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 development’s nine year cycle to be replicated elsewhere in the EMA, and beyond.

Changes in the external environment
Special funds for Cato Manor from the RDP and EU are coming to an end whilst public finance is increasingly being channelled via line departments of the recently established eThekwini Municipality, which at the same time has begun to exercise its mandate towards developmental local government. In addition, new models for a second generation of urban renewal projects in South Africa are being formulated by the EU, a primary CMDP funder, the National Department of Local Government and the eThekwini Municipality.

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.

Future challenges
In addition, the compilation of long-term plans orientated towards securing the sustainability of development processes and maintaining the development momentum have clearly indicated that development activity in Cato Manor after March 2003 will require the attention of organisations with long-term (15 year) time horizons and specific expertise in the fields of social and economic development. Through the planning process, it has become apparent that the CMDP needs to embark upon a new phase of development, different to the first, but equally challenging.

Organisational response
In the face of these changes and new challenges, the CMDA commenced with a series of measures designed to establish new institutions to carry specific clusters of projects into the future on a sustainable basis; to transfer other functions to the eThekwini Municipality; to complete the CMDA’s contractual obligations in terms of its funded mandate; to re-deploy its staff; and to close down.

Throughout the development, the CMDA’s 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 CMDA’s 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 Manor’s ongoing development.

The way forward
The details around every aspect of the close-down of the CMDA are currently the subject of intense and detailed planning. Stakeholders are working towards a seamless transfer in March 2003, or soon thereafter.

The CMDP’s 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 Africa’s 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.

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