ETHEKWINI NEWS FLASH
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
28 November 2017
 
Executive Committee Decisions
 
ESSENCE FESTIVAL DURBAN 2017 WAS A SUCCESS
 
The hosting of the Essence Festival Durban 2017 was a resounding success with long lasting impact made on business, performing artists and the public who attended. This was coupled by a positive economic impact of R291.2 million contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). A decision will be taken next year by Council whether to host the event for a further three years.
 
A presentation on the event was made by Acting Deputy City Manager for Economic Development and Planning Phillip Sithole to the Executive Committee today, 28 November.
 
The preliminary post-event report revealed that 153 572 people attended the event in 2017, an increase from 88 907 in 2016. A further 83 500 people were engaged through pre-event engagements.
 
The report listed the international business delegation who attended the event. This included 102 delegates from Africa from countries such as Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana, Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
 
There were also 49 delegates from the United States of America, four from the United Kingdom, two delegates from Milan and three from New Zealand.
 
There was a socio economic impact of R291. 2 million for the City with a contribution to the GDP. Furthermore, over 616 jobs were sustained and 1 409 employment opportunities were created with 70 local businesses utilised.
 
Sithole said hotels in the City also reported full occupancy during this time.
 
“The objective of hosting events of this magnitude is economic growth and job creation as well as having an impact on the tourism industry,” he said.
 
He said that through the public relations campaign, 64 million people were reached which is the equivalent of R27 million in advertising value.
 
Sithole added that there was 41 percent negative press, which could still be viewed as a positive as people were still made aware that the Essence Festival Durban was happening.
 
“Hosting the Festival also had a positive impact on the local creative industry. An objective of the event is to promote and develop local artists,” he said adding that 145 Durban artists reached an audience of 145 322 people.
 
The report listed new fixtures to the Essence Festival Durban line-up which included the Youth Summit. This comprised of job and business opportunity discussions, motivational talks and a social cohesion dialogue. Over 2 300 youth attended.
 
Regarding the healthy lifestyle aspect of the Festival, there were over 3 000 participants in the Aerobathon.
 
The Articulate Book Fair had 34 exhibitors, 63 speakers and 12 250 delegates which included township school children. The Durban Business Fair had 330 exhibitors with 15 195 visitors.
 
There was around 6 000 carnival participants.
 
Sithole said there was the potential of R15.5 billion infrastructure development in the City. “There was also a R5 million investment made to a woman-owned film business and a memorandum of understanding signed between the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the US Black Chamber as a result of Essence,” he said.
 
Sithole also outlined the sponsorship the City received to host the event but said because of the negative press, some businesses were hesitant to partner with the City.
 
He said at the first meeting of the Executive Committee next year, a report with the exact cost breakdown of the Essence Festival Durban 2017 will be tabled, as well as discussions whether the City would host the Festival for another three years.
 
To further emphasise the impact hosting the Festival has had on the City, a number of artists and businesses who directly benefited briefed the Executive Committee.
 
DJ Sox said the Festival gave local artists opportunities starting from activations all the way up to the event.
 
“It also allows us to forge relationships with international acts. We have been working closely with the Municipality to ensure that all artists have an opportunity to perform. Essence changes lives,” he said.
 
Dumile Cele, Chief Executive Officer of the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry said member businesses had benefitted as a result of the Festival.
 
“What we stand to gain from continuing to host Essence is enormous. It is a brand and we must continue to grow it.”
 
EThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede agreed that a sizeable number of people have benefitted from Essence.
 
“The report today is a real eye-opener, as we have seen that big businesses have benefitted as well as our local artists. We will be applying our minds to Essence as there is no way we can get rid of something that is benefitting our economy and helping our people,” she said.
 
Chairperson of the Human Settlements and Infrastructure Committee Councillor Mondli Mthembu welcomed the presentation. “We are a global City and we must treat ourselves as such. We need to host events that will appeal to the international market. We cannot be narrow-minded when dealing with these kinds of events which brings serious investment to the City,” he said.
 
