Ja swell no fine: City of Gold will become city of sardines
Joburg population is set to soar, but it will be dwarfed by Luanda and Dar es Salaam - not to mention Jakarta
If you think Johannesburg is cramped these days, get used to it.
SA’s largest city is set to grow a further 12% over the next 12 years to reach a population of about 5.75 million, according to a study looking at the growth of global megacities.
But the City of Gold will still be a relative dorp compared with Angolan capital Luanda and Tanzanian capital Dar es Salaam, where the total population will soar above 10 million – the threshold for megacity status – by 2030. Currently, the only African megacities are Lagos (Nigeria) and Cairo (Egypt).
The latest EuroMonitor International report on urban growth says Africa is set to be the main driver of urban population growth worldwide up to 2030, with Luanda and Dar es Salaam among the world’s fastest-growing cities during that period.
The report highlighted several other predicted trends leading into 2030:
60% of the world’s population will live in cities;
9% of the world’s population will live in 39 megacities;
Emerging countries will be home to 31 megacities, compared with just eight in the developed world;
Luanda will increase its population by 60%;
Cairo will add 6.3 million inhabitants, making it Africa’s largest megacity with 29.8 million people.
But even these African megacity stats are dwarfed by the projected 2030 population of Jakarta, at 35.6 million. The Indonesian capital is due to overtake Tokyo in 2030 as the world’s largest megacity owing to the combined effect of rapid urbanisation in Indonesia and depopulation in Tokyo due to Japan’s ageing population dynamics.
Study author Fransua Vytautas Razvadauskas, a Euromonitor International senior city analyst, said his findings pointed to several potential opportunities and challenges: on the one hand megacities were engines of economic growth; on the other hand increasing population density would place further strain on urban infrastructure underpinning provision of water and power.
“Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to experience a major wave of urbanisation over the coming decades,” Razvadauskas told Times Select.
“According to Euromonitor International, sub-Saharan Africa will see its urban population balloon by 55% over 2018-2030, marking the fastest rise of any geographic region globally.
“The growth of cities such as Luanda and Dar es Salaam represents the emergence of new economic opportunities for young adults who are keen to escape rural areas that generally hold fewer employment prospects.”
But the new opportunities also bring new challenges.
“However, rapid growth would necessitate grappling with associated problems of traffic congestion, air pollution and air pollution,” Razvadauskas said.
“In order to reap the full rewards of their economic potential, infrastructure in the form of highways, schools, and electricity grids needs to be upgraded to meet rising demand.”
The transport infrastructure in Dar es Salaam was recently upgraded.
“Much-needed developments have already surfaced; for instance, Dar es Salaam was the first East African city to implement a bus rapid transit (BRT) system in 2016; but with 70% of its inhabitants living in informal housing, there is much left to be desired. Sustainable developments in urban mobility, housing and energy need to be realised in order to foster prosperous economic development in future African megacities.”
However, the urban challenges also presented opportunities for innovation, Razvadauskas said in his report: “Understanding the economic and demographic composition of megacities, as well as the direction of expected changes, can help businesses implement the appropriate business models to achieve future success.”..