3 October Rural Indigent Registration Campaign October 3, 2017 By Luxole Komani Latest News 0 In an attempt to improve the lives of the citizens of the Metro, Buffalo City Metro is embarking in the Rural Indigent Registration Campaign roadshows from 19 September 2017 to 10 November 2017. The first Rural Indigent Registration Campaign kicked off on Tuesday 19 September in Mzintshana covering Pirie Trust, Nakani, Nomgwadla and Mzintshane areas. The aim for the roadshows is to give the underprivileged citizens access to free water and electricity. As of 30 June 2017 The consumers that are receiving Indigent Subsidy are approximately 60 000. The Metro has identified more than 40 locations that will be part of the Registration Campaign as part of its mandate of improving the lives of the citizens of the City and truly living up to its A City Hard at Work mission. Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality is undertaking the campaign in the first quarter of the new financial year 2017/18 which aims to register all rural indigent consumers so as to ensure that indigent consumers benefit from the free basic services offered by council. The main aim of the Metro is to cover rural areas within its jurisdiction including the recently demarcated areas to BCMM. Indigent subsidy and who benefits from it? It is a citizen of the Metro and must earn less than R3.200 per month, the person must be a pensioner, must be an account holder, must own and be staying at the house, should not own more than one fixed property and lastly the value of a property must not exceed R120 000. The criteria for applying for the subsidy is that community members must get an indigent application form from a nearest municipal office and take it to their ward councilor to sign and submit it with these supporting documents: ID copy and affidavit; Proof of income if employed and earning less than the threshold income (Threshold income must not exceed R3.200 (Household income); Proof of pension if you are a pensioner and When the applicant gets approved they receive an equivalent R652.90 towards their account, which translates to six kilolitres of water and free 50 units of electricity once a month. In the rural areas applicants receive free electricity from Eskom and the Metro pays at a lesser price. The Indigent Subsidy is funded from an equitable share from National Treasury. BCMM provides indigent subsidy to its indigent consumers through the billing of their accounts and free tokens in respect of electricity which is equivalent to 50Kwh. Related Rural development initiative brings hope Growing up in a home headed by a single parent in the outskirts of Morgan Bay, Alex Tshijila together with his younger brother shared a two bedroomed RDP house with five of their extended family members. His mother Collina Tshijila has over the years been the sole breadwinner putting food on the table for the family of eight. After matriculating from Byletts High in 2012, Tshijila had dreams and aspirations of becoming a nurse but due to financial difficulties he was unable to enroll in a tertiary institution. However, circumstance did not deter the polite calm spirited young man as he went on to volunteer at a clinic in his area for nine months and was appointed to serve as a counselor for a further two years. In 2016 a unique opportunity presented itself in the form of a youth development programme called National Youth Service Cops (NARYSEC) which he benefitted from it. Alex was one of ten young people chosen from his area to be a participant in the programme, in the second intake of 2016. NARYSEC is a skills development programme launched by the Department of Rural Development and land Reform (DRDLR) in 2010 to recruit rural youth between the ages of 18 and 25, who have completed grade 12. Speaking to BCMM Monthly, the 23-year-old said, “I am thankful to be a part of this programme, it is a great privilege. I am now able to take some of the burden off my mother’s shoulders and help put food on the table at home”. He further added that young people need to regain dignity and the respect that has been tarnished by bad behavior and the use of drugs. Delivering the keynote speech the BCM Speaker Alfred Mtsi said, “This programme not only combats the high unemployment rate in our rural communities but also provides an opportunity for our youth to be the champions of socio-economic development.” A welcoming event was hosted by Buffalo City Metro together with DRDLR at the East London City Hall for the participants who completed the first phase on Wednesday 15 February 2016. Speaking at the event, Mandayi Rala Director of DRDLR said, “The aim of the programme is to develop young people at the cutting edge of rural development. We wish to empower these young people to become agents of change and development.” The recruits are contracted for a period of 24 months with a stipend of R1320 per month which comes as much needed financial relief for the participants. Rala said the participants are put into initiation phase which is a period of four months where they receive military training. “The participants are put into initiation phase which is a period of four months where they receive military training in either Saldana or 3 Sai Battalion military base followed by two months of community service.” She said after the first phase participants can then choose from a range of fields in which to be trained. “The participants choose from a range of fields that include plant production, specialist security, information technology technical, water and wastewater, business management and transport operations to name a few. NARYSEC currently has 1200 participants enrolled in the programme across the province and is looking to strengthen its relationship with the Metro through partnerships with colleges and the municipality. National cleanup week campaign The workshop focused on waste as a resource and waste minimization initiatives with emphasis was on illegal dumping as it is a major issue in the area. Community members were educated on the dangers of illegal dumping as well as ways in which to dispose of waste in a safe manner. The campaign continues at the Sweetwaters Hall on Tuesday followed by cleanups in Tyutyu on Wednesday 13 August and Sweetwaters on Thursday 14 August. The Clean-up will focus of litter picking and separation of waste. During the campaign, the City will use two types of bags, one for recyclable waste and one general waste. The general waste will be collected by refuse trucks and the recyclable kept for the Recycling Day. The Recycling Day is held as a platform to increase the awareness concerning waste management and particularly to promote a cleaner environment to live, in and around urban