Invest Durban
Invest Durban

more share options...


‹ Back

Invest Durban


The Durban Investment Promotion Authority (known historically as DIPA) now has the refreshed brand name of ‘Invest Durban’. This change followed on the identification of the need for South African cities to aspire, embrace and implement global best practices in investment promotion, as recently recommended to eThekwini by the World Bank. As South Africa has eight urban metros, development
and transformation needs to rapidly accelerate in these cities. This growth is a process largely driven by new local plus foreign investment.

While eThekwini has successfully attracted investment in the past, it is now necessary to increase the city’s investment profile and has applied resources in order to accelerate the current inflows.

Growth in global foreign investment flows over the past decade has led to a massive increase in the number of investment promotion agencies active globally, and now even more within Metro cities, which are competing for mobile investment into their regions.

In order to attract investment, cities need to differentiate themselves by developing a credible investment promotion agency, building a strong brand, growing market presence, creating an enticing value proposition, and ensuring a targeted approach to destination marketing. In addition, the critical nature of investment facilitation and especially investor aftercare is often not fully understood and is, according to the World Bank, not well executed by many investment promotion agencies. EThekwini aims to make a positive “step-change” on these fronts.

In 2000, eThekwini Metro became the first city in South Africa to establish an investment promotion agency. In 2005 the agency was reincorporated into the city and is currently operating within the Economic Development & Planning Cluster.

In 2015 senior eThekwini executives attended the National Treasury and Gordon Institute for Business Studies Executive Leadership Development programme. This programme resulted in the City approaching the National Treasury through their Cities Support Programme for technical assistance to develop a new investment promotion strategy and organisational implementation plan.

Consequently, representatives of the World Bank have been working very closely with the eThekwini Metro to help create a new, evolved and targeted investment promotion function for the municipality. The
National Treasury and World Bank supported project was led by Robert Whyte and George Bennett of the World Bank Group, and was complemented by others with significant experience in businesses and government investment promotion agencies, domestically and internationally.

EThekwini Metro’s investment promotion strategy development has been taking place over a number of months. The initial phase involved accessing research on historical investment trends as well as baseline information.

The process involved consultation with key internal and external stakeholders as well as key individuals that would either influence the process or that could be of assistance. In addition, sector benchmarking and prioritisation formed part of the process along with internal and external workshops on best practice for investment promotion.

These stakeholder engagements held last year then resulted in a Findings and Recommendations Report, which was formally tabled to National Treasury plus the City Council, and accepted for implementation at the end of 2016. In subsequent months, plus during a two day follow up visit in March 2017, the development of a global best practice investment promotion strategy and improved structure was advanced. An internal core team from eThekwini Metro, with mainly economic and investment promotion experience, as well as some consultant experts with additional capacity were tasked with the responsibility of developing the strategy, given certain World Bank expert guidance along the way.

Participants in the project met again on the 5th and 6th of June 2017 for a final round of internal eThekwini Executive consultations to present the final Invest Durban recommendations. Following that, on 7th and 8th June a Peer Learning Workshop with other investment promotion agency executives from across South Africa was jointly arranged. The World Bank and other cities demonstrated recognised global best practices in investment promotion, including examples of successful cities, regions and country agencies. The eThekwini Economic Development and Investment Promotion Unit team were able to share their highly valuable experiences of this World Bank process, from concept,
objectives, process, resourcing, development, and through to final recommendations.

Refreshed Identity As part of these World Bank recommendations, a refreshed, yet collectively aligned brand identity and logo was developed by Durban Investment Promotion and the eThekwini Communications Unit in conjunction with internal Cluster Executives plus marketing experts, Assegai and Javelin. This done in order to increase the city’s investment profile and applied resources to accelerate job creation, plus enhance City revenues.

The task was to create an investorcentric profile that showcases the city in a new global business light, ensuring that the new look and feel would represent the city as “Modern”, “Innovative”, and “Technologically-advanced”.

The name Invest Durban was then selected as it demonstrates an immediate, aligned call to action. The refreshed identity was also required to combine existing city assets and elements with that of Brand South Africa’s, and Invest SA’s marketing recommendations.

The vibrant outcome has aligned Invest Durban with national brand elements for local and, especially
international marketing activities.

This ensures that all South Africa’s business-centric brands have a similar look and feel, which provides for greater visibility and impact in a coherent manner, yet grounding Invest Durban in our own local unique selling points. The new design was benchmarked against the designs of global investment promotion agency competitors such as Invest Macedonia, Invest Hong Kong, and Investing in Singapore in order to ensure that the brand is of an international standard.

The yellow background of logo has been consciously adopted to tie the refreshed look back into the ‘My City’ concept, which has been adopted by eThekwini, and by Brand SA.

Together with the Invest Durban profile, the slogan “Geared for Growth”, and the complementary visual marketing systems, which have been developed, eThekwini is now capacitated to cover all investment promotion events, channels and platforms. It is clear once more to all investors that we have a city which is ready and open for new business.

Invest Durban

Copyright © 2024 KwaZulu-Natal Top Business

Get the Flash Player to see this player.