During an introduction and induction of the Forum members on 5 September at uMhlanga’s Beverly Hills Hotel, Mayor Gumede said she looked forward to working with the members on matters relating to new investments and the broader investment environment.
“Team Durban’s composition has sought to be diverse in gender, age, culture and stakeholder group, thereby ensuring the Forum is ideally representative of all who live and invest in our region,” she said.
The 14 member team comprises prominent people in their respective fields whose role will entail providing strategic foreign direct investment advice and support to the City and acting as a business sounding board for the eThekwini Municipal leadership on business and investment promotion matters.
While their services will be on a voluntary basis, the Municipality will cover their travel and accommodation expenses where required and in accordance with the Municipality’s Travel Policy. The appointed members, who will serve for a period of three years effective from 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2021, were selected from 155 applicants who responded to advertisements in newspapers, having met the criteria set by the Municipality for this purpose.
Giving a brief overview of the formation of the team, Mayor Gumede said the City’s Executive Committee approved the external investment partnership forum known as Team Durban.
“This team was envisaged to provide strategic foreign direct investment advice and support to the City and act as a business sounding board for the Mayor, Council leadership and the new Invest Durban Unit on business and investment promotion matters,” she explained.
This strategic exercise emerged from a number of the City’s foundational strategic documents and platforms. “These include eThekwini’s Integrated Development Plan, the City Planning Commission recommendations plus the Council approved Economic Development and Job Creation Strategy, among others,” said Mayor Gumede.
The Municipality’s Integrated Development Plan has eight component plans. Plan Two, overseen Economic Development and Planning Committee Chairperson Councillor Sipho Kaunda and the Cluster’s Deputy City Manager Phillip Sithole, aims to develop a prosperous, diverse economy and employment creation.
“The Team Durban formation is also in alignment with the Durban Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Blueprint for our City, where one of the highest priorities listed in that business-informed framework is the need to accelerate new private sector investment,” said Mayor Gumede.