The Importance of Water Development in the Economic Growth of Rhodesia
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The ever-increasing emphasis on “Development” of every aspect of our environment is perhaps the outstanding characteristic of the age we live in. For many thousands of years man was able to survive with a minimum of modification to the provisions of nature and we, in the less developed parts of the world are in danger of assuming that we can continue to live in this way when in fact we cannot. At the University of the Witwatersrand Graduation Ceremony on the 13th December, 1968, Mr. Monte Bryer, former President of the South African Institution of Architects, said that more than 40 new cities, each with over 100,000 of a population, would be needed in South Africa by the year 2,000 ! ! “More buildings will have to be built in the next 30 years than have been built in the past 300 years”, he said. “The building industry which today accounts for a yearly expenditure of R550 million, will have to expand its capacity at least three times.” Total capital expenditure to meet the building demand alone was R50,000 million. It was unlikely that these new cities would be models of efficiency or models of social living in which quality was rated as highly as quantity. The greatest challenge of the future would be to balance the increasing quantity of development with quality of living. “There is an enormous job to be done in making your world a better one to live in for all the people of this country.” That was Bryer the Architect at Wits graduation—not Cormack sounding off in the back woods of Rhodesia. The reason for this enormous urban increase is simple—it is necessary to adjust the present state of imbalance between urban and rural population whilst at the same time providing for the high population growth rate—“necessary" that is, if a modern Western type economy is envisaged. The question of whether or not this type of economy should be pursued will not be discussed in this paper. I believe that the majority of us accept this aim although many of us have given little, if any thought to its implications.