To drive economic growth through attracting new investment projects, boost investor confidence and improve ease of doing business in eThekwini Municipality, Mayor Zandile Gumede officially launched the new Invest Durban Unit and Strategy, at the Durban International Convention Centre on 24 November.

The Invest Durban Strategy, driven by partnerships between eThekwini Municipality and the private sector, plus other organs of Government, will help to promote Durban as Africa’s preferred investment destination. Invest Durban will provide advisory services and support for new and existing foreign investors so that they can easily capitalise on opportunities and best locations for such.

Addressing captains of industry and Senior Executives representing various spheres of Government plus the Diplomatic Community at the launch, Mayor Gumede said the Invest Durban Team will have significantly increased resources, capacity and leadership support to attract, retain and grow investment in our core sectors.

“In partnership with our other Cluster Units, the Invest Durban Team will also ensure valuable linkages from the new foreign investments into our local Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises, plus Community Participation Groups. We are working towards ensuring that more new investments are spread across the City, including our townships and rural areas,” said Mayor Gumede.

Invest Durban Unit will work closely with the Department of Trade and Industry including Invest SA, Trade and Investment KZN (TIKZN), the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the KZN Growth Coalition, and State Owned Enterprises such as Dube Trade Port, the Development Bank of South Africa, Industrial Development Corporation, Eskom and others.

Key Partners include the largest banks, audit and advisory firms as well as sector based organised business bodies working together to promote investment in Durban. Similarly, our Diplomatic Community will be better engaged, informed, and partnered with for mutual investment benefits. The above partnerships will be further formalised and implemented via the new Team Durban Advisory Forum being established.

Invest Durban will expand its delivery of a world-class Metro based Investor support service, encompassing investment marketing and promotion, investment facilitation and retention activities, plus constructive policy and process advocacy.

Acting Deputy City Manager for the Economic Development Cluster Phillip Sithole said the “step-change” strategy and expanded Unit will benefit Durban and positively impact smaller, local businesses as well.

“The Invest Durban strategy will facilitate sustainable investment in Durban for the benefit of all through the expansion, retention and aftercare of local corporate business within the Metro,” said Sithole.

During the launch which was facilitated by Russell Curtis from eThekwini Metro’s Invest Durban Unit, plus supported by National Treasury and the World Bank, prominent private business and government officials agreed that the introduction of the Unit and strategy will expand investment into Durban through better promotion, retention and aftercare of existing multi-national investors. This is addition to marketing and promoting Durban as an investment destination of choice.