Manor is a 1 800 hectare area located seven kilometres to the west
of Durbans Central Business District (CBD) and traversed by
the national N2 freeway. Cato Manor is currently home to some 90
000 people with a future population expected to reach 150 000.
Durban, also known as eThekwini, lies on South Africas eastern
seaboard in the KwaZulu-Natal province and is home to some three
million people. Its port is the busiest in sub-Saharan Africa, handling
over 30 million tons of cargo annually. KwaZulu-Natal is one of
nine provinces that make up South Africa. Although covering only
7.6% of the total land area, it is the most populous province in
Cato Manors history is intertwined with the history of South
Africa as a whole. Under the apartheid Group Areas Act of 1955 people
living in Cato Manor were forcibly removed to the African townships
of KwaMashu and Umlazi and the Indian township of Chatsworth. By
the late 1960s, most of Cato Manor had been emptied and remained
largely unoccupied and derelict for the next 20 years.
In the lead-up to South Africas transition to democracy in
the late 1980s and early 1990s, Cato Manor re-emerged as a contested
urban space which attracted waves of land invasions, resulting in
widespread informal settlement.
The political significance of the forced removals from Cato Manor
in the 1960s, coupled with decades of official neglect, environmental
degradation and the social consequences of rapid, uncontrolled informal
settlement, provided the challenge for key role-players in Durbans
public community and non-governmental sectors to embark on a ground-breaking
collaborative urban renewal initiative in line with the spirit of
the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP).
Cato Manor emerged from apartheid South Africa as an area characterised
by dislocation and social disarray. In the early 1990s, it was identified
as a prime metropolitan redevelopment opportunity.
Over the last decade, the Cato Manor Development Association (CMDA)
has facilitated the redevelopment of Cato Manors physical,
social and economic landscape. The Cato Manor Development Project
(CMDP) is the largest inner-city urban renewal project in post-apartheid
South Africa and demonstrates that development can and must be comprehensive,
holistic and integrated. Internationally, the CMDP has achieved
the status of being a Best Practice model for sustainable urban
1992, delegates from 172 countries gathered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,
for the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development.
For the first time, world leaders recognised the severity of the
international crisis facing the environment. At the same time, in
Cato Manor, Durban, South Africa, local community organisations,
political parties, city and provincial authorities assembled to
establish the Greater Cato Manor Development Forum, laying the foundations
for a project that would become a national and international success
story of integrated and sustainable urban development.
Ten years later, heads of state and government representatives
from across the world are gathering once again in Johannesburg,
South Africa, for the World Summit on Sustainable Development to
review progress made since Rio and to explore new solutions to the
problem of sustainability. Meanwhile, in Cato Manor, a vibrant,
sustainable city-within-a-city is rapidly emerging, embracing and
demonstrating the principles and approaches developed in the Local
FROM THE MAYOR OF DURBAN
Mayor of Durban Councillor Obed Mlaba
"Cato Manor is one of our great success stories
not only for Durban, but also in the history of the redevelopment
of South Africa. The Cato Manor Development Association (CMDA)
was mandated to create an integrated development plan that
would redress the imbalances created by the apartheid regime.
This against a background of life threatening problems like
violence and unrest.
Cato Manor has always been driven by the community, even
in its glory days, it was a peoples place. This spirit
has prevailed through all the development and planning and
implementation phases and the people of Cato Manor are once
again a community.
The European Union has expressed their delight with the success
of the Cato Manor project and wants to replicate it in other
areas, precisely because it does not merely create a housing
development it builds a community."
THE EUROPEAN UNION
1997 the Cato Manor Development Association (CMDA) received substantial
funding from the European Union (EU) as part of the EUs Programme
for Reconstruction and Development in South Africa. This followed
the CMDPs designation in 1995 as a Presidential Lead Project
of the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP), under a programme
targeting the renewal of key urban areas long neglected by the apartheid
Of the EUs 22.7 million budget, 14m was allocated to Infrastructure
Services, 2.07m to Housing Finance, 2.39m to Income Generation,
2.88m to Administrative Support Services, 880 000 to Institutional
Capacity Building and 480 000 to Administrative Costs. The guiding
principles behind the EUs investment are sustainability and