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The Durban EDGE
March 2022

The Durban Edge held a webinar to launch an innovative series showing spatialised data to assist the Municipality’s decision-makers understand the structure of Durban’s formal economy and compare it with other metros.  

Mr. Justice Matarutse spearheaded the presentation titled “Anonymised City Spatialised Economic Data”.

In the presentation, he explained that increasingly, the country’s problems cannot simply be understood without a spatial element. He also explained that eThekwini and other metros have been working with the National Treasury to share the data from SARS, which assisted in improving understanding of what is happening in each metro. The data, retrieved from SARS, makes use of postal codes of businesses (IT3) and employees (IRP5) to allocate economic data to 1.2km sided map hexagons across the whole City region. This gives the City better insights into economic conditions at a more granular level.

The presentation gave insight into the implications of investment in the City. During the presentation, Matarutse gave more in-depth information about employment across the City, the distribution of jobs, and a development comparison on firms and export companies in eThekwini compared to other metros.

The findings showed that the inner city (CBD) is leading in employment density followed by the N2/N3 pathway, Durban North, Westville and Pinetown areas. However, it was also revealed that although the inner-city has a higher job density- most jobs get very low income compared to the Umhlanga, Westville, N2 pathway and the South Coast industrial areas (Isipingo and old airport area).

The presentation also showed an increase in inequality in the inner-city and a rise in income and gender income disparities. He also raised concerns about not having enough micro firms and businesses in townships and said we need to ensure that more people are registering their businesses and are supported to ensure their success.

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