EU Asssistance:

In February 1997 a Financing Agreement was signed between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Commission of the European Union which facilitated the deployment of EU funds to projects within the country. The Cato Manor project was fortunate to be the recipient of a substantial proportion of these funds totalling ECU 21.5 million (R135-R150 million depending on current exchange rate).

The agreement between the European Union and the CMDA states that the project purpose is "to provide housing infrastructure services, and access to jobs for the poor in the Durban Metropolitan Region. In addition the project serves a secondary purpose i.e. to develop housing delivery solutions for the poor that have replicability elsewhere in Durban and other urban areas of South Africa."

The EU participation in the development of the Cato Manor area is being directed into the following six result areas:

  1. Infrastructure Services
    The EU funds will be used for the construction of several key projects, including three primary schools, two secondary schools, two sports fields, two community halls, a library, a health centre, a road, industrial workshops and an administrative centre. The construction of two schools and a sports field in Cato Crest will commence in January 1999, with the work on the community hall and a library starting soon thereafter. These projects are expected to be completed in 2000, ready for the new school year. Construction of seven other buildings will also commence in 1999.

  2. Housing Finance
    Small housing loans are being made available to needy families. These loans will make it possible for people to build additional rooms to their starter houses, or to top-up the current housing subsidy. Loans will also be made available to emerging local contractors to help them to build their capacity to undertake larger contracts.

  3. Income Generation
    Many practical vocational training courses to improve employment prospects of Cato Manor residents will be offered to interested persons. In addition, some 20 industrial workshops will be constructed and made available to emerging local businesses. These businesses will also receive management and marketing support to help them succeed in their endeavours.

  4. Support Services
    An administrative centre will be built which will become a focus of the community's activities and will house many services dedicated to improving the life of Cato Manor residents. Residents will also receive support and training to increase their abilities to deal with government, acquire a house, obtain a loan or subsidy, make repairs to their houses, access job opportunities and generally improve their life skills. The production of IZWI within the local community is also being funded by the EU.

  5. Institutional Capacity
    The EU is also providing capacity building and support to the staff of the CMDA to enhance their capacity to carry out the development of Cato Manor. Th is concerns targeted professional staff training and acquisition of equipment to raise the CMDA rate of delivery.

  6. Principles
    Two principles, those of sustainability and replicability, are being constantly kept in mind in the elaboration of the EU programme of participation in the Cato Manor area development. The facilities and services concerning the above five result areas must be provided in a cost effective and sustainable way so that they may continue to function and meet the needs of the local community. Similarly, the solutions found for the particular conditions of the Cato Manor community should have wider relevance and become advantageous to replicate and apply elsewhere. In this way the EU hopes that its contribution will go beyond the Cato Manor development programme by leaving behind a lasting benefit of relevant responses to the challenges of orderly and equitable urban growth in South Africa. The programme is managed conjointly by the CMDA's CEO and the two member EU Technical Assistance Team deployed from Doxiadis Associates, Consultants on Development and Ekistics (Greece).

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