South Africa’s cities continue to play a major role in growing the country’s economy, says the Deputy Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Andries Nel, ahead of the release of the 2016 State of South African Cities Report.

The report, which was released later Wednesday, highlights progress made to transform South Africa’s cities since the dawn of democracy as well as areas which still need development. The report is published every five years by the South African Cities Network.

“We believe the report is a further demonstration of how we have transformed our cities from the apartheid spatial development pattern to cities that work for our people,” Nel said, adding that South Africa’s metropolitan cities accounted for at least 44 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Studies show that 63 per cent of South Africans today live in urban areas and this figure is expected to rise to 71 per cent in 2030.

However, Nel cautioned that if the country did not manage urbanisation, the government could find itself confronted with the downside of urbanisation such as increased competition for scarce resources.

Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau said more than 10,000 people flocked to the city every month in search of better opportunities.

“This phenomenon places a challenge on us to manage space and how the different spaces and land use interact with each other. Our policy is thus very emphatic on the importance of managing land use in our city,” Tau said.

Source: Nam News Network