ETHEKWINI NEWS FLASH
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
26 March 2019

Executive Committee Decisions
 
CITY TO ADDRESS SOCIAL ILLS THROUGH ESTABLISHMENT OF A SPECIAL PURPOSE VEHICLE
 
In its quest to rid the City of social ills plaguing it, the Executive Committee has today, 26 March, tabled a report that will see the City establishing a structure through which funds will be channelled to address these social challenges. Most of the funds will be sourced from stakeholders who have joined the crusade against social challenges such as homelessness and drug abuse.
 
The tabled report, which was first discussed at the Security and Emergency Services Committee meeting held on 20 March, sought authority for the establishment of a special purpose vehicle or mechanism to advance collaboration between the Municipality, other spheres of government and non-state actors, to advance the implementation of programmes meant to address social challenges.
 
The tabled report authorises the Head of Safer Cities to undertake the initial work towards establishment of this mechanism.
 
Funding of R500 000 was approved for expenditure which includes funds for initial challenges such as a feasibility study, due diligence-related activities and registration of the mechanism in line with relevant legal provision and requirements.
 
The tabled report states that the Security and Emergency Services Committee will be kept updated on the progress of the SPV.
 
EThekwini Deputy Mayor Fawzia Peer, who also chairs the Security and Emergency Services Committee, said while there were a number of social ills facing the City funds were required for any intervention whether it be a homeless shelter or rehabilitation centre.
 
She said a meeting was recently held with various stakeholders including non-profit organisations, non-governmental organisations and the business sector about social challenges in the City. Emerging from the meeting was working groups of which one was finance, she said.
 
“A number of stakeholders are prepared to give funds towards addressing these challenges but we as the City need a vehicle or mechanism in which to process the money. A study has to be done to advise the City on how to process the money and which model is best suited. The legal aspect has to be explored in this regard as well,” said Councillor Peer.
 
She said while resolving social ills in the City was a long process, steps were being taken by the City to address them concluding that “it was a work in progress.”
 
ESTABLISHMENT OF GLENWOOD SPECIAL RATING AREA AND URBAN IMPROVEMENT PRECINCT
 
The Executive Committee today, 26 March, tabled a report outlining the establishment of a Glenwood Special Rating Area (SRA) and Urban Improvement Precinct (UIP) in terms of Section 22 of the Municipal Property Rates Act and the eThekwini Rates Policy which will see the public working together with the City to improve the area.
 
The tabled report states that cities are primary spatial engines of economic growth and development and aid in retaining and growing investment in business and economic infrastructure in order to grow their economies, create jobs and increase their municipal rates revenue base.
 
The report cites the uMhlanga and Florida Road UIPs as good examples of how UIPs have played a positive role in mobilising private funds and energy to work alongside the Municipality, resulting in substantially improved public space environments and raising property values and investment as well as social and economic vibrancy in their areas.
 
It further states that Glenwood is a significantly mixed use area from an urban management and social development perspective. It is an area in transition with the potential for a high road or a low road scenario depending on how well it is managed and maintained, the report states. Many residential houses have been turned into commercial properties with a dynamic mix of small businesses that brings a higher rates value to the City.
 
The report states that a UIP enabled a co-management partnership to build Glenwood as an important mixed-use neighbourhood on the fringe of the inner city that can be an important building block in making Durban the most caring and liveable city in Africa.
The report states that the SRA initiative has undergone the assessment process and met the procedural requirements of the eThekwini Rates Policy.
 
Its establishment means that an additional rate on commercial property owners in the area will be levied, in accordance with the request of the communication, based on the business plan and budget which they have adopted for the improvement and upgrading of their area.
 
The SRA will be managed by a non-profit company and will employ its own staff. The operational plan will have four pillars namely;
 
Security :
 
1. Community ambassador street monitors,
2. Security company doing 24/7 patrols and back up to the monitors and,
3. Reporting and liaising with police and security companies in the area.
 
Maintenance
 
1. Service level agreements with Municipal departments and,
2. Minor cleaning, repairs and greening.
• Place Making
1. Place branding and marketing and,
2. Beautification projects and events.
 
Social Responsibility
 
1. Stakeholder engagement forum and,
2. Social development initiatives.
 
The Committee approved the establishment of the Glenwood SRA and the collection of additional rates in the 2019/2020 budget for the purposes of improving and upgrading the area. The tabled report grants authority for the City Manager to enter into a Memorandum of Agreement in terms of Section 67 of the Municipal Finances Management Act for the purposes of transferring funds to the Glenwood UIP non-profit company.
 
ENDS
 
Issued by the eThekwini Municipality’s Acting Head of Communications Mandla Nsele.
 
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