The overarching strategic objective of the City Planning Commission is therefore to act as an advisory thinktank to the leadership and administration of eThekwini Municipality aimed at propelling long-term, holistic and catalytic socio-economic development of Durban and its people. Long-term planning must ensure that high economic growth rates are achieved, linked with the creation of decent and sustainable jobs and economic prosperity.
It should also be linked with an absolute reduction of poverty and inequities based on spatial, gender, income and racial differentiations. In particular, the City Planning Commission shall be responsible to carry out the following responsibilities, amongst others:
1. Advise Executive Committee, Council and the administration of eThekwini Municipality on the process and content of developing the City’s Long-Term Growth and Development Strategy (CLTGDS) which shall be aligned with the strategic objectives and targets of the National Development Plan and the Provincial Growth and Development Strategy. In this regard, more emphasis will be placed on the conceptualisation of specific, integrated action plans that need to be developed, co-ordinated and budgeted for at City level to ensure the realisation of national and provincial development objectives.
2. Guide the Executive Committee, Council and administration on strategies to address infrastructure backlogs in relation to human settlements, water, sanitation, electricity, roads and storm water, information communication and technology, public transport and social services. In particular, emphasis will be placed on the need for densification of human settlements along public transport and economic hubs.
3. Advise and guide the Executive Committee, Council and administration on how to push forward strategic and radical economic transformation agenda and to organize the formulation of comprehensive industrial policies, coordinate key issues in the development of major economic sectors such as maritime, modern logistics, petro-chemical, automotive, tourism, hotels and leisure, manufacturing, agriculture, bio-technology, renewable energy, financial services and the development of high-tech industries.
4. Guide the Executive Committee, Council and administration on the effective mechanisms that must be put in place to mobilise broader stakeholders’ participation in the process of developing the CLTGDS and influencing its content and spelling out the actions that each stakeholder needs to take to implement the strategy. In particular, focused and deliberate attention shall be paid to ensure that the views of the youth, women, people living with disabilities and other vulnerable groups are at the centre stage of the development process.
5. Guide the undertaking of research or studies to ensure that the formulation and updating of the CLTGDS is data-led. To achieve this, the City Planning Commission will collaborate with major universities, research institutions and other think-tanks within South Africa and across the globe to enrich its processes.
6. Monitor macroeconomic and social development trends and provide forecast warning and information guidance in terms of socio-economic and infrastructural performance, global and macro-economic factors which are likely to impact on City’s planning processes.
7. Assist the Executive Committee, Council administration on the formulation of urban development policies and practices to guide the reconfiguration of the City’s spatial landscape and the implementation of urban renewal strategies and other place-based development interventions. In this regard, priority will be given to the development of frameworks to respond to the high velocity of urbanisation and migration and over-dependence of the populace on the state which is not only dangerous but also unsustainable.
8. Guide the Executive Committee, Council and administration on matters related to investment in rural areas,
food security and sustainable livelihoods.
9. Guide the Executive Committee, Council and administration to organize the formulation of key strategies, plans and policies to address climate change and ensuring that the City undertakes relevant work in regard to the fulfilment of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change at the City level.
10. Advise and guide the Executive Committee, Council and administration on the formulation of human and social capital development policies aligned with national economic development policies and to organize the formulation of strategies, overall plans and annual plans of social development and to participate in the formulation of development policies with regard to population and family planning, science and technology, education, culture, health and civil administration and promotion of social cohesion and reconstruction. The broad objective is to ensure that there a big push toward taking Durban people productive, innovative and to think out of the box to take advantage of all available opportunities.
11. Advise the Executive Committee, Council and the administration on proper branding, city competitiveness, cost of doing business and speedy processing of development applications and the removal of constraints on the way of development.
12. Develop resilient and sustainable implementation and monitoring and evaluation frameworks to meet the objectives of the National Development Plan and guide Council with regards to building a capable and people-centred developmental local government founded on the values of the Constitution, a caring society and anti-corruption.
13. To conduct an assessment of the recommendations in the Best Practice City Commission (BPCC 1999) report to determine the results and review investment performance in eThekwini since the adoption of the 1999 recommendations. Review the validity of the BPCC 1999 findings and recommendations that were made regarding the promotion and marketing of Durban to investors.
14. Based on the need for the City to look at itself through the eyes of investors,
• Examine the internal environment and culture towards investors
• Examine core capacities in Units involved with investors and determine areas needing improvement
• Manage processes more effectively and efficiently
• Examine the tools that the City has for investors and improve them
15. Benchmark eThekwini’s current investment practices against those found in other Cities in South Africa and
16. Revisit the ‘one stop shop’ services for investors and ensure that it has decision making abilities, treat large investments differently and better.
17. Investigate a form of institutional mechanism or special purpose vehicle as a resource and incentive and find other
alternative bulk financing solutions.