Shape Durban Workshop Tackles Critical Processes
The Shape Durban Conference, held last year at the Durban ICC, has been hailed a great success and the planning team are busy trying to incorporate the concept as well as the outcomes into the City’s Integrated Development Plan and the Service Delivery Budget Implementation Plan. This was at a workshop at the Botanic Gardens on 21 January.
Shape Durban, under the theme, “partnering for growth,” was created as a new approach to involve citizens, business, education, youth and social partners in literally shaping the City’s future and being involved in its decision making processes.
Ajiv Maharaj, Deputy Head of the Economic Development Unit said: “The aim of this workshop is for all involved Units to gather and discuss ways to incorporate Shape Durban outcomes into their implementation plans.”
Justice Matarutse, Programme Leader said: “It is a call to action, for key influencers and shapers in the eThekwini economy to work together towards co-creating a socio-economic compact that changes the growth path of the City. This will also ensure that all partners are held accountable for the implementation of key deliverables.”
Both the IDP and SDBIP plans are of critical importance to ensure that the vision of Shape Durban is achieved. Shunnon Tulsiram, Head of the Economic Development Unit said: “It is all about inclusive growth. We need to ensure that we have the correct approach, resources available and ask ourselves if we are making the impact that Durban requires.”
Some of the outcomes of the conference included creating a one stop shop to assist the homeless, creating a single entry point to make business applications easier, the establishment of an economic opportunities portal and the need for digital skills workshops.
Puven Akkiah from the IDP Office said that Shape Durban must be correctly aligned so that it meets the legislative requirements and follows the due processes. “We can insert Shape Durban into the City’s IDP but it can only be done within certain areas. We have to ensure that budget is also allocated.”
Nirmala Govender, Head of the Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Unit emphasised the importance of monitoring. “We must critically evaluate the Shape Durban outputs and suggestions so we can work towards achieving the outcomes. All risks must be identified and the public must be made aware of the timelines involved.”
The budget process and the importance of proactive planning was also discussed. Xoliswa Hlongwane, Head of the Expenditure Unit said: “Procurement plans must me made early so that any delays in supply chain management processes do not hinder the progress of the projects and programmes.”
Municipal departments workshopped
Shape Durban is set to be launched in June this year.