THE CENTRE FOR REGIONAL AND URBAN INNOVATION AND STATISTICAL EXPLORATION
(CRUISE) is the outcome of collaboration between Statistics South Africa and the University of Stellenbosch. Since 2011, CRUISE has been providing research and training in urban and regional systems to capacitate the public sector, non-governmental organisations and international development agencies in the African continent. Our primary aim is to provide outcome-orientated research and the production of accurate statistical and spatial data to decision makers that will enable effective urban analysis and policy formulation.
MR RISENGA MALULEKE
Mr. Maluleke was appointed Statistician-General of Statistics South Africa in 2017. He has a BSc in Mathematical Statistics from the University of Limpopo and a MPhil of Urban and Regional Science degree from CRUSE. He has also completed the Senior Executive Programmes with Wits and Harvard's Business Schools. He was part of the first group of students who completed the Urban and Regional Science degree at CRUISE in 2011. After a spell at the Statistics Office in Limpopo he was promoted to Deputy Statistician-General before becoming Statistician-General.
DR PALI LEHOHLA
CRUISE pays tribute to Dr Pali Lehohla former Statistician-General of Statistics South Africa and founder of CRUISE. He not only played a key role in advancing the use and production of statistics in South Africa but also in the rest of Africa. Through frontline organisations such as the UN Statistics Commission, the UN Expert Data-Revolution Advisory Group, the International Statistical Institute and the African Symposium for Statistical Development, he played a prominent role in improving the use of statistics and ensuring successful censuses throughout Africa. On 10 December, 2015 the University of Stellenbosch acknowledged these accomplishments by conferring the Degree Doctor of Commerce, honoris causa on him.
COMMITTING TO CRUISE
Following a glowing Five Year Assessment Report on CRUISE by its funding organisation, Statistics South Africa, a high-level meeting was held with Stellenbosch University in 2015 in which it conveyed its satisfaction with the Centre’s academic standard and output ratio. As a consequence Statistics South Africa committed itself to a number of important future collaborations with the University. These, amongst others, include the continued financial support of CRUISE from 2019 to 2029 and support in the active advancement of the establishment of a future Division of the Regional Science Association International in Africa.
One of our key functions at CRUISE is to analyse and disseminate existing statistical data and develop new databases and indicators that would augment the information provision role of Statistics South Africa. CRUISE designs and integrates selected spatial data sets from various public, private, and non-governmental institutions required for responsive policy formulation and economic development initiatives. Decision makers are capacitated to apply and interpret data within the context of policy formulation.
CRUISE offers two Master’s programmes one in Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) and one in Urban and Regional Science (MURS). MURS aims to provide students with the necessary theoretical knowledge and analytic skills to understand and examine urban and regional systems at higher levels of technical enquiry, while MURP builds on the former by adding the technical planning dimension. The Centre also offers short courses designed for the continued learning of executives in the planning and built environment.
URBAN AND REGIONAL PLANNING
Since 2015 Urban and Regional Planning has been added to CRUISE’s programme portfolio. This programme is designed to deliver practice ready professionals with appropriate applied knowledge for Africa but it is also has a strong first world focus aimed at bridging the historical divide in urban planning between the developed and developing worlds. Through it rigorous quantitative and qualitative research CRUISE provides excellent research opportunities to a wide range of students internationally. CRUISE is currently actively working towards the accreditation of the programe with SACPLAN, the professional governing body of the profession.
A unique set of composite development indices have been developed for South Africa combining demographic, economic and social indicators from censuses and household surveys. Separate indexes were developed for urban and rural areas which include growth, economic and social variables within municipalities and comparative indices between municipalities. The current DIFs cover the following years: 1996, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2011. Steps are currently being taken to expand the DIF to cover other parts of Africa.
REGIONAL SCIENCE IN AFRICA
The first seeds, which eventually led to the establishment of the Regional Science Association International (RSAI), were sown in the United States in the early 1950s. Since then the discipline has grown to become a fertile seedbed for organised spatial research in the fields of economics, planning, geography and environments science in all continents, except Africa. CRUISE is now taking the first steps to remedy this situation by advancing regional science in South Africa as a means to establish the discipline in Africa.