ETHEKWINI NEWS FLASH
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
23 June 2016
 
Full Council Decisions
 
RURAL DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY
 
In a bid to create investment, urban recreational and service nodes in rural areas throughout eThekwini Municipality, Full Council approved the Rural Development Strategy. Sixty seven (67) percent of the eThekwini region is rural in nature.
 
During a Full Council meeting that was held on, 22 June, it was revealed that the strategy aims to provide a framework to ensure delivery to rural areas, empowering communities and improving their lives.
 
The implementation of the strategy includes, amongst other actions, the need for a number of detailed plans to be undertaken in order to realise the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act requirements of developing wall to wall schemes within its boundary.
 
There are also new projects that are being initiated in these areas which include UMbumbulu Town Centre Scheme (underway); Nsimbini Scheme (planned) and many others to follow. The Municipality also saw the need to initiate planning in the Vulamehlo areas to be incorporated into eThekwini Municipal area and have initiated a Vulamehlo Local Area Plan to be undertaken in the 2016/2017 financial year.
 
The Rural Development Strategy Implementation Plan also identified the need for detailed engagements with Amakhosi and the Ingonyama Trust Board in order to find ways to work together with the Municipality to address issues of service delivery, land management and economic opportunities in rural areas.
 
RELOCATION OF LADY IN WHITE STATUE
 
The ‘Lady in White’ statue is temporary relocating. This is after Council approved the relocation of the statue from the harbour to the Port Natal Maritime Museum. The statue is being temporary relocated to allow Portnet to complete its construction project and extension of the harbor. It will be returned once the construction is complete.
 
There are no financial costs to Council for the design, construction, installation as well as movement of the statue. All costs will be incurred and covered by private agencies associated with the Portuguese community in Durban as well as the Local History Museum Trust.
 
The statue is named after Perla Siedle Gibson, who was a Durban born soprano artists. Gibson became famous as the Lady in White because she used to serenade thousands of Allied troops as their ships passed in and out of Durban harbour.
 
In 1972, a year after she died, a bronze plaque donated by men of the Royal Navy was erected in her memory on Durban's North Pie on the spot where she used to sing. In 1995 Queen Elizabeth II unveiled a statue of Gibson near the Ocean Terminal in Durban harbour.
 
The City’s Head of Parks, Recreation and Culture Thembinkosi Ngcobo said the statue would be fitting at the Museum next to Britannia Room because it is still in the harbor precinct, not far from where she used to sing. “The statue’s temporary relocation will ensure unlimited access to it by Museum patrons,” he said.
 
DURBAN FILM OFFICE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMES
 
An amount of R3.75 million will be used over the next three financial years for the development and support of the micro-budget film programme. Council gave the programme, which aims to develop and grow the competitiveness of the sector the go-ahead this week. Fourteen emerging filmmakers have already benefited from the programme’s funding.
 
Chairperson of Economic Development and Planning Committee, Nomvuzo Shabalala said the programme supports local emerging and intermediate filmmakers. The programme, she said, also encourages the production of local content in order to stimulate the local film industry. “These programmes also focus on filmmakers who need to develop projects for local and international investors, markets and audiences,” she said.
 
The Durban Film Office will next week kick-start its 2016/2017 round of submissions for Micro Budget Film and Development Fund programmes. All emerging and intermediate eThekwini filmmakers are urged to attend the briefing workshop for the next submission call out for grant funds. The workshop will be held on, 27 June 2016 at Botanic Gardens at 11am.
 
ESTIBLISHMENT OF THE ETHEKWINI AGRI-PARK BUSINESS INCUBATOR
 
To ignite growth and create employment, Council approved the establishment of the Radical Agriculture Socio-Economic Transformation (RASET) programme. This programme will be piloted in four districts over and above eThekwini, which were selected according to the diversity of their produce.
 
Acting Deputy City Manager for Economic Development and Planning, Musa Mbhele said the objectives of the programme is to incubate start-up and growth entrepreneurs operating in the sustainable food value chain. The programme is also expected to radically democratize the South African Sustainable Food Value Chain.
 
“The strategic logic for identifying agriculture as a growth sector is because agriculture delivers more jobs per rand invested than any other productive sector,” he said.
 
The National Development Plan estimates that agriculture could potentially create 1 million jobs by 2030.
 
The incubator will be based at the Clairwood Fresh Produce Market. City Manager, Sibusiso Sithole was authorised to sign an Intergovernmental Memorandum of Agreement for the establishment and operation of the eThekwini Agri-Park Business Incubator.
 
ENDS
 
Issued by eThekwini Municipality’s Head of Communications, Tozi Mthethwa.
 
For more information members of the media can contact Princess Nkabane on 031 311 4818 or princess.nkabane@durban.gov.za
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