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CSIR publications on smart cities

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Antony Cooper, Tinus Kruger

17 May 2023



Antony Cooper

Information page

Council for Scientific and Industrial Research

South Africa


The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, commonly known as the CSIR, is a world-class African research and development organisation established through an Act of Parliament in 1945.  The CSIR undertakes directed, multidisciplinary research and technological innovation that contributes to the improved quality of life of South Africans.  This page provides an overview of the CSIR’s publications on smart cities.  For other CSIR publications that are on uKESA, please click here.


This page provides links to documents on smart cities produced by the CSIR.


A South African Smart Cities Framework: A decision-making framework to guide the development of smart cities in South Africa


Department of Cooperative Governance (DCoG) & CSIR, March 2021


A South African Smart Cities Framework (SCF) was developed by the Department of Cooperative Governance (DCoG) and the CSIR to provide municipalities, national and provincial government, the private sector, civil society, and other role players with impartial, factual information about smart cities in South Africa.  The SCF supports DCoG in guiding and coordinating smart city initiatives planned and implemented throughout the country.  The purpose of the SCF is to guide decision-making and provide all role players with a structured approach to identifying, planning, and implementing smart city initiatives that are appropriate to the local context.  Because smart cities must be informed by, and respond to, local conditions, the SCF does not contain instructions or specifications and does not prescribe minimum standards or requirements for smart cities, initiatives, or technologies.  The framework rather guides and informs decision-making to ensure smart city initiatives are appropriate.


A guide to establishing a Municipal Smart City Initiative


CSIR, June 2022


The intention of this guide is to assist municipalities with the process of establishing a smart city initiative. The focus is on the early stages of the journey of a city or town to become smarter. It provides practical guidance to support municipal officials and councilors with initiating and planning the process.

This guide was developed by the CSIR as part of the Anglo American Municipal Capability and Partnership Programme (AA MCPP) implemented in a number of municipalities. The MCPP was established in the Steve Tshwete Local Municipality (STLM) in October 2020 and is funded by Thungela Resources (previously Anglo Coal South Africa), specifically the Goedehoop Colliery. The STLM contributed to the development of this guide through its involvement in the MCPP. The guide was informed by the STLM smart city journey and the learning the municipality has gained in the process.


Inclusive Smart Cities Appropriate to the South African Context: Key Findings of a CSIR Study


Engela Petzer & Tinus Kruger, 1 July 2020


In 2019/20 the CSIR conducted a study to clarify some of the misconceptions surrounding smart cities, develop a deeper understanding of smart cities in South Africa, and identify opportunities and challenges that may influence decisions when considering developing settlements that are not only smart, but also inclusive.  The aspects addressed include an international perspective on smart cities, a South African interpretation of a smart city, factors to consider when planning smart cities, and an outline for a draft smart-readiness decision-making framework.  The team also examined smart cities for a sustainable future for the South African Local Government Association with funding from the GIZ Natural Resource Stewardship Programme. This CSIR study informed an article by Sibahle Malinga of ITWeb: Smart city dream should speak to SA context.


Abstract based on original source. Back to Smart Cities Resource Page.


Website References

Adequacy of shelter

Built environment

Cities and towns



Human settlements




Smart Cities

South Africa


Technology and innovation


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