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20 Years of Freedom and Democracy
Service delivery efforts doubled in Isiphingo
ETHEKWINI Municipality remains committed to working with residents to address challenges in their communities and reclaim their spaces. The regeneration of the Isiphingo area in the South Durban
Basin has progressed significantly, with a number of achievements made to-date since the renewal programme was implemented in July last year.

Once plagued by illegal informal trading, littering, damaged infrastructure, a lack of compliance of health, town planning and building regulations as well as illegal water and electricity connections, there has been a definite turnaround in the area. Musa Mbhele, Head of the Development Planning, Management and Environment Unit said this is largely thanks to a multi-disciplinary team approach that has entailed a stakeholder engagement process, awareness and educational campaigns and intensified law enforcement actions.

He said the City has also included development projects to address socioeconomic issues in the area as it is key to the renewal of Isiphingo. The City’s enforcement actions has thus far yielded R4.5 million in fines for health, building, town planning, general advertising and other general by-law contraventions. Police have also taken a tough stance tackling crime in the community with 331 criminals apprehended and 129 hijacked vehicles recovered.

The City has also disconnected 1 284 illegal electricity connections and recovered 386 kilograms of cabling. Eighty-six street lights have been fixed. The Water Department has inspected 3 528 properties for illegal water connections and subsequently disconnected 54 properties with illegal connections. The City has also removed 258 tons of rubbish that was dumped illegally in the area in addition to the 46 500 bags of rubbish that were removed during normal shifts.

The Parks Department has cut 4 000 000 square meters of grass and 320 trees and has removed 121 alien plants. In addition, the City has cleaned the canals in the area of illegal invasive species and removed silt allowing water to flow freely. Mbhele said there are plans to further improve the area including general clean-ups, infrastructure repairs and enforcement. “The Isiphingo renewal is a shining example of the Municipality’s new approach to urban renewal which includes partnering with civic bodies and key stakeholders to ensure the success of the programme,” he said.

Developmental projects, which are still in the early phases of development, have been identified to assist with the social issues in the area. These includes the relocation of the Isiphingo Transit Camp, a drug rehabilitation centre, an automotive hub for emerging mechanics, working with the Keep Isiphingo Beautiful Association, clearing of canals, reconfiguration of storm water infrastructure and the reorganisation of informal traders and taxis. Mbhele also applauded the willingness of stakeholders to partner with the City as it encourages the community to take ownership of their area and work with the Municipality. 

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