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Former Economic Development And Planning DCM Leaves Lasting Legacy

Date: 2023-03-10 13:36:57

Former Economic Development And Planning DCM Leaves Lasting Legacy

 FORMER eThekwini Deputy City Manager for Economic Development and Planning Phillip Sithole hopes one of the things he will be remembered for as he leaves the City is his passion for developing fellow employees. 

He also hopes the hard work he put in to attract and facilitate mega developments will be part of the lasting legacy he leaves behind. 
Sithole said during his tenure at eThekwini Municipality, he is proud to have influenced development and the promotion of several employees into management and senior management positions within his cluster, following all the legal human resources processes. 

“I believe in developing others who have potential. This will help them to grow and not languish at an entry level position forever. This is because I was exposed to many opportunities when I started as a Small Business Development Officer. I grabbed this opportunity with both hands and worked my way up to the DCM level.” 

After 22 years of service, Sithole’s tenure with the City ended on 31 December 2022. He began his journey as a Small Business Development Officer from 2000 to 2002. He was an Informal Trade Acting Manager in 2003. From late 2003 to 2005, Sithole was a Business Development Manager and was promoted to Deputy Head of the Business Support, Tourism and Markets Unit from 2005 to 2008. For a decade, he led the Unit as the Head of Business Support, Tourism and Markets from 2008 to 2018. And from 2018 to 2022, he was the DCM for the Economic Development and Planning Cluster. 

Sithole said one of his major achievements was ensuring township economic development. 
“Together with various team members in the Economic Development and Planning Cluster, we facilitated townships programmes to the tune of R2 billion in investments. These include the Inanda Mtshebheni Commercial Precinct, uMlazi Light Industrial Hub, Auto Hub, Ezimbuzini Muthi Market, public employment programme and mega AgriBusiness projects to name a few. My passion for developing townships, which were previously disadvantaged, resulted in the Annual Township and Rural Investment initiative which showcases emerging business investment opportunities.” 

He added: “Through the ‘Know Your City’ campaign, we took major tourism and leisure projects such as the Africa Travel Indaba to township establishments where we hosted international media and buyers etc. at these places.” 

Furthermore, under his leadership the Catalytic Projects Unit was established, with the aim of accelerating investments which sit at over R500 million. 

“These projects come with multiple economic opportunities for locals such as sub-contractor work, job creation, shareholding, and equity for locals. Attracting such huge developments contributes to the City’s sustainable streams of income due to rates collection as the City must maintain reliable streams of income in order to function. Some of these projects include the R4.3 billion Oceans uMhlanga development and the R1.3 billion Ntshongweni mixed used development which is underway,” he said. 

Asked about the next step in his career, he smiled. 
“Watch this space, all will be revealed in good time. I still have a lot to offer to further boost the City and the province’s economy.
He, however, emphasised that the main reason for agreeing to this interview is to inspire other colleagues that it is possible to start at entry level positions and make it all the way to the top. Who would have thought that a boy like me from Inanda will achieve so many things. Therefore, I would like to encourage all eThekwini employees to prioritise self-development, not be afraid to take on positions that will challenge them. To be able to grow at work one must be disciplined, focused and come up with creative concepts in order to be a game-changer in your field. It is important to always maintain the highest standards of professionalism.” 

Sithole holds a Master’s Degree in Social Policy from the University of KwaZulu- Natal, amongst many qualifications.