18 May New Parking Meter system for BCM May 18, 2017 By Tabisa Mntengwana Latest News 0 Buffalo City is in a process of introducing a hand-held parking management system throughout the Metro as the old system become obsolete. The system will be operated by a marshal in a parking area and motorist will be allowed to park for only two hours. The system, which is a park and display terminal, will also be able to scan the number plate of the vehicle to check the validity of the licence disc and outstanding fines and if there is an outstanding fine, the system will print a notice that serves as a reminder to the motorist. Motorist can pay cash or use a parking smartcard and nonpayers will be dealt with by law as traffic service will enforce the law. Speaking about the system, Traffic Services Commander Quintin Chetty said the system will help Buffalo City regulate and control parking areas in the central business district. Chetty said parking has become an issue as a result people prefer to go to malls where there is parking due to the CBD being congested. "We want to ensure that people come to town and do their business. We want them to come to our CBD rather than go to malls.” Currently, the section is conducting public hearings for the proposed draft bylaw to introduce the management system before it goes to council for adoption. “Council had to review what parking management system they want to put in place. The current one that runs around all cities at this stage is the hand held system,” said Chetty Chetty said the purpose of the hearings is to get the public’s opinions on the bylaw as it will affect them. Business will be also be affected by the proposed bylaw as they also utilise the parking space around the City. Asked when will be the system implemented he said after the hearings a report will be submitted to council and the programme is expected to be rolled out by the end of the year. “We want to have the programme running before the end of the year. We want to have the control parking management system by December.” The draft by-law provides for a fine of up to R20 000 or 90 days in jail,or both for anyone who contravenes or fails to comply with the provision of the by law. The first hearing was held in King Williams Town and the second which was planned for Braelynn, however, the session did not sit due to poor attendance. The third session was held in Mdantsane. Chetty said, “The metro will organise another session for the East London.” The system which is currently used by other cities will work as follows: · The motorist arrives at a parking bay which is marked with a unique bay number, and is greeted by the Parking Marshall. · The marshal then records the vehicle’s registration number and parking bay number. · The marshal informs the motorist of the parking tariff and then requests the motorist indicate the period for which the use of the parking bay will be required. · The hand-held meter (the Park & Display Terminal) then automatically calculates the parking tariff for the parking time and the motorist is informed accordingly. Payment is made in advance. · The Park & Display Terminal automatically issues an electronic Display Ticket. · The motorist places the Display Ticket on the on the dashboard, inside the vehicle. · A passive parking tag/vehicle sensor is placed on the tar of each parking bay to assist the marshal to tag each vehicle. · The service provider employs parking marshals who are clearly identifiable to the public to operate the hand-held parking system. · The hand held system can also scan the number plate of the vehicle to check the validity of the license disc as well as for outstanding traffic fines. · If there is any outstanding fine, the system will print a notice that serves as a reminder to the motorist. · The system also has a built in telephone which is linked to the server room. Related System launched to fast track property applications Acting General Manager Property Management Siphiwo Bam said, “Today the Information Technology and the GIS sections launched the IPIMS which will help the institution run effectively.” “Initially the previous approach that we used in the past was manual in the sense that we would receive applications, write down information and send for circulation. With this new system everything will be integrated and it will shorten the time taken for business process.” He also said the system will help shorten the time spent on processing application by seven days. “In the past it took normally 21 days to process information and it has shorten the process to14 days and now comments can be received within seven days.” The system will run across eight distinct processes and across three departments in BCMM which are City Planning, Land Administration and Building and Architecture. IPIMS will also help community members track the status of their applications online on the following when the system goes live on the City’s website: · Property use change · Rezoning application · Lease management · New building plan application · Application for Sub-division · Sale of land · Land acquisition · Property subdivision · Deeds integrations Speaking about the system GIS Co-ordinator Fezeka Bokveldt said the