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Inner-city regeneration programme spurs transformation in Durban

Date: 2024-05-08 16:17:21

Inner-city regeneration programme spurs transformation in Durban

The deployment of 300 Precinct Ambassadors under the City’s Precinct Ambassador Programme aligns with upcoming major events, reinforcing security measures, ensuring cleanliness, and enhancing visitor experiences.

OVER the past two months, the Inner-City Regeneration Programme, spearheaded by eThekwini City Manager Musa Mbhele, has gained remarkable momentum. It has shown tangible progress and clear timelines. This ambitious initiative, structured around 14 distinct workstreams, is dedicated to addressing pressing urban challenges. This includes dilapidated buildings, public space management, and the enforcement of Municipal by-laws. 

The Inner-City Regeneration Programme aims to revitalise urban areas by enhancing vibrancy, inclusivity, and economic prosperity. It employs a multifaceted strategy involving infrastructure upgrades, public realm enhancement, and social housing initiatives to improve residents’ quality of life, attract investment, and stimulate economic growth. The programme strategically deploys building wraps on problem buildings, allowing property owners to use advertising revenue to settle debts and fund renovations. Recent achievements include refurbishing five properties and the demolition of the China Mall Emporium. Artistic initiatives, like adding murals to buildings, are integral to the programme’s rejuvenation efforts. Additionally, a public space management contract for the Durban Beachfront, emphasising heritage
preservation, is nearing finalisation. 

Since the inception of the bad buildings programme, collaborative efforts with property owners have resulted in the refurbishment of 22 buildings, with an additional 20 slated for renovation this year. Furthermore, the programme has attracted over R22 billion in private sector investment, poised to generate upwards of 90 000 jobs through initiatives like the Inner-City Central Corridor project. In a concerted effort to combat crime, the Municipality is intensifying its surveillance capabilities by upgrading close to 500 closed-circuit television cameras, with plans to procure an additional 200 by the end of the year. These will focus on key areas like the beachfront and central business district.