23 October City rolls out free Wi-Fi October 23, 2017 By Tabisa Mntengwana Latest News 0 Buffalo City Metro has rolled out over 20 free Wi-Fi hotspots in public places around the City as a pilot project. Access points have been installed around the CBD, Libraries and Civic Centres across the Metro with access initially restricted to Buffalo City employees, but citizens will also soon enjoy free Wi-Fi as the City is in the process of activating public access. BCMM ICT Manager Jongikhaya Stuurman said, “Controllers of the access points are currently being programmed to create a separate public access to the network for public Wi-Fi.” He added that four public outdoor access points have already been activated in Duncan Village Redevelopment Initiative (DVRI) by the Community Hall, Steers in Oxford Street, Cnr of Amalinda Main Road by Clarendon High School and Buffalo City College. The remaining 18 public outdoor points will be activated by end October 2017. The hotspots will include among others the East London City Hall, Trust Centre, John Forbes Pharmacy, BP Garage, Bhisho and King William’s Town. Stuurman said the public will benefit from having access to free internet as it will increase access to job opportunities and information as well as decrease the digital divide. The City’s network will provide the public with 250MB of data per day at a connection speed of 2MB to 4MB per second. There will be a once-off registration required where a cell number will be authenticated for security purposes. Related Buffalo City to host Proteas and Chippa matches So much so that as a City, we are not only predicting victories for both teams but also a full capacity crowds to live up to our reputation as South Africa’s “capital of fun” and a “sports destination of choice”. The Chilli Boys, as the football side is known, are returning to Buffalo City for the first time this season at their hunting ground the Sisa Dukashe Stadium following their win against Kaizer Chiefs in the Premiers Cup in August. Chippa will be hosting a wounded Cape Town City side who are coming from two defeats. Elsewhere in the City, the high flying Proteas will be hosting Bangladesh at the Buffalo Park Stadium on Sunday at 10 am. The Proteas lead the ODI series by two nil after winning their first game by 10 wickets and the second game by 104 runs. The Buffalo City local organising committee has indicated that the City is ready and it is all systems go for the weekend games. The LOC has been sitting with other safety organs of state planning to deliver incident free events that are of international standard. Our security clusters include our disaster, traffic and law enforcement and these have submitted their plans and necessary certificates which have been approved. For the Chippa, game tickets are still available at Ticketpro for R40 adults and R20 for children. We advise people that do not have tickets not come close to the stadium precinct as security will be on high alert and we warn perpetrators who are dealing with counterfeit tickets that they will face the full might of the law. The Sisa Dukashe Stadium will open at 12h30 and with curtain raiser matches. The Chippa/CT City game will kick-off at 15h30. For the Proteas game, Tickets for the Proteas game are available through Ticketpro and at the Buffalo Park ticket office with cost raging from R80 to R350.Road closure for Proteas and Bangladesh. Road Closures: Proteas Game • Buffalo Park Drive at Commercial Road • Buffalo Park Drive at John Baillie Road • Buffalo Park Drive at the Entrance to the Old Craven park • Buffalo Park Drive at the Main Gate Lane Closure • John Baillie Road will be converted into a one-way Traffic from Buffalo Park Drive towards Link Road. Alternative Parking will be made available at Commercial Road and Buffalo Park Drive (close to Fitzpatrick Road) Chippa game Streets in and around NU 2 Mdantsane and general parking will be available at the Orlando stadium. MGDS vision to bolster the City The purpose of the day was for the City representatives and external stakeholders to interact, represent community needs and priorities to be achieved by 2030. Speaking at the meeting Executive Mayor for Buffalo City Metro Alfred Mtsi said, “I want to see space created for the many super talented Metro citizens who have good ideas on how to save the future of the city.” The City’s MGDS Coordinator Abongile Dlani listed five strategic outcomes to be achieved in the next five years that include: · Creating an innovative and productive city with rapid and inclusive economic growth and falling unemployment; · A green, clean and healthy city of subtropical gardens that makes the best of its natural assets; · A connected city with cheap, high quality connections to information and communications technology (ICT) and · A well governed city and a spatially integrated city. Dlani presented the Metro’s MGDS overview which puts officials to work building business confidence by supporting thriving sectors which in turn would lead to more growth and jobs. The over view calls for quick decision making when dealing with investors and most importantly for the Metro to release land for development and economic growth. Acting General Manager of the IDP and Performance Management System Nozuko Frans highlighted priority issues and challenges the Metro needs to focus on. “BCM has prioritised finding houses for the disabled and people who have been on the housing list for more than 20 years, meeting requests for toilets, water supply, fixing faulty electrical poles, upgrading and maintaining sports fields, regularly collecting refuse, building new storm drains and maintaining existing drains.” The