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					Welcome Address by His Worship the Mayor of KwaDukuza
Municipality, Councillor S.S Gumede, At the Gala Dinner in Honour of
the Governor of the South African Reserve Bank, Mr Tito Mboweni,
at Zimbali Golf Estate, 18 March 2004

Programmed Director
Governor of the South African Reserve Bank, Mr Tito Mboweni
Dr Albertina Luthuli, Member of the National Assembly,
Deputy Mayor, Councillor Veli Luthuli,
Speaker of Ethekwini Municipality, Councillor Nomusa Dube
Dean of Commerce, Durban Institute of Technology, Professor Malcolm Willis,
Fellow Councillors
Municipal Manager, Mr Nathi Mthembu
Esteemed leaders of the corporate sector,
Members of the mass media
Friends, Ladies and Gentlemen :

On behalf of KwaDukuza Municipality, I am privileged to join in welcoming
you all to this august event to honour and celebrate the fifth anniversary of
Governor Mboweni as first black Governor of the South African Reserve Bank.

On the 27th April 2004, our country would be celebrating ten years of freedom
and democracy. We would be celebrating the restoration of the dignity to the
majority of our people and achievements of the past ten years.

There are many things that we would have loved to talk about tonight as part
of achievements that we have made as a people. But I have chosen to talk
about the KwaDukuza in the context of the South African Economy and the
challenges of transforming a country that has been divided for many decades.

Let me digress briefly and say something about the celebration that is about
to commence tonight.

In July 2003, I had a brief meeting with the newly appointed Manager : Youth
Development in the Directorate, Economic Development and Planning. The
purpose of the meeting was to get a sense of his plans for youth development
in our Municipality.

He presented to me a document titled: “Draft Youth Development
Framework”. The document in question raised, among other things,
showcasing KwaDukuza Municipality as an investment destination of first
choice, investment in the ICT, capacity building, youth and economy
empowerment programme etc.
The document further argued that youth development issues would need to
be mainstreamed within the overall development agenda of KwaDukuza
Municipality.

I will later briefly share with you KwaDukuza’s spatial economic dynamics and
the extent of economic development and growth in investments as well as
wet your appetite for investing in KwaDukuza.

The reasons presented to me at the time and later to Council to honour
Governor Mboweni was that the team that is managing our economy has
done a tremendous job in positioning our economy in the global village and
therefore, we needed to acknowledge their contributions and present the as
role models to our young people.

It was then recommended that we should bring together captains of industry,
academics, politicians and leaders of our people in all spheres of society to
celebrate the achievements of the finance team, as represented by the South
African Reserve Bank.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we are celebrating tonight in honour of Governor
Mboweni at the request of our young people who are convinced that there
are men and women, both black and white who have distinguished
themselves in the service of our beloved land and we must honour them
alive!

We thank you Governor Mboweni for agreeing to grace this occasion. The
funds generated from this function will be used to address some of the major
challenges identified in our youth development plan e.g Information
Communication Technology, the development of a website, training our youth
in entrepreneurships etc.

As we all know, the new democratic government came into office with a
blueprint of transforming our country into a competitive winning nation in the
global economy. The leadership of the new democratic state had to put their
blueprint aside and start from the beginning because they had inherited an
economy that was in a state of total collapse.

As Allister Sparks observed in his book, “Beyond The Miracle: Inside The New
South Africa”, that when the new government moved into office, the state
coffers were nearly empty, with gross foreign exchange reserves down to less
than three weeks of imports, and a budget deficit that had reached a record
of 8,6% of Gross Domestic Product.

There was absolutely no money for the new government to do what it has
planned to do. The key task was, therefore, to try and stabilize the shaky
economy to prevent capital flight, then try to find at least some money to
provide social services to 80% of the population who had not had them
before.
Our finance Team at the South African Reserve Bank, National Treasury and
South African Revenue Services had to deal with all these complex challenges
and put our economy on the path for growth and development.

In the same book, by Alister Parks, Pamela Cox, former head of the South
Africa Division at the World Bank says:

“What the new government has done to put the economy of the right footing
is, I think, almost miraculous.”

Ladies and gentleman, fiscal and monitory policy has been the hallmark of our
economic policy over the past ten years. These policies are developed at
national level in consultation with other spheres of government at local levels.
We have applied these policies in our own unique situation and the results are
showing that investors have confidence in our ability to manage public
finance.

Let me now turn to KwaDukuza as an area where your money and
investments would certainly grow by leaps and bounds.

KwaDukuza fulfils an important role in the space economy of Northern
KwaZulu-Natal. The area is strategically located between Durban and Richards
Bay which is two of the most important development nodes in the Province
and the two most important ports for South Africa. Functional Economic
linkages exist between Durban and the area in terms of tourism,
manufacturing, transport, commerce and labour. In the tourism and up-
market property development sectors, major development include the King
Shaka Cultural Tourism and Heritage Trail, The Zimbali Golf and Leisure
Estate extension, Sugarland Resort development on the Tongaat River,
Simbithi Eco-Estate, Ballito Business Park and Beverly Hills Estate Extension.
At a micro-socio-economic development sector, there are a number of local
based economic initiatives that include business hives. We are also doing well
in integrated and affordable rural and urban housing programme coupled with
a slum-clearance programme.

To wet your appetite further, you might be interested to know that our
strategic location in relation to the development of the Dube Trade Port and
the King Shaka International Airport means that we should experience
profound down-stream economic development impact.

I do however need to acknowledge that whilst there is massive economic
growth and development in KwaDukuza, we are still faced with levels of
poverty and unemployment, literally on the other side of the road! Whilst
social challenges such as housing are being addressed head-on and very
aggressively as I have alluded to above, unemployment remains a challenge.
Of the potential workforce i.e. 15-65 years, only 40% is employed and are
actually economically active. Only 4.7 % of the household earn more than
R10 000.00 per month. There is also a crippling, narrow and shallow skills
base.

To demonstrate this point, the latest statistics indicate that of the total
potential workforce, only 9% has tertiary qualifications. At the cold face of all
these socio-economic hardships are the youth and women who are universally
recognized as the most vulnerable sector. So these are but some of the
challenges that we are grappling with and it is my duty to issue a clarion call
to all potential investors to structure their investment packages in a manner
that leads to sustainable economic growth and development.

As we all know young people are the most vulnerable sector in society when
it comes to poverty. Unemployment is a nightmare for many of our young
people. It is a vicious circle of poor health, reduced working capacity, low
productivity and shortened life expectancy. For the youth, poverty is a trap. It
leads to inadequate schooling, low skills, insecure income, early parenthood,
ill health and early death.

We are thus being challenged to harness our resources and work in unison
with one another to invest in human capacity development, in sectors that
create jobs and lead to sustainable livelihoods.

A famous British economist, John Maynard Keynes, at the closing plenary
session of the Bretton Woods Conference, 1944 which set up the IMF and the
Word Bank Said:

Ït has been our task to find a common measure, a common standard, a
common rule applicable to each and not irksome to any. We have had to
perform at one and the same time the tasks appropriate to the economist, to
the financier, to the politician, to the journalist, to the propagandist, to the
lawyer, to the statesman-even, I think to the prophet and the soothsayer. We
have shown that a concourse of 44 nations are actually able to work together
at a constructive task in amity and unbroken concord. If we can continue in
larger task as we have begun in this limited task, there is hope for the world”.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I believe that if we can work together, government,
business and civil society to address all these challenges facing young people,
than there is hope for our young people.

I thank you for your attention.

Issued by Department of Communications

				
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