Ethekwini to embark on precinct management initiative to restore investor confidence

To retain business and attract more investment to the City, the Economic Development and Planning Committee has agreed to set aside R1.8 million for the precinct management programme over the next three years.

The initiative is a collaboration between the Municipality and the South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA), who will enter into a memorandum of understanding with the purpose of strategically improving the management of Durban’s key economic precincts. 

This partnership, set to run from April 2018 until June 2020, will drive a proactive strategy to promote precinct management. 

The programme roll-out plan will include developing and operationalising a plan to facilitate and support the establishment of precinct management initiatives. This will be done in prioritised precincts based on the City-wide mapping and strategic assessment of all industrial, commercial, township, suburban and rural economic precincts. 

Furthermore, it will develop and implement a best practice learning agenda to empower the sector and improve the quality of precinct management services. It will facilitate a City/business working group dealing with the development of policy, strategy, systems and guiding operational priorities. 

The initiative will also facilitate a forum of established precinct management bodies for their development and cooperation with the Municipality as well as facilitate cooperative service delivery interactions between Municipal line functions and precinct management bodies. 

Presenting to the Committee, Head of the Economic Development and Investment Promotion Unit Shunnon Tulsiram said: “In order to attract investment and growth, the City precinct needs to be well managed. Precinct management is an internationally proven approach to urban management.”

Tulsiram said he is excited that this initiative is now moving ahead as there has been a growing dialogue between the Municipality and the commercial property sector about the importance of precinct management over the past 18 months.

Deputy City Manager of the Economic Development and Planning Cluster Phillip Sithole said the fact that SAPOA will also contribute financially towards the initiative indicates the commitment between the public and private sector in driving economic growth.

“I am confident that this initiative will work because the Florida Road Precinct was dying a few years back but it is now booming because similar interventions were implemented,” said Sithole.

The Committee’s Chairperson, Councillor Sipho Kaunda said they are fully behind this programme because the potential of attracting future investment, growth and job creation as well as increased rates revenue can be achieved through effective management of eThekwini’s economic precincts. 

Councillor Kaunda added that this programme is in line with the Municipal Systems Act as well as the Municipal Property Rates Act that provides mechanisms that enable the establishment and funding of precinct management bodies. 

Issued by the eThekwini Municipality’s Head of Communications Tozi Mthethwa