6 July Buffalo City Homestay Programme to kickoff in August July 6, 2017 By Tabisa Mntengwana Latest News 0 Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality will launch a Homestay Project called “Khaya Lam Buffalo City Homestay Programme” in Mngqesha Great Place from 13 – 26 August 2017. The homestay concept was adapted from the Metro’s sister city Jinhua, Zhejiang Province in China. Jinhua launched the “Home-stay in Jinhua’s historical Villages” project in 2015. Through this project Jinhua City aimed to tell the story of Jinhua and promote its rural villages by attracting tourists from all over the world who are interested in travelling to historical villages. The Metro saw the need to implement a similar project because of the rich cultural and historical background pertaining to the Xhosa Culture, and the realisation that cultures across the country are slowly being eroded by western influence and therefore need to be preserved. The project will aim to transform Mngqesha into an international center for ecotourism with distinctive local cultural elements, as well as provide an attraction for international visitors to the City. It will also ensure that surrounding rural villages are working centres of economic activity so that villagers do not leave for the cities, but contribute to developing rural villages. 30 international applicants who have a strong interest in South Africa and in particular the Xhosa culture, will be selected for the two week stay in Mngqesha Great Place and will have direct experience of living in a Xhosa Village, its culture, history, folklore, architecture, art, crafts and cuisine. They will also have the opportunity to experience other interesting sites and places of interest in the City. Participants will be required to make suggestions on improving all aspects of the village as a cultural tourist attraction and produce promotional material such as pamphlets, maps and web articles to create an interest in the respective participant countries to visit the project. The two-week exchange will then conclude with the project evaluation as well as the Farewell Ceremony where participants will have the opportunity to show off their talents and skills to the local villagers. For application forms to be part of the Homestay Programme follow the link: http://www.buffalocitymetro.gov.za/Portals/0/slides/HOMESTAY_IN_SOUTHAFRICA_APPLICATION_FORM.pdf Related 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. Buffalo City celebrates Toursim Month In celebration of Heritage and Tourism Month the Department of Tourism planned various activities such as the Beach and Heritage Clean up, the Product Training Workshop, the Media Hosting Tour and the Cultural and Adventure Tours. The Department also ran a selfie competition which encouraged entrants to take selfies when visiting a Heritage or Cultural site in the City. The tour took place from 16 to 18 September and is part of the Celebrations of Tourism Month. The City hosted a tour which had guided tours to the Steve Biko Centre, a game drive at the Mpongo Private Game Reserve and a quad bike tour at Areena Riverside Resort where the visitors interacted with Abby, the giraffe. “The hosting of tour operators and media houses will give Buffalo City an opportunity to showcase what it has to offer as a destination of choice. Currently, tour operators and media houses are looking for new destinations that they can offer to their clients,” said Miranda Nofeliti Marketing Coordinator from the Local Economic Department. Janine Borthwick from Ballyhoo Media, Justin Williams Online Editor at the Publication Cape Town etc. and Iga Motylska a Freelance Journalist will share their experiences on various Tourism platforms and their social media pages. Speaking to BCMM’s Website Mbulelo Kafi Owner of Sakhisizwe Tours from the Northern Cape said that Tourism and Heritage Month is important as it educates South Africans on where they come from, allowing citizens to protect their historical monuments. “BCMM is rich in history and has an impressive collection of wildlife animals and vegetation.” Nofeliti also added that the Eastern Cape Province is one of the tourism gems of South Africa, “offering visitors unique scenic views and a truly diverse tourism experience.” As part of the Tourism Month activities, the group presented and shared their experiences at the Product Training Workshop which was held at the King David Hotel on 17 September where various members of the tourism sector in the Metro were invited. “The department held the workshop, in an effort to create more awareness to product owners on how to package itineraries for the international market and to encourage them to tap into that market,” said Nofeliti. She also added that there is a need to educate tourism business owners on the importance of using social media as a business tool to expand their businesses. Benny Mutswiri from Heita Ngamla Tours based in Johannesburg said that he discovered that there’s a lot of activities and rich history that the City offers. “I interacted with various Tour Operators and B&B Owners at the Product Training Session gave me an opportunity to network and explore the various ways in which I could promote the City to the people of Johannesburg. The two-hour beach clean-up took place at the Esplanade at the Beachfront and at the Heroes Park with over 50 Tourism students from Walter Sisulu University and the Buffalo City College participating. “Being regularly aware of the need to keep all coastal lines clean and beautiful is a contribution we can make to ensure we improve the state of the beaches, shorelines and duns,” said Nofeliti. 