outcomes of the summit have been adopted by Council at the executive mayoral lekgotla that was held on November 16 t0 18 and that they should reflect in the new Integrated Development Plan (IDP). The meeting also comprised of three clusters that include Institutional and finance that covers communication, By-laws, Public participation, budgeting, special programmes, disabled, elderly and youth. Economic development for SMMEs, agriculture, tourism, safety, disaster, fire and rescue services, environmental health and township economy. Infrastructure and Spatial that include water, electricity, roads, sanitation, spatial planning, human settlements, urban generation and transportation. The socio- economic cluster which is led by BCMM Executive Mayor called for linkages to rural development with manufacturing plants to supply the rural areas. The forum called for the establishment of an investment council and the revival of the metro agricultural forum. Electricity Indaba hosted by the Metro According to a Metro’s press statement Municipal Report the Indaba aims to give various role players in the electricity sector to discuss and inform all of the impact and cost of illegal implications as well as the occupational health impact the illegal connections have on the people and electrical infrastructure of the Metro. The Electricity Indaba also discussed the alternative energy systems that the City is already using and future plans. Some of the topics that were discussed include legal implications, the effect that illegal connections impact on the community and electricity losses. Speaking about the purpose of the day Portfolio Head for Infrastructure Services Mteteleli Sam said, “The purpose of this session is to discuss and debate issues that affect a large portion of our population, which is the issue of illegal connections. “Illegal connections do not only affect BCMM as an institution but it deals with the day to day impact on the Metro’s ability to provide an effective service to all, as electricity and energy affect the day to day lives of the citizens of the Metro.” He added that illegal connections affect the Metro’s budget as funding is spent to replace and repair networks that are damaged, on a more social level they have also resulted in the identified deaths of at least 47 BCMM residents, some of which have been innocent by standers of this illegal act. Some of the stakeholders that were there include, SAPS, Southern African Revenue Protection Association (SARPA), Eskom (Operation Khanyisa Program) the Department of Energy, the Department of Labour and Border Kei Chamber of Business. Speaking about the Metro’s electricity and energy status quo Acting HOD for Engineering Services Luyanda Mbula said, “The electricity department intends to continue with its capitalisation program. The department completed a major project in June 2015 with the 80 MVA Queenspark Zoo substation coming in line, this has improved supply to the CBD and also ensures additional capacity for RDP Electrification.” “We have completed over 200 projects in the last three years to upgrading, refurbishing and renewing cables, transformers, switch gear, mini substation and switch houses.” “We work hand in hand with the Department of Energy, we apply for funding based on information we receive from the Department of Human Settlement, at the moment the back log that we have for electrification of formal houses is at 2500 housing un-electrified houses,” adds Mbula. He added that the department has a severe shortage of skilled labour, the plant, vehicles and equipment need to be replaced, aging infrastructure that needs to be replaced, and theft of copper and vandalism of equipment. The session ended with lively debates that included possible short, mid and long term solutions and have programmed way forward to address the electrical and energy challenges within the Metro and surrounding areas. New CCTV cameras to curb crime in the City Speaking at the event Pakati said, “Public safety is one of the priorities we have identified. We are launching CCTV cameras that will monitor our CBD, the Esplanade as well as Duncan Village at this point, but we are working to ensure that cameras in other areas are working as well.” “Working together with the South African Police Services (SAPS), this is one of the initiatives that are meant to curb crime in the city, in particular the CBD,” he said. The City officials together with the Executive Mayor took a walkabout to the CCTV cameras Control Room and was shown how the cameras operate at the control room at the Fire Station. The cameras which were at a cost of R1.8 million were installed and were instrumental in curbing crimes around the beachfront Esplanade area during the festive season. “We as the municipality are determined to work with everyone involved in the fight against crime in our Metro. Our quest is to ensure that we have CCTV that are monitoring everything that is going on in the city working together with the SAPS with the intention of identifying those who break the law,” he added. “We want a City free of crime, people must be able to walk about freely without the worry of getting robbed. As we are unable to have a police officer on every street, this technology will assist us in monitoring our city and identify criminals.” Welcoming the new officers, Pakati said, “We are proud to welcome the new law enforcement officers to the Metro. I am certain that you will hold up the law to the best of your ability.” According to Pakati the new officers will help in keeping the City safe as well as protecting the laws. “As we celebrate youth month, may these young men and women be a good example