The purpose of economic development unit is to build up economic capacity of uMngeni Municipality to improve its economic future and the quality of life for all its citizens. In order to achieve the aforesaid, the unit is entrusted with the implementation of the following programmes:
- Investment Promotion and Marketing;
- Local Business Support & SMME Development;
- Tourism Development; and
- Agricultural Development.
Investment Promotion and Marketing
Description of the Activity
The unit is exploring ways to increase inward investment in skills and technology, property and sustainable development. As Economic Development and Growth Unit, we continuously promote ongoing investment and development through the provision of services at affordable competitive prices, efficient service and a safe and secure environment. Business permissions are tailored to the needs of the changing economy. Investment promotion is through the following:
- Continuous implementation of the Business Retention and Expansion (BR&E) Programme;
- Ongoing identification of Greenfield development areas for investors;
- The maintenance of existing infrastructure;
- Effective information dissemination;
- Immediate service to potential investors and developers with respect to business permissions; and
- Reliability and accessibility of existing services.
Availability of Municipal support services
Set-up processes and prevalence of red-tape
uMngeni has setup a centralized Economic Development and Growth Unit to facilitate one point of contact and to reduce the red tape for set-up processes. Prospective investors will also have direct access to the Executive Committee of the municipality to further expedite processes and ensure preferential access and processes for investors.
Financial incentives & other forms of government support
There are a number of incentives available to business. At national level DTI offers incentives that could pay significantly towards cost.
Local incentives include an incentive package to prospective investors and marketing guidelines that are envisaged to encourage and stimulate investment in the area. It forms part of the effort to attract new investment as well as facilitate the expansion and retention of existing business and industries within uMngeni Municipality.
Land and buildings
Land acquisition is central to the development of industrial areas. There are two approaches that uMngeni Municipality is willing to negotiate with prospective investors with regard to land acquisition.
- Make land available at reasonable price, which may be lower than the market value; and/or
- The Municipality rent the land to investors for a particular period of time (not exceeding 10 years) after which the lease would be negotiated or the land reallocated for other purposes.
The services that uMngeni Municipality is willing to take into consideration when negotiating with investors are as follows:
- Building Plans;
- Electricity; and
- Building Plans
- Refund of “Building Plan Approval” fees
- Rates Rebates
- First Year = 100% rebate
- Second Year = 25% of annual rates payable
- Third Year = 50% of annual rates payable
- Fourth Year = 75% of annual rates payable
- Fifth Year = 100% of annual rates payable
- Electricity Tariffs
- First Year = ESKOM tariff levied against Council
- Second Year = ESKOM tariff levied against Council plus 25% of difference between ESKOM and Council
- Third Year = ESKOM tariff levied against Council plus 50% of difference between ESKOM and Council
- Fourth Year = ESKOM tariff levied against Council plus 75% of difference between ESKOM and Council
- Fifth Year Council tariff
- Industrial Concessions
The Council may consider negotiating further concessions when:
- The investment is more than R100 million or where 2000 new employment opportunities will be created
- The investment is regarded as a strategic project that will further broaden the economic base of uMngeni
Infrastructure, Regulatory reform, Approval processes
The Municipality will attempt to prioritize infrastructure concessions in relation to proposed industrial development. The concessions involve concerted effort by the local authority to remove or reduce constraining building and zoning that may deter potential business development.
The Municipality is prepared to facilitate prompt decisions such as approval of building plans and assistance with rezoning applications.
Local government support policy and pro-active marketing efforts
uMngeni Municipality is one of the most proactive and well respected municipalities in the country. The municipality takes an active role in regional, provincial, national and even international affairs, ensuring it is continually viewed as a preferred investment destination.