City planning is a small profession, with only 3 790 graduates by 2004. Data sources on the profession are limited, and there are only a few, mainly qualitative studies. 'Planning' as it is described in the Planning Professions Act (No.36 of 2002), was designated as a 'scarce skill' in the context of the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (Asgisa) and the Joint Initiative on Priority Skills Acquisition (Jipsa) (Berrisford 2006; Dol 2006b) Lack of Planning capacity was seen as constraining development in two main ways: through slow processing of land development applications, which was seen as holding up development; and through the lack of transformation of South African cities, perpetuating conditions such as long and costly travel to work, with impacts on labour costs. Further, the focus on infrastructure-led development would also require increased planning capacity.
South Africa’s skills shortages are widely regarded as a key factor preventing the achievement of targeted growth rates. There is some dispute as to the nature and extent of these shortages, given that the country also has a large pool of unemployed graduates. The case studies presented in this monograph explore the question of shortage in nine key professions and trades and find evidence of skills scarcity in most fields. Drawing on the skills of scholars and expert consultants throughout South Africa, the monograph provides important insights into the reasons for these shortages and surpluses, not only in relation to local the context but also in relation to the international market for knowledge and skills, in which South African qualifications are highly prized. The monograph is based on a study of sector specific research and related skills requirements commissioned by the South African Department of Labour in 2006. It formed part of a wider research project related to the National Skills Development Strategy and the National Industrial Policy Framework of 2007, for which the Human Sciences Research Council led a research consortium comprising the Development Policy Research Unit at the University of Cape Town and the Sociology of Work Unit at the University of the Witwatersrand. Vital for planners and policy-makers in higher education, this report will also be of interest to economists and sociologists as well as anyone involved in career guidance and mentorship of prospective students.
Skills Shortages; South Africa; City Planners.
Todes, Alison. 2009. City Planners. In Erasmus, Johan & Breier, Mignonne eds. Skills Shortages in South Africa; case studies of key professions. HSRC Press,