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Eastern Seaboard development a multi-faceted vision – Ramaphosa

15th November 2021

By: Yvonne Silaule

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President Cyril Ramaphosa on Friday led a District Development Model (DDM) visit to the Ugu district, in KwaZulu-Natal, to assess the development of the Eastern Seaboard traversing the KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape provinces along a 600 km stretch between the eThekwini and Buffalo City metros.

The DDM methodology seeks to address better planning and integration within government and between government and social partners, with a view to enabling inclusive growth and development.

Ramaphosa launched the DDM approach in 2019 to facilitate cooperative governance through sound intergovermental planning, budgeting, implementation and monitoring.

The Eastern Seaboard development spans two provinces, four districts and 17 municipalities situated along the 600 km coastline. The development is a flagship DDM project.

Ramaphosa said the Eastern Seaboard development entailed a broad and multi-faceted vision.

“Firstly, it is a vision to translate from policy into practice the DDM, which aims to improve the coherence and impact of local service delivery. Secondly, it is a vision to overcome the legacy of apartheid spatial planning, which continues to limit the economic opportunities of millions of black South Africans.

"Thirdly, it is a vision to strengthen economic linkages between our provinces through mutually beneficial development. Fourthly, this development aims to harness the potential of the vast natural endowments of the provinces of KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape for economic growth,” he said.

He noted that the natural endowment in these two provinces provided good growth opportunities in the oceans economy, tourism, agriculture, mining and oil and gas development, besides other sectors.

“Our fauna and flora places us as one of the top five most mega biodiverse countries in the world. If harnessed effectively, this natural endowment has the potential to revitalise local economies, create jobs and sustain livelihoods,” Ramaphosa said.

The President further stated that translating the vision for the Eastern Seaboard development into reality required cooperation between the public and private sectors to mobilise investment for catalytic and transformative projects.

He said investors would provide the funding, but that government would have to create conducive conditions to attract investment.

“For us to do this, for us to position this as a development that can yield substantial and sustainable returns on investment, we have to strengthen the capabilities and improve the functioning of local government,” he noted.

He added that strong, well-run municipalities that are able to deliver services to communities and businesses attract investment, while poorly run and badly administered municipalities deter investment.

“The recent local government elections have provided a clear direction on what citizens need and want. It is critical that we now focus all our energies on addressing the many service delivery concerns of our people, and also of businesses who rely on the provision of these services to run their operations.”

Ramaphosa said the DDM approach would ensure better alignment of government structures to facilitate planning permits and other approvals required for development.

“We will do so without cutting corners or compromising on safety and quality. I am greatly encouraged to see the work that has gone into packaging the Eastern Seaboard development to potential investors,” he said.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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