The Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry welcomes the planned demolishing of so-called "bad" buildings as part of the first phase of the eThekwini Municipality's inner-city rejuvenation project.
The aim of the project is to clean up the inner-city of Durban.
"The Durban Chamber fully supports this initiative as the inner-city's facelift strategy is crucial to preserving Durban's central business district (CBD) as a critical economic hub," the chamber said in a statement. "There is a need to ensure that Durban's inner-city is safe and secure as well as a conducive environment for people to live, do business and visit, thus making it more attractive to business and actively reverse trends such as businesses and ratepayers leaving the city centre."
In the view of the chamber, demolishing these "bad" buildings is the correct first step. It added that the business community looks forward to eThekwini following through on the policies and programmes that have been designed to ensure that CBD-based businesses are enabled to unlock the potential economic benefits.
The Durban Chamber will engage with eThekwini Municipality on the long-term plans and programmes that will deal with corresponding issues such as informal trading, social housing, policing, waste management, infrastructure development, repair and maintenance and overall smart city planning.
"Infrastructure development remains a cornerstone for economic growth and development. The Durban Chamber hopes that the eThekwini Municipality will be inclusive in the development of robust public-private partnerships related to this programme," stated the chamber.
"By actively collaborating with the Durban Chamber, its members and the broader organised business community, we believe that it is possible for eThekwini to create and implement long-term plans and programmes that will promote the sustainability and longevity of this inner-city regeneration project."
In the view of the chamber, utilising local businesses in the execution of the inner-city rejuvenation project will translate into direct benefits for the local economy through revenue generation across various industry sectors, directly and indirectly, involved in the project as well as their value chains which will also aid in addressing socio-economic challenges such as unemployment.