14 February Buffalo City and the Chilli Boys are ready February 14, 2017 By Tabisa Mntengwana Latest News 0 Buffalo City Metro Executive Mayor Xola Pakati hosted a media briefing on Monday 13 February at the East London City Hall in preparation for the Premier Soccer League (PSL) match which will take place on Tuesday 14 February at Sisa Dukashe Stadium. The PSL game will be a one of kind first ever game to be played at the stadium in the evening as well as hosting the tough champions. Addressing the media at the EL City Hall boardroom Pakati said, “As you are all aware that BCMM is in partnership with Chippa United football club and that tomorrow we are hosting the match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Chippa is within the context of that partnership. “For tomorrow’s game it is all systems go as we have met our end of the bargain in terms of insuring that the stadium meets the PSL requirements.” Pakati also spoke on how the partnership came about, “We noticed that there were no PSL games being played in Buffalo City for a long time. We then decided to engage in conversations with the club to bring some games to this side of the province. We all agreed and the rest is just history,” he added. The match will help boost the Metro’s economy tremendously especially given the high importance of the game. The games are going to be very economically viable for the City. “Remember that when people will come here they will pour petrol into their cars and some will sleep over in the hotels and beds and breakfast. So it will be a great spin off particularly in the hospitality sector,” added Pakati. COO for Chippa United football club Lukhanyo Mzinzi said, “We have prepared for the game ever since we took the decision together with the City last year. This showed how much we took seriously the partnership we have with the City.” He added the club will also play good quality PSL matches in Mdantsane. “Following this match we will have Golden Arrows followed by the current champions of the MTN League which is Wits,” said Mzinzi. He further added that the City has played a big role in terms of marketing the club as a result the team have seen their support grow bigger in each visit. Mazinzi describes the Metro as their hunting ground as they don’t waste any points when they play in Buffalo City. In culminating the briefing Pakati emphasized on safety security and said that the Metro’s Law Enforcement together with Environmental Services will be working with the South African Police Services (SAPS) to ensure the fans protection as a number one priority. Related Chilli Boys to put the Metro on the spotlight Chippa United will host Ajax Cape Town at the Buffalo City Stadium on Sunday 24 January. The City together with the Chippa United management met in December to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enter into a partnership that the Premier Soccer League (PSL) team will have some of their matches played at the Buffalo City Stadium The MoU was signed by the Metro’s Executive Mayor Alfred Mtsi and the owner of Chippa United Siviwe ‘Chippa’ Mpengesi. The planned games are set to boost the economy and the tourism of the City as people will travel to come watch the game after being starved of quality football for so many years. Despite the challenges the Metro faced with the stadium not being ready for the initial proposed match in December, the City worked hard to achieve the green flag so that the January match can be played at the Buffalo City Stadium. The City had challenges to meet the required standards for PSL games including the pitch, ablution facilities and the entrance. Those issues have however been fixed as the City received a confirmation letter from the PSL giving a go ahead for the change of venue from the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium to Buffalo City stadium to host the game on Sunday. The approval will also see the Metro host three scintillating fixtures of Chippa United in February, March and in May. The Chilli Boys as the Eastern Cape outfit is affectionately known will play Jomo Cosmos on February 6, play against Maritzburg United on March 19 and against the Soweto giants Orlando Pirates on Wednesday May 11. Speaking at a Media Briefing on Monday 18 January at Absa Stadium at 12.30 noon Chippa United COO Lukhanyo Mzinzi said that the soccer team is set to make East London as their second home. “We are looking forward to playing every season for the next 20 years in this field. This is a dream come true for us and we are planning to make East London our second home.” Adding to that Mtsi said, “As a City we are not planning to take away the team from our counterparts in Nelson Mandela Bay but we also want to assure the team that we are capable of giving them a state of the art field and make this partnership something to be proud of.” The City together with the Chill Boys will donate funds to one of the Metro’s disadvantaged organisations. Tickets for the game will be available at Computicket at R40 for adults and R10 for children. Buffalo City celebrates Toursim Month In celebration of Heritage and Tourism Month the Department of Tourism planned various activities such as the Beach and Heritage Clean up, the Product Training Workshop, the Media Hosting Tour and the Cultural and Adventure Tours. The Department also ran a selfie competition which encouraged entrants to take selfies when visiting a Heritage or Cultural site in the City. The tour took place from 16 to 18 September and is part of the Celebrations of Tourism Month. The City hosted a tour which had guided tours to the Steve Biko Centre, a game drive