6 July City gets new air quality gas analyser calibration system July 6, 2017 By Nomatshawe Vellem Latest News 0 The past practice of relying solely on external specialists and service providers to carry out calibration services for the Metro is now the thing of the past in the City. The Executive Mayor Xola Pakati officially handed over new portable air quality gas analyser calibration system on Thursday 29 June to improve air quality in the Metro. Speaking about the new system Pakati said, “The new system will improve air quality while protecting human health and securing environmental sustainability in the City.” “Council approved R700 000 for the procurement of the calibration system in the 2016/17 financial year. The system was delivered to the municipality before the financial year ends. Environmental pollution staff completed training in the operation of the calibration system in the new financial yea 29 June 2017.” “Adding to that, Portfolio Head for Public Safety Amanda Mnyute said, “In terms of the air quality act the Buffalo City Metro has a legal responsibility to monitor air quality in the municipal area. To fulfil this obligation, the municipal Health Services Department operates three air quality monitoring stations that functions on a continuous basis.” “The first air monitoring station was established in 2006 and is situated at the Municipal Health Services Department in East London. The second station was set up in Zwelitsha in 2008 and recently a mobile station was established in Gompo area,” said Mnyute. “The stations monitor a range of pollutants in the city. The data generated at the stations is required to be submitted to the Department of Environment of Environmental affairs for inclusion in South African Air Quality Information System,” she said. Senior Environmental Pollution Officer Alan Mclntyre said, “To ensure the air quality monitoring stations generate reliable data the instruments must be calibrated on quarterly bases as well as on the return of an instrument following repair or when an analyser is moved between stations.” “Moreover spare back-up instruments must first be calibrated before they can be used,” said Mclntyre. “We are confident that the procurement of the calibration system and the training of staff in its use will greatly improve the functionality of the air monitoring stations and will also ensure the municipality is in a better position to perform its statutory obligation to monitor air quality and will reduce the operating costs of the stations,” he concluded. Related System launched to fast track property applications Acting General Manager Property Management Siphiwo Bam said, “Today the Information Technology and the GIS sections launched the IPIMS which will help the institution run effectively.” “Initially the previous approach that we used in the past was manual in the sense that we would receive applications, write down information and send for circulation. With this new system everything will be integrated and it will shorten the time taken for business process.” He also said the system will help shorten the time spent on processing application by seven days. “In the past it took normally 21 days to process information and it has shorten the process to14 days and now comments can be received within seven days.” The system will run across eight distinct processes and across three departments in BCMM which are City Planning, Land Administration and Building and Architecture. IPIMS will also help community members track the status of their applications online on the following when the system goes live on the City’s website: · Property use change · Rezoning application · Lease management · New building plan application · Application for Sub-division · Sale of land · Land acquisition · Property subdivision · Deeds integrations Speaking about the system GIS Co-ordinator Fezeka Bokveldt said the system initially started in 2012 with data alignment to test the system. She said the system will help the Metro in identifying discrepancies, gaps and inaccurate property information within non-financial property databases or information systems and with the following: · the development of data clean-up schedule to assist the affected departments with correcting data; · investigating of existing property business process to ensure property information integration; · identifying gaps within the existing methodology; · Rules and database management to future capturing of property data and design and · Develop an efficient property business process to ensure property information integration. Bokveldt said the main aim of implementing the system was that property information is one of the main datasets within GIS and it needed to be linked, integrated and managed with non GIS property information and systems. “Property forms a basis of all municipal planning, engineering services, rates and billing so it was important to have a cadastral layer that is a spatial representation of property information as per the surveyor general approved diagrams where it can also be spatially verified.” System Business Analyst from Data World Phila Dlamini said that the system will also incorporates all the departments within the Metro. “IPIMS will help speed up the process of applications. The applicants who apply will be able to log on to the system using their reference number and be able to check or track the status of their application. The system will also be integrated with the billing system, property system and the call centre,” said Dlamini. The link for the system is 172.31.4.37//landmatrix. New Parking Meter system for BCM The system will be operated by a marshal in a parking area and motorist will be allowed to park for only two hours. The system, which is a park and display terminal, will also be able to scan the number plate of the vehicle to check the validity of the licence disc and outstanding fines and if there is an outstanding fine, the system will print a notice that serves as a reminder to the motorist. Motorist can pay cash or use a parking smartcard and nonpayers will be dealt with by law as traffic service will enforce the law. Speaking about the system, Traffic Services Commander Quintin Chetty said the system will help Buffalo City regulate and control parking areas in the central business district. Chetty said parking has become an issue as a result people prefer to go to malls where there is parking due to the CBD being congested. "We want to ensure that people come to town and do their business. We want them to come to our CBD rather than go to malls.” Currently, the section is conducting public hearings for the proposed draft bylaw to introduce the management system before it goes to council for adoption. “Council had to review what parking management system they want to put in place. The current one that runs around all cities at this stage is the hand held system,” said Chetty Chetty said the purpose of the