FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

23 JUNE 2015

Exco Decisions

CITY TO HOST SIGNATURE EVENT

EThekwini Municipality representatives will be visiting sister City, New Orleans, next week to begin negotiations for the City to host The Essence Festival, an event that will boost Durban’s tourism potential and economic growth. 

The event, a new and exciting partnership with the international Essence Magazine will be officially launched during the Durban Business Fair to be held in October. The festival will showcase local and international artists, music, conferences, workshops, performances, guest speakers, exhibitions and more, that will provide a unique experience and create a vibe in the City. 

Deputy Mayor Cllr Nomvuzo Shabalala explained that the event has the potential to grow over the years and become a sought after event across the continent over the next three to five years. 

“This event will provide a platform to promote the City and the Durban brand in the US and Europe through various international media platforms,” she said.

The City plans to contribute approximately R34 million over the next three years to host the event and is expecting an economic returns of R1.2 billion over three years. 

City Manager Sibusiso Sithole explained that the cost of hosting the event could be reduced as the City would still seek out event sponsors as the event of this nature could cost in excess of R80 million to host. 

UZALO TELEVISION SERIES SPONSORSHIP 

EXCO has approved an amount of R5 million to sponsor the production of a television series being filmed in KwaMashu. Uzalo, a 156 episode series, is currently being screened on SABC 1 and will highlight the rich authentic culture of the City. 

Mayor Cllr James Nxumalo said the programme will significantly boost the City’s creative arts industry and give the youth exposure and experience in the film industry. 

“The programme contributes towards the ideal of empowerment and job creation. This project will capture Durban’s KwaZulu-Natal culture and be viewed by millions of people. We cannot put a value on exposure the City will receive.”

City Manager Sibusiso Sithole supported the Mayor’s view saying that the production will be filmed over a period of time, offering a sustained income and other benefits for those employed during the filming. 

He said that the City needs to allocate more funds to the creative industry and grow that sector significantly. There is also a knock on effect on other sectors as well. 

IRREGULAR EXPENDITURE 

The City has considerably reduced its irregular expenditure over the financial year, 2014/15, from R295.8 million to R113.7 million. 

The reduction in irregular spending is due to the strict austerity measures that the City has put in place to ensure that compliance with the Supply Chain Management policies are adhered to.

Of this amount, R107.1 million was processed through the Bid Adjudication Committee in terms of Section 36 (1)(b) of the Supply Chain Management Policy with the balance of R6.6 million in the process of finalisation. 

Goods and services and value for money have been received for any expenditure above, and 90 percent of the expenditure was due to the extension of contracts to ensure service delivery.

City Manager Sibusiso Sithole said that the number of staff doing business with the City has also reduced, as only seven out of 24000 members of staff where found to have Municipal contracts. 

“No Councillors were found to be doing business with the Council. In cases of staff members who were found doing business with the City, disciplinary measures are underway,” he said.

Mayor Cllr James Nxumalo said the City has come a long way in reducing irregular expenditure. 

“The role of our Oversight Committee, the Municipal Public Accounts Committee is critical to the ideal of creating a clean administration. We remain committed to ensuring that we continue on our path of good governance practices and that service delivery to our communities is not impacted,” he said.

MOSES MABHIDA STADIUM TO INTEGRATE WITH THE ICC

The Executive Committee (EXCO) has approved a proposal to integrate the management of Moses Mabhida Stadium with the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre (ICC). 

It is proposed that a Business Unit be created within the ICC that would manage the stadium. This model was selected after much research and will provide the opportunity to maximise various potential income streams. 

City Manager Mr Sibusiso Sithole will finalise the integration process in accordance with the relevant municipal legislation and policies.

ONE STOP BUSINESS CENTRE 

EXCO has approved a Section 36 Report to lease premises at either the Lion Match building or Kingsmead Office Park for the creation of a One Stop Business Centre. 

The aim of the centre is to address development and planning challenges for developers and to create a conducive investment climate that would attract investment particularly in the City Centre. 

This initiative forms part of the City urban renewal and redevelopment programme. The one stop shop will serve as an entry point for investors and developers in their dealings with the City. 

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 3114818 or email: princess.nkabane@durban.gov.za