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The CSP is a demand-driven and “umbrella” programme that covers a range of support mechanisms to metropolitan municipalities and the broader intergovernmental environment. It works closely across divisions in National Treasury, and with other national departments to ensure a continuous, consistent and focused lens is brought to bear on the challenges posed to, and the opportunities for, urban growth. In other words, CSP ensures a cities-explicit agenda is foregrounded with a clear mandate to ensure that cities are viewed in a unique way.
While support to cities may not be immediately perceived as the work of National Treasury, there is sound reasoning for this department’s involvement. National Treasury is concerned with efficiencies of fiscal spend. Its mandate is to ensure that there is ‘value-for-money’ for their spend. The IGR division within National Treasury is well-placed to make this assessment and to provide guidance on how to improve this. It is in this context that CSP does its work with its focused agenda on South African cities. CSP works with national government departments to shift policy in a way that makes it easier for cities to work more efficiently; and at the same time working with cities to ensure economic growth and a reduction in poverty.
While cities identify key elements of their own urban networks, and catalytic intervention projects to support urban growth that is productive, liveable, inclusive and sustainable; this on its own is insufficient. There is a need to have, in addition, a supportive fiscal, regulatory and policy frameworks.
To do this, the CSP works with participating cities and national departments as well as partners.
The CSP will be implemented over a period of five years, from 2012/13 to 2016/17 (or 1 April 2012 to 31 March 2017). The finiteness of the programme is deliberate. CSP work is not intended to replace the work of existing partners, but rather to enhance it in a way that makes them self-sustainable. It is designed to support the eight metropolitan municipalities in South Africa. Consideration to extend the CSP to the remaining 22 large urban municipalities will form part of the evaluation in 2016.