Sihle Zikalala is the chairperson of the KZN Economic Council that will be hosting a summit in Durban. Photo: File
DURBAN - The KwaZulu-Natal Economic Council on Thursday held its annual summit to discuss transformation and driving growth in the province.

The council comprises of representatives from organised labour, the business sector, government as well as civic organisations.

The summit is being held to discuss how the province can accelerate its goal of attaining a competitive and equitably transformed economy that creates jobs.

The discussions will take place under the topic of "Improving KwaZulu-Natal's Economic Competitiveness in the Global Market".

MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Sihle Zikalala, who is also the Chairperson of the Economic Council, will lead the discussions at the conference.

The said topic is aimed at starting discussions on the importance of building an economy in the province that is both competitive and sustainable, as a way to increase growth, reduce unemployment and poverty levels and, eventually achieve a radically transformed economy.

Aside from the MEC, representatives from the different bodies that make up the Economic Council will be a part of the discussions. Prominent specialists in the fields of economics and entrepreneurial development will be speaking too.

The KwaZulu-Natal Economic Council was launched in 2011, as a direct response to the problems that KwaZulu-Natal was facing. To date the Council was has approved three chapters of KwaZulu-Natal provincial Social Accord.

The accord deals with the assimilation of SMMEs into the economy, women empowerment, the green economy, special economic zones, the aerotropolis strategy and the maritime sector.

There has been focus on the topic of radical economic transformation in the KwaZulu-Natal province.

In February, the eThekwini Municipality held a Radical Economic Transformation Conference and Expo; the event was held in partnership with the Federation for Radical Economic Transformation.

The conference gave a platform for emerging entrepreneurs to engage with stakeholders on available opportunities that they could tap into so that they would have the opportunity to make a contribution to the economy.