The Smart City Initiatives in South Africa and Paving a Way to Support Cities to Address Frontier Issues Using New and Emerging Technologies
Cite: Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) (2020) ‘The Smart City Initiatives in South Africa and Paving a Way to Support Cities to Address Frontier Issues Using New and Emerging Technologies’ doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/assaf.2019/0059
This was the 3rd of three Innovation for Inclusive Development (IID) seminars hosted on 3 September 2019, St George’s Hotel, Pretoria by the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) in partnership with the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) and the South African Local Government Association (SALGA). The intent of the seminar was to solicit input from various stakeholders to define characteristics of a smart city in the South African context, how the concept aligns with the 2019 White Paper on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) and where cities are in terms of their smart city strategies and/or projects. The outcome of the seminar brought a common understanding that the country needs a national framework on smart cities and that the framework should meet basic needs in a manner that advances inclusive economic growth in an environmentally sustainable manner. The following aspects were considered to achieve this: a clear definition of a smart city from a South African context, addressing all the existing challenges and not emulate first world smart city models; smart cities should link to the global market but provide solutions to local problems and not compete with first world countries; the national framework and policies for smart cities should clearly define roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders, be flexible and amendable in line with the 4IR; incorporate building blocks of smart cities, including: STEM education, citizen rights, enablers (such as power, water and internet connectivity), urban versus rural, shared goals and vision. The proceedings will form part of DSI’s ongoing consultations on the concept of smart cities.