City boosts township economy

CitybooststownshipeconomyETHEKWINI Mayor Zandile Gumede has reiterated the importance of growing township economy through the City’s Radical Economic Transformation Framework. Mayor Gumede was speaking on 23 June during the official opening of the groundbreaking R32 million KwaMnyandu pedestrian bridges which houses 14 trading kiosks.


The pedestrian bridge is part of the Municipality’s public-private investment into the KwaMnyandu Node which will create safe and easy access to the mall and train station while also creating economic opportunities for small businesses that will be occupying the kiosks. The shopping centre is linked to the train station which is used by 20 000 people daily. The shopping centre also attracts about 30 000 people per day.


Traders at the kiosks have access to more than 50 000 people on a daily basis. Mayor Gumede said the bridge, therefore, plays a huge role in bringing economic opportunities closer to the people. She said this is the beginning of many good things to happen as the KwaMyandu Node Development Framework is expected to generate and unlock more than R2 billion worth in economic activities, comprised of mixed-use investment. Jabulisile Mtolo, a trader, said the kiosk will help her attract new customers. “It will help me get exposure because this is an opportunity to showcase my work to people who pass through this bridge every day,” she said.


The bridge has an eating area as well as sanitation facilities for small business owners occupying the kiosks. To fast-track the earmarked economic returns, eThekwini Municipality has already secured a land lease for the expansion of KwaMnyandu Mall. This is expected to increase the value of local shareholders’ stake which is currently at 21 percent as well as create more employment, adding to the 700 people who are currently employed at the mall.


Land sale to the Ingonyama Trust has been approved by Council to construct a petrol station for the node. Furthermore, Mayor Gumede announced that funds have been set aside for the construction of a R24 million light industrial incubator which will be located along the KwaMnyandu node in uMlazi. “The business incubation facility will accommodate 20 small businesses in various sectors including upholstery, manufacturing of chemical detergents and steel fabrication. The incubator will primarily focus on providing appropriate business accommodation as well as creating tailored development programmes for the budding entrepreneurs,” she added.

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