DURBAN - Mayor of eThekwini Mxolisi Kaunda said the city’s economy is showing signs of recovery.
Speaking during a virtual meeting of the eThekwini Executive Committee on Tuesday, Kaunda said Durban hotels and accommodation facilities were booming with visitors during the Heritage Day long weekend holiday.
This follows the easing of restrictions on movements of people and gatherings in South Africa following a steady decline in new Covid-19 infections. President Cyril Ramaphosa moved the country from Adjusted Alert Level 3 to Adjusted Alert Level 2 of the lockdown on September 12, 2021.
“The preliminary report indicates that our hotels and B&Bs were bursting at the seams. Visitors’ arrival is estimated to be 82 000 and the direct spend was R107m. This contributed R265m to our GDP and created 570 job opportunities.”
According to Kaunda, the steady increase in the number of visitors to Durban’s shores was a sign that the tourism industry is now on a road to recovery.
Kaunda also stated that there was a significant improvement in the city’s services, and that the municipality was working hard to regain business confidence.
“I can confirm that the business community has confidence in the city and this is reflected in the engagements we have with them. They have shown their confidence in the city.”
Kaunda said that while many cities had been struggling to generate revenue during the lockdown, eThekwini had managed to generate a 93% revenue.
“We pride ourselves that despite the tough economic climate facing the country, the city continues to attract major infrastructure projects that catalyse development, particularly in the township and rural areas. We are confident that we are on the right path to economic recovery, and we are working hard to regain business confidence,” Kaunda said.
In the wake of the recent unrest in KZN, the mayor also encouraged social cohesion.
“We trust that you also used this time to reflect deeply on why it is important to celebrate our diverse cultural heritage and to be exposed to other people’s cultures. Since Durban is a melting pot of cultures, thousands of visitors descended on our city to explore our unique tourism products, ” he said.