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Inner city renewal boost

Date: 2024-02-19 09:13:42

Inner city renewal boost

The City plans to upgrade the inner city to renew business confidence and attract tourists. The Durban Central Business District is one of the most critical regions in eThekwini.

PLANS to rejuvenate the inner city are well underway to renew the confidence of business, residents, investors, and tourists alike. The Inner-City Regeneration Strategy (ICRS) has received fresh impetus to provide urgent and lasting solutions to issues that plague the inner city. Driven by City Manager Musa Mbhele, there are 14 work streams to drive the implementation of the strategy. 

Mbhele said the City remains committed to the renewal of the inner city as key economic, leisure and residential hub. “The Durban CBD is one of the most critical areas in the eThekwini region. It is an important rates base, the proximity to the port makes it a key economic hub and with the beaches in the City, it is also an important tourism and leisure area,” he said. “By the end of the year, we hope to achieve significant gains that will make a positive impact.” Actions to be undertaken include, but not limited to, enforcement, urban renewal, transport planning, safety and security, waste management, engineering issues, public realm management and dealing with illegal trade and homelessness. 

The City of the future includes pedestrianised streets in key areas, clean and safe environments, a pleasant public realm, better buildings, and more social housing. Catalytic projects such as the Marina Development and the Centrum Development will change the face of the City forever. The aim is to make Durban Africa’s leading, most vibrant, liveable, and walkable city centre. The ICRS was adopted in 2017. Over the past few years, the City has steadily achieved some success, while there are areas that present more of a challenge. Some of the successes include the upgrade of the point precinct, the new promenade, the renewal of the Rivertown area, the Anton Lembede upgrade, the urban improvement of precincts leading from the beach to the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre, the upgrade of the water reticulation system as well as an upgrade of the sewer system in the Mahatma Gandhi precinct.

Another success is the establishment of the Problem Buildings Division, who are working steadfastly on eradicating problem buildings in the CBD. The City will continue its focus on challenges including illegal trading, crime and homelessness. There are several planned engagements with key stakeholders in the near future.