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Country poverty analysis

Sustainable development and housing in South Africa

Keynote address by the Minister of Housing,
Sankie Mthembi-Mahanyele
to the round-table on sustainable African cities

WSSD, Crowne Plaza,

27 August 2002

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I consider it an honour and privilege to present this keynote address to the Round-table on Sustainable African Cities - I do so with a deep sense of satisfaction. It is also an honour for me to co-host this auspicious event with my colleague, the Executive Director of UN-Habitat, Ms Anna Tibaijuka, and cements a relationship, which has been initiated at the inaugural session of the World Urban Forum that was held Nairobi in May of this year.

As South Africa we are pleased that the WSSD is being hosted in one of the major cities on the African continent. The location of the Summit in the City of Johannesburg is a further amplification of the African Renaissance that propagates Africa as an equal partner in the Global economy. And, the New Partnership for Africa's Development is set to guide Africa in facing the combined threats of under-development, poverty, environmental degradation, ill health and disease, and conflicts over natural resources that could undermine the prospects for political stability and prosperity across the continent. This presents a window of opportunity that creates the urgency for achieving sustainable development.

Although the WSSD agenda is structured to include themes of poverty, environment and development, financing mechanisms, technology transfer, trade and the environment, sustainable urbanisation, energy, environmental health and land degradation, there is an acknowledgement in the type 1 outcomes of the WSSD that human settlements, and in particular our cities, provide the backdrop for so many of the actions that will affect people, the planet and prosperity.

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