7 February NU5 to get a bridge February 7, 2017 By Anga Mtongana Latest News 0 NU 5 residents will have a proper and safe bridge connecting them to NU 6 and surrounding areas in Mdantsane. Buffalo City Metro allocated an amount of R12 million for the construction of a culvert at the NU5 stream in Ward 11. The bridge will be 4.2 metres wide above the 1:20 flood level and wide enough for a vehicle to cross level. The construction commenced in May 2016 and is expected to be completed in before the new financial year. According to a Municipal Report, there has been a high demand for development in the area during the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) and Budget as well as Mayoral Imbizo roadshows. Speaking to the Metro’s Website, Ward Councillor Mashwabada Gcilishe said that the Metro heard the cries of the residents of Ward 11 and “due to lack of development in the area, the bridge is a step forward in delivering services to the people of Mdantsane.” “Due to an outcry from the community, we had to build a structure which will span physical obstacles without closing the way underneath such as a body of water, for the purpose of providing proper thoroughfare for the residents of NU5 and NU 6,” said Gcilishe. He added that the road had a high rate of fatal accidents due to poor road conditions. Gcilishe also mentioned that a number of job opportunities were opened to the people of Ward 11 during the construction of the bridge. Related Closure of Batting bridge in Beacon Bay All Road Users are advised to make use of alternate routes via the N2, or Old Transkei Road (via Abbotsford) , Wyse Avenue route/N6. BCMM apologies for any inconvenience caused. The work being done is resurfacing of the bridge on the 14th to the 17th of July, and from the 17th to the 22nd of July the joints on the Bridge will be replaced. This will affect – in the main – those travelling to/ from Beacon Bay. Road users are advised to make use of Old Transkei Rd and the N6, or North East Expressway via the N6 or The N2. BCM increases capital budget by 11 percent Pakati said the metro’s progressive allocation of capital budget was testimony of the City’s commitment “to better the living conditions of the urban and rural communities.” This means that more money will be allocated to making sure that the different needs of BCM communities – ranging from upgrading and provision of wastewater infrastructure, water services, the upgrade and construction of roads infrastructure network and storm water drainage systems, human settlements, electricity services and transport planning among other services – will be implemented. To ensure work will be done and to complement the R1.65 billion capital budget set for the upcoming year, Pakati said there were plans to roll out training and awareness to all Metro employees to also ensure reduced fraud and corruption tolerance. In the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 financial years, the capital budget is further expected to grow to R2.22 billion and R2.39 billion respectively. “We will be taking on a multifaceted and multidisciplinary approach, which involves educating employees during policy workshops about the strategy. Distribution of frequently asked questions to employees is to be done on a regular basis to enhance awareness and strengthen early detection and prevention,” Pakati said. Under its adopted theme Unity in action, A City Hard at Work, the Metro is moving ahead with its plan to position itself as a logistics hub of the Eastern Cape and taking advantage of its geographic location. Transnet has committed to funding the East London Port expansion programme and Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) has committed to expanding the operations of the East London Airport in an effort to respond to the imperative of being a logistics centre. From next month, the construction of a R70 million bridge linking Needs Camp and Potsdam will commence. Residents of Qalashe will have a brand new pedestrian bridge by the end of July. A contractor has already been on site. Pakati said other road networks and links that would unlock the city’s development potential included: ● The North West Corridor, scheduled to start in May next year; ● Awarding of phase 7 of the upgrading of Mdantsane’s Qumza Highway to a dual carriageway is expected at the end of this month and ● Pedestrian bridges planned in Scenery Park, Duncan Village-Buffalo Flats, Duncan Village- Matinzima, Duncan Village-Gesini, Cambridge Location Phase 3, Amalinda Forest and Sithembiso Senior Secondary School in Mdantsane’s NU3. Other spatial plans include reversing apartheid spatial planning. This includes a review of the Bonza Bay local spatial development framework, which has already commenced to update and make additional land use policy proposals for the Bonza Bay Road study area. Staying true to its commitment of servicing the advantaged and disadvantaged, BCM set goals in the upcoming financial year, including the electrification of 