17 July Keeping the City safe July 17, 2017 By Tabisa Mntengwana Latest News 0 Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality together with South African Police Services kicked off its operations on Thursday in an effort to ensure a safe and secure environment within the City. On Thursday 13 July, the City led an operation targeted at hawkers within the Metro who operate within the CBD, leaving the area in an unsafe and untidy space. Areas covered include Terminus Street, Beaconsfield Road, Caxton Street, Gillwell and Union Streets. The law enforcement agencies together with the Metro’s Environmental Health Services confiscated over 500 pallets, more than 150 crates and 65 makeshift tables which were left unattended to in the CBD. On Friday, 14 July, Buffalo City Law Enforcement also targeted illegal liquor operating establishments around the City's CBD area. 11 places of entertainment were visited around Southernwood and central town and 10 were closed for no business licenses. Places closed down and issued R1000 fines are as follows: Natalies Tavern in Union Street; Cindy's Wine and Dine in North Street; Ndosi Tarven in Southernwood; C J Chocolate in Southernwood; Premier Entertainment in Southernwood; KwaPiksi in Douglas Smith and Windyridge, Emlanjeni Tavern in Southernwood; Belgrave Bar Lounge in St Pauls Road; Chunky Charlie Tavern in the CBD and CD's Tavern in Gillwell Road. The only place that was found to be compliant was the Zooming Lounge in Stephenson Street. During these raids, eight unlicensed vehicles were charged at these places. On Saturday, 15 July and early hours of Sunday 16 July, an operation seeking to ensure safety on the roads which was conducted by BCMM Traffic Services, Law Enforcement Services and SAPS, netted 51 drunk drivers in the following areas: 23 people in Mdantsane, 9 in Amalinda, 13 in Devereux Avenue, four in Cambridge, one in Bypass and one in Southernwood. This operation is part of our commitment to servicing our citizens and being a City Hard at Work in ensuring that we ensure a safe and secure environment whilst providing an efficient and responsive service against lawlessness. Related 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. New CCTV cameras to curb crime in the City Speaking at the event Pakati said, “Public safety is one of the priorities we have identified. We are launching CCTV cameras that will monitor our CBD, the Esplanade as well as Duncan Village at this point, but we are working to ensure that cameras in other areas are working as well.” “Working together with the South African Police Services (SAPS), this is one of the initiatives that are meant to curb crime in the city, in particular the CBD,” he said. The City officials together with the Executive Mayor took a walkabout to the CCTV cameras Control Room and was shown how the cameras operate at the control room at the Fire Station. The cameras which were at a cost of R1.8 million were installed and were instrumental in curbing crimes around the beachfront Esplanade area during the festive season. “We as the municipality are determined to work with everyone involved in the fight against crime in our Metro. Our quest is to ensure that we have CCTV that are monitoring everything that is going on in the city working together with the SAPS with the intention of identifying those who break the law,” he added. “We want a City free of crime, people must be able to walk about freely without the worry of getting robbed. As we are unable to have a police officer on every street, this technology will assist us in monitoring our city and identify criminals.” Welcoming the new officers, Pakati said, “We are proud to welcome the new law enforcement officers to the Metro. I am certain that you will hold up the law to the best of your ability.” According to Pakati the new officers will help in keeping the City safe as well as protecting the laws. “As we celebrate youth month, may these young men and women be a good example to our youth that through hard work and determination one can achieve their goals.” The day ended with another walkabout to the newly revamped car pound in Gonubie. The pound is used to keep abandoned vehicles and was renovated by fencing, electrication of the fence, security lights at a cost of R280 000. 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. Water safety for Duncan Village kids The group is part of the Duncan Village Isibindi Child and Youth Care and Safe Park project which is a programme between the Metro and its sister city the City of Leiden. The swimming programme kicked off on Monday 25 January and will end on Sunday 7 February. According to a Municipal Report the Water Safety Project is being funded by the Leiden Stitchting Stedenband who contributed towards the establishment of the Duncan Village Isibindi and Safe Park programme. “The current Water Safety project includes activities ranging from basic water safety skills and basic swimming lessons which are provided by the Dutch foreign national sports coach.” Speaking about the benefits of the programme Koliswa Notwala Duncan Village Coordinator for Isibindi Child and Youth Care project said, “This has been a great opportunity for our children and we are hoping that in the near future our funders wont only look for swimming but help our kids to be involved in other sporting codes – soccer, rugby or music.” She added that the children will benefit a lot from the swimming project is it is rare to find children from disadvantaged backgrounds with proper swimming skills. Speaking to one of the beneficiaries 12 year old Zusakhe Soqhaga said, “The swimming lessons will help me when I go to the beach with my family during the holidays.” Adding to that Liyema Cekisa who is also part of the project said that the swimming lessons will help when she is playing in the water. “I will know what to do to be safe.” Sharing his views about the programme Dutch Coach Maarten Weeda said, “It has been a great experience to be working with the kids, others are learning fast and with others I have to be patient as they are sometimes afraid of the water.” Metro unpacks the Festive Season Safety Operations Speaking at the briefing Portfolio Head for Health and Public Safety Amanda Mnyute said, “We had a joint operation from December 30 to January 2, 2017 with the aim to control the crowd during the festive season in all our beaches and other areas of the Metro.” “During this period some of the roads in the beachfront were closed to accommodate the traffic congestion and easy flow of vehicles in the Quigney areas,” she said. Mnyute added that children were lost and that was a major challenge this year for the City. “Over 40 children were lost and later reunited with their parents. Another major challenge was the consumption of alcohol and making open fires in areas that ae not designated for that.” “The number of drunken driving in the Buffalo City has increased from last year to 190 drunk driving incident during this festive season.” Buffalo City Metro Commander for Traffic Services Quinton Chetty said, “The traffic flow showed a great improvement due to the earlier road closures. This was done to create a vehicle free zone and create a safe environment for the pedestrians.” “Areas that were affected by the road closures include Quigney, Beacon Bay, Nahoon and Gonubie,” said Chetty. “The Metro conducted a Joint Operation Centre (JOC) which was situated at the Osner Hotel and was operational on 31 of December 2016 as well as on 1 and 2 of January 2017.” Stakeholders involved in the operation include the South African Police Services (SAPS), Emergency Ambulance Service, Provincial Department of Social Development, BCMM Traffic Department, BCMM Law Enforcement Services and Environmental Health Services. The following statistics recorded during the festive season: Statistics between November 2016 and January 2, 2017 for drunk driving was 119, inconsiderate driving was at 149, those who were held for speeding 7 333, impounds, suspensions and un-roadworthy vehicles were 155. Highest speed recorded in King William’s Town was 112km/h in a 60km/h zone and highest speed in East London was 163km/h in a 90km/h zone. Operation Commander for SAPS East London Cluster Colonel Errol Francis said, “Our operation started from 10 November to 31 January 2017 to prevent crime against people in the Buffalo City area.” “In the morning of December 31 and January 1, we had low levels of crime incidents reported, only five cases were reported, while later on New Year’s Day, 12 crime incidents were reported and on January 2, only four cases were reported,” said Francis. According to the Municipal Report, over 30 lifeguards were employed during the festive season and were operating in all the beaches. “The Metro has 19 fulltime Lifeguards and 39 Seasonal Lifeguards in all the surrounding beaches in the Metro were employed to minimise the number of drownings and swimming incidents.” This festive season saw at least 86 near drowning incidents and four drownings. “We urge people to learn to swim so that when they decide to go swimming during the festive season they are able to do so and limit the drownings,” said Mnyute. 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.