at the Mpongo Private Game Reserve and a quad bike tour at Areena Riverside Resort where the visitors interacted with Abby, the giraffe. “The hosting of tour operators and media houses will give Buffalo City an opportunity to showcase what it has to offer as a destination of choice. Currently, tour operators and media houses are looking for new destinations that they can offer to their clients,” said Miranda Nofeliti Marketing Coordinator from the Local Economic Department. Janine Borthwick from Ballyhoo Media, Justin Williams Online Editor at the Publication Cape Town etc. and Iga Motylska a Freelance Journalist will share their experiences on various Tourism platforms and their social media pages. Speaking to BCMM’s Website Mbulelo Kafi Owner of Sakhisizwe Tours from the Northern Cape said that Tourism and Heritage Month is important as it educates South Africans on where they come from, allowing citizens to protect their historical monuments. “BCMM is rich in history and has an impressive collection of wildlife animals and vegetation.” Nofeliti also added that the Eastern Cape Province is one of the tourism gems of South Africa, “offering visitors unique scenic views and a truly diverse tourism experience.” As part of the Tourism Month activities, the group presented and shared their experiences at the Product Training Workshop which was held at the King David Hotel on 17 September where various members of the tourism sector in the Metro were invited. “The department held the workshop, in an effort to create more awareness to product owners on how to package itineraries for the international market and to encourage them to tap into that market,” said Nofeliti. She also added that there is a need to educate tourism business owners on the importance of using social media as a business tool to expand their businesses. Benny Mutswiri from Heita Ngamla Tours based in Johannesburg said that he discovered that there’s a lot of activities and rich history that the City offers. “I interacted with various Tour Operators and B&B Owners at the Product Training Session gave me an opportunity to network and explore the various ways in which I could promote the City to the people of Johannesburg. The two-hour beach clean-up took place at the Esplanade at the Beachfront and at the Heroes Park with over 50 Tourism students from Walter Sisulu University and the Buffalo City College participating. “Being regularly aware of the need to keep all coastal lines clean and beautiful is a contribution we can make to ensure we improve the state of the beaches, shorelines and duns,” said Nofeliti. The train of hope comes to Buffalo City Phelophepa offers affordable and quality Primary Health Care Services to the community. It complements the services offered by the Department of Health. The train has four clinics rendering services that include dental care, eye care, screening programmes, health education and counselling services. The dental clinic will offer free screening and education. Extractions, fillings and cleaning will be done, for any two procedures the charge will be R10, for all three, R15. All procedures for children will be charged at R5. No procedures will be performed on false teeth. Eye testing will be free of charge, no operations will be done and bifocals will not be prescribed. Eye drops will be R5 each. Free health education, cancer and diabetic screenings, pap smears, prostate and breast screenings. Each prescription will cost R5. The Psychology Clinic services will include workshops to help cope with stress, abuse, conflict, death, parenting, discipline, empowerment and working through emotions. These services are free. Phelophepa Representative Zingisa Sofayiya, encourages community members to make their way to Mount Ruth from the first day and not wait until the second week when there are large numbers of people. Treatment is scheduled on a first come, first served basis. The public should also remember to bring clinic cards and immunisation cards for children. For any enquiries, the public can contact Zingisa Sofayiya on 078 077 1850 or Thozeka Tshangela on 078 271 7299. MGDS vision to bolster the City The purpose of the day was for the City representatives and external stakeholders to interact, represent community needs and priorities to be achieved by 2030. Speaking at the meeting Executive Mayor for Buffalo City Metro Alfred Mtsi said, “I want to see space created for the many super talented Metro citizens who have good ideas on how to save the future of the city.” The City’s MGDS Coordinator Abongile Dlani listed five strategic outcomes to be achieved in the next five years that include: · Creating an innovative and productive city with rapid and inclusive economic growth and falling unemployment; · A green, clean and healthy city of subtropical gardens that makes the best of its natural assets; · A connected city with cheap, high quality connections to information and communications technology (ICT) and · A well governed city and a spatially integrated city. Dlani presented the Metro’s MGDS overview which puts officials to work building business confidence by supporting thriving sectors which in turn would lead to more growth and jobs. The over view calls for quick decision making when dealing with investors and most importantly for the Metro to release land for development and economic growth. Acting General Manager of the IDP and Performance Management System Nozuko Frans highlighted priority issues and challenges the Metro needs to focus on. “BCM has prioritised finding houses for the disabled and people who have been on the housing list for more than 20 