Business and municipalities to foster development
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BUSINESS chambers affiliated to the Small Business Institute (SBI) have partnered with GalaxyNova systems to facilitate collaboration between the business sector in local communities and municipalities.
Local data centres will be established that use the GalaxyNova system to inform planning and actionable strategies for sustainable development and growth, fostering resilience in local economies.
The data collected would include unique crime trends in each community, which would be used to identify and address the causes and assist in crime prevention, the SBI said in a statement yesterday.
SBI chambers president Winda Austin-Loeve said yesterday that a significant number of the country’s municipalities were experiencing financial, political and management challenges.
“Covid-19 also presents a deep and long-lasting economic crisis throughout South Africa’s economy, and as it affects businesses, it has also impacted our municipalities. Revenues from rates and taxes are significantly affected as a result of the inability of households and businesses to pay these taxes. If we imagine a best-case scenario of about 40 percent loss in electricity revenue, this will significantly contract municipal budgets and therefore spending on essential services,” said Austin-Loeve.
Ratings agency Moody’s this month downgraded the City of Joburg, the City of Cape Town, the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality in the Eastern Cape, the City of Ekurhuleni’s water entity and the City of uMhlathuze in KwaZulu-Natal to between four and five notches below investment grade.
“The rating downgrades reflect rising liquidity pressure as a result of material shortfalls in revenue collection that Moody’s expects to last in the context of very weak growth,” the ratings agency said in the report.
With crime being the major contributor to insecure communities, which led to poor economic growth, addressing crime through proper reporting and analysis of all available data was a crucial building block in creating safe cities, the SBI said.
A safe city is a community-based initiative that unites law enforcement, businesses, residents and city officials with the intention to maximise safety and minimise theft and other crimes in communities. It has an urban development vision to integrate information and communication technology in a secure environment to manage a town’s/city’s assets to improve the efficiency of services.
The SBI said it was important that local forums took ownership and managed their own affairs in the best interest of the community and businesses.
The SBI said effective collaboration between the community, business sector and municipalities, instead of fighting legal disputes in court, was far more productive in addressing the basic needs of local communities and regenerating the growth of local economies.