hearings is to get the public’s opinions on the bylaw as it will affect them. Business will be also be affected by the proposed bylaw as they also utilise the parking space around the City. Asked when will be the system implemented he said after the hearings a report will be submitted to council and the programme is expected to be rolled out by the end of the year. “We want to have the programme running before the end of the year. We want to have the control parking management system by December.” The draft by-law provides for a fine of up to R20 000 or 90 days in jail,or both for anyone who contravenes or fails to comply with the provision of the by law. The first hearing was held in King Williams Town and the second which was planned for Braelynn, however, the session did not sit due to poor attendance. The third session was held in Mdantsane. Chetty said, “The metro will organise another session for the East London.” The system which is currently used by other cities will work as follows: · The motorist arrives at a parking bay which is marked with a unique bay number, and is greeted by the Parking Marshall. · The marshal then records the vehicle’s registration number and parking bay number. · The marshal informs the motorist of the parking tariff and then requests the motorist indicate the period for which the use of the parking bay will be required. · The hand-held meter (the Park & Display Terminal) then automatically calculates the parking tariff for the parking time and the motorist is informed accordingly. Payment is made in advance. · The Park & Display Terminal automatically issues an electronic Display Ticket. · The motorist places the Display Ticket on the on the dashboard, inside the vehicle. · A passive parking tag/vehicle sensor is placed on the tar of each parking bay to assist the marshal to tag each vehicle. · The service provider employs parking marshals who are clearly identifiable to the public to operate the hand-held parking system. · The hand held system can also scan the number plate of the vehicle to check the validity of the license disc as well as for outstanding traffic fines. · If there is any outstanding fine, the system will print a notice that serves as a reminder to the motorist. · The system also has a built in telephone which is linked to the server room. 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 system to help collect traffic fines The ANPR which will be operated by traffic officers from two mobile offices will read vehicle number plates and link drivers with outstanding traffic fines. The system uses high-speed cameras that are capable of character recognition and when the system matches the number plate to the database of offenders operators on site will be notified immediately before the vehicle could pass the mobile office. Motorists with fines or warrants of arrests will be able to pay their fines immediately or choose to appear in court. Speaking at the launch, Executive Mayor Alfred Mtsi said the City is currently owed over R31 million by cheating motorist who have unpaid traffic fines. Mtsi said the primary reason for not collecting fines was caused by the lack of capacity and due to the labour-intensive process. “As a result the Metro is owed money which could be channelled towards procuring the much needed equipment and other valuable resources in order to improve traffic policing,” said Mtsi. He warned motorists who have been cheating the system and have been using the roads fully aware of their outstanding traffic fines and warrants and said they will be effectively dealt with. “As we launch this facility we are sending a strong signal to road users that the breaking of laws in our roads and dodging of payment of fines will not be tolerated." The new system will link the East London and King William’s Town traffic departments to be able to prosecute offenders. “At present, the Metro is serviced by two traffic departments that operate autonomously from each other and the circumstances were that traffic offenders of King William’s Town trespassing in East London could not be prosecuted within the jurisdiction of East London. With the centralising of these two traffic departments and the new systems and technologies implemented, this means if a driver’s offence took place in East London or King Williamstown the offenders will be prosecuted without any limitations,” said Mtsi. The City will also install speed cameras at identified traffic intersection. However, Regional Commander-Coastal Quinton Chetty said that they will have to apply through the courts for the installation and that process of installing the cameras might take two months. Buffalo City and the Chilli Boys are ready The PSL game will be a one of kind first ever game to be played at the stadium in the evening as well as hosting the tough champions. Addressing the media at the EL City Hall boardroom Pakati said, “As you are all aware that BCMM is in partnership with Chippa United football club and that tomorrow we are hosting the match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Chippa is within the context of that partnership. “For tomorrow’s game it is all systems go as we have met our end of the bargain in terms of insuring that the stadium meets the PSL requirements.” Pakati also spoke on how the partnership came about, “We noticed that there were no PSL games being played in Buffalo City for a long time. We then decided to engage in conversations with the club to bring some games to this side of the province. We all agreed and the rest is just history,” he added. The match will help boost the Metro’s economy tremendously especially given the high importance of the game. The games are going to be very economically viable for the City. “Remember that when people will come here they will pour petrol into their cars and some will sleep over in the hotels and beds and breakfast. So it will be a great spin off particularly in the hospitality sector,” added Pakati. COO for Chippa United football club Lukhanyo Mzinzi said, “We have prepared for the game ever since we took the decision together with the City last year. This showed how much we took seriously the partnership we have with the City.” He added the club will also play good quality PSL matches in Mdantsane. “Following this match we will have Golden Arrows followed by the current champions of the MTN League which is Wits,” said Mzinzi. He further added that the City has played a big role in terms of marketing the club as a result the team have seen their support grow bigger in each visit. Mazinzi describes the Metro as their hunting ground as they don’t waste any points when they play in Buffalo City. In culminating the briefing Pakati emphasized on safety security and said that the Metro’s Law Enforcement together with Environmental Services will be working with the South African Police Services (SAPS) to ensure the fans protection as a number one priority. Comments are closed.