13 March Human Rights Day to be held in BCMM March 13, 2017 By Tabisa Mntengwana Latest News 0 In commemoration of the Human Rights Day, Buffalo City Metro born human rights activist Steve Bantu Biko will be remembered for his contribution in the struggle as 2017 marks 40 years since his passing. The Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture together with the Department of Justice and Correctional Services as well as the Metro will host the 2017 Human Rights Day celebrations on Tuesday 21 March at the Victoria Grounds Stadium in King William’s Town. Celebrations will commence at 9am, the theme for this year’s commemoration is The year of OR Tambo: Unity in action in advancing Human Rights. Prior to the main event, a social dialogue will be held at the Steve Biko Centre in Ginsberg on Monday 20 March. President Jacob Zuma is set to deliver the keynote speech at the main event on Tuesday. All members of the public are encouraged to attend the event where dignitaries including the country’s President, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, MECs and fellow government officials will be present. The Human Rights Month message is about nation building and social cohesion. Guided by the core message, human rights is about moving South Africa forward towards a nation united against social divides, non-racial, non-sexist, equal and cohesive nation. Related Human Rights Day commemorated The unveiling takes place during the Human Rights Month, as part of the commemorations of the day. The Human Rights Day is commemorated annual in the South African Calendar on 21 March. This day is a reminder of the tragic Sharpeville massacre and a celebration of South Africa’s uniqueness and equal rights for all. According to a press statement issued by the provincial department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture the activities held during this week are set to celebrate the month and commemorate significant events that shaped South Africa’s destiny and future. In 1960 the police opened fire without order on a crowd that had gathered at the Sharpeville station to protest pass laws. The pass laws stipulated that all Africans are to carry books and produce them for law enforcement officials on request. At least 69 people were killed and over 150 injured. Today the day is commemorated in various ways and acknowledging those who fought for human rights including Rubusana. Speaking at the event MEC for DSRAC Pemmy Majodina said, “Rubusana was a man of integrity who stood for equality and advocated for human rights.” She added that South Africa needs to honour such heroes, “We need to commit ourselves in honouring him like all the other leaders in the struggle of our freedom. The memorial will later have a statue on top of it and both Biko and Rubusana will be on both sides of the City Hall.” Giving a reply on the remarks, great gran son of Rubusana – Vusumzi Rubusana said, “As a family we are grateful for this honour. We now know our grandfather played a role in the history of this country.” A message by the Executive Mayor Alfred Mtsi was also part of the speeches saying, “Our country has seen a lot of hereos being remembered and commemorated, today we include Rubusana to those who fought for our freedom and justice.” Also part of the Human Rights activities was the fifth two-day Career Expo held at Mdantsane NU14 Library. The two-day expo focuses mainly on the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) learners and was held on 11 and 12 of March, Speaking about the expo organiser of the event Ncedisa Ncapai said, “Our goal is to promote STEM subjects while encouraging learners to stay at school so that they can study further at tertiary level.” For the past four years the expo has been a collaboration between the provincial Department of Education, Buchule Technical High School, Siseko Group; Department of Science and Technology, MERSETA, CATHSSETA, East London Industrial Development Zone (ELIDZ), South African Police Services – Forensic Science Division and the provincial Department of Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture. “This expo is also set to encourage learners to stay at school so that they can study further at tertiary level and promote STEM scarce and critical skills including artisans, technicians or technologists, and professionals and introduce STEM careers that are generally not taken up by the poor communities.” Giving an overview of the expo Ncapai said, “The programme is generously supported by individuals, private, government, non-governmental organisations through various means such as sponsorship, donations and exhibitions.” Culminating the first day of the expo Sibongile Velaphi from Buchule Technical School said, “WE are grateful to have this opportunity, we will now have an idea of which path to take when we go to varsity.” BCMM youth taking charge of their health At least 200 young people from various areas of Buffalo City Metro were part of the Preventainment initiative which focuses on youth development and health consciousness looking at the scourge of HIV/Aids and teenage pregnancy. The event is an initiative held due to the high rate of teenage pregnancy and the HIV/Aids pandemic at some of the schools in the Buffalo City Metro and also to make awareness to the young people on new infections in young people between the ages of 16 and 25. Preventainment is a term coined by the organisors, linking the message of prevention with entertainment to appeal to youth. The event was intended to encourage youth to make use of available health facilities and engage in open dialogues to express the challenges they face as teenagers. “Our mission as the Metro and the Department of Health is to get the youngsters to engage with us making use of the suggestion boxes and complaint forms at various clinics, hence we came up with the word Preventainment so we understand your struggles as the youth,” said Portfolio Head Xolani Witbooi. During the programme various health issues were discussed including the importance of washing hands, the causes of HIV/Aids, prevention of STIs and it was followed by a demonstration of washing hands. “It is important to wash your hands everytime you need to, including after using the bathroom and before eating,” said Xolisa Melude Health Practitioner from the Community Leader Trust. The day culminated with the youngsters grouped into groups of 10 to discuss topics including the lack of confidentiality from nurses, no services on weekends, substance abuse, the separation of treatment collection points and poverty, peer pressure and lack of knowledge and transparency from parents. One of the youngsters at the event Sange Hibana from Inkwenkwezi High School said, “Events of this nature are important because they teach us about abstinence, the use of condoms and the significance of contraceptives.” BCMM Executive Mayor Xola Pakati in Duncan Village C-Section donating to a creche The Little Kids Centre is one of the 271 organizations that applied for the Buffalo City Metro Municipality