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. Electricity Smart Meter Technology This process will kick off with the industrial and commercial sections as the first phase and later in the project the domestic billing will kick off as phase two. This project includes the electricity meter audit, changing the old meters to the new smart meters. “We have picked up that many businesses in this City, in fact over 100, are using old meter systems that are outdated and ultimately cost their bottom line,” Ngwenya. The City is aiming at replacing at least 200 industrial and commercial sites as part of the pilot phase to be implemented in the 2017/ 2018 financial year. Thereafter the program will be rolled out to the masses. This is a transversal contact (RT 15/2016) done by BCMM and is supported by the National Treasury. Th primary benefits of the project for the consumer includes accurate billing, better monitoring of electricity consumption through a Mobile App and completeness of monthly billing. A Mobile App (SmartWire) has been developed for consumers to monitor their electricity consumption. The App gives the consumer to view their electricity consumption in a 30-minute interval. In the later stage the City will have a USSD for easy access to consumers with queries. The City also has a control room (Intelligence Operating Centre) which is situated at the Munnifin building 3rd floor to deal with the roll out and implementation. At least R59 000 will be spent in changing the old meters to the new smart system in the first phase. For more information on the kindly email the Project Manager Office on Smart_Metering_Query@buffalocity.gov.za “We are tightening the screws and ensuring that the City is innovative, connected and productive in its approach to service delivery. In October we introduced an advanced prepaid vending system which enabled people to buy electricity in the luxury of their comfort and increased many vending areas. “Now this platform is meant to supplement that and all these efforts that we are putting together to enable people to monitor their consumption, budget properly and ultimately be able to pay for services easily,” Ngwenya. 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. Buffalo City to host Proteas and Chippa matches So much so that as a City, we are not only predicting victories for both teams but also a full capacity crowds to live up to our reputation as South Africa’s “capital of fun” and a “sports destination of choice”. The Chilli Boys, as the football side is known, are returning to Buffalo City for the first time this season at their hunting ground the Sisa Dukashe Stadium following their win against Kaizer Chiefs in the Premiers Cup in August. Chippa will be hosting a wounded Cape Town City side who are coming from two defeats. Elsewhere in the City, the high flying Proteas will be hosting Bangladesh at the Buffalo Park Stadium on Sunday at 10 am. The Proteas lead the ODI series by two nil after winning their first game by 10 wickets and the second game by 104 runs. The Buffalo City local organising committee has indicated that the City is ready and it is all systems go for the weekend games. The LOC has been sitting with other safety organs of state planning to deliver incident free events that are of international standard. Our security clusters include our disaster, traffic and law enforcement and these have submitted their plans and necessary certificates which have been approved. For the Chippa, game tickets are still available at Ticketpro for R40 adults and R20 for children. We advise people that do not have tickets not come close to the stadium precinct as security will be on high alert and we warn perpetrators who are dealing with counterfeit tickets that they will face the full might of the law. The Sisa Dukashe Stadium will open at 12h30 and with curtain raiser matches. The Chippa/CT City game will kick-off at 15h30. For the Proteas game, Tickets for the Proteas game are available through Ticketpro and at the Buffalo Park ticket office with cost raging from R80 to R350.Road closure for Proteas and Bangladesh. Road Closures: Proteas Game • Buffalo Park Drive at Commercial Road • Buffalo Park Drive at John Baillie Road • Buffalo Park Drive at the Entrance to the Old Craven park • Buffalo Park Drive at the Main Gate Lane Closure • John Baillie Road will be converted into a one-way Traffic from Buffalo Park Drive towards Link Road. Alternative Parking will be made available at Commercial Road and Buffalo Park Drive (close to Fitzpatrick Road) Chippa game Streets in and around NU 2 Mdantsane and general parking will be available at the Orlando stadium. Comments are closed.