EThekwini Municipality has set aside R117 million over the next four years to develop uMlazi into an economic hub. This will benefit local businesses and residents of the township. The R26 million upgrade investment of Sbusiso Mdakane Drive provides essential infrastructure in the uMlazi area. It also brings about key economic activities such as intermodal transport points with both formal and informal business activities.
The upgrade includes new designed street lighting while pavements have been enhanced by block pavers to give the precinct a new look and feel. The pedestrian walkways have also been widened to allow people to walk or run with ease.
The eZimbuzini Automotive Hub and Informal Trading Stalls together with the KwaMnyandu Light Industrial Hub, both based in uMlazi, have significantly impacted on the local community and economy. Recently opened by eThekwini Mayor Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda, these projects allow for various quality goods and services to be sourced locally at reasonable prices.
The informal trader’s hub saw the trading conditions of 33 informal traders and entrepreneurs, who were previously operating under makeshift stalls, transformed for the better. During the construction phase of this R22 million state-of the-art project, 16 local sub-contractors were given business opportunities and we were able to create 50 job opportunities for locals.
The R42.7 million invested in the automotive hub, responds to the challenge faced by most informal businesses in the township of operating in residential area back yards, illegally occupied vacant government land and closer to taxi ranks.
The new Light Industrial Hub in the kwaMnyandu Investment Node caters for 30 units with 15 business and commercial units interfacing Griffiths Mxenge Highway. The Hub also makes provision for ten office units and five lower units together with two take-away food and shop stalls each and public ablution facilities.
Meanwhile, The Zazi Street upgrade is part of the Township Economy Regeneration Programme which responds to the strategic role of township urban centres. It is in the Clermont Central Precinct and is one of the most resilient and dynamic economic nodes within the Clermont/KwaDabeka Township Economy. The first phase of the Zazi Street upgrade addressed the construction of kerbing with sidewalks completed in September last year.
The total cost of the completed first phase was R1.6 million. Phase two sought to increase public space and infrastructure investment thus supporting community activities while in turn encouraging even higher levels of private investment. This included the overlay of Zazi Street- asphalt road resurfacing and rehabilitation with street markings that was completed in July.