The Economic Development Unit (EDU) is mandated to promote economic development, job creation,
economic transformation and economic intelligence within the municipal region.

The EDU Sector Development Programmes Department facilitates the stimulation and growth of priority
sectors, by providing city-wide support to the targeted economic sectors in-line with the National Industrial Development Policy Framework, eThekwini’s Integrated Development Plan (IDP) 2 as well as the eThekwini Economic Development and Job Creation Strategy.

eThekwini Municipality’s EDU is implementing Sector Development Programmes through special purpose vehicles (SPVs) such as clusters. Clustering is a collaborative enabling platform for industry formations, government, academia, non-profit organizations, state-owned enterprises as well as other agents to address issues of common interest. Innovation, collaboration, knowledge transfer and networking required to support competitiveness are facilitated by the intensity of linkages provided within a dense clustering of related firms.

The Sector Development Programmes Department demonstrates several positive economic development attributes such as the propensity to retain and grow employment opportunities; the ability to derive export earnings; and the ability to support economic activities in related sectors.


NANDI DRIVE: This is the largest road project undertaken by the eThekwini Municipality. The R320 million construction of the Nandi Road Arterial was completed in 2006, opening up the area to a wealth of economic activity. The development will facilitate easier access to the city for residents to the north of the city centre, ease traffic congestion coming from Inanda, KwaMashu and North Coast Road, and open up approximately 280 hectares of land for light industrial, commercial and residential development projects within Moreland’s new River Horse Valley Business Estate. It is expected to create 13 000 permanent jobs with an overall investment of approximately R1.6 billion.

KWAMASHU TOWN CENTRE: The Inanda/Ntuzuma/KwaMashu (INK) initiative is driving an ambitious social realignment programme to accelerate the development of communities living in these areas. The R30 million KwaMashu Town Centre upgrade will provide physical infrastructure, business support and safety in the area. To enhance the historical and cultural attractions in the area, the Inanda Heritage Trail is being developed. The city is actively promoting private investment in the area as part of its regeneration programmes in former black CBDs in eThekwini, including Verulam, Tongaat, Umlazi, Isipingo, Pinetown and Amanzimtoti.

SOUTH DURBAN BASIN HUB: The South Durban Basin is a national economic powerhouse which consists of an industrial area interspersed with a substantial residential component of about 100 000 people. The basin is bordered by major transport linkages and a spectacular but sensitive coastal strip, and is comprised of areas of varied social, economic and environmental conditions. Key infrastructure upgrades aimed at improving service delivery are being rolled out in an area previously neglected by the racially defined considerations of apartheid. These include a major traffic interchange, electrical substation upgrades and road and storm water upgrades, as well as the improvement of the public realm through urban greening.

EXTENDING THE HARBOUR: As one of the world’s busiest ports, Durban Harbour is beginning to work beyond its capacity. An extensive upgrade is currently underway, with the top priority being the sustainable development of Durban as a premier status port. These changes will transform the harbour into a well-defined logistics hub. The harbour is also being physically expanded, although the location of additional harbour facilities has not been decided and is currently the subject of much debate. A joint port/city plan includes the upgrading of the existing container terminal, a new container terminal, and a new general-cargo terminal on the Point. Besides these expansion projects, the entrance channel to the port is being deepened and widened in an effort to improve efficiencies.

DUBE TRADE PORT: The Dube Trade Port will see the establishment of an exciting state of the art export development incorporating a new air platform linked with the seaports of Durban and Richards Bay. By attracting private sector investment and providing a multi-modal platform for local exporters to more effectively tap into global markets, the Dube Trade Port will serve as a catalyst for economic development and sustainable job creation. The Trade Port will incorporate a new international airport, a trade zone, a cyberport, perishables facilities, inter-modal freight transfer facilities, and other commercial and retail opportunities.

ICC EXTENSION: Durban’s International Convention Centre has been extremely successful since its inception and the centre has just been extended, doubling its size and providing expanded services. In keeping with international trends and demands for bigger conference facilities, there is a new world-class indoor arena as well as open spaces around the building which contribute to its iconic appearance. The ICC Arena positions the ICC Durban in a league of its own, making it the only indoor venue in the country able to accommodate events for over 10 000 people, with a covered area of 32 000 m2 at one level, and a further 12 000 m2 of outdoor space.