areas. Community volunteers have been roped in along with EPWP’s, CWP’s and officials from various stakeholders. The main event will be held on Friday 15 August at the Sweetwaters Hall. On this day, volunteers will be sorting recyclable waste for the first two hours and the formal program at 10am with the Executive Mayor Xola Pakati as the Main Speaker. KWT spruced up The main issues of the residents were the non-pickup of refuse on scheduled days, the over grown grass at the cemetery, the maintenance or the lack there off in municipal buildings especially community halls and the illegal dumping sites. Speaking about the campaign Acting General Manager for Parks and Cemeteries Phumzile Kalazane said the campaign was done due to the unhappiness expressed by residents of Club View about the state of the town’s cleanliness when they met with the mayor in December and also the commitment by the Metro to keep its towns clean. The hotspots were identified as the King Williams’ Town Cemetery, illegal dumping sites in the Club View Main Road and the West Bank Area. “Today we are honouring the promise made by the mayor to the residents to ensure that people get the services they deserve around King William’s Town particularly with grass cutting in Club View and West Bank, the cleaning of King William’s Town cemetery, clearing of illegal dumping sites and the maintenance of municipal buildings,” said Kalazane. “We have combined teams from Zwelitsha and King Williams Town to focus on the identified hotspots in Club View on the first day Jan 11 and picking up litter in the West Bank area on January 12 starting from the Alberton Street which is over polluted and also carry out some bush clearing.” Kalazane added that they will also put up no dumping signs to stop people from dumping litter illegally. “We want to ensure that the general public is informed of the effects of dumping and that they must refrain from dumping.” He also mentioned that the non-collection of refuse on scheduled days contributes to illegal dumping however he said that the department has addressed the challenges. Even though the taxi rank is not part of the campaign Kalazane said they are looking at extending the campaign to accommodate the taxi rank. 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. 16 Days of Activism The City kicked off its campaign with a shoe box campaign where residents and municipal employees collected boxes of items including face cloths, sanitary towels or toiletries and put them in shoe boxes to be distributed to young children who have been abused. The provincial government also held a closing function of the 16 Days of Activism on Thursday 10 December at Gugulethu Sportsfield in Ndevana with over 5 000 people attending the event. The closing ceremony is an event by the provincial Department of Social Development. This annual campaign runs from 25 November until 10 December with the aim of restoring human dignity through awareness while its ultimate goal is to eradicate all forms of violence against women and children throughout the country. Dignitaries that were present at the event include the Eastern Cape Premier Phumulo Masualle, MEC for Transport, Safety and Liaison Weziwe Tikana, Minister of the Presidency responsible for women and children Susan Shabangu, Deputy Speaker for Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature Bulelwa Tunyiswa and Member of Parliament for Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature Nonceba Kontsiwe. Addressing the crowd Tunyiswa said, “It has been a long process getting here. Ndevana proved to be also part of the many areas affected by women and children abuse.” Adding to that Kontsiwe said, “I am so happy that there are still at least real men out there amongst us, even today I see many of them just by them being here.” Council Open Day The public hearings took place from 14 April until 13 May to communicate the plans of the City and future development to residents and stakeholders for the 2016/17 financial year. The objective of the day was to give feedback on key issues raised from the wards and also reflect on matter raised by the business fraternity and the traditional leaders. Speaking at the Council Open Day, Executive Mayor Alfred Mtsi said, “The priorities for the next finical year are to provide adequate housing for residents, providing clean and safe drinking water and creating various ideas to ensure the City is kept clean.” “The strategic outcomes we have set out as a Metro are to be an innovative and productive, green, connected, well – governed and spatially transformed City.” “Indeed we have made strides in attempting to realise our vision of being a developmental local government,” said Mtsi. Presenting at the council open day Mtsi said, “A total of over 200 000 households in the Metro have access to water and over 90 percent receive the basic minimum requirements.” He also added that the electricity department spent over 90 percent of its R85 million budget on refurbishing, upgrading and enhancing the electrical network throughout the City he also said that over 16 000 indigent people receive free basic electricity since the financial year of 2014/2015. In regards to housing Mtsi said, “Second Creek residents received decent housing with full ownership due to the quality of the housing unit delivered by the Human Settlements Directorate the Metro has also won an award for the best rural housing project.” He also added that as part of the rural development programme many housing opportunities will be provided to many rural communities in the Metro. “It is our mandate to provide basic waste management services to citizens of the City this includes street sweeping, waste and litter collection, refuse removal and sundry solid waste management services,” said Mtsi. Mtsi also mentioned some of the challenges facing the Metro such as illegal dumping, land for central transfer station, community mindset, behaviors and enforcing waste management by-laws. Looking at roads, Mtsi said that currently the Roads Department is operating a ward based project which consist of 500 volunteers, 10 volunteers per ward. “The ward based volunteers will assist with pothole patching and storm water clearing,” said Mtsi. The meeting was attended by various key stakeholders of the IDP such as Councillors, Municipal Officials, Community Development Workers (CDW), Traditional leaders and private sector as well as members of the public were invited to engage and discuss the implementation of the IDP and to discuss the successful projects that have been completed in the Metro thus far. The open day was part of the public hearings before the adoption of the 2016/2017 IDP and budget by Council on 31 May. Comments are closed.