celebrates Vuna win
By Nangamso Mabindla
8 March 2004
Saturday was a day of celebrating around Buffalo City, with the municipality hosting festive gatherings in King William's Town and East London to thank residents for helping it win the coveted Vuna Award.
Buffalo City won the national Vuna Award in December for best municipality.
The residents of Mdantsane defied the rain and cold weather to attend the festivities at the Sisa Dukashe Stadium. A large tent was erected in the centre of the stadium, which will be used as one of the venues for the upcoming South African Games. Atop the tent the South African and Buffalo City flags shook in the breeze.
Music reverberated from the venue throughout the day, with the residents being treated to a traditional feast and entertainment from local kwaito singing sensation Mazembe.
The local singer, now based in Johannesburg, thrilled the audience with sets from his latest album, which is set to hit music stores around the country in April. Between the songs, Mazembe told the crowd he was happy to be able to perform on his home ground. He also had a message for the younger members of the audience "to make their lives a success, no matter the obstacles".
"I know that some parents cannot afford to send their children to school, let alone buy school uniforms," he said as he presented a young fan in the crowd with a pair of grey school trousers. Singatha Sisani of NU6 Mdantsane, who is in Grade 3 at the RH Godlo Primary School, was delighted by the gift.
Buffalo City Executive Mayor Sindisile Maclean took the opportunity to thank the people of the city for the role they played in the success of Buffalo City. "It would have been wrong if we, the officials and councillors, had celebrated the victory alone. You make up the municipality and you deserve to be part of the victory celebrations," Councillor Maclean told the crowd in the stadium.
The mayor added that although there were problems that needed to be addressed by the municipality, Saturday was a day of celebration. "You put us here because you felt we could address your problems," he said, adding that "from our side, we have improved on service delivery and this is the reason we are now celebrating this success".
But Buffalo City would not become complacent, the mayor added. One aspect the city was currently working on was improving communication between the city and its people. "We need to sit down and talk about problems facing residents so we have a clear picture of what has been achieved and where we can still improve," Councillor Maclean added.
"If we work together - the council, the residents and the city's business community - we can improve Buffalo City and add more awards to our growing list of achievements." In the past year Buffalo City has won the provincial and national Vuna Awards, the Clean City Award from the Department of Local Government, an award from the provincial Department of Housing for the municipality's social housing project, and the ZK Matthews award for the best municipality in the African National Congress birthday awards.
Once the formalities were concluded, the mayor and his councillors joined in the festivities, dancing in celebration of the victory. The crowd were then treated to fine food, South African style. The municipality slaughtered 12 oxen and 18 sheep for the King William's Town and Mdantsane celebrations.
Mdantsane resident Ken Mntuyedwa summed up the day saying that the municipality and its residents should continue to work together for the benefit of all. "If that happens, we'll have more of these celebrations," he said.