When investors cast their minds around the world looking for opportunities, they soon realise that Durban has everything going for it.

“They start at the global level, then eventually look for opportunities at places that are gateways and then go down to local levels, looking at things like logistics and connectivity,” said Russell Curtis, Deputy Head of Durban Investment Promotion.  And that is where Durban scores and is now attracting an increasing number of foreign investors – from the Americas and multi-locations in the East – who are forming partnerships with South African investors, he said.

“The Durban of the future has seven competitive advantages,” says Curtis.  He calls those the magnificent seven… the All Hits.  “I always say that Durban has all the hits.”

They are:
A:  Durban is an Award-winning city.
L:  There is a Lifestyle of business and leisure together in one city.
L:  Durban has one of the Largest human resource pools in South Africa.
H:  It has a Higher than average economic growth rate in the country.
I:   It has Infrastructure (consider the port, the city’s fibre-optic network and the new airport).
T:  It wears the Tourism crown (it continues to be the leading domestic holiday destination).
S:  Durban is the second largest most Sustainable city in South Africa.

The Municipality’s plans for the redevelopment of Durban are going to turn it into a far more global city which is “alive and well and operating 24/7,” Curtis said.  The redevelopment of the urban core – the central part of the city – is now being given a “very high priority”.

“The realisation is that if we get the centre of Durban fully optimised and well managed and integrated as a commercial, residential and entertainment centre, along with human development, we will become a much more global city.”

The new municipal teams are looking at various issues, he said.  One is looking at operational issues and cleaning and greening, security management and transport management, while the other is working more strategically in terms of town planning, and how better to integrate commercial, residential, education and entertianment.  “From the town planning point of view, they are looking at what infrastructure and architecture is needed.”  The aim is for a cleaner, greener, safer, more successful globalised business city which better suits events and entertainment and a higher level of education and innovation in a smart city.  At the same time, the city is restructuring some of its organisations “for the better,” to deal with strategic priorities.  And the Council’s vision is that by 2030, eThekwini will be Africa’s most caring liveable city – and Durban Investment Promotion’s contribution to that vision is that we say Durban will also be “the premier emerging market investment destination.”