Durban - The ANC in eThekwini region has opposed the proposals which are before the Municipal Demarcation Board calling for some of its important economic zones to be incorporated into neighbouring municipalities.
The ANC’s Moses Mabhida (Pietermaritzburg) and General Gizenga Mpanza (Stanger) zones, which sandwich eThekwini, have said they want Camperdown and King Shaka Airport to be part of their respective municipalities once borders are redefined.
The proposals, contained in a document drafted by the Municipal Demarcation Board, are up for public comment and have generated extensive discussions within the ANC, especially in the three regions.
Mlondi Mkhize, the ANC’s eThekwini Region spokesperson, strongly opposed the proposals, questioning the practicality of stripping KZN’s economic hub of the airport, Dube Trade Port and Camperdown area.
He contended that while the neighbouring regions had plenty of land, questions should be posed about their capacity to develop such areas.
“The fact is KZN should have more than one metro, but it is equally important that the regions should seek to complement each other as opposed to fighting among themselves when discussions over the proposals are taking place,” Mkhize said
He added that eThekwini was keen to work with neighbouring regions to ensure that both uMgungundlovu and Ilembe districts made strides towards becoming metros. He noted how the Midlands region had potential to become an agriculture and livestock farming and production hub, a unique selling point with potential to attract more investors.
Samora Ndlovu, ANC Moses Mabhida secretary, said they had engaged with the document and were convinced that Camperdown and Cato Ridge should remain under their region as there was potential for greater economic activity under them, as opposed to eThekwini.
He added that the region’s leadership had a greater plan for the industrial zone, and foresaw greater prospects of growth if it were under uMgungundlovu District.
“We see potential for businesses to be established in the zone and for chances of more employment because we do not see the area as just a massive storage facility in the way that eThekwini is considering, just because they are running out of storage facilities at the harbour,” he added.
ANC members from the General Gizenga Mpanza Region said relocation of Dube Trade Port and King Shaka Airport would simply be about correcting mistakes made in the past, “returning what belongs to the region”.