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2010
City launches Learning Institute for Local Government
The eThekwini Municipality is positioning itself as a ‘learning city’ with the launch of the Municipal Institute of Learning (MILE) this afternoon. This new initiative, a first in the history of local government on the continent, aims to enhance the capacity and knowledge of local government practitioners in Africa in order to be effective in the delivery of core competencies.
 
This decision was partly in response to the National Governments Turn-Around Strategy, which sounded the call for municipal collaboration and knowledge sharing.
To strengthen the collaboration with academia, the Municipality, through MILE, has signed a pledge with the University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN), Durban University of Technology (DUT) and the Magosuthu University of Technology (MUT).
 
Even though the Municipality has worked closely with academia on numerous occasions, this was done on an adhoc basis. This pledge is a commitment to finalise a memorandum of understanding which will provide a strategic framework to strengthen the interface between our academic partners and local government practitioners so that, jointly, we can position Durban as a city of learning. The areas of collaboration include research, sharing of knowledge, resources and expertise, human capital development, mutual support, joint publications as well as harnessing of networks.
“As a leading NEPAD City, and an active member of the United Cities and Local Government (UCLG) in Africa, the Municipality has been playing a leading role in the coordination of learning around planning and sustainable development and local governance in cities on the continent. While MILE is initiated and coordinated by the eThekwini Municipality, it will be an institute of learning for all municipalities and other interested agencies involved in local government,” commented City Manager, Dr Michael Sutcliffe.
 
Mayor Obed Mlaba commended the long standing relationship that the Municipality has with tertiary institutions saying that the success of projects and programmes depend largely on proper research and development, which is where this collaboration becomes important. He added that now that this pledge has been signed, the partnership can be taken a step further.
Vice Chancellor of the Durban University of Technology, Professor Ahmed Bhawa, said that the pledge forms the basis for substantial collaboration between the Municipality and tertiary institutions that will become a vital engine to training and research. Vice Chancellor of MUT, Professor Ramogale, and Registrar of UKZN, Prof Jane Meyerowitz, echoed the sentiments, affirming that the relationship between the tertiary institutions and the Municipality can only get stronger.
MILE is structured along four learning pillars, viz. capacity enhancement, facilitating learning partnerships and networks, promoting collaborative research, and providing municipal technical support. These programmes are underpinned by an integrated knowledge management system.
Project Manager, Mr Sogen Moodley, launched the MILE website saying that this will facilitate easier access to information and enhance knowledge sharing. Go to www.mile.org.za for more information.
 
ENDS
For more information contact Mr Sogen Moodley on 031 322 4519 or email MoodleySo@durban.gov.za
 
Issued by the eThekwini Municipality’s, Communications Unit. Telephone Sohana Singh on 031 311 4805 or email singhsohana@durban.gov.za or Thabo Mofokeng on 031 311 4820 or email mofokengt@durban.gov.za
 
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