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Presidency update on the Presidential eThekwini Working Group

In February 2024, President Cyril Ramaphosa, accompanied by Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan, Minister of Police Bheki Cele, Minister of Water and Sanitation Senzo Mchunu, Minister in the Presidency responsible for Electricity Kgosientsho Ramokgopa and Minister Public Works and Infrastructure Sihle Zikalala, met with the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry and various social partners to discuss service delivery challenges in the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality. 

Challenges raised include interruptions to water supply, poorly maintained and damaged infrastructure due in part to the 2022 floods, a worrying decline in tourism numbers to the city, port efficiency concerns, and crime. The President and Ministers reiterated Government’s commitment to addressing these challenges through a collaborative approach with social partners in eThekwini. 

Following additional engagements with the Municipality, Provincial Government, and social partners including organised labour, the President has announced the establishment of the Presidential eThekwini Working Group to support and accelerate efforts by the eThekwini Municipality to improve service delivery, improve business confidence, and reposition eThekwini as an investment and tourism hotspot. 

The Presidential eThekwini Working Group is co-chaired by the Director-General in the Presidency and Secretary of Cabinet, Ms Phindile Baleni and former MEC of Economic Development and Tourism, Mr Mike Mabuyakhulu. The Working Group represents an intergovernmental collaborative approach to addressing challenges in local government, and will include active participation from all levels of government, the private sector, state owned enterprises, organised labour, and civil society. 

On the 8th of April 2024, Director-General Phindile Baleni and  Mr Mike Mabuyakhulu led a series of follow-up engagements with the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality, organised labour in eThekwini, and the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry to discuss the Working Group’s eight priority focal areas, namely: 

• Governance and Financial Sustainability  
• Water and Sanitation 
• Safety and Security 
• Tourism Revitalisation 
• Roads, Bridges, and Transport.
• Human Settlements
• Disaster Response
• Communication and Stakeholder  Management 

The focal areas are the outcome of a deliberate consultation process within Government and with social partners in eThekwini. The municipality, organised labour, and the business community expressed their commitment to leverage their expertise to support turnaround strategies across the identified focal areas. 

The Presidential eThekwini Working Group will be responsible for reporting progress on the implementation of turnaround strategies to the President and Minsters every 3 weeks. The intervention will last 24 months and focus on both short-term and long-term interventions.

The learnings and outcomes of the Presidential eThekwini Working Group will inform similar interventions in other municipalities facing service delivery challenges. 

Media enquiries: Vincent Magwenya, Spokesperson to the President

Issued by: The Presidency

 Union Building