A few days later, whilst attending an inspirational, brain-tingling brand strategy day at the Waterfront Hotel (organised by our Head Marketing Assassin: Madame Kirsty Fonzari), the teams from Expand a Sign International and SA had the honour of being addressed by Thami Manyathi, CEO of eThekwini Transport Authority (ETA) and Integrated Rapid Public Transport Network (IRPTN).
This man has an awesome vision! The Go!Durban expansion project is set to roll out in phases with completion anticipated in 2027. Go! Durban, true to its name, aims to improve the quality of life for residents through more reliable, efficient, faster and safer public transport. It is sure to put eThekwini, Durban on the map as a globally recognised, sought-after travel destination for both local and international peeps seeking to explore our magnificent country.
What I found unique and special about this initiative, in comparison to other transport upgrades like the MyCity transport system in CT, is that Thami has made a concerted effort to involve and consider all end-users of this system. Your daily commuter for example, who has to make his way to and from work from an outer-lying area like Umlazi, or a corporate mogul who needs to transport international visitors with pride and confidence. Even the taxi owners, whose business will be largely effected by the upgrade have been considered. A holistic and organic inclusion of all parties is the key – not an easy task as it takes a lot of discussion and negotiation time, but one that is highly necessary to achieve success in the multi-dimensional and demographical community that is eThekwini, Durban.
Roll-on the sceptics: they said Moses Mabida Stadium could/would never be completed in time for the 2010 FIFA World Cup – and now it stands proudly as an architectural design icon and integrated member of the eThekwini Durban skyline. Other examples include the King Shaka International Airport and the Dube Trade Port that were also dubiously received, yet again these have become highly functional, architectural flagships – not only for “Dirtbin,” as many relish saying, but Southern Africa as a whole.
The time has come for a mind-shift … get your head out of the dirtbin! eThekwini Durban has SO much to offer: our beautiful masala mix of people, a diverse architectural and economically competitive landscape, breath-taking natural spaces for friends and family, and strong underlying tones of creativity, sophistication and expression that whisper through the very walls of our city through the numerous unspoken artists, musicians, designers, sports and craftsman. Lastly, and this is at the core of this project; there exists the willingness to grow, evolve, collaborate and strive for excellence – together.
Take the time for some introspection and re-examination when thinking about eThekwini Durban.
We say: “Go!Durban” – what about you?