GDP in­creased by 0.93 per­cent

Op­pos­tion unim­pressed by mayor’s re­port


ETHEK­WINI mayor Zandile Gumede high­lighted land in­va­sions, the dis­rup­tion of ser­vice, con­struc­tion mafia groups, rev­enue billing chal­lenges, mal­func­tion­ing of the city’s call cen­tre, and the Gle­be­lands and In­changa mur­ders as chal­lenges ex­pe­ri­enced dur­ing her first year as mayor.

She was de­liv­er­ing her 365 Re­port Back at the Olive Con­ven­tion Cen­tre to­day.

Gumede also high­lighted a num­ber of projects un­der­taken by the mu­nic­i­pal­ity since she took of­fice.

Ac­cord­ing to Gumede, the econ­omy of the coun­try was un­der pres­sure when she took over as mayor.

“The rat­ing agen­cies’ down­grade of South Africa had a knock-on ef­fect on all of us. How­ever, as eThek­wini we have in­creased our GDP by 0.93% while em­ploy­ment in the for­mal sec­tor has in­creased by 0.9%. The quar­terly un­em­ploy­ment rate shows we are at 21.8%, which is a de­crease of 0.2% ac­cord­ing to Stats SA,” she said.

Gumede said the city had in­creased its cap­i­tal bud­get in 2017/2018, mean­ing there was money avail­able for ser­vice de­liv­ery and in­fra­struc­ture devel­op­ment.

Dur­ing her speech, Gumede ex­pounded on at­tract­ing in­vest­ment to the city, rad­i­cal eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion, the city’s clean-up pro­gramme and other projects run by the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

Touch­ing on the con­tro­ver­sial Essence Fes­ti­val, Gumede said this year’s fair had grown “in leaps and bounds” from the launch of the event last year.

“It has given a much-needed sell­ing and mar­ket­ing plat­form to more than 20 000 vis­i­tors over the years, re­sult­ing in its growth from hum­ble be­gin­nings to be­com­ing the big­gest small busi­ness fair in South Africa,” she said.

Gumede en­cour­aged the com­mu­nity to work with the mu­nic­i­pal­ity to cre­ate a bet­ter city.

Abahlali base Mjon­dolo sec­re­tary Nom­nikelo Sigemu said the mayor’s pre­sen­ta­tion was “lip-ser­vice”.

“She is just be­ing a politi­cian. She and her pre­de­ces­sors have been promis­ing peo­ple proper houses and those re­mained prom­ises. We don’t take her se­ri­ously. All we need is for the mu­nic­i­pal­ity to give peo­ple land to build their own homes. They (the mu­nic­i­pal­ity) can just pro­vide in­fra­struc­ture, wa­ter and san­i­ta­tion,” Sigemu said.

IFP coun­cil mem­ber Mdu Nkosi said there was good and bad when it came to the achieve­ments of the coun­cil un­der Gumede.

“Cat­alytic projects have been given a shake-up. How­ever, peo­ple are still on the roads toyi-toy­ing, mean­ing that not enough has been done to pro­vide them with the ba­sic needs. Roads and refuse col­lec­tion in our town­ships are caus­ing peo­ple to protest,” Nkosi said.

The DA said the mayor’s claims about cat­alytic projects and a rise in the econ­omy were “lies”.

KZN DA leader Zwakele Mncwango said: “We know that since she took over some projects had been put on hold. The Iconic Tower pro­ject worth R6.2 bil­lion, for an ex­am­ple, was put on hold and there was no ex­pla­na­tion as to why she wanted to meet with the de­vel­op­ers. The re­cent flood dis­as­ter on its own is an in­di­ca­tion that our drainage sys­tem is a mess and that’s one of the things she should have at­tended to.”


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