Opposition parties were concerned that the eThekwini One Plan project could be another waste of taxpayer’s money. Picture: Terry Haywood
Opposition parties were concerned that the eThekwini One Plan project could be another waste of taxpayer’s money. Picture: Terry Haywood

eThekwini One Plan project slammed as too aspirational

By Thabo Makwakwa Time of article published May 20, 2021

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DURBAN - POLITICAL parties have no confidence in the proposed eThekwini One Plan project the eThekwini Municipality presented at its executive committee (Exco) meeting this week at the Durban city hall.

Opposition parties were concerned that this could be another waste of taxpayer’s money.

The DA and IFP have expressed doubts on the proposed smart port city region projected to reimagine eThekwini by the year 2050.

The concerns come on the heels of government’s presentation on its goal to accelerate the radical improvement in quality of life of eThekwini residents and transform the regional economy through good innovative, co-operative governance, professionalised public service, sustained implementation commitment and impact performance measurement.

eThekwini One Plan is a new modality of service delivery being piloted. It is also known as the District Development Model and government approach of delivering effective and efficient services to citizens.

DA caucus leader and Exco member Nicole Graham said that, among other challenges in government, it was never short of committees and making commitments, but no action followed.

“The eThekwini One plan is too aspirational. We need to go back to basics and look into profitable projects that will enable government to create jobs, reduce unemployment and improve service delivery. Government creates committees upon committees, plans ideas and goals, but never addresses the actual core problems,” said Graham.

She said she felt that government should not focus on projects that could be completed in 2050 when people were confronted with problems in 2021.

IFP chief whip and Exco member Mdu Nkosi said he was not convinced by the presentation as the presenter from Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Department (Yusuf Patel) did not seem to believe in what he was presenting.

“The presenter was not convincing, and so it is worrying because the presentation failed to draw confidence making it difficult to understand the gist of the presentation. I hope the project will not be another theoretical project that was launched but failed to materialise,” said Nkosi

He added that when President Cyril Ramaphosa launched this programme, the party was concerned because people needed practical projects and not mere theoretical projects that were not beneficial.

eThekwini One Plan project was launched by Ramaphosa in October 2019 during the presidential launch in KwaMashu.

The project was said to be championed by Ramaphosa and Cabinet, Cogta Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, who was supported by a team of political champions constituting of eThekwini District Development Model (DDM) political hub committee, deputy ministers John Jeffery and Nocawe Mafu, MEC Kwazi Mshengu and eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda.

According to Patel, the one plan provides a single line of sight for planning, budgeting and implementation across various spheres of government.

The plan aimed to transform eThekwini into a leading smart port city region that is just, safe, resilient, socially cohesive and culturally expressive.

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