6 September Mayoral Library Legacy Donation September 6, 2017 By Tabisa Mntengwana Latest News 0 With this week, being National Book Week, the Mayoral Library Legacy Project led by Executive Mayor Councillor Xola Pakati received this morning 700 books from Sondlo&Knopp Agency as part of reducing illiteracy in the City. This morning, Pakati hosted the agency at the East London City Hall at 9am. Speaking at the handover ceremony he said that the City is grateful to all donations and these books will help young children in the City. “During my visits to various City libraries, I have identified that material contained in Township Libraries is limited and no relevance in the current curriculum and these donations will assist children in school projects and other school needs,” said Pakati. These books will be shared by the EL Library and Mdantsane Library and the next donation will go to KWT and other areas. The book donation is set to create an environment of learning amongst children in Buffalo City Townships. The donation comes after a plea by the Executive Mayor that business communities and individuals help contribute books to help reduce illiteracy in the City. Related Gompo Library receives new books During the, Taking Parliament to the People programme, officials focused on education amongst other topics discussed and as a result several schools and public libraries were visited after the programme. Gompo Library was one of the libraries that were visited and in honouring the commitment that was made a book handover ceremony was held at the library last week. Speaking at the function, House Chairperson of the NCOP Archibald Nyambi said that it was the responsibility of the NCOP to ascertain that they leave a legacy wherever they go. “We are here today to donate books in an effort to serve on the challenge faced by libraries in the Metro as we stated in our previous visit that we will focus on enriching education and libraries.” Nyambi added that they were thrilled about the library legacy project in Buffalo City. “We are also pleased to support the initiative by the Executive Mayor Xola Pakati to sustain information centres as he has also embarked on his Library Legacy project,” said Nyambi. He also mentioned that they will return in November 2017, for another follow up session as well as to build sustainable partnerships. Speaking to the City’s Website, the Metro’s Acting General Manager for Libraries Mzodumo Dliwayo expressed his gratitude for the initiative by the NCOP. “We are grateful for this initiative because it will result in pro-activeness of the public and entice them to make use of the resources at their disposal.” Dliwayo further expressed the importance of resources in libraries and strategies on how to sustain the visitation from the public. “Libraries need to have strategies that are more interactionist and hold material issues that talk to social issues,” added Dliwayo. Member of the NCOP Lungelwa Zwane also recognised as Chairperson of the Select Committee on Education and Recreation said, “We did not come here empty handed. We came with various books that will serve on the purpose of education.” “Education is the best weapon to fight against poverty, as a result a biggest chunk of the state budget goes to education,” she added. Zwane further added that the culture of reading and research should start from a very young age. “It is therefore our responsibility as parents to instill the culture at a very tender age.” The various books that were donated by the NCOP include Mathematics books, Law books, English Grammar and Literature books, Public Administration books and the South African Constitution. 2015 Mayoral Imbizo The Executive Mayor Alfred Mtsi gave an overview of the highlights of the 2015/16 financial year focusing on the successes of Buffalo City Metro. Mtsi spoke about the housing projects that the City has embarked on including the Ilinge Housing project, Ndancama Housing Project in Scenery Park, the Manyano/Tembelihle Housing Project in Mdantsane. According to Mtsi, the Inland Region is projected that as part of the ongoing programme to address housing backlogs, 1 200 new houses will be handed over to approved beneficiaries in the current financial year and another 1 700 in the next year. “We provided 1 254 serviced sites by the end of March 2015 that will be converted into top structure developments in the coming financial year,” he said while addressing the crowd at Victoria Grounds Stadium. Another housing project in the Inland Region include the KWT Peelton/Hanover and the Skobeni region which will also benefit from an estimated 1 242 new low-cost housing opportunities in the next and ensuing financial year. On the issue of