“Gareth Morgan is the director of Resilience at the City of Cape Town and led the team that developed the first Cape Town Resilience Strategy – an innovative roadmap for a city responding to globalisation, urbanisation, rapid technological advancement and climate change.
The strategy drew learnings from the region’s recent devastating drought, and applied them to a wide range of possible shocks (flooding, cyber attacks and power outages) and stresses (unemployment, poverty, food insecurity and climate change). South Africa is dealing with the climate crisis, urbanisation, technological change and globalisation, resulting in occasional shock events.
Developing ways to build resilience is important to minimise the impact of shock events, and will help with a quicker recovery. The City of Cape Town has been implementing this strategy for more than a year, and 20 of the actions in the strategy have been deployed during the Covid-19 pandemic response. In total, about 50 of the 75 actions have already been partially or fully implemented.
Morgan and his team are currently engaged in the development and deployment of large infrastructure portfolios, and are aware that an important challenge for the future is to build resilience lenses into all processes and decision-making.”
“Sustainability is important, but for systems to ultimately be sustainable, they need to be resilient. A city can only strive to overcome its vulnerabilities to be increasingly more resilient, making adjustments as and when new realities emerge.”