Major transformation planned for eThekwini

2017-02-22 17:54
New eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede. (Amanda Khoza, News24)

New eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede. (Amanda Khoza, News24)

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Durban - Durban’s inner city will get a facelift and investors will be offered incentives to put their money into the local economy, Mayor Zandile Gumede said on Wednesday.

Investors would get tax rebates and non-financial support, she said at the city’s radical economic transformation framework summit in Durban.

“We are also going to radically transform the inner city. Those eye-sore buildings which have remained derelict for years by unscrupulous landlords will be harshly dealt with as part of our plans to clean up the city, economically and physically."

The intention was to create a clean environment conducive to creating jobs.

Business leaders, academics, and traditional leaders would advise her on how best to promote investment and solve problems in education, health, and social cohesion.

Overhaul

The Democratic Alliance in eThekwini reacted cautiously to Gumede’s announcement. It remained to be seen how sub-contractors would be selected and how the plans would be implemented, the DA's eThekwini caucus leader, Zwakele Mncwango, said.

Gumede, who also chairs the African National Congress in the region, stepped into office last August following a contentious battle with her predecessor, James Nxumalo.

Within days of her appointment, she announced an overhaul of the metro’s supply chain processes and the arrests of officials who allegedly sold jobs for cash. She did not renew the city manager’s contract when it ended in December.

She set aside at least 30% of the value of contracts over R5m to be allocated to small and medium businesses. She made it obligatory for state entities like hospitals and schools to support small farmers through the creation of a single agricultural hub.

Big business said the measures were long overdue.

“We want to see Durban succeed and become an economic destination of choice. It’s in everyone’s interest, so we are fully behind the mayor’s plans,” said Rod Stainton, owner of Rowil Property Development.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  durban  |  economy

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