Umhlosinga development agency
uMhlosinga Development Agency is a municipal entity of uMkhanyakude District Municipality established in terms of the Local Government Municipal Systems Act, Section 86H. uMhlosinga Development Agency is mandated to facilitate sustainable economic growth and development for the benefit of the entire community falling under the uMkhanyakude District Municipality, inter alia through the promotion, initiation, and management of various private, public, economic, social, cultural, environmental, and infrastructure programs within the jurisdiction of the uMkhanyakude District Municipality.
uMhlosinga Development Agency (UMDA) was formed and incorporated as a Development Entity for the express and sole purpose of assisting the uMkhanyakude District Family of Municipalities to achieve global standards of social and economic growth and development for all within the area of jurisdiction of uMkhanyakude District Municipality partnerships and technical support.
The uMhlosinga Development Agency Vision follows from that of the District and is:
“To be the reliable economic development Agency that facilitates economic development and investments in the uMkhanyakude District”
The Mission of UMDA is to coordinate, plan and manage the implementation of a locally driven program of catalytic projects, to fast track the development of the local economy of the district of uMkhanyakude.
The Goals of UMDA that flow from the Vision and Mission Statement and are based on the mandate of the development agency are as follows:
- To promote sustainable commercialization of agriculture and establishment of agri-business industries in the district;
- To develop a world-class tourism sector;
- To develop settlements that promote urbanization and industrialization;
- To promote entrepreneurial development, developing business effectiveness and competitiveness, business retention and renewal, attracting new business, and promoting investment in all economic sectors
- To develop world-class catalytic infrastructure that promotes economic development;
- To develop the institutional capacity of UMDA, at all levels, with the capacity to effectively implement and raise funds for catalytic projects and operational needs.19
In implementing the Goals and Objectives, UMDA will be providing “consulting services” such as undertaking feasibility studies; preparing business plans; undertake environmental and planning studies aimed at gaining the required approvals; prepare funding applications, and put project and program management systems in place when and where required.
The following guiding principles have been developed and are the foundation for decision-making in UMDA. It informs how the UMDA is to prioritize and select its projects and assess its progress. The guiding principles are:019
- The nature and extent of the employment and income generation ability of the economic sustainable interventions identified;
- The nature and extent of external and internal, public and private sector investment that the intervention can attract;
- The multiplier impact of intervention through the creation of new and additional backward and forward linkages within the District;
- Building the capital asset base (economic infrastructure) of the District on which further future interventions can be built;
- Building the entrepreneurial, SMME, cooperative, and small informal economic base capacity of the District;
- The ability of the interventions to the empowerment of youth, women, and vulnerable groups and the contribution of the intervention towards poverty eradication;
- The ability of the intervention to advance further business management principles also making allowances for UMDA to generate an income for future investment and funding operations.
UMDA’s strategy has evolved over the year. When uMhlosinga was established the uMkhanyakude District Municipal Council tasked the entity with two key projects namely;
- Mkhuze Regional Airport and
- Jozini Hydro.
UMDA had to establish itself as a municipal entity and at the time the establishment of municipal entities was championed by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC). An operational grant of R3 million was allocated to the entity annually by the IDC for the establishment phase.
Board and Governance
UMDA has seven non-executive directors appointed in line with Municipal Systems Act, Section 93E. The Board exercises strategic oversight and governance on the entity’s implementation of its strategy. The UMDA’s Strategy has evolved over the years since its establishment in 2008. The 2019-2024 Strategic Plan focuses on the implementation of projects. At this stage, the one key project, being the Mkhuze Airport is currently under construction with anticipated completion being December 2021.
The Board has established the following Board Committee to ensure good governance:
- Audit Committee
- Strategy, Trade and Investment Committee, and
- Human Resources, Remuneration, and Finance Committee.