United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

South Africa

South Africa’s intervention: Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals: Session 11
Focus areas 9 and 10: Industrialisation and promoting equality among nations and Sustainable cities and human settlements, 7 May 2015

Focus area 9: Industrialisation and promoting equality between nations

• Firstly on the issue of promoting equality among nations: South Africa views the promotion of equality among nations as very important and as affecting all aspects of the SDGs framework. The way it is currently reflected suggests that it is applicable only to the issue of industrialisation. It is our view that the promotion of equality among nations should not therefore be within a stand-alone focus area, but that it should instead be reflected as cutting across all aspects of the SDGs.

• With regards the issue of industrialisation: Regarding para (a) of the co-chairs’ text, SA would like to highlight the need to protect policy space at the national level as well as the need to take into consideration national circumstances. We would therefore like to propose deleting “ensuring adequate” and replacing it with “respecting national and policy space and national circumstances for industrial development”

• Issues raised in para (b) are being addressed by UNIDO and this OWG should take that into account. Efforts should focus on strengthening the capacity of UNIDO to assist with the industrialisation of developing countries.

• Regarding para (h) and reference to retrofitting, SA is not so clear about the reasons for this objective and the implications thereof have to therefore be considered.

Focus area 10: Sustainable cities and human settlements

• As is the case with other issues, policy space is needed by developing countries in developing and implementing urbanisation objectives, with provision of housing for the poor being a great priority for them.

• We would like to reaffirm the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation specific target of achieving “a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers by 2020, as proposed in the Cities without slums initiative”.