Coast KZN

28 Jun 2023

KwaDukuza Municipality aims for a greener future, targets 42% carbon emission reduction by 2030

James Anderson (North Coast Courer) Picture: Some of KwaDukuza's young cyclists enjoyed the opportunity to ride on the empty street.

The KwaDukuza Municipality (KDM) is promoting a greener future and seeks to reduce carbon emissions in the town by 42% before 2030. As part of that pledge, KDM hosted a number of youth and community engagements last week, timed to coincide with the month of World Environment Day (June 5) and South African Youth Day (June 16).

Chief among the events was the third annual Open Streets Day which shut down King Shaka Street in the KwaDukuza CBD on Friday in an attempt to allow for open engagement from the community. Residents had a chance to submit their suggestions for improvements in the town, while athletes had the freedom to use what is usually a street bustling with cars. Local cyclists and skateboarders from the Ballito skate community particularly enjoyed the opportunity to set up in the centre of town and show off their tricks.

They were generous in sharing their skills too and a number of KwaDukuza residents had their first chance to step on a skateboard while fast-learning youngsters zipped past them at full tilt. This aside from a number of games, stalls and activities that were set up throughout the day to keep attendees entertained.

Stand aside Max Verstappen, Lindelo Ngcobo coming through. Lindelo was one the many happy residents and visitors who grabbed the opportunity to race down King Shaka Street.

Julian Moraitis lands a move on the rail.

Ezra Vosloo makes use of a closed off King Shaka Street in KwaDukuza.

Thaila Botes gives a skating lesson to Mogie Moonsamy of Iziphozethu Primary.

A fitness demonstration as part of the Open Streets day.

“Having Open Streets in KwaDukuza is great from a tourism perspective as well, given that many visitors arrive here in droves to experience our streets on foot, allowing them to experience many products and offerings they would normally overlook if they were driving in their vehicles,” said KDM mayor, Lindile Nhaca.

Although the street was a safe haven on the day, residents’ submissions to the municipality reflected the typical state of the CBD. Of primary concern in the suggestions was a need to increase police presence and reduce drug use in the area, which is a hotspot for contact crimes.

“I will spend quality time with all of our people if Saps can remove the ‘paras’ and drug merchants from our CBD,” wrote one resident.

A repeated comment was the need to make the town more pedestrian-friendly through better green spaces, litter collection, working street lights and an improvement on the upkeep of buildings, some of which lie derelict.

“Through the Open Streets Festival, we are working towards the realisation of the KwaDukuza CBD Regeneration Plan with the vision of linking this CBD with the nearby Peoples Park to contribute to a vibrant and active area and ‘a right to the city’ for all residents and visitors,” said Nhaca.

Over the weekend, KDM also hosted the annual Youth Conference in Zinkwazi, where a number of educational programmes were held. The attending youth of KwaDukuza saw presentations from environmental and business stakeholders, while a new municipal youth council was elected. On the subject of elections, a speech from the IEC’s Paul Daniel also urged the youngsters to encourage their friends to vote and ensure their choice for the future.