Delivered at Princess Magogo Stadium, KwaMashu
18 October 2019
Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa;
Honourable Mr Sihle Zikalala the Premier of Kwa Zulu Natal;
Colleagues fellow cabinet ministers;
Your worship Mr Mxolisi Kaunda the Mayor of eThekwini and councillors here gathered;
Members of the surrounding communities of eThekwini;
Ladies and Gentlemen.
Thank you for this opportunity to present an overview of the Metro and account for the work we have, so far conducted here since the first Presidential Launch of the District Coordinated Development Model, in Lusikisiki exactly a month ago.
In line with our adopted approach of promoting better intergovernmental coordination, planning, budgeting and implementation, in this and the other 7 Metros as well as the 44 Districts, we convened a multi sphere and interdepartmental technical team, led by the Departments of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.
The team has supported the work of the executive branch as driven COGTA and the Minister in the Presidency, the Premier, as well as the Speaker and Mayor of eThekwini Metro. 2
The principal task of the executive team, as supported by the technical team, is to solicit further inputs from the various stakeholders whilst also presenting a draft profile of the city. In developing the profile, we looked at various research sources, including Stats South Africa, which research complemented the already existing profiles, plans and budgets from the city, province and national departments.
The profile presents a helicopter view of the city. It also drills down on the demographics, socio-economic challenges (including crime, unemployment, poverty and inequality), and the living conditions in the city.
In developing the profile we have also looked at the skills and education levels; current employment and growth trends; as well as potential areas for growth, with a view of unlocking the potential of the city as a contributor to “growing South Africa – together, District by District” and city by city.
Mr President, our assumption that eThekwini is an urban area, have been dispelled on account that our research reveals that 68% of the land area here is in fact rural and traditional land. This rural land is largely constituted, by hilly and rugged terrain, with dispersed settlements in traditional dwellings and communal land holdings under the Ingonyama Trust. 10% of that rural land comprises of commercial farms and open spaces. Residential, commercial, office and industrial areas dominate the 32% land classified as urban. 3
In researching land use and plans for the city we discovered a city plan drawn in 1968, which showed us that the ‘economically viable land’ was located in close proximity to the N2 and N3, which road ways were utilised to separate economic opportunities away from the black areas. Unfortunately, this Apartheid spatial planning rubric still persists with what were historically black areas continuously being isolated from opportunity by these motorways with the additional burden of these settlements bursting at the seams as a consequence of the push and pull factors of migration. These factors affect and are because of the conditions in surrounding Districts and neighbouring provinces, particularly the Eastern Cape, which continues to be a major population feeder into the city.
Therefore, our original thesis holds true, a significant part of our solutions to the city’s challenges also ought to address the material and living conditions of the surrounding Districts and the Eastern Cape in particular.
We must also understand and factor in the population dynamics and potentials of the city, which show us that 63% of the 3.9million citizens are under the age of 35, with 65% of those being of a working age, if we accept that those between 15 and 64 should be working. Although at glance the unemployment figure of 20% maybe encouraging, it is misleading as with the decline of opportunities, there has been a drastic increase in the number of discouraged job seekers, taking unemployment to about 31%. Since 64% of those who are discouraged have not completed primary and secondary school education, it is revealing that 8.6% of the population has no education and only 5.8% have higher education, which in itself explains the unemployment situation. 4
We must therefore pay attention to the education, skilling, and education dimensions of the city, which shows that 17% of the citizens have no income with about 2.1 million of them living below the upper bound poverty line of R1 183 per person per month. It is also important to note that just over a million of these live below the food poverty line, which means that they live in households that cannot sustainably feed themselves. Additionally, close to 1 million citizens are on some type of social grant and the majority rely on remittances for survival.
Those who are fortunate to find work or have some source of income also remain vulnerable with over 60% of the city’s population earning less than R38 400 per month, which is about R100 per day. When considering that daily transport costs for a majority of the citizen’s ranges between R17 and R35 per day, because of them living very far from work. This amount is simply far too little for them to live a basic quality life, let alone lift themselves out of poverty.
We must also pay due consideration to the fact that according to Stats SA over 42% of the households in the city are headed by women and that there are some 8 802 households headed by children.
