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Moses Tembe - co-chair of the KZN Growth Coalition provides an over- view of the purpose and achievements of this initiative
Moses Tembe hails from the northern KwaZulu-Natal area of Jozini, which he still calls home. Tembe was born in 1963. He holds a BA in Public Administration and Political Science from Unisa. He also completed the Caltex Business Management Programme at the University of Cape Town.
Tembe, currently Co-Chairman of the KZN Growth Coalition is a man respected by his community and business peers, He is also non-executive chairman of the Ubuhle OCS Cleaning Services (Pty) Ltd which was formed in 1998. He continues to chair the Greater Durban Community Foundation, which continues to drive education forward in Durban through various initiatives. Tembe remains a well-known and valued chairman and director of a number of businesses in the retail, manufacturing, property, tourism, shipping, marine and engineering sectors.
What is the purpose of the KZN Growth Coalition?
The purpose of the KZN Growth Coalition is to promote KwaZulu-Natal as a region in which peace and democracy flourishes, positioning the Province as the leading destination for investment from elsewhere in the country, the continent and abroad.
What do you believe the strengths of the KZN Growth Coalition have been in achieving success in the Province?
The greatest strength of the KZN Growth Coalition is the trust that has been established between major corporate sector companies and the leadership of the KZN Provincial Government. This was started with the then-Premier Mr Sbu Ndebele, right through to Dr Zweli Mkhize, Mr Senzo Mchunu and now continues with Mr Willies Mchunu. The relationship has gone from strength to strength, based on trust, respect and consistent follow through. The second most important element is that the respective Chambers of Commerce have recognised the KZN Growth Coalition as a niche liaison point that they can utilise to reach the most relevant and senior members of both provincial and municipal governments. The cooperation of the Chambers is mutually beneficial as the KZN Growth Coalition relies heavily on the movement to represent the interests of organised business in general.
Thirdly, KZN Growth Coalition, together with the KZN Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA), has established the KZN Executive Liaison Campaign based on the 8-a-side concept where the business community meets directly with the mayor and senior executives in ten major centres of our Province. For many of the smaller towns, where the Chamber movement is either weak or nonexistent, this executive liaison creates a way to structure regular interaction at the highest level. Slowly but surely trust is being developed, where previously it was lacking, often not through political differences but simply by non-engagement with each other. In recent meetings with the KZN Premier and the MEC for EDTEA, it was agreed that immediately after the municipal elections on 03 August, the MEC will visit all the towns participating in the 8-A-Side forums to take the work done by his predecessors to another level. The intention is to establish a One-Stop-Shop facilitating investment and development in all the major towns in KZN to eliminate the frustrations experienced by willing investors, both old and new.
What challenges has the KZN Growth Coalition faced?
The challenge that the KZN Growth Coalition faces is not at the senior level of public and private sector participation, where the mayors and municipal managers are extremely willing to work together and to assist each other, but the challenges exist at a lower level where officials are working in silos and insist on stamping their authority, in many cases looking only from their department’s or personal perspective without appreciating the impact of their decisions or lack thereof, or the unnecessary delays in working within the prescribed laws, timeframes and expectations as embodied in the National and Provincial Development
KZN GrowTh CoaliTioN
Plans. Unfortunately, there are also some cases where expectations of bribes exist. There is also the challenge of appropriation of resources by municipal and provincial governments in terms of infrastructure developments of bulk supply, in particular in greenfield developments. We are all aware of the challenges of energy supply, water supply in many regions, as well as road upgrades, amongst others. Therefore social economic development is further impeded by the fact that due to the backlog caused by apartheid, the government is rightly committed to budgetary allocations for social services, i.e.: pensions, grants, housing for the underprivileged, health services, etc., which further depletes available resources to support major economic drivers.
Do any KZN Growth Coalition projects have special significance for you?
There are some 70 major flagship projects that we have identified that require support and facilitation. Some of them are experiencing great progress and others less so, as a result of some of the challenges mentioned. We take pride in seeing the success of developments such as amongst others:
The Riverhorse Valley Umhlanga / La Lucia precinct, which includes The Oceans and The Pearls of Umhlanga Sibaya Precinct Cornubia Estate Dube Trade Port Keystone Park in Hammarsdale, which we believe in due course will be the new “Midrand” of KZN – a true manufacturing and logistics hub between Durban and Pietermaritzburg Of late, the Durban Point Development, which will see a significant announcement in March 2017. We are also working hard at bringing to life the Finningley Estate project in the South of Durban The Blythedale Coastal Resort on the North Coast Kings Estate, which will be part of the Aerotropolis precinct when developed. Perhaps the most significant achievement in recent months that reflects the spirit of the KZN Growth Coalition, and in particular the 8-a-side workings, is
embodied in the cooperation of major stakeholders in Richards Bay. We facilitated an intervention together with the Zululand Chamber of Commerce and Industry represented by Ms Judith Nzimande, Cllr Mduduzi Mhlongo, current Mayor of Umhlathuze Municipality, with the process led by Mr Mpho Mothoa, Co-Chair of the 8-A-Side. Richards Bay faced the possibility of a shutdown due to the severe water shortages both by major manufacturers and the community. An emergency package was achieved by the direct intervention by the KZN Premier and the National Government, in putting together funding of some R710m to deal with the challenge. A similar intervention was supported last year by the Mayor of eThekwini, the KZN Premier and the KZN Growth Coalition to unblock the Keystone Park development.
What developments would you like to see in South Africa‘s business environment in order to improve our current economic situation? As mentioned above, the trust and relationship developed over the past 18 years of the KZN Growth Coalition’s existence, allows us to be frank and direct in our engagement to see to fruition the initiatives implemented. One of the targets we are setting ourselves with our partners in government in the foreseeable future is to jack up our marketing efforts in promoting KZN within the African continent and beyond. We believe that with the introduction of One-Stop-Shops across the Province, and as part of the National Initiative, we can make our existing budgets work in our favour when it comes to marketing. Together with my Co-Chair, the KZN Premier, Mr Willies Mchunu, and the MEC for EDTEA, Mr Sihle Zikalala, we will convene meetings with our relevant stakeholders to achieve those objectives and we will report on progress at the annual KZN Growth Coalition Business breakfast summit scheduled for the end of August or beginning of September 2016. Further refinements of the strategy will be made during the two-day KZN Executive Liaison/Business Leadership Workshop in November 2016.
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