Africa’s Travel Indaba: A boost for Durban beyond the event

Published May 12, 2024


Businesses in Durban have welcomed the intervention of eThekwini Municipality to beef up security ahead of the Africa’s Travel Indaba.

Around 300 street 'ambassadors' have been deployed across the city and will be tasked with keeping streets safe and clean during Indaba and a further three months after.

"This is a great initiative from the city and we are thrilled to be partnering with them to make this happen even on a more longer term basis. As the UIP and as business we all have a vested interest in this city and must do what we can together to ensure our inner city is all our responsibility," Ebrahim Vadachia, Chairperson of the Urban Improvement Precinct (UIP) for Durban Central, told IOL.

The deployment forms part of the city's inner regeneration plan being rolled out.

"Our programme has already resulted in over R22 billion in private sector investments and the creation of over 90 000 jobs. We are also upgrading more than 500 cameras and procuring an additional 200 by this year to beef up safety in the city. We are engaging with both business owners and landlords to ensure inclusively in our approach," says city manager Musa Mbhele.

Owner of AuthentiQ Restaurant on Florida Road, Ndumiso Mncwabe, welcomed the visibility of additional security in the precinct.

"It's fantastic and shows a city that cares about small business too and listens to our concerns. That's great for business confidence," he said.

The city has adopted a creative approach to addressing bad buildings, where it has allowed advertising on the properties and the revenue to be used to settle any Municipal debts owed to the city.

More than 8 000 delegates are set to arrive in Durban to attend Africa’s Travel Indaba that kicks off on Tuesday.

Its dubbed as Africa's iconic tourism trade show where businesses vie for a slice of the hospitality market.

For the city of Durban, this year is even more critical as Durban plays host for the last time before the show's tender goes out for cities to host it for the next four years.

It brings millions into the city's coffers and hosting it is hotly competitive.

"We had 22 countries at the last Indaba and this brought in over R400 million to eThekwini's GDP and over R 500 million to KZN underscoring the event's significance. Indaba is an instrumental platform for the tourism industry which is firmly on the road to recovery", says Thembo Ntuli, the city's Economic Development and Planning Committee Chair.