5 July BCM positioned to invest, play and grow July 5, 2017 By Tabisa Mntengwana Latest News 0 BUFFALO City Metro initiatives to educate and entertain its residents are proof that the city is a good place to invest, play and grow. The Metro has managed to position itself as the destination of choice to play and has identified tourism as one of the strategic economic sectors with a potential to grow and in turn assist with the growth of the regional economy and with job creation. Executive Mayor Xola Pakati said that the Metro had started to invest its resources in “cultivating lifestyle tourism through supporting a number of lifestyle events that continue to attract tourists into the city and contribute to the sustainability of our hospitality industry.” However, the City does not only invest in its entertainment and tourism events as it continuously spends millions of rands towards the education of young people. This year alone a total of 36 young people were awarded bursaries through the Metro’s bursary fund. The current beneficiaries are studying information technology, finance, agriculture, planning and development and engineering. Pakati said nine beneficiaries from last year graduated last month. “Since the inception of the bursary fund in 2008, 40 beneficiaries have graduated. Currently seven are BCM interns, and three have been employed by BCM,” Pakati said. Through its support for entertainment events, BCM has helped provide for the health and recreation of young and old in the Daily Dispatch Cycle Tour, Harley Davidson African Bike Week, Metro FM Heat Wave, Berlin November event and the Buyel’Ekhaya Pan African Music Festival. Sports fanatics also enjoyed several top-flight soccer matches between December and May as Chippa United took some of their PSL games and a cup game to Sisa Dukashe Stadium in Mdantsane. Bafana Bafana hosted Angola in an international friendly at the Buffalo City Stadium and the Super- Sport Rugby Challenge went to Mdantsane. Pakati said the Metro went on an “aggressive approach” in positioning itself as an events destination of choice. He said negotiations to host Chippa in BCM next season are under way. Despite not being awarded the host city rights for the cricket T20 Premier League recently, Pakati said the city would remain focused and committed to working with Border Cricket to secure future major tournaments in the city. The Metro’s annual franchise expo, now in its fourth year, has also grown since its inception as it attracted 50 exhibitors and more than 4 300 visitors. In another effort to develop the economy, BCM prides itself on working closely with the department of economic development and environmental affairs, which has funded projects like Pro-Glove, a King William’s Town-based company that manufactures protective leather gloves and clothing; Ikusasa Green in Dimbaza industrial area, a plastic production company that makes cooler boxes; BuzweBethu, a Zwelitsha-based business that manufactures traditional outfits, Be Bright in Mdantsane, where chemical products are made, and the Magebheza Office Furniture in Fort Jackson Industrial Park where office furniture is manufactured. All these businesses were funded with R3-million each. Related 2015 Metro Growth Development Summit The Summit kicked off with a Gala Dinner on Thursday 29 October with Deputy Minister Finance Mcebisi Jonas who encouraged the City to concentrate on the development of the Metro and making it work as part of the 2030 Vision. While Jonas was making his keynote address he spoke on various issues which include ways of eradicating unemployment, poverty and inequality. “We need to find ways to engage with small businesses and encourage them to find better ways in making their businesses bigger and better.” He added that this process will be viable if the Metro works together with its stakeholders including well established businesses. Jonas also added that the East London IDZ is the most successful industrial zone in the country. “Don’t underestimate the work that is happening in the East London IDZ, it is the most successful in the country and its contribution to the Metro’s economy is very visible.” The Summit is a two-day event which will feature speakers ranging from the Minister for Agriculture, Foerestry and Fisheries Senzeni Zokwana, the Acting executive Mayor of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality Kgosientso Ramokgopa, Deputy Minisiter for Finance Mcebisi Jonas and Deputy Minister for Economic Development Madala Masuku. Topics to be discussed range from the conceptualisation and theorasation on the township economy, finance and good governance, the 100 black industrialists, industrial parks and manufacturing set-asides for non-automotive sector. According to a Municipal Report, the Summit aims to create a shared vision and recommendations about the future direction of BCMM towards 2030. “The summit is set to forge an enduring compact with key stakeholders that can facilitate change and future action, while discovering the imperatives for change.” The workshop starts runs from 30 – 31 October. Plant a tree and reduce deforestation The event was held with the aim to discuss global environmental issues including deforestation and the effect of the global footprint and how learners can make a difference in their communities. The theme for the 2016 WED is Join the race to make the world a better place. The day is also set aside to educate but also to raise awareness to various communities about global issues like the problem of climate change and how we all need to get on board so we can make the world a better place,” said Chief Whip Mzwandile Vaaiboom. Giving lessons about the importance of the environment Regional Manager for the Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEDEAT) Briant Noncembu said, “Everyone is responsible for saving the environment, we need to focus on the critical issues facing the world today and how we can make a difference.” He also added that there are various issues communities need to be aware of including ecological infrastructure, deforestation, greenhouse gases and climate change. Learners from Lingalethu High School and Nompumelelo Public School gave a short play on the effects that deforestation has on the environment. The learners highlighted how land invasion plays a massive impact on the decline of natural resources. During the play learners highlighted the negative impact of deforestation and how it is the driving force behind climate change, they gave lessons on the importance of keeping trees and not cutting them down and the contribution it has in the land and other species. The learners also added that trees play a critical role in absorbing greenhouse gases that fuel global warming. Speaking about the plans to make the City green, Deputy Executive Mayor Xola Pakati said, “As part of the Metro Growth Development