DURBAN - The uMhlathuze Municipality intends to focus the current political term of office on working with all stakeholders, different strategic departments and public entities to attract foreign direct investments (FDI).
Mayor Mduduzi Mhlongo said their ultimate goal was to change the landscape of the area for the better through the development and growing of the economy for the local business people to create employment for others.
“Our location and the geographical features we have such as the deepest harbour, vast arable land conducive for the agriculture sector, amenities such as rail, roads and air transport, coupled with the Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone (RBIDZ). And the services we provide as the city such as water and energy security becomes a good package for the investors,” said Mhlongo.
According to Alexander Forbes, uMhlathuze Municipality has the greatest location attractiveness for investment.
The city’s programmes intended to have a significant impact in the area include the eSikhaleni Business Hub to resuscitate the township economy and the Tourism Marketing Strategy that has identified tourism as one of the sectors in the city that would create new employment and help grow the economy.
Mhlongo said they were already implementing their Youth Development Plan through the opening of the SMME-One-Stop-Shop in eMpangeni housing among other offices of the NYDA, Absa enterprise unit and others.
“We amended the supply chain policy to empower youth with 40% of capital projects while other pockets of amendments such as 30% sub-contracting on some projects are part of the plan.”
Mhlongo said the city was also continuing with its plans to relocate the Richards Bay Airport, which would result in the development of the Airport City in and around eMpangeni.