NEWS FLASH
 
For immediate release
 
05 December 2016
 
Economic Development and Planning Committee Recomendations
 
In a bid to enhance eThekwini Municipality’s economy and to intensify development around the City, the Economic Development and Planning Committee (ECOD) recently, approved the Integrated Inner City Local Area Plan and Regeneration Strategy at a meeting held at the City Hall Council Chamber.
 
Addressing councillors and officials in the last sitting of the ECOD for the year, acting Deputy City Manager Musa Mbhele said the strategy will assist in addressing socio-economic challenges due to rapid urbanization being experienced in the City.
 
“The strategy will improve a range of issues from managing urban expansion and congestion to fostering competitiveness, innovation, social inclusion and environmental sustainability,” said Mbhele.
 
He said in development of the plan, a number of workshops were held with various stakeholders to ascertain how they see the future of the City.
 
United Nations estimates that by 2030, about 70.3 percent of world population will live in urban areas. The majority of this population will reside in the inner City areas. “To prepare for such eventuality, the Inner City Masterplan of eThekwini deals with a number of projects that will make the inner city liveable by 2030,” Mbhele said.
 
He added that the strategy will not only create employment opportunities but it will see growth in the three key economic drivers namely tourism, new businesses and services and education sectors thus place Durban on the map as a world class city.
 
With cities being engines of economic growth, the strategy is seen as a method to drive economic development initiatives that will attract investment into the inner city areas.
 
RADICAL AGRARIAN SOCIO-ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION (RASET) PROGRAMME
 
As part of government’s effort to break down barriers in the food value chain and ensure that there is transformation in the agricultural sector, ECOD approved the Radical Agrarian Socio-Economic Transformation (RASET) Programme. This is a government programme aimed at creating an alternative value chain to deal with structural barriers to economic transformation in the agriculture sector.
 
In his presentation to the ECOD Committee, Acting Deputy City Manager Musa Mbhele indicated that government is concerned about the amount of money invested in the sector with no visible impact.
 
“It is for this reason that the government has devised a strategy, which will provide a platform for historically disadvantaged players to participate in the production, processing and distribution of aspects in the value chain,” he said.
 
By this nature, RASET is broad based and will be able to cover majority of players in the agriculture sector by eradicating poverty, unemployment and inequality.
 
RASET is part of the Government Agri Park programme that is currently being rolled out country wide, and eThekwini has recently been included in the programme.
 
In eThekwini, the Clairwood Fresh Produce Market has been targeted as the venue to be used for an incubation programme for emerging farmers.
 
Mbhele said the key pillar of the programme is to enhance access to government markets in food supply
 
All government departments that procure food will participate in the programme, however, private sector such as hotels and restaurants will also be targeted.
 
“Beneficiation of agricultural products will increase market opportunities for previously disadvantaged farmers and reduce dependency on state support while increasing agricultural land utilisation,” he added.
 
Ends
 
Issued by the eThekwini Municipality’s Head of Communications, Tozi Mthethwa.
 
For more information contact Gugu Mbonambi on 031 311 4855 or email: gugu.mbonambi@durban.gov.za or Princess Nkabane on 031 311 4818 or email princess.nkabane@durban.gov.za
 
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