CAPE TOWN

SOUTH AFRICA

Africa

CONTINENT

Rand

CURRENCY

Afrikaans1

LANGUAGE

In 2016, the city of Cape Town was selected by United Nations Habitat and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy to participate in a pilot project to develop the initial prototypes of a global municipal database that could present the first integrated view of urban planning and fiscal information for a global network of cities. The project was inspired by the realization that the fiscal health of municipalities, and the alignment of urban planning and public finance functions, are important to enabling the success of city leaders facing the challenges of sustainable urbanization.

The principal unit of analysis for this project is the city. An original data gathering effort documented the framework of fiscal governance for the city, its demographic profile, and then incorporated data on the quantity and quality of urban expansion occurring across the city’s jurisdiction, urban layouts, and key land-use planning indicators.  External sources were also leveraged to incorporate a national macro-level context for the intergovernmental framework that each city operates in. 

By starting with the city as the unit of analysis, the project is designed to fill an important vacuum and improve the micro-level understanding of a city’s framework of public finance and urban planning. Expanding access and transparency to this information will enable the appraisal of the strengths or weaknesses in the trajectory of a city, and help national, subnational, and local governments identify interventions that can improve the performance of core municipal systems. The initial presentation of select components being developed for this integrated approach for the city of Cape Town appear below.

Cape Town Summary

Cape Town is the capital of Western Cape province in the country of South Africa. Cape Town is the second most populous municipality, but also the second largest contributor to the total economy (after Johannesburg Metro) in South Africa. The South African government comprises three spheres of government: national, provincial, and local. Chapter Seven of the South African Constitution allows for the creation and functioning of municipalities as part of local government, setting an important foundation for the fiscal governance framework of Cape Town. Section 229 of the South African Constitution, for example, allows municipalities to impose property taxes and surcharges on municipal services, but does not allow municipalities to impose income taxes, value added taxes, general sales taxes, or customs duties. This municipal ability to impose rates on property or surcharges may not be exercised in a way that materially and unreasonably prejudices national economic policies, economic activities across municipal boundaries, or the national mobility of goods, services, capital, and labor.

Highly relevant to the framework of service and expenditure mandates are Schedule 4 of the Constitution, which addresses areas of concurrent national, provincial, and local government competence, and Schedule 5 of the Constitution, which deals with exclusive provincial and exclusive competence. Other legislation pertinent to the structure, functioning, and mandates of municipalities are: Intergovernmental Relations Framework Act, no. 13 of 2005; the Municipal Demarcation Act, no. 27 of 1998; the Municipal Finance Management Act, no.56 of 2003; the Municipal Property Rates Act, no. 6 of 2004; the Municipal Structures Act, no. 117 of 1998; the Municipal Systems Act, no 32 of 2000; the Municipal Powers and Functions Act, no.12 of 2007.

Over the past few decades in Cape Town, the urban extent and its population has been growing. Urban extent is the combined built-up area and open space associated with a city (not limited to its administrative boundary). From 1989 to 2015, the urban extent of Cape Town has grown by over 25,000 hectares and the population in the urban extent has increased over 105%.

3,577,351

Population in the Urban Extent2

18,900 Hectares

City Area3

74,263 Hectares

Urban Extent4


Expenditure Mandates Framework

A qualitative framework for analyzing the expenditure responsibilities that have been devolved to the city from higher levels of government is presented here. Expenditure responsibilities by function are the core indicators of this framework. This is intended to enable an analysis regarding the suitability of the city’s fiscal decentralization framework to generate the necessary resources to finance the city’s service and expenditure needs. For expanded information on these indicators and the role they play in city analysis generally in the context of this project, read our Data Governance, Methodology & Sources Document.


Revenue & Resource Mobilization Fiscal Framework

A qualitative framework for analyzing how cities facing the challenge of providing public goods, citizen services, and maintaining public infrastructure can raise and diversify revenues and capital to manage their obligations is presented here. Own-source revenues, intergovernmental transfers, borrowing authority, select indicators of land value capture, and others, are at the core of this framework. For expanded information on these indicators and the role they play in city analysis generally in the context of this project, read our Data Governance, Methodology & Sources Document.


Urbanization Indicators Framework

A framework for analyzing the changing spatial character of urbanization, for the city and its surrounding jurisdiction, are presented here. The focus is on the city’s geographic urban extent – meaning the characteristics that are present within the relatively contiguous built-up areas (and their open spaces) extending over the formal administrative boundaries of the city into areas one might associate with a metropolitan area. Population, density, and other indicators are at the core of this framework. For expanded information on the indicators in this diagram from the Atlas of Urban Expansion, read our Data Governance, Methodology & Sources Document.


Urban Spatial Structure Indicators

A selection of indicators that can support leaders planning for future urbanization are presented here. The indicators enable an analysis of urban sprawl, city compactness, land use fragmentation, and other aspects of urbanization. Additional indicators (land ownership patterns, land-use planning practice indicators, prices, key attributes of different types of residential plots, houses, and apartments, among others) are also part of the framework. For expanded information on these indicators and the other Urbanization and Urban Planning indicators that appear in this diagram from the Atlas of Urban Expansion, read our Data Governance, Methodology & Sources Document.

1 English and Xhosa are also common languages in Cape Town.
2 Data is presented for 2015, Source: Custom Atlas of Urban Expansion research
3 Data is presented for 2017.
4 Data is presented for 2015, Source: Custom Atlas of Urban Expansion research
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