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Mega projects aimed to be catalysts for sustainable development

There are currently many large-scale catalytic projects underway in Durban and surrounding region that will have an impact on a sub-regional, regional and metropolitan scale.

Background and context of catalytic projects

There is a widespread realisation within government and private sector circles that the cities are the “engines of economic growth” and that it is in the cities where the war on sustainable development will be lost or won (UN HABITIAT II, 2014).

In the midst of shrinking global economy coupled with depleting national fiscus, there are no additional grants available to cities to drive economic development initiatives. Cities are now seriously looking at creative ways of utilizing limited resources at their disposal to stimulate the economy. This includes eliminating fragmented planning, budgeting and implementation in the delivery of projects which are intended to become enablers for economic growth.

Using integration zones as part of the Urban Network Strategy (UNS), the city of Durban has identified a number of catalytic projects along key areas within the integration zones.

To view a range of catalytic projects in and around the City of Durban, download the latest (2017) update on Catalytic Investment Projects

Catalytic projects criteria

Catalytic projects are projects that have an impact on a mega scale, such as sub-regional, regional and metropolitan scale. Catalytic projects are measured in terms of the following criteria:

  • Major impact in their sub-metro at least, if not beyond.
  • Mega-scale, inclusive of:
    • Number of jobs to be created,
    • Amount of investment by public and private sectors,
    • Revenue to be generated,
    • Mixed use in nature,
    • Alignment with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


  • Be in highly strategic locations to help achieve spatial transformation objectives.
  • Be on public transport corridors or national trade routes.


  • Stimulate a chain of new projects.


Based on the above criteria, catalytic projects are placed into three categories:

  • Catalytic Projects, Category A: In/near Implementation
  • Catalytic Projects, Category B: In Preparation
  • Catalytic Projects, Category C: Extensions to existing developments and malls

Note: Implementation needs a different level of effort, intervention and management structure than Preparation.

Download the 2017 Catalytic Investment Projects update

Invest Durban

Invest Durban (previously DIPA) is an entity of the eThekwini Municipality, recommended by the Durban City Council and organised private business as the most appropriate vehicle to promote and facilitate new investment into the Durban metropolitan area. Invest Durban’s primary objective is to accelerate sustainable investment in Durban for the benefit of all.

Invest Durban offers free:
  • Investment Information and Facilitation Services
  • Immigration, Import and Legal Services
  • Business Establishment and Incentives
  • Investor Administration Services
Contact Invest Durban 


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