n Journal of Public Administration - Sustainable local communities : what is the role of South African metropolitan governments?

Volume 38, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



The challenge facing South African metropolitan government is to help improve the quality of life of its local communities for the present and future generations without depleting the natural resources at their disposal. Three elements are required to achieve sustainable local communities and to improve their quality of life namely a healthy environment, a prosperous economy and social equity. It is a multifaceted and integrated process that requires a new perspective to understand the complex relation between the economy, society and the environment. Furthermore, it requires a sustainable development approach through which economic prosperity, environmental quality and social equity can be pursued. Such an approach challenges metropolitan governments to "... become more capable of creating prosperity and ensuring health and security for all citizens in a way that is beneficial, self reliant and ongoing." (Cape Metropolitan Area: SOE: Towards Sustainability 2002:1).

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