A Caring and Liveable City
The name Durban, which strictly speaking relates to the City of Durban, has come to be associated more broadly with the local government area officially known as the eThekwini Municipality. The eThekwini Municipality Area consists of 2297km2, of which 36% is rural and a further 29% is peri-urban. The municipal area stretches from Umkomaas in the south, including some tribal area in Umbumbulu, to Tongaat in the north, moving inland to Ndwedwe, and ends at Cato Ridge in the west.
Significant strides have been made to address the key development challenges in eThekwini . While significant progress has been made in all areas, there is still some distance to go towards addressing the many challenges. The city’s vision is that “By 2020, eThekwini Municipality will be Africa’s most caring and liveable city.”
To realise this vision, we believe there are basic elements that all citizens, the business community and visitors must have:
• Ease of movement in the city.
• A safe environment in all parts of the municipal area.
• Access to economic opportunities.
• Resources to afford what the city offers.
• A clean and green city.
• Homely neighbourhoods.
• Access to services, in particular municipal, health and education services.
In order to achieve our vision, there are a number of key choices we have to make. These choices lead to the creation of structures which support, house and associate other actions and activities – the building blocks around which actions take place. Choices also act as a point of leverage for creating a sustainable city that is caring and liveable.
CHOICE ONE: Improving our port and logistics infrastructure
Improving the City’s logistics infrastructure will ensure that we maximise the opportunities presented by the existence of the Port and other enterprises to partner us in increasing economic opportunities. The Port and its environs is the greatest job-creating opportunity at present. The improvement of logistical infrastructure will:
• Improve connectivity in the Municipal area.
• Increase the scope and opportunity for learning.
• Increase economic opportunities.
CHOICE TWO: Using Land Use Management to increase densities and to reduce sprawl
The Municipality is striving to ensure that people are brought closer to where they live, work, study and relax. While the Council is committed to bringing people closer to areas of economic activity, the principle of sustainability will be the driver to ensure that people are living in harmony with the environment.
Using the municipal Spatial Development Framework (SDF), the Municipality is committed to the zoning of land in order to increase densities and reduce urban sprawl. The SDF will ensure that:
• There is more effective use of facilities.
• The Municipality reduces the need to build new facilities.
• People live closer to amenities and work opportunities.
CHOICE THREE: Bridging the digital divide
Over the past three years, the City has extended its telecommunication infrastructure to connect all its sites, thereby improving data and voice communication between these sites. This has reduced the cost of telecommunications for the City. Given the extended network which comprises a fibre backbone to be complemented by a wireless network, it is now possible to extend the opportunities for improving telecommunications to businesses, citizens and other public bodies. This is critical for economic and social empowerment, providing citizens with opportunities that they have not previously enjoyed, and bridging the digital divide.
CHOICE FOUR: A good public transport system
One of the objectives of the 2020 Vision is ease of movement for commuters to and from work, shopping, leisure and school (our specific vision here is that people will not have to take more than two buses, taxis or trains before they reach their destination in eThekwini). If Durban improves its public transport then it will:
• Reduce the need to increase road networks.
• Provide a platform of connectivity between people.
• Reduce pollution by minimising vehicle usage.
CHOICE FIVE: Ecological and related tourism
The natural resources of the City have large economic benefits for tourism and economic development. This choice seeks to develop an innovative, highly effective and measurable marketing plan to grow tourism numbers with the aim of:
• Keeping people active
• Retaining natural assets and benefiting from the natural environment
• Keeping people healthy
CHOICE SIX: Ecological integrity
Ecological integrity is ensured by building sustainability into the way we promote and manage economic development, provide infrastructure and services, manage our City finances, involve citizens in decision making, and protect our threatened ecosystems. This includes:
• Decreasing the cost of engineering
• Retaining an attractive city
• Reducing the cost associated with natural disasters
The balancing of social, economic and environmental needs of eThekwini will result in the efficient usage of all our resources, and therefore ensure that all f