic. It assists an organisation of this size to pull its resources; service delivery strategies and capabilities together in a way that would not be possible without the direction of this strategy and the oversight which the City’s Resilience Department has provided the municipality with over the past 24 months.”

Since 2019, up to 43 of the 75 actions in the Strategy have been implemented and are ongoing, four actions are implemented and concluded, and 12 actions are in the early stages of implementation.

Some notable actions taken forward to date include:

Resilience is a guiding principle of the Integrated Development Plan (2017 to 2022), and the Resilience Strategy is the primary vehicle of embedding resilience concepts and principles in a wide range of City processes. In this regard, efforts have been in the following areas: