Ethekwini Municipality launches economic council to help boost investment and business in city
Durban - The eThekwini Municipality has launched an Economic Council that will serve as a social compact, providing strategic advice on economic development, inclusive growth strategies and support to city leadership.
The forum, launched on Wednesday at the Durban’s ICC, consists of expert and cross-sectoral leaders from various sectors and businesses determined by public nomination to advise the mayor and city leadership on economic development, investment promotion, and ensuring that there is an enabling environment for business within the city.
Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda said they viewed the council as a space for all to collectively respond to challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality which are permanent in the South African socio-economic landscape.
Working in collaboration with the City Planning Commission (CPC), the EEC will ensure strategic alignment to the Economic Development Strategic Framework, Economic Development Policy and other Economic Development Research work.
“We are a government that is committed to genuine consultation with all stakeholders, hence today we are entering in a social compact between government, organised labour, business, academia, Traditional Leadership, Interfaith and civil society as a commitment to grow the city’s economy and build a better life for all,” Kaunda said.
One of the first tasks of the Council will be to give guidance in the implementation of the post-Covid-19 Pandemic Economic Recovery Strategy and the Radical Socio-Economic Transformation Programme.
Kaunda emphasised both monitoring the implementation of interventions as being essential to boost the economy, reduce job losses and ultimately lead to an increase in investment as well as revenue generation.
In March 2020, a call for nomination to serve on the EEC was advertised in the KZN mainstream media.
Through this process, a number of nominations to serve on the council were received.
Kaunda applauded the members of the Council for accepting their respective nominations and said that it had shown that they are patriots and have demonstrated their commitment to their city and the country.
The council structure will convene quarterly, according to the city.
“We are confident that together, we will rebuild an economy that places people at the centre of our recovery strategies,” Kaunda said.
The chief executive of the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) Palesa Phili supported the city as it took specific action to collaborate with the business community to find solutions that address the city’s ailing economy.
“Our key ambition is to help revive, revitalise and preserve the City so that we can truly live up to our City’s vision to be Africa's Most Caring and Liveable City. The DCCI believes there needs to be stronger cooperation and collaboration between the private and public sectors to facilitate the recovery of our economy. As an organised business, we are optimistic that this compact will help facilitate relevant strategic industry inputs and insights into economic development policy and also promote creative and innovative solutions to pressing economic issues,” Phili said in a statement.