Durban – Attracting investment to the city is one of re-elected eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda’s key areas of focus.
Kaunda retained his position as mayor after he was elected at a council meeting on November 24, at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre.
The eThekwini municipality said over the next five years, Kaunda’s administration would ensure that the city invests in infrastructure projects that would address challenges, while creating a conducive environment for investment to create jobs.
Kaunda said it was important to create a positive investor climate to make eThekwini a preferred destination for investors.
He said this would be achieved through the acceleration of the Smart Policing Programme which entails increasing the use of technology such as CCTV cameras to monitor and prevent crime in the city.
Kaunda said while gains had been made in service delivery, there were areas of improvement. He pledged to do better to expedite service delivery.
“The current term of office of this administration will be characterised by the business unusual approach. No official will enjoy the comfort of an air-conditioned office while our people suffer the indignity of poor service delivery. We are all going to be on the ground fixing problems that people face daily. This is a commitment we made in our manifesto,” he said.
With regard to the devastating effects of the Covid-19 lock downs and the July civil unrest on the local economy, the city had signed a social compact with business, organised labour and government, to grow the economy and create much needed jobs.
He was pleased that the process of rebuilding affected businesses and destroyed infrastructure continues, with support from all spheres of government.
“As the leadership of the municipality, we want to assure both international and local investors that it is safe to do business in eThekwini as illustrated by the hosting of Africa’s biggest trade conference – the Intra-Africa Trade Fair recently,” said Kaunda.
The city said it would endeavour to attract more investment, promote the ease of doing business by eliminating red tape in the processing of development applications, and fast tracking development applications.
Kaunda said one of the municipality’s priorities within the first 100 days in office would be to meet with Transnet and all relevant government departments to assess the progress of the city’s plan to ease congestion and improve infrastructure at the port.
“This is to increase the participation of African people in this sector. This will be done through value chain beneficiation and skills development,” he said.
The municipality said its 10-Point Plan would be implemented, adding that procurement had been identified as one of the catalysts to drive radical socio-economic transformation.
“The plan is to transform the municipal infrastructure spend to ensure that 30% of the city’s contracts are allocated to black owned small, medium and micro enterprises and 35% to social enterprises,” said the city.
This also forms an integral part of the city’s vision to grow the rural and township economy.