years, meeting requests for toilets, water supply, fixing faulty electrical poles, upgrading and maintaining sports fields, regularly collecting refuse, building new storm drains and maintaining existing drains.” The outcomes of the summit have been adopted by Council at the executive mayoral lekgotla that was held on November 16 t0 18 and that they should reflect in the new Integrated Development Plan (IDP). The meeting also comprised of three clusters that include Institutional and finance that covers communication, By-laws, Public participation, budgeting, special programmes, disabled, elderly and youth. Economic development for SMMEs, agriculture, tourism, safety, disaster, fire and rescue services, environmental health and township economy. Infrastructure and Spatial that include water, electricity, roads, sanitation, spatial planning, human settlements, urban generation and transportation. The socio- economic cluster which is led by BCMM Executive Mayor called for linkages to rural development with manufacturing plants to supply the rural areas. The forum called for the establishment of an investment council and the revival of the metro agricultural forum. Electricity Indaba hosted by the Metro According to a Metro’s press statement Municipal Report the Indaba aims to give various role players in the electricity sector to discuss and inform all of the impact and cost of illegal implications as well as the occupational health impact the illegal connections have on the people and electrical infrastructure of the Metro. The Electricity Indaba also discussed the alternative energy systems that the City is already using and future plans. Some of the topics that were discussed include legal implications, the effect that illegal connections impact on the community and electricity losses. Speaking about the purpose of the day Portfolio Head for Infrastructure Services Mteteleli Sam said, “The purpose of this session is to discuss and debate issues that affect a large portion of our population, which is the issue of illegal connections. “Illegal connections do not only affect BCMM as an institution but it deals with the day to day impact on the Metro’s ability to provide an effective service to all, as electricity and energy affect the day to day lives of the citizens of the Metro.” He added that illegal connections affect the Metro’s budget as funding is spent to replace and repair networks that are damaged, on a more social level they have also resulted in the identified deaths of at least 47 BCMM residents, some of which have been innocent by standers of this illegal act. Some of the stakeholders that were there include, SAPS, Southern African Revenue Protection Association (SARPA), Eskom (Operation Khanyisa Program) the Department of Energy, the Department of Labour and Border Kei Chamber of Business. Speaking about the Metro’s electricity and energy status quo Acting HOD for Engineering Services Luyanda Mbula said, “The electricity department intends to continue with its capitalisation program. The department completed a major project in June 2015 with the 80 MVA Queenspark Zoo substation coming in line, this has improved supply to the CBD and also ensures additional capacity for RDP Electrification.” “We have completed over 200 projects in the last three years to upgrading, refurbishing and renewing cables, transformers, switch gear, mini substation and switch houses.” “We work hand in hand with the Department of Energy, we apply for funding based on information we receive from the Department of Human Settlement, at the moment the back log that we have for electrification of formal houses is at 2500 housing un-electrified houses,” adds Mbula. He added that the department has a severe shortage of skilled labour, the plant, vehicles and equipment need to be replaced, aging infrastructure that needs to be replaced, and theft of copper and vandalism of equipment. The session ended with lively debates that included possible short, mid and long term solutions and have programmed way forward to address the electrical and energy challenges within the Metro and surrounding areas. New traffic lights for Buffalo Street intersections Traffic lights have been installed in the busy Buffalo Street. “Buffalo Street Traffic Lights were installed to provide free flow due to the new Gillwell Mall and also to remove the congestion at Buffalo and Caxton Street intersection,” reads a Municipal Report. Resident Tandikaya Koyana said, “Although the road was deadly robots were not the solution as they could be vandalised or used for illegal electricity connections. Vehicles at intersections across the street struggle to enter because vehicles are always travelling at a high speed which is why I believe we need more speed bumps to continuously keep traffic calm.” In Mdantsane speed humps were built for the dangerous crossing on the Qumza Highway road, the 50 meters stretch has become the most deadly in the suburb. According to a Municipal Report, the long stretch takes place fortnightly and at least one life is lost a month. Four speed humps have been built to help decrease accidents as well as measure to reduce speed which allows for pedestrian crossing for passengers. Speaking on behalf of his Ward Councillor Simon Maphuka said, “I have been pleading with Buffalo City since the year 2000, I am glad something has finally been done.” “The areas that we are looking at now are the new roads that are being surfaced under the Mdantsane Project especially near schools as taxis tend to speed, hence our target is to put measures before accidents happen,” reads a Municipal Report. Comments are closed.