25 October 2017
Isiphingo Renewal Team and Toyota Commit to Work Together
The multi-disciplinary task team responsible for the renewal of the Isiphingo area met with Toyota SA on Wednesday, 25 October, to address some of the challenges that arose after the recent heavy storms. The meeting follows recent engagements between the top executives of both companies which paved the way for good relations with the industry giant.
Industry in the Prospecton area suffered major flooding, damage, loss of property and production costing millions of rand.
The area is built on reclaimed land that was once a marshy wetland area. With the high water table and extreme rain experienced on 10 October, the ground was not able to absorb the water and this resulted in flooding. This was compounded by the massive amount of pollution in the storm water drains that blocked canals.
A tour of problem areas was conducted where blockages in the canal were pointed out. The Isiphingo River mouth and estuary was also visited where discussions ensued about coastal engineering. The city conducts monthly clean-up of the canals and checks silt level every three months at 50meter intervals. Once the silt reaches 400ml it is removed to ensure free flow of water and prevent flooding.
The tour also included a visit to one of Toyota’s suppliers, MSSL Global RSA Module Engineering Limited where the flood damage was very evident. Ashwin Cheerkot, Unit Head, explained that the swollen river flooded his business, damaged his equipment and deposited a huge amount of silt inside his premises. He explained that the flood cost his business huge amount of money to clean up and it took seven days for the first piece of equipment to start up.
Suben Moodely, Senior Vice President, Corporate Services, Toyota SA, said the Prospecton Plant was a strategic plant for the company globally and sustainability of the plant is important. He said, “Toyota SA aims to become the mother plant for Africa therefore stability in supply is important. Therefore, we hope to establish a strong collaboration with our communities, including the Municipality, to ensure continuity of our business.”
Moodley explained that the company has suffered at least two floods a year in the last few years, and this has cost approximately R63m in lost production.
The city has committed to work with Toyota to review the storm water management capability in the area.
Ednick Msweli, Head the Water and Sanitation Unit said that the City will immediately clean up and unblock the canals. He said a review the drainage system in the area to ensure long term sustainability will be investigated, adding that the City’s drainage system meets world standards.
A holistic multidisciplinary regeneration campaign is currently underway in key central business districts (CBD) such as Isiphingo, Pinetown, Durban CBD that aims to arrest the decline and deterioration of the area. The on-going operation includes tackling issues of problem buildings as well as illegal business operations, bylaw infringements, litter, pollution and social ills.
Meanwhile, the Isiphingo regeneration programme continues. The city aims to address key strategic issues and challenges in the precinct and has taken an integrated approach to service delivery in the area. As a secondary CDB, Isiphingo is seen as a key economic hub for the city.
Issued by the eThekwini Municipality’s Head of Communications, Tozi Mthethwa.
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