Precinct management initiative to restore investor confidence

22 March 2018 | Web Article Number: ME20189067

Property – Commercial & Industrial

IN a bid to retain business and attract more investment to the city, the eThekwini Municipality’s Economic Development and Planning Committee has agreed to set aside R1.8 million for the precinct management programme over the next three years.

The initiative is a collaboration between the municipality and the South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA), who will enter into a memorandum of understanding with the purpose of strategically improving the management of Durban’s key economic precincts.

This partnership, set to run from April 2018 until June 2020, will drive a proactive strategy to promote precinct management.

The programme roll-out plan will include developing and operationalising a plan to facilitate and support the establishment of precinct management initiatives. This will be done in prioritised precincts based on the city-wide mapping and strategic assessment of all industrial, commercial, township, suburban and rural economic precincts.

According to a statement from the municipality, the programme will develop and implement “a best practice learning agenda to empower the sector and improve the quality of precinct management services. It will facilitate a City/business working group dealing with the development of policy, strategy, systems and guiding operational priorities”.

Presenting to the committee, Head of the Economic Development and Investment Promotion Unit Shunnon Tulsiram said: “In order to attract investment and growth, the city precinct needs to be well managed. Precinct management is an internationally proven approach to urban management.”

Tulsiram said he was excited that the initiative was now moving ahead as there had been a growing dialogue between the municipality and the commercial property sector about the importance of precinct management over the past 18 months.

Deputy City Manager of the Economic Development and Planning Cluster Phillip Sithole said the fact that SAPOA will also contribute financially towards the initiative indicates the commitment between the public and private sector in driving economic growth.

“I am confident that this initiative will work because the Florida Road Precinct was dying a few years back, but it is now booming because similar interventions were implemented,” said Sithole.

The Committee’s Chairperson, Councillor Sipho Kaunda, said they are fully behind this programme because the potential of attracting future investment, growth and job creation as well as increased rates revenue can be achieved through effective management of eThekwini’s economic precincts.

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