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MandalaGIS teamed up with the Akanya Development Services town and regional planning team to develop the spatial development framework for the larger Karoo arid region of South Africa.

Source: MandalaGIS 2021

The Karoo Region is a unique and awe-inspiring ecological, physical, social, cultural, and economic phenomenon stretching over four provinces in the South African landscape.


The Karoo Regional Spatial Development Framework (RSDF) aims to apply regional-scale thinking, conceptualisation and planning to the region in order to: (1) harness the full development potential of the region in a sustainable and transformative way, and (2) address the shared, large-scale regional challenges, such as climate change, poverty, inequality, and unequal access to, and participation in the economy.


The Karoo RSDF will focus on the following regional attributes, characteristics, dynamics, flows and processes:

  • Regional development drivers and threats

  • Regional spatial economics, interactions, and flows

  • Regional settlement histories and futures

  • Regional institutional alignment and cooperation

www.karoorsdf.co.za

We are very excited to be part of the GAPP Architects and Urban Design team that was rewarded the Gauteng Spatial Development Framework review project. This is the third consecutive time that MandalaGIS formed part of the teams doing this prestigious project.

Source: MandalaGIS 2016

We are very proud to be part of the GAPP urban and regional planning team for the Gauteng Spatial Development Framework.


The aim of the project is to review the 2015 Gauteng SDF (of which we were also part).


Our most important contribution is the management of spatial data for the following purposes:


  • Additional analysis to quantify the effect of urban sprawl in Gauteng,

  • Updating and considering the latest environmental data for the province,

  • Support in creating a rural strategy for the Gauteng hinterland,

  • Investigate, and quantify, the normalization process in suburban housing of all racial groups in the country,

  • Updating the nodal and corridor strengthening strategy of the province,

  • Quantification of the current urban compaction rate and support in drawing up a future compaction strategy,

  • The mapping of large-scale development initiatives in the province,

  • Analysis of the nature and extent of economic nodes and workplace hotspots and,

  • The effect of climate change in the planning and management of the spatial aspects in the province


  • Willem Badenhorst

Updated: Jun 21

The National Spatial Development Framework (NSDF), the first of its kind, seeks to

make a bold and decisive contribution to bringing about the peaceful, prosperous

and truly transformed South Africa. MandalaGIS is part of University of Pretoria, Dept. Town and Regional Planning team.


Source: Draft NSDF 2019 - Map by Creativity Studio

The NSDF team was led by Prof. Mark Oranje from the Dept. Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Pretoria. MandalaGIS was part of the "Spatial Analysis Team" which included team members from the CSIR and other related expert in the fields of the environment, economy and infrastructure .


From a Theory of Change to a National Spatial Development Framework


The Draft NSDF is the very first of it's kind in South Africa. The first step in the process was to have a clear understanding of the need for a NSDF. Guided by the principle of the Theory of Change, the "realistically ideal" structure of a future South African spatial structure were envisaged. This was followed by a preparation and research phase which were followed by a spatial analysis and proposal phase.


With a broad, but well founded, knowledge of the realities and nuances of the post-apartheid South African situation, the team focused their energy on the ten inter-related national development shapers in the country. The ten development shapers include:

  1. Demographic shifts,

  2. Urbanisation,

  3. Ruralisation,

  4. Natural resource limitations,

  5. Climate change implications,

  6. Land reform,

  7. Dependency on natural resources extraction,

  8. Disruptions in the space economy and

  9. Connectivity and integration.


An deep understanding of the inter-related national spatial development shapers led the team to the next phase: A structured national spatial Vision, Logic, Levers and Outcome.

Six National Spatial Development Levers, leading to Development Outcomes, were developed, they are as follow:

  1. Urban Areas and Regions as engines of National Transformation, Innovation and Inclusive Economic Growth,

  2. National Spatial Development Corridors as incubators and Drivers of New Economies and Quality Human Settlements

  3. Productive Rural Regions as drivers of National Rural Transitions and Cornerstones of our National Resource Foundation

  4. A National Spatial Social Service Provisioning Model to ensure Effective, Affordable and Equitable Social Service Delivery

  5. A National Ecological Infrastructure System to ensure a Shared, Resilient and Sustainable National Natural Resource Foundation

  6. National Transport, Communications and Energy Infrastructure Network to ensure a Shared, Inclusive and Sustainable Economy

Putting these all together, the desired Ideal National Spatial Development Pattern for South Africa in 2050 emerged.


This enabled the team to make, what we want to achieve, more tangible and a set of NSDF Sub-Frames were developed to detail out the strategy.


  • NSDF Sub-Frame One: Inter-Regional Connectivity;

  • NSDF Sub-Frame Two: The National System of Nodes and Corridors;

  • NSDF Sub-Frame Three: The National Resource Economy Regions;

  • NSDF Sub-Frame Four: The National Movement and Connectivity Infrastructure System; and

  • NSDF Sub-Frame Five: The National Ecological Infrastructure and Natural Resource System.

Following on from the ideal spatial pattern and the sub-frames, is a set of five National Spatial Action Areas (NSAAs). These NSAAs represent the most urgent strategic spatial development catalysts to (1) bring about radical spatial transformation at scale, and (2) manage and mitigate rising national risks, and as such, require immediate national action. Concerted and sustained intergovernmental collaboration is required in these NSAAs over the short term to:

• Target context-specific, focused and catalytic national spatial development interventions; and

• Kickstart the process of aligning plans, budgets and departmental plans in and between spheres of government around national spatial development priorities


The following map indicated the location and extend of the National Spacial Action Areas (NSAAs):


Source: Draft NSDF 2019 - Image by Curiosity Studio

The project concluded with a final chapter on an Implementation Framework.

For more information, please click the this link.