South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan says a top priority for the country is to unlock city development and municipal service delivery.

“Our development plans focus on overcoming the spatial fragmentation of South Africa’s built environment, improved public transport and accelerated investment in human settlements,” Gordhan said during his presentation of the annual National Budget in Cape Town.

“An integrated city development grant has been introduced to strengthen long-term city planning and encourage private investment in urban development. It will amount to 814 million rand over the medium term. The assignment this year of the human settlements function to metropolitan municipalities is a vital intervention in accelerating housing investment and integrated urban development.”

Spending on housing and community amenities increased from 132.1 billion rand in 2013 to 142.9 billion rand in 2014.  It means local government and community development will receive 80.3 billion rand expenditure, housing development will receive 34.8 billion rand and water supply will receive 27.8 billion rand.