With more than R62 billion worth of capital investments, eThekwini Municipality’s Inner City Regeneration campaign is well on its way to transforming the key business node.

In the process, thousands of job opportunities and social housing units will be created.

This was unveiled at the Inner City Regeneration presentation to the business community Friday morning, held at the Maharani Hotel.

Dozens of business community members engaged with City officials on the latest plans that combine the City’s economic goals with a social benefit for residents.

EThekwini Deputy Mayor Fawzia Peer said: “Like many cities around the world, eThekwini has many challenges. Durban’s inner city has suffered many shocks resulting in a decline, but this time business and government have come together to innovate and set aside differences to see how our inner City can thrive. There are great opportunities.”

Councillor Peer said with a growing port and passenger cruise market, new student villages within the central business district and an expanding well-supported informal economy, the inner city was being revived.

“The reality is that while some see it as a place of problems, others see it as a place of opportunities,” she said.

The City’s Head of Catalytic Projects George Mohlakoana, speaking on behalf of Deputy City Manager for Economic Development and Planning Phillip Sithole described the projects as transforming the inner City.

“We’ve created different priority zones within the City, to deal with the challenges they pose. The different components of the Inner City Regeneration plan deal with issues such as road networks, water leaks, street lighting, cleanliness and drugs,” he said.

The business community was updated on several major developments, which are all at different phases of design and development in the inner City.

The area from City Hall to the beach will see investments worth R36 billion from private investment and a R16 billion investment in the area between City Hall and the Warwick Market area.

Key projects within the zones include:

  • R400 million City investment in the 750 metre extension of the Durban promenade is 75 percent complete,
  • R240 million City investment to the Water Mains and Mahatma Gandhi public realm, with a contractor being named shortly,
  • A retail mall and residential apartment investment in the City worth R2,8 billion by the developer. This will be launched in November and once complete will add R200 million annually to the rates base,
  • Rivertown Development is ready to proceed with a City investment of R44 million,
  • R2 billion City investment into the Centrum site which will be a mixed use development including an underground carpark, and take eight years to final completion.