27 September Prayer for rain in BCMM September 27, 2017 By Tabisa Mntengwana Latest News 0 The Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality is issuing a warning to its residents that if there are no significant rain falls or water savings in the next few weeks, we will be going into drought. On the 28th of June 2017, Council took a resolution to implement the first stages of water restrictions as per the Dam Operating Rules. Unfortunately, the recent rains have done nothing to save the situation and the City is now predicting an imminent drought situation. Consequently, the Wriggleswade dam, which is the backup dam for the City, has its levels declining at a rate of 1.6% per week, which means the municipality would be in the drought situation from the end of October 2017 if the rainfall does not materialise in the month of September and October 2017. The Wriggleswade dam was activated after the City’s main dam the Bridle Drift and Nahoon Dams suppliers dams that supply water to East London, Mdantsane and surrounding areas recorded lowest levels below 40 percent. The Department of Water and Sanitation started to release raw water from Wriggleswade Dam from the 1st of June 2017 as per the dam operating rules for the Amathole System in order to supplement raw water supply to Bridle Drift and Nahoon Dams. The Metro in its efforts to raise awareness of the crisis, resorted to praying for rain on Sunday 24 September with the Executive Mayor Xola Pakati visiting the Immaculate Conception Parish Catholic Church in East London CBD to join Father Peter Whitehead in prayer for rain as the nation faces drought. Recent rains have done little to alleviate dam levels. Pakati said, “Our dam levels are very low, our animals are suffering due to the scarcity of food. We are grateful for the space created for us to pray against the drought.” Speaking to the congregation of the Catholic Church Pakati said that we need to come together as the City in an effort to save water and reduce the misuse of water in order to have more water in the years to come. The City released a media statement calling on its residents to use water cautiously as there are strong possibilities that we are heading for drought. In the upcoming Mayoral Imbizos which will be held early next month in King Williams Town, Mdantsane, East London and Ncerha, the Municipality will also be using the occasion to pray for rain together with all religious devotions. Related 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. 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. Youth driver training programme The concept was introduced by the City’s Deputy Executive Mayor’s Office with the aim to improve the lives of Buffalo City youth. “This aims at improving their life opportunities as people who will have better chances of employment opportunities,” said Deputy Executive Mayor Xola Pakati. The driver training programme is run under Coega Industrial Development Zone. The Metro’s Youth Council identified the needy unemployed youth in Buffalo City. Speaking about the opportunity one of the beneficiaries Athenkosi Fikizolo said, “This is a great opportunity and it will open doors for me.” Another beneficiary from Ndileka Village near King William’s Town Vuyisani Gqwetha added that job opportunities will be open for me now “and obtaining a driving license will help me through the process of job search.” “I had never thought that such an opportunity will be given to me, as I hail from rural areas and it has been a dream I thought will never be fulfilled. I had never driven car before and this has been a wonderful experience.” 39 of chosen youth are currently busy with their learner’s licenses and only one is already in possession of the learner’s license . The classes kicked off on Monday 16 November at 2.30pm at Buffalo City College in East London with a total number of 25 people as a first group. They are all between East London and Mdantsane. The King William’s Town class will be accommodated at the Lovedale FET College in King William’s Town. 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. 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. Roads rehabilitation in BCMM Residents of Mdantsane are in for their share of development as the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality is announcing the commencing of a R117 million roads project starting next week. Locals are advised that as from 03 October 2017 until the end of November 2017, the City will be rolling the improvement of Qumza Highway which involves rehabilitation and widening of Qumza Highway on both sides to a dual carriageway. The road is currently 6.8 meters wide and will be upgraded to 16 meters wide with a barrier median. The Qumza multi phased highway project, which started in October 2015 will see its phase 7 consisting of a construction of the section of the road between NU6 Mall main entrance to the Sasol Garage near Fort Jackson. Motorists are advised to make use of alternative routes where possible and to exercise caution when travelling the work areas. (see map attached) The project is estimated to create 50 employment opportunities to local community and local SMME’s will be used on the construction components. Projects of this nature also have economic spin offs as businesses are attracted by a smooth road infrastructure network. Due to the narrow road, Qumza Highway has seen a high volume of head-on collisions and vehicle-pedestrian conflict. The section of road is being upgraded to alleviate traffic congestion and improve safety for road users. Other factors of concern include the lack of pedestrian facilities, lack of signage, poor lighting, continued flooding of cross-culverts due to heavy rains, potholes due to the failing condition of the pavement structure and lack of intersection control during peak hours. The overall project will see an extensive scope of work done that will take 18 months to complete. This work will include the following: · Accommodation of traffic by deviating on local parallel roads, · Removing of existing surfacing and layer works, · Relocation of existing minor services such as overhead electrical services, sewer and bulk water supply services. · Removal of pipe culverts. · Widening of the road prism. · Construction of minor earth retaining structures. · Installation of traffic signalization and street lighting · Installation of road furniture including guardrails and road traffic signage. In recent months, the City has turned the Metro into a construction site investing in infrastructure projects like Fleet and Oxford streets; Quenera-Beacon Bay Link road at R70, 3 million, rehabilitating bridges in Beacon Bay and launching several bulk infrastructure projects that includes housing handovers, electrification of settlements, major treatment works like Umzonyana; Zwelitsha Water Treatment at R223 million; R200 pipe and water meter replacement program. Comments are closed.