13 March Human Rights Day to be held in BCMM March 13, 2017 By Tabisa Mntengwana Latest News 0 In commemoration of the Human Rights Day, Buffalo City Metro born human rights activist Steve Bantu Biko will be remembered for his contribution in the struggle as 2017 marks 40 years since his passing. The Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture together with the Department of Justice and Correctional Services as well as the Metro will host the 2017 Human Rights Day celebrations on Tuesday 21 March at the Victoria Grounds Stadium in King William’s Town. Celebrations will commence at 9am, the theme for this year’s commemoration is The year of OR Tambo: Unity in action in advancing Human Rights. Prior to the main event, a social dialogue will be held at the Steve Biko Centre in Ginsberg on Monday 20 March. President Jacob Zuma is set to deliver the keynote speech at the main event on Tuesday. All members of the public are encouraged to attend the event where dignitaries including the country’s President, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, MECs and fellow government officials will be present. The Human Rights Month message is about nation building and social cohesion. Guided by the core message, human rights is about moving South Africa forward towards a nation united against social divides, non-racial, non-sexist, equal and cohesive nation. Related Human Rights Day commemorated The unveiling takes place during the Human Rights Month, as part of the commemorations of the day. The Human Rights Day is commemorated annual in the South African Calendar on 21 March. This day is a reminder of the tragic Sharpeville massacre and a celebration of South Africa’s uniqueness and equal rights for all. According to a press statement issued by the provincial department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture the activities held during this week are set to celebrate the month and commemorate significant events that shaped South Africa’s destiny and future. In 1960 the police opened fire without order on a crowd that had gathered at the Sharpeville station to protest pass laws. The pass laws stipulated that all Africans are to carry books and produce them for law enforcement officials on request. At least 69 people were killed and over 150 injured. Today the day is commemorated in various ways and acknowledging those who fought for human rights including Rubusana. Speaking at the event MEC for DSRAC Pemmy Majodina said, “Rubusana was a man of integrity who stood for equality and advocated for human rights.” She added that South Africa needs to honour such heroes, “We need to commit ourselves in honouring him like all the other leaders in the struggle of our freedom. The memorial will later have a statue on top of it and both Biko and Rubusana will be on both sides of the City Hall.” Giving a reply on the remarks, great gran son of Rubusana – Vusumzi Rubusana said, “As a family we are grateful for this honour. We now know our grandfather played a role in the history of this country.” A message by the Executive Mayor Alfred Mtsi was also part of the speeches saying, “Our country has seen a lot of hereos being remembered and commemorated, today we include Rubusana to those who fought for our freedom and justice.” Also part of the Human Rights activities was the fifth two-day Career Expo held at Mdantsane NU14 Library. The two-day expo focuses mainly on the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) learners and was held on 11 and 12 of March, Speaking about the expo organiser of the event Ncedisa Ncapai said, “Our goal is to promote STEM subjects while encouraging learners to stay at school so that they can study further at tertiary level.” For the past four years the expo has been a collaboration between the provincial Department of Education, Buchule Technical High School, Siseko Group; Department of Science and Technology, MERSETA, CATHSSETA, East London Industrial Development Zone (ELIDZ), South African Police Services – Forensic Science Division and the provincial Department of Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture. “This expo is also set to encourage learners to stay at school so that they can study further at tertiary level and promote STEM scarce and critical skills including artisans, technicians or technologists, and professionals and introduce STEM careers that are generally not taken up by the poor communities.” Giving an overview of the expo Ncapai said, “The programme is generously supported by individuals, private, government, non-governmental organisations through various means such as sponsorship, donations and exhibitions.” Culminating the first day of the expo Sibongile Velaphi from Buchule Technical School said, “WE are grateful to have this opportunity, we will now have an idea of which path to take when we go to varsity.” Gavle and BCMM strengthen ties Executive Mayor Councillor Xola Pakati with the delegation will be at the East London ICC this morning to discuss various issuses including youth issues, gender equality issues and human rights roles. During the session, there will be presentation by BCMM (Youth engagement project); Commission for Gender equality (issues of discrimination); Human Rights Commission (Roles). After lunch there will be visits to the East London Harbour, Nahoon Point Boardwalk, East London Museum and the Masimanyane Women’s Centre. The twinning relations between the two Cities were initiated in 2002 with the aim to strengthen local democracy, expand knowledge and capacity development as well as to improve competence among the parties in their developmental roles as service providers. The sister Cities have cooperatively implemented projects with the fundamental objective to address underlining issues amongst others, that focus on; local democracy, governance and administration, technical municipal services (waste management, energy, water and sewerage), environmental/climatic issues, sustainable urban development, social welfare operations, education, youth projects and health and medical care operations. From June 2017 the City of Gavle and BCMM jointly implemented the following projects: · Steering Group Project which initiated in 2016 and programmed to carry over to 2018, focusing on matters of discrimination in both