This year South African municipalities celebrate 16 years of local government transformation. The eThekwini Metro was a result of the amalgamation of seven separate councils on 5 December 2000 after the local government elections.
The City has worked hard to protect the public purse and is moving with speed to render services in a fair, equitable, efficient and economic manner.
EThekwini Municipality has notched up a number of achievements. In the last five years it has improved access to public services such as electricity, water, sanitation, roads, solid waste, community and emergency services and free basic services.
Consequently, the City has been honoured with many outstanding awards. Amongst others:
In 2015 and 2016, Durban was ranked the top South African City with the highest quality of life in the international Mercer survey. This proves that eThekwini Municipality has one of Africa's best service delivery programmes and continues to make a positive impact in the lives of its 3.5 million residents
PMR Business Excellence Awards 2015: Best public transport provider in KwaZulu-Natal
Worldwide Quality of Living Index Survey: Rated best in South Africa, Second in Africa
Govan Mbeki Award: Best Metropolitan Municipality in Housing delivery
African Utility Week Industry Awards: In recognition of exceptional water and sanitation service project
Komoso Award: Best Metropolitan Award in the Infrastructure Sector
Five years ago, 630 000 households had access to electricity, today over 685 000 households have electricity. From the 2011/2012 financial year to the 2014/15 financial year, the proportion of households that do not have electricity has reduced from 33.6 percent to 27.5 percent.
Since July 2011 to date, eThekwini's housing delivery is as follows:
Over 20 888 Breaking New Ground (RDP) houses constructed
4 944 houses built pre-1994 have been upgraded.
1 432 Social housing units facilitated
746 new Community Residential Units have been constructed
153 Gap houses have been facilitated
2 677 rental stock has been transferred to tenants
While the Municipality has a proud record in delivering housing opportunity, much is still to be done to address the current backlogs. Cornubia, the R25 billion Human Settlements Presidential Project, undertaken by eThekwini Municipality in partnership with other spheres of Government and Tongaat-Hulett, is aimed at significantly reducing the backlog. This project has not only created employment opportunities to 40 000 people but will also produce 25 000 houses over 15 to 20 years catering for a wide range of income levels. It is the first truly mixed-use and mixed income development, which will address the dire need of housing in the Municipality.
Cornubia will include substantial provisions for schools, clinics and amenities such as state of the art public transport infrastructure.
This development demonstrates that this democratic government does not just build houses, but will also look at achieving other goals, such as building united, nonracial settlements, to reverse the apartheid legacy which sought to divide our residents.
The Municipality has also rolled out a robust interim service delivery programme in informal settlements, where electricity, water and sanitation services as well as foot paths have been provided.
EThekwini has a proud record in delivery of sustainable water service to its residents even during trying periods such as the current drought situation that exists throughout the Municipality and the Province of KwaZulu-Natal. The Municipality has spent in excess of R3 billion to construct the Western and Northern Aqueducts, which are assisting in assuring longterm water supply to all communities and to expand opportunities for economic development. In the past four years the Municipality has expanded its water services network to reach approximately 98.65 percent of the City's residents. The 98.65 percent coverage is also indicative of an expansion of water services from 852,000 households in 2010/2011 to over 933,000 households in 2014/2015
On the bridging the digital front and the Smart City concept, the city has rolled out over 1500 kilometres of optic fibre cables. This has enabled the city to connect all public facilities and to provide free WIFI in all municipal libraries. The Municipality is launching free Wifi in all the major townships, rural areas and areas around universities or where there is a high concentration of students. It is hoped that this will help to enhance access to research material for learners and also facilitate business development. It is an intention to also facilitate the establishment of Digital Hubs throughout eThekwini to facilitate general development ICT products.
eThekwini Municipality has established the City Planning Commission, which is the first in the country. The main objective of the Commission is to guide the Municipality on a wide range of issues pertaining to the development of its long term growth and development strategy. This strategy is aligned to the strategic objectives and targets of the National Development Plan and the Provincial Growth and Development Strategy. To date a status of city development challenges has been developed and this work will be carried forward with the new administration.
For the next three years eThekwini Municipality is targeting, amongst others, to:
Build 15 500 houses
Provide 12 538 serviced sites
Provide 1090 gap market housing opportunities
Upgrade 1 400 pre-1994 housing stock
Install 37 500 water connections including newly incorporated areas
Install 24 000 sewer connections
Provide 10 500 rural sanitation
Provide 90 000 electricity connections
Upgrade 174 clinics
Create 90 000 Expanded Public Works Programme opportunities
Convert 38 kilometres of gravel roads to black-top standards
Construction of four fire stations
In addition to the mandated capital spend on service delivery the Municipality's focus is in developing a sustainable City for all communities and boosting the rates and services income whilst also creating employment. To this end 65 flagship investment projects are in place, which are likely to generate about 680 000 permanent new jobs in the region. In addition, the recently adopted Economic Development Incentive policy seeks to attract development to the city by offering incentives with a long term view in growing city revenue .
By 2030 the eThekwini Municipality will enjoy the reputation of being Africa's most liveable city, where all citizens live in harmony. This vision will be achieved by growing its economy and meeting people's needs so that all citizens enjoy a high quality of life with equal opportunities, in a city that they are truly proud.
Mayor: Mayor Zandile Gumede
Deputy Mayor: Cllr Fawzia Peer
City Manager: Phillip Sithole (Action)
Head of Communications: Ms Tozi Mthethwa
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