Lumec was part of a team appointed by eThekwini Municipality to develop an industrial revitalisation strategy and implementation plan. The aim of the study was to develop strategies for three pilot industrial areas, namely, Jacobs, Prospecton and New Germany. These strategies were then used to inform a broader strategy for the revitalisation of industrial areas across eThekwini. The Planning Initiative led the team, which included urban designers, engineers and environmentalists. Lumec played the role of development economists. Our input included understanding the economic value of the areas, undertaking stakeholder engagement and identifying economic growth strategies.
Understanding the economic value of very localised areas is challenging due to data scarcity. Lumec was able to identify the rates contribution of these areas and the property value. The essential elements of contribution to economic productivity and employment were impossible to ascertain accurately. Stakeholder consultation included numerous interviews with industry and property organisations, and an electronic survey of businesses. These proved more effective than the public meetings held.
The research found that these areas, especially in the South Durban Basin, were well located but in serious need of support. Some of the economic growth strategies identified included a ‘getting the basics right‘ approach, growing informal trade and incentivising brownfields development. It was recommended that the City support business investment into technology that utilises the tools of the 4th industrial revolution and reduces industry’s negative impact on the environment.
We look forward to any changes that occur due to the implementation plan developed and thank all stakeholders who were involved in the research.
- 18 months
- Stakeholder Engagement, Data Analysis, Economic Profiling, Strategy Development