Durban Metro Takes Over Responsibility For Cato Manor Development

By Mazwi Ngcobo

Ultimate political responsibility for the Cato Manor development project has been transferred into the hands of the Durban Metro Council following an historic signing ceremony at the KZNPA offices in Mayville. In terms of the agreement, the Cato Manor Development Association has effectively become an agent of the Durban Metro for the purposes of the development of the greater Cato Manor area. Up to now, political responsibility for the project has been in the hands of the Provincial Ministry of Local Government and Housing.

The agreement is regarded as historic because it is the first time that a framework has been established for co-operative governance between a Section 21 company (the CMDA), local government and provincial government.

The signing was attended by the KwaZulu-Natal Minister of Local Government and Housing, Peter Miller, and the Mayors for the Metro and the North and South Central Sub-Structures, Obed Mlaba, Theresa Mthembu and Lydia Johnson.

Peter Miller said that while his department and the CMDA had shepherded the development of Cato Manor through a difficult transformation process to its current status where delivery is occurring at scale, it was appropriate that responsibility for the overall management of the project should now pass to the Metro.

"The decision to restructure the Cato Manor Project in this way is in accordance with the national policy guidelines of accrediting local authorities, which have the necessary capacity, with direct responsibility for managing housing development in their area of jurisdiction," said Miller."

He said that while the province was relinquishing control of the project, this did not mean that they were "abandoning" it. According to him the province would continue to provide technical and financial support to the project.

Mayor Mlaba said the Metro was pleased to accept responsibility for the Cato Manor development as they were fully committed to the opportunities which it afforded to provide housing and employment for the disadvantaged communities.

The Chairman of the CMDA Board of Directors, Professor Peter Robinson, said that the CMDA was proud of its achievements in bringing the project to its present stage. He said that the new arrangement represented a major opportunity as it guaranteed the CMDA would play a major role in the development for the next five years.

He said that 1997 had been a watershed in Cato Manor s history with the commitment of R250 million funding for the project, the resolution of the land claims conflict and the initiation of major construction projects.

The signing of the agreement means that the CMDA will continue to operate with the same staff from their offices in Highway House, Mayville.

December 1997

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