Chairperson of the Governance and Human Resources Committee Councillor Barbara Fortein said the City must invest money in these kinds of events.
 
“We need to continue to invest in our artists so that they can give back to the next generation of upcoming artists.”
 
PROGRESS REPORT ON CATALYTIC PROJECTS IN THE CITY
 
The landscape of the City is set to be forever changed by the multi-billion rand catalytic projects currently underway as well as those in the pipeline.
 
A progress report on catalytic projects in the City was made to the Executive Committee at a meeting held today, 28 November by Acting Deputy City Manager for Economic Development and Planning Phillip Sithole.
 
Sithole said catalytic projects were divided into three categories namely;
 
• Category A which are projects in implementation,
• Category B which are projects in preparation and,
• Category C which includes extensions to existing developments and malls both private and by the government.
 
Projects in implementation in the City include the Clairwood Logistics Park, Cornubia, Dube TradePort, the Integrated Rapid Public Transport Network (IRPTN) C3 Corridor, Keystone Logistics Hub, Oceans uMhlanga and the Point Waterfront.
 
Sithole provided a brief overview of each project including progress made and the social economic benefits of it.
 
The Clairwood Logistics Park is aimed at supporting the logistics, commercial and surrounding light industrial developments in the broader South Durban Basin. On progress made; the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has been approved with most site preparation underway. They are currently busy with bulk earthworks. The total investment value is R4.5 billion with 5 000 construction jobs expected to be created and 2 000 permanent jobs.
 
Cornubia is a 1 300 hectares R25 billion mixed use project. Phase 1 has seen most of the 2 500 units completed with the Cornubia Industrial and Business Estate sites sold and operational. Phase 2 saw the EIA and Water Use Licensing and Permitting approved with the N2 Business Park, Retail Mall and Call Centre under Construction.
 
Sithole said the mall has since opened. Over 15 000 construction jobs will be created as well as 48 000 permanent jobs. Once the project is completed there will be an annual rates base growth of R300 million.
 
Sithole also spoke about the Dube TradePort which is a 2 840 hectares development and is home to King Shaka International Airport and comprises trade, agri and support zones.
 
Some progress made includes the new link road from uShukela Highway being constructed with planning underway for subsequent phases (Trade Zone 2 and 3, Support Zone 2 and Agrizone 2). The total investment value is R13 billion with over 150 000 jobs created.
 
The IRPTN C3 Corridor runs from Bridge City to Pinetown. Progress made includes land use strategy being taken to Council in October and effected in the Land Use Management Regional Offices. Also the construction and opening of the IRPTN lanes as well as developer interest along the corridor has been made. The total investment value is R3.8 million planning project and R3.77 billion road construction. Over 17 300 construction jobs and 1 659 permanent jobs will be created.
 
Sithole said the Oceans uMhlanga mixed use development has a total investment value of R3.6 billion and will contribute R45 million in annual rates. Approximately 15 000 construction jobs and 2 500 permanent jobs are expected to be created. Oceans 1 and 2 planning applications are approved with building plans in the system for approval. A public transport facility will be constructed as part of the development.
 
Finally, the Point Waterfront will maximise the use of the area by a network of vehicular and pedestrian connectivity. This will include the extending of the beachfront promenade along Vetch’s Pier around to the northern harbour edge, populating the space in between with multi-storey structures offering residential, office, retail and leisure infrastructure.
 
Sithole said a contractor has been appointed and is expected to be on site next year.
 
He said the City’s Radical Economic Transformation Framework will be implemented to ensure that previously disadvantaged business will receive 30 percent of the work.
 
The total investment value is estimated between R30 billion to R35 billion with annual rates of R200 million. Approximately 11 000 construction jobs will be created with 6 750 permanent jobs.
 
Sithole also listed the projects in category B and C which will be implemented in the future.
 
“A number of projects are already on the ground. There is investment taking place in Durban. The total of the catalytic projects in the City over the next 15 years totals R900 billion,” he added.
 
ENDS
 
Issued by the eThekwini Municipality’s Head of Communications Tozi Mthethwa.
 
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