During the course of 2001, it became clear that the context in which the CMDA operates was changing in a number of significant ways. Various responses to this shifting external environment have been explored. The decision to hand over and unbundle the CMDP emerged as the response most likely to maintain its momentum, promote the long-term sustainability of the development impetus in Cato Manor and enable the lessons learnt during the developments nine year cycle to be replicated elsewhere in the EMA, and beyond.
Changes in the external environment
Within Cato Manor, as the content of this report illustrates, the developmental emphasis is shifting from engineering, housing and social infrastructure provision to economic, human and social development. Backlogs in Cato Manor have, to a large extent, come into line with other parts of the City. Furthermore, a significant adjustment to low-income housing policy has positioned the public sector as the key developer.
Throughout the development, the CMDAs role has been one of strategist, planner, facilitator and developer of last resort. Over the years, the institutional configuration of the CMDP and of the CMDA itself have had to change in response to the shifting socio-political environment in Durban and on the ground within Cato Manor. This flexibility has been one of the factors underlying the CMDAs success to date.
The Greater Cato Manor Development Forum and the CMDA were established through a process of intense negotiations between stakeholders. In the same way, the decision to restructure the CMDA has involved a series of lengthy discussions, meetings and negotiations. Throughout this process, all role players have acted in the best interests of Cato Manors ongoing development.
The way forward
The CMDPs incorporation into the eThekwini Municipality and the unbundling of the CMDA will mark a significant turning point for Cato Manor and its people. Cato Manor will take its rightful place as a vibrant part of the EMA, leaving behind the marginal shack settlement that was once Cato Manor.
After decades of apartheid-based dispossession, displacement and discrimination, we have all participated in what is probably one of South Africas most ambitious urban regeneration initiatives. Under the leadership of the National Government, the eThekwini Municipality and the European Union, Cato Manor has been dramatically transformed through targeted support and financial assistance. We all have much to be proud of and much to look forward to.