Enterprises University of Pretoria (Enterprises UP) led a multi-disciplinary team of built environment specialists in the compilation of South Africa’s first National Spatial Development Framework (NSDF) for the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR), and the Department of Planning Monitoring and Evaluation. The NSDF will establish a spatial vision and overarching development strategy for the country that is aligned to the goals and objectives of the National Development Plan and gives effect to the development principles of the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act. The DRDLR Technical Working Group (TWG) – a collective of various government departments and institutions – the National Planning Commission and Enterprises UP are providing technical and strategic support over the course of the NSDF compilation process.

In the spirit of capacity building for a future generation of national planning specialists, 27 young planning professionals were nominated from the group by their mentors to participate in the NSDF Young Planners Programme. The programme is a joint initiative developed by various specialists from the University of Pretoria, Satplan Alpha, MCA Urban and Environmental Planners, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, DRDLR, and Mandala GIS.

The programme was delivered over four modules/short courses, via Enterprises UP specialists, in national level planning that has been specifically designed to nurture the skills needed for national planning in South Africa, and for future iterations of the NSDF. The coursework, study materials and assignments are delivered through an online classroom platform with themes ranging from South African planning history to the role of spatial data, drivers of future spatial trends and the South African national planning system. The programme is currently at an advanced stage with the outlook on the outcomes looking very favourable.

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Above: NSDF Young Planners in training.