Architects called on to aid in infrastructure development plans

05 August 2014

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu has called on architects and stakeholders in the architectural fraternity to work with the provincial government to realise the objectives of the Provincial Growth and Development Plan (PGDP).

He was speaking, on Monday, at the opening of the 25th International Union of Architects World Congress (IUA).

The Premier emphasised that the provinical government was fully aware that the successful implementation of the plan was dependent on collaboration with the private sector and other stakeholders such as architects.

“One of the fundamental approaches of the PGDP is to ensure that development takes place in a way that empowers people and communities and enables them to take control of their own development.”

He called upon architects to assist with innovative ideas on how to ensure that government moves with speed in implementing the programme of the eradication of slums and informal settlements in the province.

“As architects, you have an important role to play in guiding the infrastructure development to accommodate ever-increasing population growth and urbanisation.”

The UIA, which is a non-governmental organisation accredited by the United Nations, represents professional associations of architects in 124 countries and approximately 1.3 million architects worldwide.

The five-day Congress theme is “Architecture Otherwhere” and the intention is to acknowledge the built environment as a major force to be harnessed for a better life for all.

He also added that the UIA is a platform on which synergies between the economies of different countries should be built and strengthened through the promotion of partnerships and identification of opportunities for investments.

“I view this congress as a strategic platform through which we must promote trade amongst our countries. KwaZulu-Natal is always seeking trading partners because we know that we cannot prosper in isolation. Therefore I want to state unequivocally that we believe that our long-term success lies in economic integration with economies of the world.

“For instance, the private sector has significant capacity in the field of project management and infrastructure maintenance – there are new ways of delivering and managing infrastructure more effectively based on international best practice,” the Premier noted.

The Provincial Government is working with local authorities and government parastatals to find new ways of organising projects, so that the private sector can have a role in the different stages of planning, implementation, financing and management. 

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