system initially started in 2012 with data alignment to test the system. She said the system will help the Metro in identifying discrepancies, gaps and inaccurate property information within non-financial property databases or information systems and with the following: · the development of data clean-up schedule to assist the affected departments with correcting data; · investigating of existing property business process to ensure property information integration; · identifying gaps within the existing methodology; · Rules and database management to future capturing of property data and design and · Develop an efficient property business process to ensure property information integration. Bokveldt said the main aim of implementing the system was that property information is one of the main datasets within GIS and it needed to be linked, integrated and managed with non GIS property information and systems. “Property forms a basis of all municipal planning, engineering services, rates and billing so it was important to have a cadastral layer that is a spatial representation of property information as per the surveyor general approved diagrams where it can also be spatially verified.” System Business Analyst from Data World Phila Dlamini said that the system will also incorporates all the departments within the Metro. “IPIMS will help speed up the process of applications. The applicants who apply will be able to log on to the system using their reference number and be able to check or track the status of their application. The system will also be integrated with the billing system, property system and the call centre,” said Dlamini. The link for the system is 172.31.4.37//landmatrix. Electricity Smart Meter Technology This process will kick off with the industrial and commercial sections as the first phase and later in the project the domestic billing will kick off as phase two. This project includes the electricity meter audit, changing the old meters to the new smart meters. “We have picked up that many businesses in this City, in fact over 100, are using old meter systems that are outdated and ultimately cost their bottom line,” Ngwenya. The City is aiming at replacing at least 200 industrial and commercial sites as part of the pilot phase to be implemented in the 2017/ 2018 financial year. Thereafter the program will be rolled out to the masses. This is a transversal contact (RT 15/2016) done by BCMM and is supported by the National Treasury. Th primary benefits of the project for the consumer includes accurate billing, better monitoring of electricity consumption through a Mobile App and completeness of monthly billing. A Mobile App (SmartWire) has been developed for consumers to monitor their electricity consumption. The App gives the consumer to view their electricity consumption in a 30-minute interval. In the later stage the City will have a USSD for easy access to consumers with queries. The City also has a control room (Intelligence Operating Centre) which is situated at the Munnifin building 3rd floor to deal with the roll out and implementation. At least R59 000 will be spent in changing the old meters to the new smart system in the first phase. For more information on the kindly email the Project Manager Office on Smart_Metering_Query@buffalocity.gov.za “We are tightening the screws and ensuring that the City is innovative, connected and productive in its approach to service delivery. In October we introduced an advanced prepaid vending system which enabled people to buy electricity in the luxury of their comfort and increased many vending areas. “Now this platform is meant to supplement that and all these efforts that we are putting together to enable people to monitor their consumption, budget properly and ultimately be able to pay for services easily,” Ngwenya. City gets new air quality gas analyser calibration system The Executive Mayor Xola Pakati officially handed over new portable air quality gas analyser calibration system on Thursday 29 June to improve air quality in the Metro. Speaking about the new system Pakati said, “The new system will improve air quality while protecting human health and securing environmental sustainability in the City.” “Council approved R700 000 for the procurement of the calibration system in the 2016/17 financial year. The system was delivered to the municipality before the financial year ends. Environmental pollution staff completed training in the operation of the calibration system in the new financial yea 29 June 2017.” “Adding to that, Portfolio Head for Public Safety Amanda Mnyute said, “In terms of the air quality act the Buffalo City Metro has a legal responsibility to monitor air quality in the municipal area. To fulfil this obligation, the municipal Health Services Department operates three air quality monitoring stations that functions on a continuous basis.” “The first air monitoring station was established in 2006 and is situated at the Municipal Health Services Department in East London. The second station was set up in Zwelitsha in 2008 and recently a mobile station was established in Gompo area,” said Mnyute. “The stations monitor a range of pollutants in the city. The data generated at the