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. Call-2-Action programme launched The programme was launched on Monday 5 June at Mercedes Benz Learning Academy in Settlers Way. Call-2-Action is the initiate by the Border Kei Chamber of Business (BKCOB) in collaboration with the Metro, Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) and other businesses based in BCM to enhance the conditions of those living, working and operating in the city. Speaking at the Launch, Buffalo City Executive Mayor Xola Pakati said, “We are a city hard at work therefore it is imperative that we collaborate with business sector so as to ensure that we are indeed a Metro that is clean and green, well governed and innovative so as to ensure more investment into the city.” “This initiative serves as a catalyst for the prosperity of our beautiful city. It is through such engagements that we can collaboratively work together as government and business sector to make Buffalo City the land of plenty, “said Pakati. “Our intention is to provide a better life for the citizens of Buffalo City. The campaign does not only look at improving the city’s image and attracting investment, it also serves as a poverty alleviation tool through the creation of job opportunities for the unemployed youth of the Metro,” he said. “This, we believe, has a potential to improve the city’s image and its ability to attract more investment,”he added. BKCOB Executive Director Les Holbrook said,” The initiative is focusing on the green and clean city, it is mainly aimed at tackling litter and beautifying the four identified pilot areas in the Metro that include Settlers Way, Southernwood, Oxford Street and Western Avenue as well as Quigney.” “Unemployed residents of Buffalo City have been granted opportunities of employment in the four identified pilot areas, they receive stipend every month,” said Holbrook. “The team has already unblocked drains, removed alien vegetation, cut grass and picked up litter in Settlers Way,” he said. One of the residents working on the project Thembisa Koshe from Santa near airport said, “We are very happy about the project, our community is now clean. We are cleaning the area from 8am to 4:30pm every day. Our job helps us to know how important it is to live in a clean environment. ” Another resident working on the project Siyabulela Ncume said, “We are grateful about the project it really made a difference in our lives. We are now employed and living in a healthy environment like other people. We appreciate what we get from the project, it’s better than nothing.” Pakati outlines his first 100 days programme in office Pakati who has been in office for over 30 days outlined the plans to ensure better service delivery for the people of Buffalo City. The action plans included providing comfortable homes and addressing the growing number of informal settlements in the City. The Metro has built a number of houses for poor families and storm victims, and will continue with housing projects including those in Sunny South, Tsholomnqa, Nkqonqweni and Majali as part of rural housing project. Over 160 houses will be handed over to legal beneficiaries 100 in Reeston, 20 in Nkqonqweni, 20 in Majali and 20 in Mdantsane for the cluster 2 project. The Metro has planned to minimize the impact of air pollutants on human health by monitoring air pollution in the City. This will be through ensuring that air pollution does not exceed the 25 days permitted by the National Ambient Standards. Other highlights of the 100 day programme include: · New electricity pre-payment system enabling BCMM citizens to buy pre-paid electricity through Internet, ATMS, Cellphones and increase vending points. · The official launch of the Mayoral Library Legacy Project which anticipates at least 500 000 collected books. · Maintaining a Clean and Green City; by picking up litter, sweeping of roads and waste collection. · Supply Chain Management turnaround strategy to improve the efficiency and effectiveness in the SCM · Buffalo City Metro Development Agency to improve capacity of BCMM to deliver on its mandate · Rollout of fiber network EL CBD and surroundings to improve connectivity amongst BCMM services centers · CCTV cameras have been mounted in East London CBD, Munifin and City Hall to increase surveillance monitoring in the City · Refurbishment of Ebuhlanti as part of boosting the City’s tourism and improving the tourism infrastructure · Rural development – fencing of arable land and camps and handing over seedling in rural communities for job creation and creating a productive City · Road Traffic Safety - a new integrated parking management system and the construction of new traffic centre in King Williams Town · Decentralisation billing and meter reading to improve the management and quality of meter reading · Indigent Management Program to allow efficient and effective registration and verification of indigent consumers · Construction of KwaTshatshu pedestrian bridge and Needs Camp/ Potsdam bridge · Upgrading of Nahoon boardwalk · Refurbishment of Gonubie and Eastern Cape Beach lifesavers buildings and ablutions On job creation Pakati said the unemployment rate is high and he ensured job creation for at least 693 people in this financial year. 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. Comments are closed.