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.”