cities. · Youth Project also initiated in 2016 and planned to carry over 2018, aimed to enhance and create youth development opportunities for youth in both cities. The Metro in this regard has since piloted six Social Labs which are a ward based multi-stakeholder response for vulnerable groups to proactively engage in Integrated Development Planning Processes. BCMM youth taking charge of their health At least 200 young people from various areas of Buffalo City Metro were part of the Preventainment initiative which focuses on youth development and health consciousness looking at the scourge of HIV/Aids and teenage pregnancy. The event is an initiative held due to the high rate of teenage pregnancy and the HIV/Aids pandemic at some of the schools in the Buffalo City Metro and also to make awareness to the young people on new infections in young people between the ages of 16 and 25. Preventainment is a term coined by the organisors, linking the message of prevention with entertainment to appeal to youth. The event was intended to encourage youth to make use of available health facilities and engage in open dialogues to express the challenges they face as teenagers. “Our mission as the Metro and the Department of Health is to get the youngsters to engage with us making use of the suggestion boxes and complaint forms at various clinics, hence we came up with the word Preventainment so we understand your struggles as the youth,” said Portfolio Head Xolani Witbooi. During the programme various health issues were discussed including the importance of washing hands, the causes of HIV/Aids, prevention of STIs and it was followed by a demonstration of washing hands. “It is important to wash your hands everytime you need to, including after using the bathroom and before eating,” said Xolisa Melude Health Practitioner from the Community Leader Trust. The day culminated with the youngsters grouped into groups of 10 to discuss topics including the lack of confidentiality from nurses, no services on weekends, substance abuse, the separation of treatment collection points and poverty, peer pressure and lack of knowledge and transparency from parents. One of the youngsters at the event Sange Hibana from Inkwenkwezi High School said, “Events of this nature are important because they teach us about abstinence, the use of condoms and the significance of contraceptives.” BCMM Executive Mayor Xola Pakati in Duncan Village C-Section donating to a creche The Little Kids Centre is one of the 271 organizations that applied for the Buffalo City Metro Municipality Grants-In-Aid for assistance to enhance growth of community development. The fund is an initiative done by the Metro to provide grants to non-political and non- profit making organizations to help support and improve BCMM communities. A total of R1.4 million budget has been set aside for the selected organizations across the Metro that deal with child and youth centers, HIV/Aids centers, social and welfare organisations, home-based centers, early childhood development centers, arts and culture organizations, disabled and old age centers, support groups, alcohol and drug centers. Thereafter he joined and addressed the rest of the beneficiaries at the East London City Hall received their allocation which ranges between R10 000 and R30 000. After the event: The Executive Mayor together with the Speaker of Council, Councilor Alfred Mtsi, visited the Reeston area in Dice at 2 pm where people were killed last week and a Councillor was subsequently arrested. The Buffalo City Municipality leadership have come out strongly condemning the acts that have led to violence and loss of life. This was a courtesy visit to the families and local leadership of the area. 2017 BCMM Agricultural Show The BCMM Agricultural Show was a two-day event which began from 20-21September 2017. Day one consisted of information sharing. Speakers gave talks on topics such as markets as well exports. Potential investors and agricultural companies were also invited to make presentations. Day two consisted of demonstrations of exhibition of stalls. Farmers with produce were judged on the day by judges based on how they presented their work. Speaking about the programme Portfolio Head for Local Economic Development Pumla Nazo said, “The programme seeks to acknowledge, encourage and increase the participation of emerging farmers in agricultural sector. The major thrust of this programme is to underline the fact that the emerging farmers play a significant role in food security, job creation, economic growth and poverty alleviation”. “The programme has a long term ambition to leveraged emerging farmers from subsistence and small holder producers to commercial entrepreneur who will also venture in to export market,” she said. The categories that they were judged on comprised of; · Fresh produce farmers · Grain produce farmers · Livestock farmers (small & large) · Poultry farmers · Beadwork · Hand work and · Home industry According to a Municipal Report, the aim and objectives of the agricultural show are: · To provide an environment for all those involved in agricultural development to exhibit their products · To disseminate information on agricultural products for which there is a potential in the City, as well as ways and means for their piloting. · To attract presenters from large-scale corporate buyers of agricultural produce to learn their requirements. · To engage agricultural stakeholders from outside the City to learn different approaches and best practices for agricultural development. · To promote the concept of agro-processing and to introduce possibilities for “home-industry” processing as a means to learn basic methods in preparation for future industrial scale processing. · To engage trade suppliers as potential exhibitors of equipment and inputs. · To attract interest of potential investors in agricultural development from inside and outside the City. The winners for the day each received a cheque for the presentation of their work. The third price which was taken by Cameroon was R10 000, followed by Lesotho in the second place and received R20 000 and lastly the winner of the day was South Africa who received an amount of R30 000 for taking first place. 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. Comments are closed.