8 February SONA Activations 2017 February 8, 2017 By Anga Mtongana Latest News 0 As the country prepares to listen to the annual State of The Nation Address (SONA) on Thursday 9 February at 7pm, Buffalo City Metro (BCM) together with Government Communications and Information System (GCIS), Road Accident fund (RAF) and Public Participation launched the pre-SONA activation campaign. 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. Related 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 South African Surfing Championships 2017 The Mercedes of South Africa (MBSA) Championships hosted by the Metro is the premier event on the Surfing South Africa calendar and features surfers in the Open Men’s and Women’s Divisions as well seven other age groups ranging from over 30 to over 60. Nahoon Reef has hosted numerous South African Championships since the inaugural event in 1965 and in 1978 the ISA World Surfing Championships took place at this iconic surf spot. This year Surfing South Africa celebrates the 52nd edition of the South African Championships making it one of the longest running surfing tournaments in the World. Mercedes Benz and the Buffalo City Metropolitan have partnered with Surfing South Africa which will not only showcase South Africa’s surfing talent at the annual National Championships but will also help the National Team prepare for Surfing’s inclusion in the 2020 Olympics in Japan. In addition, Buffalo City Metro, MBSA and Surfing South Africa will highlight East London’s importance as a major South African surfing venue through the presenting of the annual championships, preparation and support of the National Team, hosting of coaching and judging Seminars and support of local outreach programmes. The 2017 South African Championships will feature over 160 surfers from eight districts who will be competing for nine individual South African titles. Adding prestige to the event is the news that current World Big Wave Champion, Grant Twiggy Baker will be representing eThekweni in the over 40 Division while World Masters Champion and five-time South African Men’s Champion Greg Emslie will be back to defend his title, this time at his local surf spot. He will also be competing in both the Open Men's Division and the Over 40 Division, the same group as Twiggy Baker. Chris Knutsen of eThekweni, a five-time World Champion and four-time South African Champion, will be competing in the Over 55 Division while former World Tour campaigner, ISA World Masters Champion and eight-time South African Champion Heather Clark of Ugu Surfriders, will be hoping to add at a ninth title to her list of achievements. Twenty four current and former national team members are competing while six of the nine 2016 South African Champions are back to defend their titles. There are six World Champions turning out for their Districts at this year’s Championships along with some well-known provincial and district surfing stars. Surfers representing Districts from along the South African coast will contest 11 divisions from Under 20 to Over 60 and will compete in a total of 140 heats. The 126 heats make up 47 hours of competition which will be completed over six days of intense competition. Individual titles will be at stake in nine divisions and surfers scores will be allocated to their District totals to determine which Team will win the 45-year-old Presidents Cup and the Masters Cup. This year all the points from the Open Divisions and Masters Divisions will be combined to determine the winners of the inaugural Champions Cup. The 2016 Presidents Cup was won by Cape Town Surfriders and at Seal Point in 2016 the Buffalo City Surfriders team secured their 11th Masters Cup. These events were held separately in 2016. To commemorate the memory of a much loved President of the Buffalo City Surfriders, Surfing South Africa has introduced the Dave Fish Trophy which will be awarded to the most consistent surfer throughout the event. Dave Fish passed away just days before last year’s SA Masters Championships. Proceedings get under way with an Opening Function at the Old Selbornians Club at 7pm on Monday August 21 and heats start on Tuesday August 22 at 8am. The heats as well as the Event schedule will be posted on the Surfing South Africa website www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za and results will be updated daily. Daily photos will also be posted on the Surfing South Africa website. The Surfing South Africa Instagram, Twitter and Facebook will be updated regularly during the contest. The 2017 Mercedes Benz South African Surfing Championships are hosted by Buffalo City Municipality and supported by Sport and Recreation SA and the National Lotteries Commission. The event is hosted by Buffalo City Surfriders, presented by Surfing South Africa and produced by Accelerate Marketing. Surfing South Africa is the governing body for the sport in South Africa and is a member