Durban's skyline and beach front. REUTERS/Rogan Ward/Files
Durban's skyline and beach front. REUTERS/Rogan Ward/Files

EThekwini Municipality unveils development plan to improve service delivery and grow economy

By Thami Magubane Time of article published May 19, 2021

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DURBAN - THE eThekwini Municipality has unveiled a “hope for the future” development plan that aims to improve service delivery, stimulate economic growth and produce a prosperous future for its citizens.

The plan, called eThekwini One Plan, Pathway to an Envisaged Future, was tabled before members of the executive committee yesterday.

The development blueprint, described by opposition parties as ambitious and a “pie in the sky” plan, spells out in detail what it hopes Durban will be like in the next 50 years.

For instance, it hopes that by 2030, the poverty levels in eThekwini would have been halved, and by 2050, the millions of residents living in the city would be prosperous.

The plan is part of the district development model initiative that was launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa in 2019 that promotes co-ordination among all three spheres of government to improve service delivery.

Opposition party councillors raised concerns that the plan was too broad and bureaucratic and might prove very difficult to implement.

They said they were concerned that it would end up gathering dust.

The project aims to re-imagine eThekwini, accelerate people’s upliftment, increase investments, unlock land and rural development.

In its preamble, it said in 50 years, “government working together with stakeholders and communities aims to make eThekwini a leading Smart Port City Region that is just, safe, socially cohesive and culturally expressive.

“There is a need to change the fortunes of the people of eThekwini and create better prospects”.

The plan goes into details on what a desired future would be when it comes to infrastructure engineering, governance and economic positioning and human development.

“By 2030, current infrastructure plans and pipelines of all three spheres of government are steered towards a common demand scenario,” it said.

On governance, it said the aim was to improve the performance of all three spheres of government working together with stakeholders and communities.

“The city should have active and involved citizens and stakeholders, strong local institutions, a highly conducive business environment and a well supported social and solidarity economy.”

“By 2030, the poverty levels in eThekwini will be halved, the number of people with tertiary education and relevant skills will double. By 2040, poverty will be eliminated and vulnerability will be reduced, and by 2050, all residents will be prosperous, and will have rising and sustainable incomes,” it said.

DA councillor Nicole Graham said the plan was too broad and bureaucratic and should be focusing on specific things that the city could do, like implementing catalytic projects in order to stimulate economic growth.

THE MERCURY

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