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22 May 2017

eThekwini to host a symposium in support of Radical City Transformation

Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)
Press Release

Johannesburg, Monday 22 May 2017 – Members of the media are invited to attend the 5th annual eThekwini-Academic Research Symposium to be held at the Durban International Convention Centre (ICC) from the 1st to 2ndof June 2017.

The Symposium, organised by eThekwini’s Municipal Institute of Learning (MILE) and co-hosted by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), will be officially opened by eThekwini Municipality’s Mayor, Councillor Zandile Gumede. 

The event is aimed at providing a common platform for city practitioners and its academic partners to engage on key thematic areas that could respond to the transformation agenda of the city under the broad theme, “Strengthening Research Collaboration to Support Radical City Transformation.”

The relevance of the event stems from the need to share, disseminate and identify areas in local government, in which the research outputs could be applied.

The three core focal areas identified for this year include:

• Economic Transformation: Accelerating transformation at the city level

• Transformative Governance: Strengthening partnerships

• Changing Spaces: Towards transforming cities as safe and liveable spaces

The two-day gathering will feature a selection of thematic panel sessions, poster presentations and round tables which demonstrates how evidence-based research responds to local government challenges as identified in each of the sub-themes.

Partners includes Durban University of Technology (DUT); Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT); University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN); University of South Africa (UNISA) and University of Zululand (UNIZULU).

Click Here to view the programme.

Please note that this is a closed event and for that reason admission is strictly by invite only.

Media is requested to send RSVP to Ms Manusha Pillai or Sohana Singh

Follow the conversation on #ResearchSymposium #TransformingCities

Notes to the Editor

About the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

The HSRC was established in 1968 as South Africa’s statutory research agency and has grown to become the largest dedicated research institute in the social sciences and humanities on the African continent, doing cutting-edge public research in areas that are crucial to development.


Our mandate is to inform the effective formulation and monitoring of government policy; to evaluate policy implementation; to stimulate public debate through the effective dissemination of research-based data and fact-based research results; to foster research collaboration; and to help build research capacity and infrastructure for the human sciences.


The Council conducts large-scale, policy-relevant, social-scientific research for public sector users, non-governmental organisations and international development agencies. Research activities and structures are closely aligned with South Africa’s national development priorities.


About the Municipal Institute of Learning


In 2009, the eThekwini Municipality in Durban, South Africa initiated the formation of the first-ever local government-driven, practitioner-based Institute of Learning.This historic decision was partly in response to our national government’s Turn-Around Strategy which sounded the call for municipal collaboration to enhance local government practitioner capacity, and as part of our municipality’s knowledge-management strategy to position Durban as a Centre of Learning. 


The strategic objectives of MILE are to facilitate the enhancement of professional and technical capacity of local government professionals on the African continent, to position the eThekwini Municipality as a platform for innovating, learning and sharing with other municipalities, associations and networks, both locally and internationally; to leverage partnerships with tertiary institutions in order to promote collaborative research programmes that will ultimately improve the effectiveness of local government; to provide a municipal technical support service to other municipalities in an empowering and innovative manner; andto co-ordinate the internal knowledge management agenda within the eThekwini Municipality.


The Vision of MILE is to be Africa’s premier learning Institute for local government practitioners.

As a leading NEPAD city, and an active member of the United Cities and Local Government (UCLG) in Africa, our municipality has been playing an important leadership role in the coordination of learning around planning and sustainable development and local governance in cities on the continent.  Whilst MILE is initiated and co-ordinated by eThekwini, it is an institute of learning for all municipalities and other interested agencies involved in local government.

Join the conversation at:



For more information or to set up interviews, please contact:

Sohana Singh
Mobile: 083 309020

Manusha Pillai
Mobile:  082 389 3587

Adziliwi Nematandani
Mobile: 082 765 9191

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