A workshop for metros, with the theme, Leadership in local government – building globally competitive cities, took place from 2 to 9 March as part of the executive programme of the graduate school of development, policy and practice at Stellenbosch University. Participants of the conference were city mayors and executive management teams of the metros.

It was hosted by National Treasury, UCT, the World Bank and SALGA. Human Settlements was the theme of the day on 8 March, and Odette Crofton and Lucien Rakgaole, on behalf of the HDA, presented on land assembly for human settlements. The presentation was well received, with much interest expressed in the land component of human settlements.

A number of issues was discussed including uniform densification for cities; disjuncture between the Urban Settlement Development Grant (USDG) and Human Settlement Development Grant (HSDG); non-alignment of key infrastructure projects; location of human settlements; harmonising the role of government entities in developments; HDA support for brown fields developments; and social impacts of informal settlements. The metros expressed their frustration around accessing state-owned properties.