stations is required to be submitted to the Department of Environment of Environmental affairs for inclusion in South African Air Quality Information System,” she said. Senior Environmental Pollution Officer Alan Mclntyre said, “To ensure the air quality monitoring stations generate reliable data the instruments must be calibrated on quarterly bases as well as on the return of an instrument following repair or when an analyser is moved between stations.” “Moreover spare back-up instruments must first be calibrated before they can be used,” said Mclntyre. “We are confident that the procurement of the calibration system and the training of staff in its use will greatly improve the functionality of the air monitoring stations and will also ensure the municipality is in a better position to perform its statutory obligation to monitor air quality and will reduce the operating costs of the stations,” he concluded. New system to help collect traffic fines The ANPR which will be operated by traffic officers from two mobile offices will read vehicle number plates and link drivers with outstanding traffic fines. The system uses high-speed cameras that are capable of character recognition and when the system matches the number plate to the database of offenders operators on site will be notified immediately before the vehicle could pass the mobile office. Motorists with fines or warrants of arrests will be able to pay their fines immediately or choose to appear in court. Speaking at the launch, Executive Mayor Alfred Mtsi said the City is currently owed over R31 million by cheating motorist who have unpaid traffic fines. Mtsi said the primary reason for not collecting fines was caused by the lack of capacity and due to the labour-intensive process. “As a result the Metro is owed money which could be channelled towards procuring the much needed equipment and other valuable resources in order to improve traffic policing,” said Mtsi. He warned motorists who have been cheating the system and have been using the roads fully aware of their outstanding traffic fines and warrants and said they will be effectively dealt with. “As we launch this facility we are sending a strong signal to road users that the breaking of laws in our roads and dodging of payment of fines will not be tolerated." The new system will link the East London and King William’s Town traffic departments to be able to prosecute offenders. “At present, the Metro is serviced by two traffic departments that operate autonomously from each other and the circumstances were that traffic offenders of King William’s Town trespassing in East London could not be prosecuted within the jurisdiction of East London. With the centralising of these two traffic departments and the new systems and technologies implemented, this means if a driver’s offence took place in East London or King Williamstown the offenders will be prosecuted without any limitations,” said Mtsi. The City will also install speed cameras at identified traffic intersection. However, Regional Commander-Coastal Quinton Chetty said that they will have to apply through the courts for the installation and that process of installing the cameras might take two months. Water Supply Interruptions The intermittent water supply also affects Ilitha, Berlin and it’s rural villages as Laing System combines with Mdantsane system at Damspot reservoir. The critical low reservoir levels in Mdantsane are expected to continue up to the end of February 2016, this may result in intermittent water supply in some of the Mdantsane areas especially Zone 13,14,15,16,17,18 and Potsdam Unit P. Consumers are therefore requested to conserve the little water that we have, repair their internal leaks and report any suspected municipal water leaks to the municipality at 043 705 9861 and 043 705 3150 after hours. Consumers are also advised to always keep at least 25 litres of water for emergency purposes and use the same water for washing dishes, bathing etc, if there is no interruption to the water supply. The municipality is doing everything possible to minimise the water interruptions until the problem is permanently resolved. The municipality is currently upgrading Mdantsane Pump station at Mzonyana Water Treatments Works, which will permanently resolve the water supply challenges to Mdantsane,Needscamp,Ncera villages, Kuni 1, Thembisa, Kayserbeach,Nkqonqweni,Mabaleni,Mncotsho and Ilitha Township. The upgrading of Mdantsane Pump Station project is expected to be completed in September 2016, which will avert the water challenges that we are currently experiencing. Consumers are requested to understand this predicament and assist the municipality during this period by using the following water saving tips to conserve water so that reservoir levels can be maintained to reasonable levels: INDOOR WATER SAVINGS TIPS Indoor water savings can lower water and wastewater (sewer) cost and energy cost too! Wash only full loads of laundry in your washing machine or full loads of dishes in your dishwasher. Turn the water off. Minimize faucet use when shaving, brushing teeth and washing dishes. Replace older bathroom faucet nozzles (aerators) with new ones that are rated at 6 liters. Shorten your