Grants-In-Aid for assistance to enhance growth of community development. The fund is an initiative done by the Metro to provide grants to non-political and non- profit making organizations to help support and improve BCMM communities. A total of R1.4 million budget has been set aside for the selected organizations across the Metro that deal with child and youth centers, HIV/Aids centers, social and welfare organisations, home-based centers, early childhood development centers, arts and culture organizations, disabled and old age centers, support groups, alcohol and drug centers. Thereafter he joined and addressed the rest of the beneficiaries at the East London City Hall received their allocation which ranges between R10 000 and R30 000. After the event: The Executive Mayor together with the Speaker of Council, Councilor Alfred Mtsi, visited the Reeston area in Dice at 2 pm where people were killed last week and a Councillor was subsequently arrested. The Buffalo City Municipality leadership have come out strongly condemning the acts that have led to violence and loss of life. This was a courtesy visit to the families and local leadership of the area. Roadworks underway in BCMM According to the Municipal Spokesperson Samkelo Ngwenya Fleet Street users need to have a little patience while the City is working hard in making its roads user friendly and up to standard. “Fleet Street users need to have a bit of patience.” While Fleet Street motorists are cautioned to have patience, Batting Bridge users can use the bridge since the weekend as works have been finished in that area. The bridge was closed from July 14 and was opened on Saturday 22 July in time for the schools reopening. The contractor in Fleet Street has over the weekend completed works on the northern side of Fleet Street which is between Station Street and Oxford Street - this section has been tarred and is open for public use over the weekend. A two-way traffic for east and westbound which is towards Quigney and towards the East London Airport direction traffic will be provided with alternative routes. The contractor will then close the southern side and commence with excavations and layer works as of Monday 25 July, with completion of this works anticipated to be achieved by the second week of September this year. Following that, the works will move to Zone 1 works which include the Oxford to Pontoon Roads with road works planned completion to be complete by December this year. “We will advise motorists close to the works beginning accordingly on this stage with finer details of planned works and traffic accommodation and also deploy pointsmen accordingly,” said Ngwenya. 80th IMESA Conference held The three-day conference was held from the 26 to 28 October. The purpose of the conference is for the engineering professionals to deliver key messages on various topics pertaining to engineering challenges and opportunities whilst promoting excellence in municipal engineering amongst its members for the benefit of the community. The theme for this year’s conference IMESA Conference is Siyaphambili – Engineering the future. Speaking at the conference BCM Executive Mayor Xola Pakati said, “The IMESA conference will assist the metro to share best practices that have been successful in other municipalities but mostly to derive new solutions through active engagements with all stakeholders in the engineering sector.” “The conference should have outcomes that will assist us as the Metro to change lives of our communities,” said Pakati. “Our engagement here today should provide an enabling socio-economic environment in which our ultimate goal of a competitive city is based on our five pillars of the Growth and Development.” The conference also hosted panellists which represented a wide range of engineering interests while on the other side of the conference there were also stalls with various engineering products on show. Giving an overview of her research in training and development of municipal engineers and updated findings following her book which was published in 2005 titled Numbers and Needs Allyson Lawless said, “There is an urgent need to implement a system to develop young municipal engineering practitioners which includes training courses and workshops associated with activities in the municipal calendar.” She further added that research carried out both locally and internationally showed that civil engineering capacity in South African municipalities was too low to deliver, operate and maintain local government infrastructure in a sustainable manner. Following that, Stephan Jooste, a specialist in the advisory field from Aurecon spoke in length about the proposed increase involvement from the private sector through Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) to respond to the significant challenges in service delivery in municipalities. Another speaker giving his views on the sustainable growth through rural connectivity was Darren Keep from Mabey Bridge who said, “Bridges connect communities, provide children with safe access to education and facilitate direct access to social health-care and amenities.” The conference culminated with a platform for debate and dialogue from the delegates on the presented topics. BCMM and Chinese deal set to create jobs Four new electronics factories are expected to be established by the end of the year from the deal and at least 400 permanent jobs created when the factories open. No new buildings would be built as the factories, manufacture electronic devices including computers and cellphones would be housed at the East London Industrial Development Zone (ELIDZ). The signing ceremony was held on Thursday 24 August at the East London International Convention Centre in Quigney. The day started with a visit to the Mpongo Park Game Reserve and finished off with a signing ceremony. The visit comes after Executive Mayor Xola Pakati and his delegation visited China last month to negotiate lucrative deals with the country in an effort to bring jobs to the city. The visit intended to invest in the automotive, information technology, clothing and textile sectors. Speaking at the ceremony Pakati said, “It gives us great joy and pleasure to host the delegation from the City of Jinhua in our Metro. We are confident that the visit and signing of our partnership agreement will strengthen our cooperation and enhance our mutually-beneficial relations as cities.” “Let the signing of this agreement be the beginning of a good chapter for both our cities,” he said. Adding to that Speaker of Council Alfred Mtsi said, “BCM and Jinhua have a 16-year relationship which seeks to improve the livelihood of BCM residents and reposition the City as a desirable destination for investors.” Response by Consulate of People’s Republic of China, Consul General Kang Yong said, “We are very excited and grateful to the Metro about this deal, today we are turning a new page and injecting a new life between the Metro and Jinhua, the agreement will benefit the people from both cities.” Comments are closed.