6 October 2017 Mayoral Imbizo October 6, 2017 By Tabisa Mntengwana Latest News 0 Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality Executive Mayor Cllr Xola Pakati will be going face to face with the citizens of this City when he leads the City’s annual Mayoral Imbizo roadshows next week. The City – is on a massive drive worth millions of infrastructure development – and the Executive Mayor will use this opportunity to launch these projects prior to each Imbizo. Cllr Pakati together with BCMM officials will be going to the communities to account and give feedback on issues raised on previous meetings as well as inform them on the currents projects and future plans. By their nature Imbizos are an interactive program where after his presentation to the community, the Executive Mayor will listen and respond immediately and also allow the residents to raise issues they see as priority to them. This exercise will then assist the Metro in planning for the next financial year. The purpose for the Mayoral Imbizo is for the communities of the Metro as well as its City Officials to engage in community dialogues under the theme Unity in action, A city hard at work. The venues for all the meetings are as follows: * 10 October- King William’s Town Victoria Grounds Stadium at (12H00) * 12 October- Mdantsane NU6 Sportsfield at (12H00) * 13 October- East London Mzamomhle Sports field at (12H00) and * 15 October- Ncerha Village 2 at field opposite Community Hall at (12H00) Related First Mayoral Imbizo kicked off on Tuesday 10 October in King William's Town at the City Hall Hundreds of Buffalo City Metro Municipality residents braved the cold weather conditions to attend the first Mayoral Imbizo in the king Williams Town City Hall Tuesday 10 October. The venue was changed after following advice from the Disaster Management Unit from Victoria Grounds, despite the wet conditions residents still showed up in numbers to engage the City’s leadership lead by the Executive Mayor Xola Pakati, his Mayoral Committee, Speaker, Chief Whip and administrators lead by City Manager Andile Sihlala. Charing the session, Council Speaker Alfred Mtsi acknowledged 26 community members representing the 13 wards which form the Inland Region, allowing for two questions per ward. The City is pleased with the turnout which led to an overflow due to space restrictions. The day started with a site visit to the Berlin November venue to inspect the work being done in anticipation of the signature event. Infrastructure is one of the 10 priorities identified by the Mayor and his committee, it is therefore imperative that progresses is assessed and monitored on a regular basis. Project sites to be visited include the Phakamisa waste water treatment works plant site and the Tshatshu and Qalashe Bridge. A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held in Kuwait to signify the completion of a VIP toilets project. Lastly there will be two projects launched on the day. An Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) waste mini station and cleaning project and the Barcelona 10 communal toilets and taps in Zwelitsha. Pakati will give feedback on matters raised in the previous meeting and also relay future plans the City has in delivery adequate services. Members of the community will also be given a chance to raised issues affecting them in their communities. The Mayoral Imbizo forms part of government public participation processes as well as bringing government closer to the people. The Imbizo roadshows continue as follows: • 12 October – Mdantsane at the NU6 Sports Field opposite the NU6 Mall at 12h00 • 13 October – Mzamomhle sports field at 12h00 • 15 October – Ncerha Village 2 field opposite the community hall at 12h00 2015 Mayoral Imbizo The Executive Mayor Alfred Mtsi gave an overview of the highlights of the 2015/16 financial year focusing on the successes of Buffalo City Metro. Mtsi spoke about the housing projects that the City has embarked on including the Ilinge Housing project, Ndancama Housing Project in Scenery Park, the Manyano/Tembelihle Housing Project in Mdantsane. According to Mtsi, the Inland Region is projected that as part of the ongoing programme to address housing backlogs, 1 200 new houses will be handed over to approved beneficiaries in the current financial year and another 1 700 in the next year. “We provided 1 254 serviced sites by the end of March 2015 that will be converted into top structure developments in the coming financial year,” he said while addressing the crowd at Victoria Grounds Stadium. Another housing project in the Inland Region include the KWT Peelton/Hanover and the Skobeni region which will also benefit from an estimated 1 242 new low-cost housing opportunities in the next and ensuing financial year. On the issue of potholes Mtsi assured residents that the City already has a plan in place to minimise the potholes. “We have heard your cry on the state of roads in your areas – like potholes, which seem to be a permanent feature in areas where we stay. This challenge remains with us. The Infrastructure Development Directorate had in place a Pothole maintenance programme.” He added that the Roads Construction in the City is picking up its pace with an amount of R23 million being set aside in the upcoming financial year for the rehabilitation of bridges in the Metro. On the issue of Water, Mtsi said, “We are proud to say that access to potable water increased from 97 percent of the Metro’s citizens in 2012 to 99 percent in 2015.” He added that the eradication of the remaining water backlogs is estimated to require a further provision of R59 million. A variety of supply projects are in the pipeline, to a total estimated cost of R977 million, including the design and implementation of the Kei Road Water Treatment Works. Another highlight that Mtsi looked at is the issue of installation of electricity at informal dwellings. He mentioned that at least a large number of shacks have been electrified through the City’s plan to reduce the risk of illegal electricity connection (Izinyoka). “As part of the focus of improving access to electricity to our disadvantaged communities, we have started a process of electrifying informal settlements in the Metro, and this is being rolled in the various parts of our Metro.” He also mentioned that the Metro’s Electricity Department has, over the medium term electrified RDP houses in places such as Sweetwaters, utilising dedicated funding made available by the National Department of Energy. The Executive Mayor also mentioned that the City has to-date over 200,000 citizens of all ages who are now beneficiaries of the Metro’s indigent subsidy. The last Imbizo will take place on 1 November and will be held at the Jan Smuts Stadium at 2pm. Mayoral Imbizo kicks off The Imbizo is part of the City’s plan to get residents to voice out their views on matters pertaining service