Catalytic Projects a Major Boost for Economy

Ethekwini’s multi-billion rand worth of strategic catalytic projects, comprising the Point Waterfront development, are envisaged to have a major economic impact on surrounding areas. The Point development forms part of the inner city regeneration programme, which aims to reclaim abandoned and derelict buildings, attract new innovative investment and ideas, increase connectivity and integration of different modes of transport. This falls within the larger Long Term Development Framework of the City.

Acting Deputy City Manager for Economic Development and Planning, Musa Mbhele, said some of the project’s objectives include enhancing the beach environment, by linking it to the rest of the beachfront, as well as accommodation for the Point Watersports Club and Seinne Netters underneath the promenade. To-date, sub-division, scheme review and rezoning have been approved by Council. The rezoning and scheme review appeal period has lapsed. One appeal has been received and is being dealt with.

The project’s Environmental Impact Assessment has been approved and no appeals were received. Approximately 11 000 construction phase jobs are envisaged to be created and 6 750 more permanent jobs are likely to be created. Cornubia Human Settlements project is another major catalytic project currently underway. It has a total estimated investment value of R 24 billion in current prices in buildings and infrastructure is at an advanced implementation stage. The development is envisaged to create about 48 000 permanent jobs and approximately 15 000 construction jobs sustained over a 15 year period. Rates generation will amount to over R 300 million per annum. Apart from mixed land uses, the development aims to create better environments through the concept of walk-ability, connectivity, convenience, increased density and sustainability.

The Cornubia Business Hub is currently under construction as a stand-alone project, comprising a retail mall and call centre. The Integrated Rapid Public Transport Network, Go! Durban C3 corridor which runs from Bridge City to Pinetown Central Business District and parts of the route are at an advanced stage of implementation. This is a legacy transport project that will benefit future generations. Head of eThekwini Transport Authority, Thami Manyathi, said if the City is to achieve higher rates of growth in economic development, address unemployment and inequality, we need a vastly improved public transport system that will bring about far-reaching benefits for public transport users and all residents and visitors in the City.

“Go! Durban is the biggest infrastructural project that the City has ever undertaken with an investment of about R 22 billion over 13 years,” he said. Another exciting project in the pipeline is the Centrum site development which aims to develop a new mixed-use precinct. The objective of the project includes developing new public service buildings such as the City Library and Natural Sciences Museum Municipal Complex and Government Boulevard. The project will also provide opportunities for private investment to develop uses and provide services such as restaurants, offices and residential accommodation.

Currently the expansion of the Workshop Mall in the Centrum precinct is underway and the City has received commitment in writing from the National Department of Public Works to relocate all government offices to Centrum Site. This will ensure convenience and accessibility to members of the public. METRO Page 9 NEWS celebrates 21 years since the attainment of freedom, we are reminded of the pivotal role played by women in the fight for gender equality which was inextricably linked to the fight for racial equality. The heroines of the women’s struggle that we are celebrating this Women’s Month, were also stalwarts of the political struggle, and through the process of political change, they brought about changes on how society should view women.

Women are the pillars of our society and eThekwini Municipality recognises the important role they play in their communities and business sectors. Womens’ charter during Women’s Month, we are reminded of the courage displayed by women on 9 August 1956, when 20 000 women of all races from various regions across the country marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to present a petition against pass laws. South Africans this year celebrate the role that women played in the attainment of democracy 20 years ago and the year 2014 also coincides with the 60th anniversary of the Women’s charter.

As the Municipality we re-commit ourselves to focusing our attention on issues affecting women as well as raise awareness of the plight of women and girls in general. The City works closely with many women’s groups to ensure that their needs as a stakeholder are known and addressed through our Council programmes. To enhance the role of women in the community, the Municipality coordinates and supports numerous initiatives to empower women with the knowledge and skills they need to bring about tangible change. Development programmes The Municipality’s business support development programmes also aim to raise the profile of women by addressing their business needs and provide opportunities for them to tap into male dominated sectors.

Ethekwini Municipality has initiated development programmes in the Economic Development and Planning Committee to ensure that women are brought into the mainstream of the City’s economy. The programmes include women empowerment conferences, construction, information and communications technology (ICT) sector as well as maritime sector programmes that provide training and mentorship, fashion development events where well-known local and international fashion designers share a platform showcasing their exclusive collections and expertise. The Municipality has forged partnerships with auditing firms where women in business are enrolled in a wide range of auditing skills training courses.

The Municipality also runs a Gender Office that ensures that all developmental needs for women are addressed.  Since the inception of eThekwini Municipality’s women empowerment programme more than 620 women SMMEs have benefited through training and mentorship and some have received R 20 million worth of business opportunities, resulting into the creation of hundreds of jobs. Young women today can look up to heroines such as the late Albertina Sisisulu, Victoria Mxenge, Charlotte Maxeke, Margaret Mncadi, Florence Mkhize and many others who made an immense contribution to advance the country’s democratic transition from apartheid.

Women who are interested in learning more about women empowerment opportunities offered by the Municipality to contact Nonkululeko Mthembu, Programme Manager for Women Empowerment in the Municipality’s Business Support, Tourism and Markets Unit on 031 311 4500/ 4575 or email: nonkululeko.mthembu@durban.gov.za 7 August – 20 August 2015 SUSTAINABLE LIVING EXHIBITION AND BOTSOC PLANT FAIR 2015 14 -16

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