eThekwini mayor Gumede announces plan to turn around Durban’s fortunes
Nathi Olifant | 2017-02-22 14:12:00.0
eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede. File photo.
Image by: Rogan Ward
Small businesses‚ military veterans‚ the youth‚ the disabled and subcontractors will be the biggest beneficiaries of a major revamp of Durban’s economic transformation policies.
Buoyed by the national government’s push for economic diversity‚ eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede announced ambitious radical economic transformation plans on Wednesday. City and provincial organised business welcomed her plan as a bold step towards changing the economic fortunes of the metro.
Gumede launched her plan during the radical economic transformation business summit at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre in Durban on Wednesday‚ saying a new era of doing business in eThekwini would ensure fairness and transparency. Gumede said her team had ensured the plan was in line with constitutional requirements for municipalities developing local economies.
Gumede said every project with a contract value between R5-million and R30-million would have to set aside 30% of the project for subcontractors.
“Subcontractors or service providers shall be selected from the wards where the service or project is being undertaken.” If the project was across a number of wards‚ opportunities would be granted to subcontractors in all the benefiting wards‚ said Gumede.
She said subcontractors would be appointed by the main contractor from a database provided by the municipality at the tender stage or be nominated by the municipality after a thorough screening processing that “ensures objectivity‚ fairness and transparency”.
The main contractor or service provider would expected to provide training for subcontractors. The training and coaching should enable the subcontractor to apply for higher Construction Industry Development Board grading after the completion of the project or registry with the appropriate professional or monitoring body‚ Gumede said.
Gumede said small businesses should participate in every sector of the economy and questioned why contracts that did not need technical skills‚ like waste collection‚ grass cutting and storm drainage maintenance‚ still went to established contractors.
She said the supply chain management would keep a database for ward-based contractors or service providers and should be renewed annually.
Other plans include agricultural hubs‚ the inner-city revamp and plans to root out “crime and grime” in the city centre.
Gumede also announced Team Durban which will be an advisory council to the mayor to advise her on economic development policies and strategies for the city‚ to act as a sounding board for the mayor and council‚ and advise on infrastructure development matters.
Co-chairperson of KZN Growth Coalition Moses Tembe praised Gumede’s plan. President of the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry Zeph Ndlovu said the “city’s plans are about to turn its fortunes”.