Newly appointed eThekwini Metro municipal manager Sipho Nzuza says that he will seek to accelerate growth in Durban and surrounding areas.
"We want to accelerate the rate of growth and development to ensure that there is radical economic transformation, particularly in rural areas," Nzuza said on Friday.
He was speaking at a mayoral breakfast at the Moses Mabhida Stadium to an audience of business and community stakeholders.
Nzuza said that while he would strive to maintain current services such as traffic light maintenance and repairs and damaged roads, he would also keep rural areas in focus.
"Our plan is to assist rural based economies. There is currently a plan to ensure that rural areas become part of the tourism sector. Already we have foreigners who want to visit these areas."
Programmes rather than events
Nzuza said that big attraction events should also be showcased in townships to develop the areas.
"We will build on all strengths of the city and strive to improve it."
He added that he would commit to radical economic transformation.
"We will ensure assistance to those, especially young blacks who want to engage in business to assist with radical economic transformation. We have already hosted a number of empowerment workshops to that effect."
City mayor Zandile Gumede said she was happy with Nzuza's appointment but cautioned that there was work to be done.
"We will have to see the accelerated change now. We do not want you [Nzuza] to repeat the wrongs of municipal managers before you."
She added that the city needed to focus more on programmes rather than events.
"Programmes are a lot more sustainable. It is not that we should not have events, but we should ensure that there is more for the people to benefit from."
Gumede pledged support for Nzuza.
"He has our full support and we will support each other hand in hand to work for all people."
Meanwhile African National Congress eThekwini chairperson Bheki Ntuli gave Nzuza the nod saying he was "aligned" with the ruling party.
"His plans seem to be in line with that of the ruling party and its plans for the country. We think he is very qualified for the job and we give him support. There must be radical economic transformation and focus on rural areas."