Bid to drive economy forward

2015-10-12 09:45
The red-brick road around the City Hall.

The red-brick road around the City Hall. (Jonathan Burton)

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Pietermaritzburg - The future for economic development in the city is brighter following the launch of the  Local Economic Development (LED) Forum on Friday.

The forum, launched by Msunduzi Municipality, will see residents, local businesses, non-profit organisations and government sectors working together. The forum was created as a platform to find ways to drive the city’s economy forward.

“The government is responsible for levelling the ground for businesses to do their work. As a forum we also need to minimise threats businesses face such as crime and corruption,” said the chairperson of the Economic Development Portfolio, Eunice Majola.

Deputy municipal manager for economic development Dr Ray Ngcobo said the forum is intended to find solutions and not to just highlight problems within the city.

“We need to share a common vision. We need to support local economies and help businesses realise their optimal potential. The community also need to become active members of the economy,” said Ngcobo.

The different sectors will now meet privately and elect a representative to join the forum.

As part of its mandate, the forum will “discuss, strategise and implement” ways to drive the economy.

“The forum will also facilitate access to funding,” added Ngcobo.

“The LED is opening space for everybody interested in the economic development of the city,” he added.

Acting manager of investment promotion Dr Julie Dyer zoomed in on some of the challenges facing individual areas.

She said the northern areas of the city may have many people with business acumen but the area has no business expansion space.

Edendale meanwhile faces an “equality challenge”.

“The eastern areas [Ashburton and Lincoln Meade] have a conflict between people who want to keep it rural and some who want to see it developed. Vulindlela has no infrastructure and is very rural and is poverty-stricken,” said Dyer.

She added that Msunduzi is one of three economic hubs in the province

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  business

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