For the 550 000 people of Umlazi, shopping used to necessitate a trip outside the township. At an average cost of R12 per trip, buying basic goods was a costly exercise. With the completion of the R150 million UMLAZI MEGACITY , Umlazi’s residents can now shop in comfort and security. The project was driven by private sector developers with the support of the eThekwini Municipality, giving life to the city’s commitment – as stated in its Integrated Development Plan – to revitalize township areas by using its economic position to lever private sector funding. Umlazi MegaCity represents the first phase of a process of transforming both the physical appearance and social dynamics of a community, in a place that in the past was spatially and economically isolated as part of apartheid’s town planning policies.

AUTOMOTIVE CLUSTER: Durban is the city of choice for South Africa’s globalised automotive industry and is home to South Africa’s largest vehicle assembler, Toyota SA. The company is predicting significant future production growth. A production target of 250 000 vehicles has been set for 2010, with 100 000 of that production for export. In addition, the region is also home to the production facilities of Bell Equipment and MAN Truck and Bus. The region’s automotive industry is well supported by eThekwini Municipality and benefits from a highly developed logistics platform emanating from the Durban harbour. The automotive industry is the largest manufacturing sector and the third largest overall economic sector in South Africa.

RENOVATING THE INNER CITY: By 2010 significant progress is expected with another iTrump initiative, an ambitious project to revitalise the inner city as a place to live and work. Particular attention is being given to providing residential units for middle and low income households who will benefit most from living close to work and trading opportunities. To this end, the city is identifying new uses for buildings that have come to the end of their economic life and are in poor condition as a result. The Municipality is confident that this plan will lead to a drastic decrease in crime and unemployment through an increase in economic activity.

RIVER HORSE VALLEY BUSINESS ESTATE: A joint venture between Moreland and the eThekweni Municipality, River Horse Estate spans 302 hectares on either side of the N2 in the Effingham/Avoca area, with 110 hectares being made available for commercial use. The space is currently being developed as 15 separate mixed-use business parks and residential parks and two direct-access service stations. About 3 500 construction jobs and 13 500 permanent jobs will be created as result. There will be about 140 hectares of green open space within the estate. As the estate grows, the vegetation and wetlands around the Umhlangane River will be restored, and the river rejuvenated to attract the original bird and animal life back into the area.

THE 2010 STADIUM: Construction of a world-class multi-purpose sports stadium is currently underway. At a cost of approximately R1.6 billion, the new complex will be one of the major host stadiums for the 2010 Fifa World Cup. The existing King’s Park Soccer Stadium has recently been flattened to make way for the new stadium which will accommodate about 70 000 spectators. The sporting complex is part of the eThekwini Municipality’s Beyond 2010 strategy intended to ensure that Durban becomes Africa’s premier sporting destination not only for the Soccer World Cup, but also for other major sporting events, including a possible Olympic bid. Construction of the stadium should be complete by December 2008.

KING’S PARK SPORTS DISTRICT: The City’s vision of becoming Africa’s premier sporting and leisure destination has been taken a step further with plans for the King’s Park Sports Precinct. As part of the Beyond 2010 strategy, it is seen as being more practical to build a stadium where all the Olympic sporting codes exist together in close proximity with world class facilities. The construction of the precinct will give high priority to important developmental benefits such as housing, infrastructure, transport and hotels. In this light, 19 areas in the vicinity of the existing King’s Park stadium have been earmarked for development. Plans include hotels, a major indoor soccer stadium catering specifically for the disabled, and sporting academies for Durban’s youth.

BRIDGE CITY is set to be the catalyst for economic growth in the previously disadvantaged areas of Inanda, Ntuzuma, KwaMashu and Phoenix in much the same way that the Umhlanga New Town Centre has catalyzed development north of Durban. A Presidential Lead Project, Bridge City will forge a new town centre for residents of the surrounding areas after decades of economic inactivity under apartheid.  The development is being undertaken as a public/private joint venture partnership with property developers Moreland, based on the success of the River Horse Valley industrial park. Plans include 43 hectares of shopping, entertainment, civic buildings, a hospital and magistrates’ courts. Landscaping and security are seen as essential components of the New Town Centre.