16 FEBRUARY 2018
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
EThekwini Economic Development and Planning Committee Decisions
 
The Economic Development and Planning Committee held its meeting yesterday, 15 February 2017. The following items were supported and recommended to the Executive Committee for final approval
 
DRAFT MUNICIPAL SPATIAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK 2018-2019
 
To guide and manage spatial development and investment in the City, the Economic Development and Planning Committee (ECOD) has approved that the draft Municipal Spatial Development Framework 2018-2019 should be made in public for comment.
 
Economic Development and Planning Committee Chairperson Cllr Sipho Kaunda said the framework is the primary spatial response to the development context, needs and development vision of the Municipality.
 
“The framework is the key land use management tool which informs strategic choices and intervention about future growth and development of the City through guiding and managing development and planning of land,” he said.
 
With its focus on spatial restructuring and transformation, it guides the location of future development in a manner that addresses imbalances of the past.
 
“Therefore it is imperative that the SDF document be made available for the public to participate in the decision making processes that will transform their state of life,” said Kaunda.
 
INNER CITY REGENERATION IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGY; INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF CITY AND RAGIONAL PLANNERS (ISOCARP); THE URBAN PLANNING ADVISORY TEAM
 
To place Durban on the world tourism map and grow tourist spending in the Inner City, the ECOD Committee recommended that the City be given a permission to host the Urban Planning Advisory Team (UPAT) workshop for three weeks, as part of the Inner City Regeneration
Implementation Strategy.
 
The workshop will consist of built environment specialists from different countries in the world; to share their expertise with the City’s team on devices for the development and transformation of the City.
 
Last year, the City’s Spatial Vision and Regeneration Strategy won at the International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP) 2017 Awards for Excellence in Portland Oregon, United States of America. Durban was honoured for exceptionally innovative urban and regional initiatives.
 
At the workshop, City officials will access international experience and be exposed to best practices that will be applied in transforming and creating a liveable and economic viable inner City that is competitive.
 
PROPOSED AMENDMENT OF THE 2017 DURBAN METROPOLITAN OPEN SPACE SYSTEM (D’MOSS) LAYER RELATING TO THE D’MOSS POLICY APPLICABLE TO THE ETHEKWINI MUNICIPALITY.
 
The committee has approved that the 2016 Durban Metropolitan Open Space System (D’MOSS) Policy layer be amended.
 
Cllr Sipho Kaunda said after the Municipal elections in 2016, there were areas that did not fall under eThekwini, which later, they were incorporated into eThekwini. Some of the areas include Ward 105 in Vulamehlo.
 
“It is therefore necessary that because of this development the D’MOSS map which is linked to the policy layer be amended,” he said.
 
The D’MOSS Layer as a policy is an informant to the Spatial Development Framework (SDF), which is legislated under the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management of 2013 (Act No. 16 of 2013).
 
MOTIVATION FOR ETHEKWINI MUNICIPALIY TO ENTER INTO A MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING WITH THE C40 CITIES FINANCE FACILITY.
 
In response to addressing climate change challenges, eThekwini Municipality will enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the C40 cities Finance Facility (C40CFF), which will assist in providing support to explore financing options for the expansion of the existing Sihlanzimvelo Programme.
 
This was approved by ECOD committee members at the committee meeting held yesterday.
 
The Sihlanzimvelo Programme which, is currently piloted in the INK and Umlazi areas involves working with community cooperatives to manage small streams in Durban in terms of grass cutting, removing alien invasive plants and replanting with indigenous vegetation, making waterways safer and removing solid waste and repairing minor erosion before its becomes problematic.
 
Economic Development and Planning Committee Chairperson Cllr Sipho Kaunda said the impact of climate change has a negative impact on our environment.
 
“This is a positive move for the City as it will enhance ecological infrastructure, enhance climate adaptation, improve human health and increase employment opportunities for disadvantaged communities,” said Kaunda.
 
TOWNSHIP ECONOMY: PROGRESS UPDATE ON UMLAZI TOWNSHIP DEVELOPMENT
 
A report detailing the progress on key nodes in the development of Umlazi Township economy was tabled at the Economic Development and Planning Committee.
 
The report stated that the Municipality has worked continuously towards providing catalytic economic infrastructure to support the development of Umlazi township economy. A major private sector led investment projects have painted significant successes at Umlazi Mega City Shopping Centre (Phase 1&2); Philani Valley Shopping Centre; KwaMnyandu Shopping Mall.
 
Economic Development and Planning Committee Chairperson Cllr Sipho Kaunda highlighted the importance of investing in township areas to grow the economy.
 
Economic growth is essential for the City and the country’s development. “With this being said, it is crucial to ensure that people in townships experienced improved quality of life and business opportunities,” he said.
 
He added that it is important that we ensure that township economy does not only comprise informal business but there must be economic growth and development in the City’s regions so that people do not have to travel outside their communities for their basic requirements.
 
The committee welcomed the progress report and agreed that the Economic Development and Investment Promotion Unit proceed with the development of Umlazi Station Node. This will include developing an industrial park for small business as well as an automotive hub at Ezimbuzini. The City’s investment in Umlazi has thus far leveraged R350million worth of private investment.
 
KWAMASHU TOWN CENTRE –SKILLS DEVELOPMENT FACILITY
 
In a bid to address skills development challenges in the INK area, the Economic Development and Planning Committee has approved that the eThekwini Municipal Academy (EMA), will take over and operate an existing Municipal owned property in KwaMashu for Skills Development and Training Programme.
 
The Municipality inherited a derelict building from the former KwaZulu Government situated at Mkhiwane Road behind the iThala Shopping Centre; and embarked on a process of upgrading infrastructure and transforming it to a technical training facility at a total cost of R2.7million.
 
Economic Development and Planning Committee Chairperson Cllr Sipho Kaunda commended the Economic Development and Investment Promotion for the hard work in revamping the facility.
 
“The revamping of this facility will ensure that the communities especially the youth and local businesses in the INK area, have access to this facility to acquire relevant skills that will transform their quality of lives,” he said.
 
Economic Development and Investment Promotion Unit to hand over the training facility to EMA.
 
PLANNING SECTOR TARIFFS -2018/19 FINANCIAL YEAR
 
To minimise the cost of doing business in the City, the Economic Development and Planning Committee has recommended that the Planning Sector should implement 0% increase in tariffs.
 
This initiative is one of the City’s strategies to attract and retain businesses and investors in order to facilitate economic growth.
 
Deputy Head of Development Management, Mr Lihle Phewa said that it should be noted that currently the City is experiencing an increase in the number of unauthorized land uses, which in turn compromise the revenue base.
 
Though the average of 7% was approved in the Planning Sector tariffs 2017/18 financial year, however, the committee has agreed on a no increase in tariffs for 2018/19.
 
ENDS
 
Issued by the eThekwini Municipality’s Head of Communications Tozi Mthethwa
 
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