The city’s health profile also reveals that at least 23% of the people living with HIV are not on ART with the incidence of infections steadily increasing by 2% since 2008, particularly amongst young women. 5
This is exacerbated by the fact that Drug Resistant TB infects 90% of those with TB. However, these are not the leading causes of death in the city. The leading cause is accidents are injuries, which in the main are motor vehicle and drowning related. Indicating that we need socially orientated programmes, which will educate the public and teach them to swim.
Honourable Premier, nonetheless the city remains the province and country’s economic powerhouse contributing about 60% to the provincial GDP. With a 98-kilometre coastline with about 16 estuaries, numerous wetlands and tourism attractions, which anchor on the Durban Port, the city has an abundance of potential.
The bulwark of the economy remains its manufacturing and logistics base with them contributing about 37% to the GDP of the city. The provincial profile reveals that the city houses virtually all of the province’s operations in these sectors.
However, looking at the year-on-year growth trends between 2018 and 2019 these sectors shrunk by a combined 81.6% with the manufacturing sector shrinking by a shocking 56.6%. Effectively the economy of the city is on a steady decline with all sectors but for community services and finance sectors declining, with the combined effect of a 2.9% decline. 6
The silver lining, has been the growth of the community services and finance sector, at 12 and 8.8% respectively. The former also includes some government services. The latter is really driven by real estate particularly in the North where uMhlanga is found. Unfortunately, the labour absorption potential of these sectors is very limited.
The decline has also affected the tourism sector, which is a critical lifeline to the city and has so far contributed about 8% to the city’s GDP. Whereas the city was a leading tourism destination in the country, particularly as it relates to domestic tourism, it is gradually losing its prestige, with a 39% drop in the number of overnight visitors, over the past ten years. Local tourist have halved when compared to 2008, and the number of foreign overnight visitors has declined by 17% since last year.
This paints a worrisome picture in an already dire situation of high poverty, no employment, and gross inequality of opportunities.
This decline in tourism figures is largely attributable to the increasing crime and grime in the city, which has seen the Durban central police station being sixth in the top ten police stations when the volume of crime reports is considered. If the number of murders are considered, Inanda tops the country in terms of the percentage increases and uMlazi features as the fourth. The worrisome increase in relation to substance abuse and drugs is also worrisome with an increase in driving under the influence of alcohol incidences, particularly in the inner city. The incidences of human trafficking and the hi-jacking of buildings are also related to issues related to drug abuse. 7
Distinguished guests, it is all not all doom and gloom as we have said, the city holds much potential. The President, Premier, and mayor will elaborate on our plans.
To arrive at this profile and plans as well as refine our District Development Model, we have worked as a three-sphere team, whilst soliciting inputs from all our national, provincial and local government departments. We also had the honour to receive the audience of His Majesty King Goodwill Zwelithini, who embellished our thinking by amongst others directing us to build on the assets and talents of our people as we further implement the model. We also had the fortune to interact with the KZN and eThekwini Traditional Houses, who emphasised the need to develop a dynamic relationship between all spheres of government and the institutions of traditional authority.
Our interaction with the religious leaders also provided for us solutions on how we could collaborate with civil society in implementing the model.
We are grateful for their support and remain committed to working with them towards growing the city together. A critical part of our plans has to do with job creation and economic growth. Without private sector development and involvement, those objectives will not be met. Consequently, we have also taken the time to consult with the Durban Chamber of Business, who were also supportive of the Model, urging us to move with speed to implement it and address key challenges including those that bedevil the Durban Port. 8
In deepening our understanding of the existing profiles, we take the opportunity to call on the universities and institutions of higher learning in the province to support this model in all six districts and two Metros in the Eastern Cape.
Fortunately, in using the District as the landing strip for localised development we have seen that there are boundless possibilities, which can have meaningful impact.
To marshal us in that direction and action, I have the singular pleasure of introducing our next speaker. A Sowetan and son of our great nation who needs no introduction, President Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa. President Ramaphosa has been the shepherd who has guided the sixth administration, in developing and implementing the District model. Our inspiration, in developing and implementing the model remains the Constitution, of which he was instrumental in leading the negotiations process, towards its finalisation. His experiences in the private sector have motivated the developers of the model in finding the much-needed sustainable economic and business opportunities, which will lift all our poverty out of want, poverty and joblessness.
Ladies and Gentlemen. I have the pleasure of introducing to you the leaders of Africa’s oldest liberation movement and the President of the Republic.
President Ramaphosa, the podium is yours.
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