20 February Rural development initiative brings hope February 20, 2017 By Tabisa Mntengwana Latest News 0 23-year-old young man from a small village called Igxarha is a fine example of resilience and determination. 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. Related Rural Indigent Registration Campaign 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. 2015 Metro Growth Development Summit The Summit kicked off with a Gala Dinner on Thursday 29 October with Deputy Minister Finance Mcebisi Jonas who encouraged the City to concentrate on the development of the Metro and making it work as part of the 2030 Vision. While Jonas was making his keynote address he spoke on various issues which include ways of eradicating unemployment, poverty and inequality. “We need to find ways to engage with small businesses and encourage them to find better ways in making their businesses bigger and better.” He added that this process will be viable if the Metro works together with its stakeholders including well established businesses. Jonas also added that the East London IDZ is the most successful industrial zone in the country. “Don’t underestimate the work that is happening in the East London IDZ, it is the most successful in the country and its contribution to the Metro’s economy is very visible.” The Summit is a two-day event which will feature speakers ranging from the Minister for Agriculture, Foerestry and Fisheries Senzeni Zokwana, the Acting executive Mayor of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality Kgosientso Ramokgopa, Deputy Minisiter for Finance Mcebisi Jonas and Deputy Minister for Economic Development Madala Masuku. Topics to be discussed range from the conceptualisation and theorasation on the township economy, finance and good governance, the 100 black industrialists, industrial parks and manufacturing set-asides for non-automotive sector. According to a Municipal Report, the Summit aims to create a shared vision and recommendations about the future direction of BCMM towards 2030. “The summit is set to forge an enduring compact with key stakeholders that can facilitate change and future action, while discovering the imperatives for change.” The workshop starts runs from 30 – 31 October. Major developments for Mdantsane urban hub The funding has been allocated under the Neighbourhood Development Partnership Grant (NDPG) and a precinct plant, designed by the Urban Design Concept Company, was presented to National Treasury earlier this year by a delegation sent by the City. The City on Tuesday 16 August hosted the Mdantsane Urban Stakeholder (Highway) Workshop at Mdantsane Sun Hotel to engage as well as to let them know about the upgrade and development plans that are soon to happen in the CBD. Speaking at the delegates at the workshop, Project Manager from Urban Concept Designs Sopna Kumar- Nair said, “The urban upgrades will focus on expanding and consolidating the existing economic heart of the CBD through the creation of new anchors and facilities. It will also enhance existing streets and creating new tree-lined streets as well as space.” The upgrades will also include the creation of prominent and pedestrian-friendly gateways into the CBD as well as creating new higher density social housing and mixed uses on strategic sites and lastly open up access bottlenecks as well as creating a network of well-connected streets and spaces throughout the CBD. Kumar-Nair mentioned that additional funding will be available from National Treasury to initiate the implementation of the anticipated projects. “The historic, cultural and sporting significance of the hub is also acknowledged in the plan and various opportunities are identified for the further development of these,” adds Kumar-Nair. Acting HoD for Enterprise Project Management Office (EPMO) Neo Moerane said, “We want Mdantsane to be our pride and joy and that it will happen. After this session as entities we must go back and plan. Remember, this is also a concerted concept to deliver on the IDP budget.” She also emphasised that the Metro is all about township regeneration as well as boosting the economy. A resident from Mdantsane Anelisa Luwa said, “We are so happy that finally Mdantsane will receive the recognition it deserves as it is one the biggest township in South Africa. I am also pleased with the job creation the project will come with.” According to a Council Report a detailed study by Buffalo City Metro is on the cards to determine the exact capacity of existing infrastructure as well as the upgrade requirements in relation to water, sanitation, storm water, electricity and roads. The train of hope comes to Buffalo City Phelophepa offers affordable and quality Primary Health Care Services to the community. It complements the services offered by the Department of Health. The train has four clinics rendering services that include dental care, eye care, screening programmes, health education and counselling services. The dental clinic will offer free screening and education. Extractions, fillings and cleaning will be done, for any two procedures the charge will be R10, for all three, R15. All procedures for children will be charged at R5. No procedures will be performed on false teeth. Eye testing will be free of charge, no operations will be done and bifocals will not be prescribed. Eye drops will be R5 each. Free health education, cancer and diabetic screenings, pap smears, prostate and breast screenings. Each prescription will cost R5. The Psychology Clinic services will include workshops to help cope with stress, abuse, conflict, death, parenting, discipline, empowerment and working through emotions. These services are free. Phelophepa Representative Zingisa Sofayiya, encourages community members to make their way to Mount Ruth from the first day and not wait until the second week when there are large numbers of people. Treatment is scheduled on a first come, first served basis. The public should also remember to bring clinic cards and immunisation cards for children. For any enquiries, the public can contact Zingisa Sofayiya on 078 077 1850 or Thozeka Tshangela on 078 271 7299. Delegates discuss South Africa’s economy The conference was held on March 10 –11 with various stakeholders from national and provincial economic development government departments, government entities, universities and research institutions. Welcoming guests at the event Deputy Executive Mayor Xola Pakati said, “We welcome the fact that part of your deliberations will be reflecting on an important aspect that features prominently in our Metro Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS) which is growing capacities of sustainable entrepreneurship in the townships.” “This is of course a critical area of focus as a Metro and we will be paying particular attention to your outcomes and to see how we can find synergies in our efforts.” Giving a background of the Eastern Cape economic development overview MEC for Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism Sakhumzi Somyo said, “Eastern Cape provides a microcosm of the challenges faced at the national level. Some segments of the local economy are at the cutting edge of global technology and production.” He concluded by saying that the province boasts with world class infrastructure concentrated in our city hubs whilst the rural hinterland may lack fundamentals of reliable water, energy and logistics infrastructure. “The province has hug energy potential. Over the past year, the province has seen its allocation of wind and solar farms increase to 17, with a total investment value of R33.7 billion and over 18 000 jobs being created over the life of the projects.” Making his keynote address deputy minister for Trade and Industry Mzwandile Masina saying that the department calls government and academia to actively engage in the process of searching and identifying sustainable related development models for re-industrialisation and economic growth. He added that the current period of expedition to re-industrialise and make substantial value-addition to South Africa’s raw material requires a dynamic, innovative and creative African researcher who understands that the quest for economic transformation is premised on socio-economic justice. “This new generation of African researchers must understand that inclusive growth and development is critical in our march towards achieving the objectives of the National Democratic Revolution. Increased participation of researchers and academia is important in the crafting and development of various iterations of the industrial development policy in the country. Without these, our people will forever toil in poverty and underdevelopment,” Masina said. Other discussions at the conference include a framework for export development and identification of realistic market opportunities in South Africa, the model growing capacities of sustainable entrepreneurship in the townships, trade as a driver of manufacturing structural change for sustainable development in South Africa and rethinking the future role of cities in economic development with questions of the present. 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.