Durban - Crime and grime in business districts and corruption involving flood relief funds in KwaZulu-Natal were on top of the agenda at the growth coalition breakfast held at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre on Thursday.
The KZN Growth Coalition remains one of the most critical bodies as we tackle the common challenges of our province, especially those brought to the surface by the recent flooding disaster, said Premier Sihle Zikalala.
The opportunity to interact with members of the business community in KZN has been made possible through the generous sponsorship of Investec.
Zikalala, addressing crime, grime and corruption, said these issues include the concern about the growing disregard for law enforcement by the forums which are holding businesses hostage and leading to projects being delayed, resulting in significant economic and financial losses.
“During our engagements, we also addressed the concerns about crime and grime, including safety and security, cleanliness, rundown buildings and homelessness. In this regard, we received a detailed presentation from the provincial commissioner of police General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, who committed to a very specific programme working with business and the security industry to deal with crime in the province,” Zikalala said.
He added that it was important to attract business back to the inner cities by reclaiming our buildings and restoring order.
Zikalala told businesses that the April 2022 flood relief money would be under intense scrutiny by the Department of Treasury, the Office of the Auditor-General, the Office of the Public Protector and the SA Human Rights Commission.
During the second week of April, KZN sustained devastating floods caused by inclement weather. To date, it is estimated that more than 445 people have died, with 48 people still unaccounted for. No less than 7 639 people were affected, about 6 847 were left homeless and 43 were reported injured.
Greater eThekwini has been most impacted by inclement weather, and the floods have caused further regression to the provincial economy after the devastating looting and Covid-19. The estimated economic impact of the floods is about R20 billion, which has affected both economic and social infrastructure.
“We must reiterate that no corruption will be tolerated as we deal with this work. Together we will deliver a corruption-free response to the floods,” Zikalala said.
The KZN Growth Coalition partnership is in line with the recovery, rebuilding and economic re-orientation programme.
The objectives are to combine long-term vision with concrete, practical and collaborative action to address the most pressing issues facing KZN, bring business and government together in honest and courageous discussions pertaining to pressing issues in the province, and drive socio-economic transformation.