- Partners eThekwini Municipality C40 Cities Finance Facility Future Works
eThekwini Municipality (Durban) is committed to improve the management of its river corridors to increase resilience to climate-related hazards, in particular floods. In the last couple of years, the city has experienced devastating floods. The intensity and frequency of floods is projected to increase with rapid climate change and likely to result in major socio-economic losses.
To address the issues of deteriorating water quality, climate change and increased flooding, Durban supported by the C40 City Finance Facility (CFF) has developed a city-wide business case for a Transformative River Management Programme (TRMP). The TRMP aims to adapt the 7 400 km of streams and rivers in the city to the flooding, drought and higher temperatures that can be expected from climate change. For more information on what constitutes transformative river management, please refer to this short document here. The TRMP model is based on the existing Sihlanzimvelo programme, more information available here.
Creating the TRMP business case has come with its own set of challenges and learnings. The Learnings from Durban Webinar Series was created to share these insights with other government officials, practitioners, researchers, and interested parties. The webinar series consists of three webinars hosted by the CFF, over the course of several months.
Webinar 1: Ecological Infrastructure Toolkit
This webinar explored the newly developed ecological infrastructure and socio-ecological toolkit. The CFF compiled this toolkit to guide practitioners, decision-and policy-makers, and others, on how to improve the overall health of rivers. This toolkit has been developed in collaboration with eThekwini Municipality (Durban) as a result of our ongoing cooperation since 2018. The case study for the toolkit is, therefore, Kwa-Zulu Natal.
The toolkit, webinar, and presentations can be found on the CFF webpage (link below).
Ecological Infrastructure Toolkit
Webinar 2: Making the Case for Durban’s TRMP
The business case for the TRMP has recently been completed (yet to be endorsed by council). The business case, underpinned by cost-benefit analyses, details the avoided damage and benefits that ensue from investing in riverine management. The business case elaborates on the multiple socio-economic benefits of adopting a city-wide TRMP. Some of the key takeaways from the webinar include:
- Ecosystem services contribute approximately R4.2 billion/year to Durban’s economy.
- Ecosystem services currently supply 42% below the theoretical best case.
- If left unattended, climate change will further degrade ecosystems and reduce the services derived from them by another 11% by 2040, which will have a significant impact on Durban’s economy.
- Every R1 invested in TRMP will yield R1.80-R3.40 in municipal and societal benefits.
- The variance in the benefits depends on the discount rate used (6% vs -1%). Natural capital behaves differently to built capital. In fact, natural capital appreciates in value over time as demand increases.
- The avoided municipal damage costs relate to culverts only.
- These figures are an underestimate of the avoided damage to municipal infrastructure as data on the damage costs to other types of municipal infrastructure associated with rivers such as sewers, pumpstations, water pipelines, roads, electrical and telecoms cable, was unavailable at the time of the study. There was no data available on the scale of damage to private property. The engagement process to collect above-mentioned data was punctuated by the restrictions relating to Covid-19.
- The avoided damage could have been orders of magnitude higher if all the information was available and accessible.
- The avoided damage to municipal infrastructure (culverts) and benefits are over a 20 year period are represented below:
- With the potential of creating over 9,000 jobs, the upscaling of the TRMP presents a path towards socio-economic recovery whilst delivering climate actions on the ground in a post Covid-19 context.
Business Case Introduction Slides
Presentation Benefit-Cost Analysis
Webinar 3: Planning and implementing the TRMP
In this webinar, we explored the implementation pathways for a city-wide transformative riverine management programme in Durban.