Durban — Deputy President Paul Mashatile, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube, ministers and MECs visited the Ntshongweni Catalytic Project site, where a smart city is being constructed between Durban and Pietermaritzburg, alongside the N3 and the Durban-Free State-Gauteng logistic and industrial corridor, as well as the Weston Training Centre on Thursday.
The visit was part of an outreach programme in the roll-out of the District Development Model (DDM) through co-ordination of spheres of government with the aim of improving the functioning of municipalities and addressing the challenges facing communities.
One of the beneficiaries, Mandisa Masinga, said she was grateful to be part of the DDM because it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that would bring a positive change in her life.
“I will make sure that I grab this opportunity with both hands because the certificates that we are going to get from this training will also open doors to even wider markets.”
Another beneficiary, Nobuhle Sithole, said the opportunity would hopefully increase her chances of finding employment.
“We would like to thank our ward councillors for giving us a chance not only to witness but to also be a part of this wonderful establishment. I believe we will achieve a lot going forward.”
Mashatile said he appreciated the leadership and unity shown by the provincial government of KZN in ensuring the success of this programme.
“We are very happy to be here and we like the leadership that is being given to the community and the partnership in action. That is what the president has called for.
“We cannot come here and make empty promises. It is important that we deliver on promises we made to the people,” said Mashatile.
He said the national government would be an active partner to ensure that the project succeeded.
“We will constantly monitor the progress of the project. When we return, we must hear that there is a new city coming up, a city where people live and work. It should also include sport, business and retail facilities,” said Mashatile.
Dube-Ncube said the provincial project of making KZN a smart province was in motion.
“We are very grateful for all the support that we have been given, the smart port city region that is safe, sustainable, socially cohesive, culturally impressive, where you can work, play and also stay and that is our dream to say to the people of the province that indeed this project boosts our economy.
“This will also have light-industrial warehousing logistics and will also see other empowerment from the recipient and communities that it really incorporates various elements of our community participation,” said Dube-Ncube.
She said the project would not only benefit the community of eThekwini but also the province.
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