to our youth that through hard work and determination one can achieve their goals.” The day ended with another walkabout to the newly revamped car pound in Gonubie. The pound is used to keep abandoned vehicles and was renovated by fencing, electrication of the fence, security lights at a cost of R280 000. Buffalo City Homestay Programme to kickoff in August The homestay concept was adapted from the Metro’s sister city Jinhua, Zhejiang Province in China. Jinhua launched the “Home-stay in Jinhua’s historical Villages” project in 2015. Through this project Jinhua City aimed to tell the story of Jinhua and promote its rural villages by attracting tourists from all over the world who are interested in travelling to historical villages. The Metro saw the need to implement a similar project because of the rich cultural and historical background pertaining to the Xhosa Culture, and the realisation that cultures across the country are slowly being eroded by western influence and therefore need to be preserved. The project will aim to transform Mngqesha into an international center for ecotourism with distinctive local cultural elements, as well as provide an attraction for international visitors to the City. It will also ensure that surrounding rural villages are working centres of economic activity so that villagers do not leave for the cities, but contribute to developing rural villages. 30 international applicants who have a strong interest in South Africa and in particular the Xhosa culture, will be selected for the two week stay in Mngqesha Great Place and will have direct experience of living in a Xhosa Village, its culture, history, folklore, architecture, art, crafts and cuisine. They will also have the opportunity to experience other interesting sites and places of interest in the City. Participants will be required to make suggestions on improving all aspects of the village as a cultural tourist attraction and produce promotional material such as pamphlets, maps and web articles to create an interest in the respective participant countries to visit the project. The two-week exchange will then conclude with the project evaluation as well as the Farewell Ceremony where participants will have the opportunity to show off their talents and skills to the local villagers. For application forms to be part of the Homestay Programme follow the link: http://www.buffalocitymetro.gov.za/Portals/0/slides/HOMESTAY_IN_SOUTHAFRICA_APPLICATION_FORM.pdf Buffalo City celebrates Toursim Month In celebration of Heritage and Tourism Month the Department of Tourism planned various activities such as the Beach and Heritage Clean up, the Product Training Workshop, the Media Hosting Tour and the Cultural and Adventure Tours. The Department also ran a selfie competition which encouraged entrants to take selfies when visiting a Heritage or Cultural site in the City. The tour took place from 16 to 18 September and is part of the Celebrations of Tourism Month. The City hosted a tour which had guided tours to the Steve Biko Centre, a game drive at the Mpongo Private Game Reserve and a quad bike tour at Areena Riverside Resort where the visitors interacted with Abby, the giraffe. “The hosting of tour operators and media houses will give Buffalo City an opportunity to showcase what it has to offer as a destination of choice. Currently, tour operators and media houses are looking for new destinations that they can offer to their clients,” said Miranda Nofeliti Marketing Coordinator from the Local Economic Department. Janine Borthwick from Ballyhoo Media, Justin Williams Online Editor at the Publication Cape Town etc. and Iga Motylska a Freelance Journalist will share their experiences on various Tourism platforms and their social media pages. Speaking to BCMM’s Website Mbulelo Kafi Owner of Sakhisizwe Tours from the Northern Cape said that Tourism and Heritage Month is important as it educates South Africans on where they come from, allowing citizens to protect their historical monuments. “BCMM is rich in history and has an impressive collection of wildlife animals and vegetation.” Nofeliti also added that the Eastern Cape Province is one of the tourism gems of South Africa, “offering visitors unique scenic views and a truly diverse tourism experience.” As part of the Tourism Month activities, the group presented and shared their experiences at the Product Training Workshop which was held at the King David Hotel on 17 September where various members of the tourism sector in the Metro were invited. “The department held the workshop, in an effort to create more awareness to product owners on how to package itineraries for the international market and to encourage them to tap into that market,” said Nofeliti. She also added that there is a need to educate tourism business owners on the importance of using social media as a business tool to expand their businesses. Benny Mutswiri from Heita Ngamla Tours based in Johannesburg said that he discovered that there’s a lot of activities and rich history that the City offers. “I interacted with various Tour Operators and B&B Owners at the Product Training Session gave me an opportunity to network and explore the various ways in which I could promote the City to the people of Johannesburg. The two-hour beach clean-up took place at the Esplanade at the Beachfront and at the Heroes Park with over 50 Tourism students from Walter Sisulu University and the Buffalo City College participating. “Being regularly aware of the need to keep all coastal lines clean and beautiful is a contribution we can make to ensure we improve the state of the beaches, shorelines and duns,” said Nofeliti. Comments are closed.