1 000 informal dwellings and 1 600 formal dwellings. The rural areas will also not be left out as BCM will work closely with Eskom who supply electricity to all rural areas within the metro’s jurisdiction. Roadworks underway in BCMM According to the Municipal Spokesperson Samkelo Ngwenya Fleet Street users need to have a little patience while the City is working hard in making its roads user friendly and up to standard. “Fleet Street users need to have a bit of patience.” While Fleet Street motorists are cautioned to have patience, Batting Bridge users can use the bridge since the weekend as works have been finished in that area. The bridge was closed from July 14 and was opened on Saturday 22 July in time for the schools reopening. The contractor in Fleet Street has over the weekend completed works on the northern side of Fleet Street which is between Station Street and Oxford Street - this section has been tarred and is open for public use over the weekend. A two-way traffic for east and westbound which is towards Quigney and towards the East London Airport direction traffic will be provided with alternative routes. The contractor will then close the southern side and commence with excavations and layer works as of Monday 25 July, with completion of this works anticipated to be achieved by the second week of September this year. Following that, the works will move to Zone 1 works which include the Oxford to Pontoon Roads with road works planned completion to be complete by December this year. “We will advise motorists close to the works beginning accordingly on this stage with finer details of planned works and traffic accommodation and also deploy pointsmen accordingly,” said Ngwenya. Pakati outlines his first 100 days programme in office Pakati who has been in office for over 30 days outlined the plans to ensure better service delivery for the people of Buffalo City. The action plans included providing comfortable homes and addressing the growing number of informal settlements in the City. The Metro has built a number of houses for poor families and storm victims, and will continue with housing projects including those in Sunny South, Tsholomnqa, Nkqonqweni and Majali as part of rural housing project. Over 160 houses will be handed over to legal beneficiaries 100 in Reeston, 20 in Nkqonqweni, 20 in Majali and 20 in Mdantsane for the cluster 2 project. The Metro has planned to minimize the impact of air pollutants on human health by monitoring air pollution in the City. This will be through ensuring that air pollution does not exceed the 25 days permitted by the National Ambient Standards. Other highlights of the 100 day programme include: · New electricity pre-payment system enabling BCMM citizens to buy pre-paid electricity through Internet, ATMS, Cellphones and increase vending points. · The official launch of the Mayoral Library Legacy Project which anticipates at least 500 000 collected books. · Maintaining a Clean and Green City; by picking up litter, sweeping of roads and waste collection. · Supply Chain Management turnaround strategy to improve the efficiency and effectiveness in the SCM · Buffalo City Metro Development Agency to improve capacity of BCMM to deliver on its mandate · Rollout of fiber network EL CBD and surroundings to improve connectivity amongst BCMM services centers · CCTV cameras have been mounted in East London CBD, Munifin and City Hall to increase surveillance monitoring in the City · Refurbishment of Ebuhlanti as part of boosting the City’s tourism and improving the tourism infrastructure · Rural development – fencing of arable land and camps and handing over seedling in rural communities for job creation and creating a productive City · Road Traffic Safety - a new integrated parking management system and the construction of new traffic centre in King Williams Town · Decentralisation billing and meter reading to improve the management and quality of meter reading · Indigent Management Program to allow efficient and effective registration and verification of indigent consumers · Construction of KwaTshatshu pedestrian bridge and Needs Camp/ Potsdam bridge · Upgrading of Nahoon boardwalk · Refurbishment of Gonubie and Eastern Cape Beach lifesavers buildings and ablutions On job creation Pakati said the unemployment rate is high and he ensured job creation for at least 693 people in this financial year. 80th IMESA Conference held The three-day conference was held from the 26 to 28 October. The purpose of the conference is for the engineering professionals to deliver key messages on various topics pertaining to engineering challenges and opportunities whilst promoting excellence in municipal engineering amongst its members for the benefit of the community. The theme for this year’s conference IMESA Conference is Siyaphambili – Engineering the future. Speaking at the conference BCM Executive Mayor Xola Pakati said, “The IMESA conference will assist the metro to share best practices that have been successful in other