DURBAN CBD. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo African News Agency (ANA)
DURBAN CBD. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo African News Agency (ANA)

Durban Chamber praises plan to rejuvenate Durban’s inner city precinct

By Vernon Mchunu Time of article published Jun 3, 2021

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DURBAN-ORGANISED businesses in eThekwini have hailed the multi-million rand rejuvenation of Durban’s inner city precinct, saying the development would become a key drawcard for tourists, business and residents.

Reviving the city’s character would increase property value and improve the climate for investment, the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry said of the multifaceted facelift, that will include a new Metro Police satellite station, as part of the fight against crime.

“We believe upgrades of this nature will indeed benefit citizens and the business community. It is imperative we reposition the inner city, to further attract tourists and residents,” said Durban Chamber of Commerce chief executive Palesa Phili.

“It is essential for the city to also focus on crime and grime, infrastructure breakdown and urban decay. As organised business, we are passionate about improving the inner city,” she said, adding the Durban Chamber Central Area Business Forum would soon host the municipality to discuss progress on the Inner-City Local Area Plan and Strategy, a forum in which the business community were encouraged to participate.

Led by the city’s Catalytic Projects Unit, the Anton Lembede-Mahatma Gandhi Water Mains rejuvenation project would cost about R250 million to complete, and more than 100 job opportunities would be created.

“Once the 4.1km of the 800mm diameter steel pipeline is laid on the ground, the upgrade of sidewalks and public realms to world standards will commence,” said eThekwini Municipality spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela.

“The new public realm upgrades will further connect the Point Precinct and the City Centre, and will look to interface with the road edge connecting to the cruise terminal that is currently under construction,” he said.

“It will create a strong public edge, which seamlessly integrates with this much-needed investment in the inner city and, especially, the Point area.

“Included as part of the projects are public realm upgrades intended to improve pedestrian connectivity and the urban environment, along portions of the watermain upgrade, to ensure that the total experience by the end-user is enhanced and is aligned with the Inner-City Regeneration Strategy,” said Mayisela.

The public realm upgrade on Anton Lembede Street is located between Dorothy Nyembe Street and Yusuf Dadoo Street, on the southern (left) side only.

The facelift includes new paving, new informal traders’ kiosks, new bus stops, new seating areas, public ablutions and storerooms, a Metro Police satellite office, Parks Department facilities, new landscaping and bus shelters, as well as the relocation of traffic lights, road markings and signage.

THE MERCURY

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