shower by one minute. Cut back on your shower time and you will rack up big savings in water and energy. If you really want to try and save water, limit your shower time to five minutes or less. Also, install a water-saving showerhead that uses 9.5 liters per minute. Avoid flushing the toilet unnecessarily. Dispose of tissue and other similar waste in the trash rather than the toilet. Take showers instead of baths. A bathtub holds up to 189 liters of water-much more than a normal shower would use. (A typical shower uses less than 76 liters). Don’t pre-rinse dishes. Check to see if your dishwasher can clean dishes without pre-rising them. Most newer dishwasher don’t require pre-rising. Reuse clean household water. Collect all the water that is wasted while waiting for the hot water to reach your faucet or showerhead. Use this to water your houseplants or outdoor planters. OUTDOOR WATER SAVINGS TIPS · Fix leaking faucets and toilets. Research has shown that an average of 8% (or more) of all home water use is wasted through leaks. Drippings faucets can be quickly identified and repaired but other leaks are less obvious. Testing for leaks is easy. For example, test for a leaking toilet by lifting the lid off the toilet tank and putting a few drops of food coloring into the bowl. Wait a few minutes, and then look in the bowl. If the food coloring has made its way there, you have a leak that needs repair. · Sweep driveways and sidewalks instead of hosing with water. · Cut back unnecessary watering. Get to know your plants. Trees, shrubs and perennials, if well-established and well-placed, need less water than newly planted areas. · Check for soil moisture before watering to be sure its time. Dig into the soil with a trowel a few inches. If it feels moist, holds off. · Water deeply, but infrequently. Wetting the soil surface without getting water to the root zone does no good for the plants. The goal is to keep root moist. But don’t over do it. After watering, check the soil to see if moisture has penetrated to the roots. Use what you learn to guide future watering. Then, let the top few inches of the soil dry out between watering so that the roots can breath. · Minimize evaporation loss by watering early in the day or late at night, and when the wind is calm. · Adjust sprinklers to avoid watering the street, driveway or sidewalks. Choose sprinklers with spray patterns that match the shape of your lawn or garden area. · Adjust watering to weather conditions and avoid watering when it rains. · Limit water periods by setting your kitchen timer to remind you when to turn the water off. · Mulch mow your lawn. Set your mower higher at 2-inches and leaving the clippings on the lawn. The clippings help retain moisture. This is also known as grass cycling. · Let your lawn go dormant. Consider letting your lawn go dormant. Water deeply only once a month to keep your lawn alive. To prevent runoff, you may need to water a short time, wait a few minutes, and then restart. Be sure to garget your water on areas that receive heavy foot traffic- since dormant grass can be damaged by heavy wear. EFFICIENT GARDEN WATERING TIPS · Repair leaky faucets, hoses and sprinklers to avoid water waste. · Add shut-off nozzles to your garden hose. Garden hoses can deliver over then liters a minute if left unattended. It all adds up! · Select the right watering system. Drip irrigation is the best way to water most planting except lawns. Drip systems apply water directly to the soil minimal evaporation or runoff. They also help prevent plant diseases and make watering gardens easier. Soaker hoses are another option if used correctly. · Use Automatic Sprinkler Systems Efficiently. Automatically controlled irrigation systems can make efficient watering easier, but they often waste large amounts of water due to improper scheduling or maintenance. Follow these smart-watering tips: o Adjust your watering schedule to track weather conditions at least once or twice a month o Install a rain shut-off to prevent watering during rainy periods. (for sources, check the phone directory business listing under irrigation Systems and Equipment.) o Inspect your system a few times each year while it is running. Look for and repair leaking or broken sprinklers, and reposition those that spray areas. o Hire an irrigation professional to test and adjust your system annually. · Mulch your planting beds. Mulch is a material spread on the soil surface to slow water evaporation loose. · Improve water penetration in lawn area. Help water reach lawn roots by aerating your lawn. · Improve your soil. Add compost throughout your planting areas to add nutrients and increase the soil’s ability to absorb and store water. · Pick low-water plants. When you buy plants, choose varieties that require less water for immediate beauty and future water savings. Like any newly planted plants, these plants will need routine water until they are established, which can be one to three years. · Group plants with similar water needs together. Good design avoids mixing plants that needs regular water with those that need little to no water. 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. 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