municipalities but mostly to derive new solutions through active engagements with all stakeholders in the engineering sector.” “The conference should have outcomes that will assist us as the Metro to change lives of our communities,” said Pakati. “Our engagement here today should provide an enabling socio-economic environment in which our ultimate goal of a competitive city is based on our five pillars of the Growth and Development.” The conference also hosted panellists which represented a wide range of engineering interests while on the other side of the conference there were also stalls with various engineering products on show. Giving an overview of her research in training and development of municipal engineers and updated findings following her book which was published in 2005 titled Numbers and Needs Allyson Lawless said, “There is an urgent need to implement a system to develop young municipal engineering practitioners which includes training courses and workshops associated with activities in the municipal calendar.” She further added that research carried out both locally and internationally showed that civil engineering capacity in South African municipalities was too low to deliver, operate and maintain local government infrastructure in a sustainable manner. Following that, Stephan Jooste, a specialist in the advisory field from Aurecon spoke in length about the proposed increase involvement from the private sector through Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) to respond to the significant challenges in service delivery in municipalities. Another speaker giving his views on the sustainable growth through rural connectivity was Darren Keep from Mabey Bridge who said, “Bridges connect communities, provide children with safe access to education and facilitate direct access to social health-care and amenities.” The conference culminated with a platform for debate and dialogue from the delegates on the presented topics. 2015 Mayoral Imbizo The Executive Mayor Alfred Mtsi gave an overview of the highlights of the 2015/16 financial year focusing on the successes of Buffalo City Metro. Mtsi spoke about the housing projects that the City has embarked on including the Ilinge Housing project, Ndancama Housing Project in Scenery Park, the Manyano/Tembelihle Housing Project in Mdantsane. According to Mtsi, the Inland Region is projected that as part of the ongoing programme to address housing backlogs, 1 200 new houses will be handed over to approved beneficiaries in the current financial year and another 1 700 in the next year. “We provided 1 254 serviced sites by the end of March 2015 that will be converted into top structure developments in the coming financial year,” he said while addressing the crowd at Victoria Grounds Stadium. Another housing project in the Inland Region include the KWT Peelton/Hanover and the Skobeni region which will also benefit from an estimated 1 242 new low-cost housing opportunities in the next and ensuing financial year. On the issue of potholes Mtsi assured residents that the City already has a plan in place to minimise the potholes. “We have heard your cry on the state of roads in your areas – like potholes, which seem to be a permanent feature in areas where we stay. This challenge remains with us. The Infrastructure Development Directorate had in place a Pothole maintenance programme.” He added that the Roads Construction in the City is picking up its pace with an amount of R23 million being set aside in the upcoming financial year for the rehabilitation of bridges in the Metro. On the issue of Water, Mtsi said, “We are proud to say that access to potable water increased from 97 percent of the Metro’s citizens in 2012 to 99 percent in 2015.” He added that the eradication of the remaining water backlogs is estimated to require a further provision of R59 million. A variety of supply projects are in the pipeline, to a total estimated cost of R977 million, including the design and implementation of the Kei Road Water Treatment Works. Another highlight that Mtsi looked at is the issue of installation of electricity at informal dwellings. He mentioned that at least a large number of shacks have been electrified through the City’s plan to reduce the risk of illegal electricity connection (Izinyoka). “As part of the focus of improving access to electricity to our disadvantaged communities, we have started a process of electrifying informal settlements in the Metro, and this is being rolled in the various parts of our Metro.” He also mentioned that the Metro’s Electricity Department has, over the medium term electrified RDP houses in places such as Sweetwaters, utilising dedicated funding made available by the National Department of Energy. The Executive Mayor also mentioned that the City has to-date over 200,000 citizens of all ages who are now beneficiaries of the Metro’s indigent subsidy. The last Imbizo will take place on 1 November and will be held at the Jan Smuts Stadium at 2pm. Comments are closed.