of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA). BCMM SOMA 2017 Today's SOMA will be the first in local government to hoist both the SA's National Flag alongside the AU flag and to sing both anthems respectively. Metro unpacks the Festive Season Safety Operations Speaking at the briefing Portfolio Head for Health and Public Safety Amanda Mnyute said, “We had a joint operation from December 30 to January 2, 2017 with the aim to control the crowd during the festive season in all our beaches and other areas of the Metro.” “During this period some of the roads in the beachfront were closed to accommodate the traffic congestion and easy flow of vehicles in the Quigney areas,” she said. Mnyute added that children were lost and that was a major challenge this year for the City. “Over 40 children were lost and later reunited with their parents. Another major challenge was the consumption of alcohol and making open fires in areas that ae not designated for that.” “The number of drunken driving in the Buffalo City has increased from last year to 190 drunk driving incident during this festive season.” Buffalo City Metro Commander for Traffic Services Quinton Chetty said, “The traffic flow showed a great improvement due to the earlier road closures. This was done to create a vehicle free zone and create a safe environment for the pedestrians.” “Areas that were affected by the road closures include Quigney, Beacon Bay, Nahoon and Gonubie,” said Chetty. “The Metro conducted a Joint Operation Centre (JOC) which was situated at the Osner Hotel and was operational on 31 of December 2016 as well as on 1 and 2 of January 2017.” Stakeholders involved in the operation include the South African Police Services (SAPS), Emergency Ambulance Service, Provincial Department of Social Development, BCMM Traffic Department, BCMM Law Enforcement Services and Environmental Health Services. The following statistics recorded during the festive season: Statistics between November 2016 and January 2, 2017 for drunk driving was 119, inconsiderate driving was at 149, those who were held for speeding 7 333, impounds, suspensions and un-roadworthy vehicles were 155. Highest speed recorded in King William’s Town was 112km/h in a 60km/h zone and highest speed in East London was 163km/h in a 90km/h zone. Operation Commander for SAPS East London Cluster Colonel Errol Francis said, “Our operation started from 10 November to 31 January 2017 to prevent crime against people in the Buffalo City area.” “In the morning of December 31 and January 1, we had low levels of crime incidents reported, only five cases were reported, while later on New Year’s Day, 12 crime incidents were reported and on January 2, only four cases were reported,” said Francis. According to the Municipal Report, over 30 lifeguards were employed during the festive season and were operating in all the beaches. “The Metro has 19 fulltime Lifeguards and 39 Seasonal Lifeguards in all the surrounding beaches in the Metro were employed to minimise the number of drownings and swimming incidents.” This festive season saw at least 86 near drowning incidents and four drownings. “We urge people to learn to swim so that when they decide to go swimming during the festive season they are able to do so and limit the drownings,” said Mnyute. IDP and Budget concludes The Metro set aside Tuesday 9 May to discuss the 2017/18 financial budget at Mngqesha Great Place with the traditional leaders. The IDP and Budget is reviewed annually to allow the municipality to improve its plans and strategies and also allow citizens to give their inputs to the IDP for the year, the previous year and next financial year. This year’s theme for the IDP and Budget Roadshows is Unity in Action: A City hard at work. Speaking at the meeting, Chief Whip of Council Councillor Mzwandile Vaaiboom said, “The main purpose of the meeting is to present the draft 2017/18 IDP Review, Medium Term Revenue and Expenditure framework budget to the Queen of Rharhabe and all the Rharhabe Chiefs for inputs before Council adoption.” This follows after the City consulted with all its wards during the roadshows which started on 18 April until 8 May. Discussed during the event include including Tyutyu Phase 3 project, Umzonyana Dam Upgrade, water and the procurement of graders for rural roads. Other issues that came up range from the community hall that was requested in Masingatha, Mlakalaka and Godidi, the agricultural support, requests for ablution facilities in Kwelerana, Mdange Village requested fencing of grazing fields and the request for electricity in Tshatshu. Adding Executive Mayor Xola Pakati said, “Other upgrades that are planned by the Metro include the revamping of the Rharhabe royal family graves, build a tombstone for Chief Tshatshu, Construction of new King William’s Town Traffic Centre, storm water drainages, sanitation, dams and weirs, water treatment works, bulk mains, pump station, distribution