The pair were addressing business leaders from around Durban at a CEOs’ Forum at the Durban ICC on Thursday to build and strengthen ties between the city and businesses.
The city outlined some interventions it had made on infrastructure planning, the ease of doing business in the city, the rates clearance process, business licensing and safety and security challenges, among others.
“Like any other city in the world, eThekwini faces challenges. Following our engagements with the senior management of the municipality last week, the city is finalising plans to ensure efficient delivery of services to residents. This plan will ensure that there are no further disruptions of services,” Kaunda said.
He said clear and good policies had been developed, but the city suffered from an “execution deficit”.
“Time and delivery is of the essence. If people are given tasks, they are expected to deliver. Political stability and policy certainty are key in creating a positive investment climate.
“I understand that in the past few months there has been political instability in eThekwini, which may have sparked a sense of uncertainty and doubts as to whether this municipality was heading in the right direction.
“I must first acknowledge the previous leadership that laid the foundation, as we pick up where they have left off. Going forward, this new leadership has been given a clear mandate to turn around the city and to restore political stability,” he said.
Kaunda added that crime was a scourge confronting the city.
“We thought deploying the police would be a good solution, but it’s the socio-economic issues confronting us that are a problem. If we still have broken family structures, we won’t be able to address the issue of crime. Broken families become manufacturers of criminals.”
Kaunda said consequence management would be implemented for officials who neglected their duties.
“We’ll give officials the necessary tools and support to do their jobs. But we’ll not allow projects and tasks to take longer than necessary,” he said.
Business representatives applauded Kaunda for his honesty regarding the policy “execution deficit”.
Scott assured business leaders that the dragging of processes was a thing of the past.
“If you want us to hold our officials to account, tell us. Tell us your specific problems. It’s coming to an end that when you want to get a document to the mayor, it sits for two weeks somewhere in the west, and then you hope it gets to the mayor in the next six weeks,” she said.
The two leaders reassured the business leaders that the ease of doing business in the city would improve.