Media Statement By EThekwini Municipality Mayor, Cllr Mxolisi Kaunda On The State Of Readiness To Host The Three International Conference In Durban, City Hall EXCO Board Road,
 
6 November 2019
 
Good morning members of the media:
 
Thank you for coming to this media briefing to outline our state of readiness to host three high-profile international conferences which will run concurrently from 9-15 November 2019, at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre.
 
These conferences will draw over 3000 international delegates including Mayors from various cities around the world.
 
The hosting of these conferences is in line with the country’s policy of championing internationalism based on our conviction of a just and equitable world.
 
As the democratic government, we strongly believe that we must participate in multilateral fora and work towards transforming them, so they serve the interests of developed and developing countries fairly.
 
In so doing, we will ensure that these institutions are seized with the work of building a better Africa and a better World.
 
The largest of the three conferences would be the United Cities and Local Governments Congress which will be jointly hosted by SALGA and eThekwini Municipality from 11-15 November 2019. This conference will be attended by 3000 delegates including Mayors, Premiers, CEOs of State Enterprises, Members of Parliament and public sector managers.
 
Launched in May 2004, the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) is the global advocate and representative of democratic local government with a membership of 136 countries across the world. It is the largest gathering of Mayors, Presidents of Associations, Councillors, and Local and Regional practitioners from around the World.
 
This conference, which will be officially opened by the President of the Republic, Cyril Ramaphosa, will provide a platform for networking with global institutions and share knowledge and best practices to improve service delivery and deal with challenges of urban migration.
 
It is said that by 2050 more than half the world’s population will be living in cities. This is a clear indication that cities around the world are facing the same challenges of urban migration, climate change and governance. Therefore, networking at this level will empower us work together and formulate better solutions to the global challenges that cities face, thus providing a better service to our communities.
 
GLOBAL PARLIAMENT OF MAYORS
 
 The Global Parliament of Mayors (GPM) will take place from 09 -11 November 2019, with 300 Mayors from cities around the world are expected to attend. The GPM champions the role that mayors play in addressing key global challenges at local level. Among the issues which will be high on the agenda for discussion in this conference include urban migration, urban security and good governance.
 
 
AFUS
 
The African Forum for Urban Safety (AFUS) will take place from 10-12 November 2019. The African Forum for Urban Safety is one of the key United Nations Habitat programmes that is looking at sharing best practices to support and capacitate cities to promote safety in our cities. This gathering brings together 300 leaders from the African continent to discuss issues of urban safety with a special focus on gender-based violence and safety of women in cities.
 
Given our recent experience with the incidents of gender-based violence, this conference will provide a platform for us to develop innovative tools on safer cities, develop joint action plans that will enhance the participation of women in the improvement of safety for all, particularly for women and girls in African cities.
 
SECURITY PLAN
 
From the security point of view, last week we convened a meeting with all heads of law enforcement agencies in the province including the SAPS, Metro Police and Emergency Services to finalise our plans to secure the conferences. The plan entails high police deployment in and around the conference venue. These deployments will range from foot patrols, motorized patrols and static deployments in identified crime hot spots. We also intend to utilize our CCTV cameras to enhance policing throughout the city. Therefore, as the city we are indeed ready to secure these conferences and the delegates.
 
 
 ECONOMIC BENEFITS FOR THE CITY
 
Our city is expected to derive enormous economic benefit from these conferences. The direct visitor spend is projected to be approximately R35 million with the contribution to eThekwini’s GDP expected to be in the region of R64 million, with approximately 182 jobs to be created.
 
Ladies and Gentlemen, hosting these events will give Durban the opportunity to promote the city and build its reputation as a globally competitive city. It will also attract much-needed investment and position eThekwini as a preferred venue for international events. These events will also enable us to obtain new ambassadors and partners to develop our cities and create an environment for Durban to become a caring and livable city.
 
As the people of eThekwini, we are indeed ready to roll out the red carpet to welcome our visitors.
 
I thank you
 
 
Issued by the eThekwini Municipality’s Acting Head of Communications Mandla Nsele.
 
For more information contact Mayoral Spokesperson Mluleki Mntungwa on 060 974 1140 or mluleki.mntungwa@durban.gov.za