Strategy (MGDS) we are dedicated in ensuring the cleanliness and the reduction of waste in the Metro.” Pakati added that to eliminate the problem of deforestation, is the Metro’s responsibility to encourage residents, schools and organisations to plant more trees. He also said, “Environmental issues need to be prioritised and we need to be aware of the role we play in preserving the environment and natural resources.” Schools that participated on the day including Lingalethu High School, Noncedo Combined School, Nompumelelo Public School and Kusile Comprehensive School. They received certificates and recycling bins for planting trees and received recognition in their contribution towards educating other learners on the importance of sorting and recycling waste. Buffalo City and the Chilli Boys are ready 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. Mdantsane shows great support for Chippa Last year, a partnership between Buffalo City Metro and Chippa United football club was formed to bring top flight football into the City after years of not hosting football matches of Premier Soccer League calibre. This has reinvigorated the love of football in the city and has brought much needed recognition for both the City and Mdantsane. Chillie Boys, as the team is popularly known, entered into a deal with the City to bring five football matches to Buffalo City. However, the team has already played two of the matches against Highlands Park in December last year which they won by two goals to nil and played a one all draw against the Premier Soccer League (PSL) and African Champions Mamelodi Sundowns in scintillating game despite the heavy pitch on 14 February. Other PSL clubs to descend to BCM shores are Golden Arrows on the 24 of February, Ajax Cape Town in March 15 and Bidvest Wits on the 6th of May all matches schedule for Sisa Dukashe Stadium. Leading into the game against Sundowns, the BCM Executive Mayor Xola Pakati welcomed the champions to the Metro by honouring the team on their achievement in the African continent. Speaking at the gala dinner held in Hemmingways, Pakati said,” We are here to celebrate with you the achievements that put our country on the continental map in the history of football.” The Chloorkop side won the Africa team of the year and their Head Coach Pitso Mosimane was awarded with the accolade of coach of the year in Africa. Pakati said ,”Your awards were not just compliments for job well done but a beacon of hope that all South Africans can be proud of, there for it feels me with pride to welcome and host the giants of African in Buffalo City.” Giving a reply Mosimane said he was humbled and honour by the gesture the City shown to him and his players. “This came as a surprise but it is always good to show humility when people with influence in the community say inspiring word about me.” “I am humbled and honoured to be acknowledged and be recognised by the municipality. We are grateful of the environment that has been created for us.” On the same week a supporter branch for the Greater East London was launched at the East London City Hall. Chippa United Head of Marketing and Communications Luthando ‘Trompies’ Zibeko said; “The launch of the Supporters Club here in East London is in line with our growth strategy, our theme for the season, Season of Growth. Chippa United is currently the fasted growing football brand in South Africa and we have to create an environment for the Club to launch more branches. The Greater East London Branch covers fans from Engcobo, Tsomo, Queenstown, Butterworth, Ngqamakwe, King Williams Town and Alice and fans can get hold of Chairperson, Bafo Nweba on 072 371 3858 or 078 156 0785 to enquire about membership. Tickets for all the games are available at Ticket Pro, Edgars, Jet and Jekwa Service Station for R40. 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. Delegates discuss South Africa’s economy The conference was held on March 10 –11 with various stakeholders from national and provincial economic development government departments, government entities, universities and research institutions. Welcoming guests at the event Deputy Executive Mayor Xola Pakati said, “We welcome the fact that part of your deliberations will be reflecting on an important aspect that features prominently in our Metro Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS) which is growing capacities of sustainable entrepreneurship in the townships.” “This is of course a critical area of focus as a Metro and we will be paying particular attention to your outcomes and to see how we can find synergies in our efforts.” Giving a background of the Eastern Cape economic development overview MEC for Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism Sakhumzi Somyo said, “Eastern Cape provides a microcosm of the challenges faced at the national level. Some segments of the local economy are at the cutting edge of global technology and production.” He concluded by saying that the province boasts with world class infrastructure concentrated in our city hubs whilst the rural hinterland may lack fundamentals of reliable water, energy and logistics infrastructure. “The province has hug energy potential. Over the past year, the province has seen its allocation of wind and solar farms increase to 17, with a total investment value of R33.7 billion and over 18 000 jobs being created over the life of the projects.” Making his keynote address deputy minister for Trade and Industry Mzwandile Masina saying that the department calls government and academia to actively engage in the process of searching and identifying sustainable related development models for re-industrialisation and economic growth. He added that the current period of expedition to re-industrialise and make substantial value-addition to South Africa’s raw material requires a dynamic, innovative and creative African researcher who understands that the quest for economic transformation is premised on socio-economic justice. “This new generation of African researchers must understand that inclusive growth and development is critical in our march towards achieving the objectives of the National Democratic Revolution. Increased participation of researchers and academia is important in the crafting and development of various iterations of the industrial development policy in the country. Without these, our people will forever toil in poverty and underdevelopment,” Masina said. Other discussions at the conference include a framework for export development and identification of realistic market opportunities in South Africa, the model growing capacities of sustainable entrepreneurship in the townships, trade as a driver of manufacturing structural change for sustainable development in South Africa and rethinking the future role of cities in economic development with questions of the present. Comments are closed.