mains, reservoirs, agricultural and rural development programmes. Following the Traditional Leaders Session, City officials met with the business sector to discuss projects pertaining to their needs for 2017/18. The Business Breakfast was held at the Regent Hotel in Quigney on Wednesday 10 May. Acting City Manager Bob Naidoo opened the session by giving an overview of the roadshows and its success. “We had a smooth flow of public meetings with hiccups here and there.” The Business Breakfast is held as part of the annual IDP/Budget consultation process, this is mandated by law to involve organised business as a stakeholder in the planning and budgeting process of the municipality. “This meeting is set to provide an opportunity for organised businesses to comment on the draft 2017/18 IDP and Budget before it is tabled in council for adoption and discuss concerns that arise during this engagement,” said Naidoo. Some of the issues raised at previous engagements with the business fraternity included procurement processes with the City’s Supply Chain Management Office, where it was raised that there were interferences at low level when awarding contracts and rural areas being neglected in terms of economic development. In response to this, Pakati assured businesses that the intention of the City is to bring more investment into the City not minimise it. “We are working with other stakeholders to look at what measures can be brought to local businesses to retain and grow the current investment, this work is being done with the Department of Trade and Industry because they have an existing Supply Side Policy which we do not want to duplicate,” said Pakati. Another concern was the inefficiency of the Monitoring and Evaluation of the Metro Growth and Development Strategy. Pakati said that tools are being developed for the strategy and the City is currently reviewing the Supply Chain Policy Framework to include some of the issues raised such as the 30 percent participation of local businesses. “It has been agreed in council that upon conclusion of the framework compilation, all relevant stakeholders will be engaged with for their input,” said Pakati. Attending stakeholders also emphasised that there must be separation between business and politics. Pakati acknowledged the concern but affirmed that the awarding of tenders follows a process which is defined by the Municipal Finance Management and there are no politicians operating in that space. He continued to say that tenders go through a bidding evaluation process and an adjudication process where political interference is barred. Closing off the meeting Speaker of Council Alfred Mtsi said that the principle of meaningful participation was exercised during this engagement. He assured stakeholders that their participation will be expressed in the development of processes undertaken for governance and administration. In closing Pakati announced that there will be a Council Open Day on Tuesday May 16, the adoption of the financial IDP/Budget on May 26 and the State of the Metro Address will be on Thursday 22 June. City getting ready for the Mayor’s Cup The tourney will be held on Friday 16 June at Buffalo City Stadium in East London at 9am. Over 500 youngsters from 50 Wards in the Buffalo City Metro will be participating in the Buffalo City Metro under 19 Mayor’s Cup Tournament. BCMM Executive Mayor Xola Pakati will address the event at 2pm. The Tournament is a culmination of the trials that kick started in May at various venues in the Metro that include King William’s town, Duncan Village, Mdantsane and East London. BCMM Head of Communications Samkelo Ngwenya described the Mayor’s Cup as a platform that will allow young people to showcase their skills and live a healthy lifestyle. “The symbolism of the inaugural Mayor’s Cup taking place on the day that the youth of South Africa took a stand in 1976 is one of the keen features of the tournament,” he said. “It’s a public holiday of great significance and through sport we hope to inspire the youth so that they can aspire to be positive competitors in all aspects of their lives,” Ngwenya said. Winners will be selected from six sporting games that include Netball, Rugby, Table Tennis, Volleyball, Soccer and Boxing for SALGA Provincial Games that will take place in November. The sporting codes are in line with SALGA’s guidelines which further indicate that the BCM selected team on the Mayor’s Cups final on the 16th June 2017 will be eligible to participate in the annual SALGA Provincial Games. Champions from each sporting code will get a trophy and all the selected teams will get medals which will be presented by the Executive Mayor. A live concert scheduled for 4pm, will also take place where national and local artists will be performing. The event is part of the build-up activities towards the 2017 State of the Metro Address which will be held on Thursday 22 June. Comments are closed.