delivery issues. Issues discussed include housing, electricity, potholes, roads, water and sanitation, rates and high unemployment rate. Speaking about their state of roads in Zwelitsha Mthuthuzeli Phoswa said, “Our tarred roads are full of potholes and we need them to be fixed. We also want our streets to be named in all our areas in the Metro especially in townships.” The same week, the City visited Mdantsane for the second leg of the Imbizo and residents gave an overview of their service delivery issues. The Imbizo was held on Friday 14 October at Orlando Sportsfields. Issues discussed in Mdantsane include sporting activities for the youth, bucket system in some of the areas of the City needs to be eradicated, fluctuation of rates and how to resolve pending debts and revamping of halls. Ncerha residents also had an opportunity to speak to the Metro with various issues raised. The Ncerha Imbizo was held on Sunday 16 October at Ncerha Village 2. Speaking about the City’s plans Executive Mayor Xola Pakati said, “Everyone in the wards will have equal opportunities for all service delivery issues as the Metro we are committed in changing the lives of our people and excel in service delivery.” The last leg of the Imbizo will be held at Jan Smuts Stadium in East London on Monday 17 October at 1pm. SONA Activations 2017 Activities kicked off with a train ride from East London, passing Mdantsane and the last stop was Berlin on February 2. The main activity was to distribute government information products which include SONA leaflets, newsletters, general government information leaflets and interacting with people about their expectation from the upcoming SONA and about service delivery in general. This programme was one of the pre-SONA activations intended to create awareness about the upcoming State of the Nation Address scheduled for 9 February 2017. The theme for SONA 2017 is The year of Oliver Reginald Tambo: Unity in Action Together Moving South Africa Forward. Speaking to one of the train commuters from East London to Berlin, Bayambela Sifumba said, “I am concerned with how the government plans to deal with issues of unemployment and service delivery in our community.” According to the GCIS website (www.gcis.co.za), the President will provide an update on the implementation of the Programme of Action based on the National Development Plan (NDP). The 2017 SONA will also be delivered within the context of the current strides made by government to respond to the various challenges that our country is facing. Public Participation Practitioner Kenneth Kodwa said, “We set out to share information with the public about the SONA, we acknowledge the importance of community involvement in sound governance and also in keeping with the Batho Pele principals.” The public is encouraged to participate in discussions on Facebook (GovernmentZA) and Twitter on the hashtag #SONA2017 Other activation events include a radio debate amongst school pupils from two high schools in Duncan Village namely Kusile and Sinovuyo High on Kumkani FM, 6 February and a dialogue session with the community that will be held in Berlin 8 February. The SONA will be broadcast live on television, radio and social media from 7pm on February 9. 2017 Standard Bank Ironman 70.3 The East London’s superb location, nestled in the incredible coastal area makes it a perfect host for this testing exceptional race. This year, the race is expected to pull more pro-athletes from around the world including defending champions, Jodie Swallow and Matt Trautmann. The Metro’s Executive Mayor Xola Pakati said that he is delighted that the City hosts the prestigious event each year. “As hosts of such an important sporting event, Buffalo City receives international and local compliments. The event gives the city an opportunity to show the world the true South African hospitality as well as boosting tourism and adding to the economy of the City,” said Pakati. “Buffalo City is ready to host the 2017 edition of the Ironman 70.3 and we are looking forward to the spectacular race.” The race kicks off at 7am with a 1.9km swim at East London's Orient Beach, the swim’s first leg will be 300 metres long, the marker must be rounded on the right hand side (marker must be on your left). After turning left around this buoy the next leg is 700 metres, this buoy must also be rounded on the right hand side. The following leg is 200 metres long and again you must round the buoy on the right. The final leg before the exit to the beach is 500 metres long and you need to round this last buoy on the left. The exit to the beach is 200 metres away. The cut-off time for the swim is one hour and 10 minutes. Following the swim is a 90 kilometre cycle on the N2 Highway. The first portion is along the Esplanade (beach front) where after the route follows the R72 motorway towards the Nahoon River. The route then turns left and follows the N2 highway towards King William’s Town. It is a continuous climb with a few flat sections to the turnaround point at Berlin just outside East London at 45 kilometres. The return route is on the opposite side of the N2 highway back to transition. Aid Stations will be available at the 18 kilometre, 45 kilometre and 72 kilometre marks. The cut-off time for the cycle is four hours and five minutes. The last leg is the 21.1 kilometre run around the Esplanade. Triathletes run down the Esplanade, passing the Orient Theatre and along the eastern Esplanade up into John Bailie Road towards Schenker Road. The route turns back on the second loop of the race which also goes out on the pier before turning around to the finishing line. According to the race’s legend John Duke, who started competing in the Ironman events in 1982, the race is anybody’s game and anybody can claim the title and be the Ironman. "People who think that the title is unattainable, I tell them that it is possible. I can take a person that does not have an athletic bone in their body and make them into a triathlete if they’re willing to put in the time. I’m the perfect example. I am not a great athlete, just a hard worker." Residents should also note that there will be road closures: Entrance to the Orient Beach Complex will be closed to all public and vehicles from Friday 27 January to Tuesday 31 January 2017 The following road closures will apply on Sunday 29 January 2017 from 6am until 1pm. On the N2, it will be closed from Beacon Bay offramp (Exit 1051) to Blaney intersection. While on the NEX / R72, the road will be closed from Buffalo Park Drive to Wyse Avenue (Christian Centre intersection) from 6am until 5pm. At Currie Street / Esplanade Street it will be closed from Orient Road to John Bailie Road. Other road closures include the John Bailie Road, Turnberry Avenue, Glen Eagles Road, Galway Road and Epsom Road Intersection 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. Comments are closed.