President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced billions of development projects in eThekwini, KwaZulu-Natal, which is expected to be the catalyst for large-scale economic growth.
Speaking at the launch of the District Development Model in eThekwini Friday – the second pilot site in the country – Ramaphosa said government has identified various development projects that are expected to drive investment in the metro.
Khawuleza (hurry up) is a single practical, achievable, implementable and measurable government programme.
Development will be pursued through a single, integrated plan per district that outlines the role of each sphere of government, called #OneDistrictOnePlan.
Through the new district-based coordination model, all spheres of government, working alongside social partners, will synchronise plans to deliver services and address economic development challenges.
In the northern region, the President said, the model will focus on the aerotropolis which encompasses the Dube Trade Port, the Cornubia mixed development project, the Bridge City project and the C3 corridor encompassing Midway Crossing.
In the inner city, the investment will focus on the Point Waterfront development, the Rivertown precinct development and the Warwick development.
The western part of the city will benefit from several projects, including those in the automotive sector.
“We are going to have a budget for all of these. It is going to be comprehensive, for now R35 billion is going to be invested to drive investment in eThekwini,” said President Ramaphosa.
The investment, he said, will focus on a number of sectors, including tourism and the oceans economy.
“It is going to be a mixed development trajectory,” he said.
The President used the launch as an opportunity to tell government leaders the model would be used to hold them accountable. He also urged the public to embrace the district development model, saying will advance service delivery.
“We are going to be evaluated, we are going to be measured against what we have promised to do. If we don’t live up to what we are meant to do, you’ll see what will happen; action will be taken,” he said.
The model will also ensure that corruption is eliminated in the public sector.
“With this model, we will be able to identify thieves and deal with them decisively. This is because there is going to be transparency now – everything will now be in the open.
“Nothing will be done in the dark, everything will be transparent so that we can address the needs of our people. All this will do be done to advance and build the country’s economy,” he said.
The President commended the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government for being at the forefront of attracting investment.
Last year the President canvassed South Africa’s nine provinces to draft their own investment books. Only KZN responded to this request, he explained.
“They drafted the investment book and we were then able to showcase investment opportunities in KZN. I’m quite impressed by Premier [Sihle] Zikalala and his government,” he said.
Through the development model, government will be able to forge partnerships with the private sector and draft a broad plan.
“This plan will not revolve around what government is going to do, it will go beyond that. It will also look at how government’s investment trajectory will work in the province.
“That is why we want a Khawuleza development model or forum that will get [buy in] from the business sector, where we will get NGOs and others involved. Of course the real driver is going to be our government at the three levels,” he said.
Zikalala said the provincial government has prioritised attending to the issue of spatial planning and the development and renewal of townships.
“We are doing to this because ours is to advance the struggle of bringing a better life for the black person. We have to accelerate service delivery provision to our people,” the KZN Premier said.
He applauded national government for initiating the model, saying it would ensure the public receives basic services speedily.
Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said it required cooperation from all sectors, and not just the three spheres of government. This was paramount for the model to be a success.
“Government has three spheres that work together, but it can’t just be government. Every sector has to come on board,” she said.
“We have engaged a lot of them and they are on board and have already made inputs. We don’t have a monopoly on ideas, as we pilot [the model] we need ideas coming from others.”
eThekwini Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda said the metro’s new executive will from next week begin opening recently concluded projects and attending to community concerns.