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Thursday Jul 23, 2009

Development of South African townships difficult : Sutcliffe

Creating economic development in former African townships has been problematic, eThekwini city manager Mike Sutcliffe said on Wednesday.

He said banks redline such areas because investments were not economically and financially viable.

"However, things are starting to change," he said in his online newsletter.

"Private investments are starting to flow into each area and slowly but surely even the banks have to agree to investing in such areas."

Sutcliffe explained that Durban invested "a great deal" in places like the KwaMashu Town Centre, and the Umlazi Mega City shopping complex.

He said although the city had to date sponsored these initiatives, last year the national Treasury decided to assist the municipality with grants.

The grants would be given to programmes that regenerated formerly underdeveloped areas and encouraged private sector development.

For such regeneration, R62 million was allocated to the KwaMashu Town Centre, R81 million for Bridge City and R224 million for the Inanda, Ntuzuma and KwaMashu nodes.

A further R207 million was given to Umlazi and Malukazi, R105 million for KwaDabeka and Clermont, and R31 million for Mpumalanga.

"The next few years will lay the foundations for these former township areas," said Sutcliffe.

"If the private sector then plays its part, these places will become more integrated into the lifeblood of the economy, allowing them to take their rightful place alongside other central business districts in more advantaged areas."



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