potholes Mtsi assured residents that the City already has a plan in place to minimise the potholes. “We have heard your cry on the state of roads in your areas – like potholes, which seem to be a permanent feature in areas where we stay. This challenge remains with us. The Infrastructure Development Directorate had in place a Pothole maintenance programme.” He added that the Roads Construction in the City is picking up its pace with an amount of R23 million being set aside in the upcoming financial year for the rehabilitation of bridges in the Metro. On the issue of Water, Mtsi said, “We are proud to say that access to potable water increased from 97 percent of the Metro’s citizens in 2012 to 99 percent in 2015.” He added that the eradication of the remaining water backlogs is estimated to require a further provision of R59 million. A variety of supply projects are in the pipeline, to a total estimated cost of R977 million, including the design and implementation of the Kei Road Water Treatment Works. Another highlight that Mtsi looked at is the issue of installation of electricity at informal dwellings. He mentioned that at least a large number of shacks have been electrified through the City’s plan to reduce the risk of illegal electricity connection (Izinyoka). “As part of the focus of improving access to electricity to our disadvantaged communities, we have started a process of electrifying informal settlements in the Metro, and this is being rolled in the various parts of our Metro.” He also mentioned that the Metro’s Electricity Department has, over the medium term electrified RDP houses in places such as Sweetwaters, utilising dedicated funding made available by the National Department of Energy. The Executive Mayor also mentioned that the City has to-date over 200,000 citizens of all ages who are now beneficiaries of the Metro’s indigent subsidy. The last Imbizo will take place on 1 November and will be held at the Jan Smuts Stadium at 2pm. Mayoral Imbizo kicks off The Imbizo is part of the City’s plan to get residents to voice out their views on matters pertaining service delivery issues. Issues discussed include housing, electricity, potholes, roads, water and sanitation, rates and high unemployment rate. Speaking about their state of roads in Zwelitsha Mthuthuzeli Phoswa said, “Our tarred roads are full of potholes and we need them to be fixed. We also want our streets to be named in all our areas in the Metro especially in townships.” The same week, the City visited Mdantsane for the second leg of the Imbizo and residents gave an overview of their service delivery issues. The Imbizo was held on Friday 14 October at Orlando Sportsfields. Issues discussed in Mdantsane include sporting activities for the youth, bucket system in some of the areas of the City needs to be eradicated, fluctuation of rates and how to resolve pending debts and revamping of halls. Ncerha residents also had an opportunity to speak to the Metro with various issues raised. The Ncerha Imbizo was held on Sunday 16 October at Ncerha Village 2. Speaking about the City’s plans Executive Mayor Xola Pakati said, “Everyone in the wards will have equal opportunities for all service delivery issues as the Metro we are committed in changing the lives of our people and excel in service delivery.” The last leg of the Imbizo will be held at Jan Smuts Stadium in East London on Monday 17 October at 1pm. Dignity restored for Masizakhe Children's Home Over 100 people gathered at the centre to witness the occasion with dignitaries including Programme Manager and Head of Secretariat Vuyisa Dayile, Deputy Minister of Communications Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, Transnet Group executive Human Resources Nonkululeko Sishi, Deputy Minister of Public Enterprise Bulelani Magwanishe and Executive Mayor Alfred Mtsi. According to a Press Release issued by the Department of Public Enterprise, the commitment was successively honoured through a donation of over R1.7 million grants from the Department of Public Enterprise’s state owned enterprise-Transnet Foundation in 2014. International Children's Day is celebrated on the 1st Saturday of November in South Africa. As part of the donations to the centre the Eastern Cape Aids Council (ECAC) in collaboration with the Real Gijimas Athletics Club hosted a healthy living 10 kilometre and 5 kilometre fun walk in 2013 as part of the World Aids Day build-up activities an amount of R5 000 was donated to Masizakhe Children’s Home which was identified as the prime beneficiary from the event. Speaking at the event, the Metro’s Executive Mayor Alfred Mtsi said, “We are gathered here today to handover this beautiful dining hall and kitchen to Masizakhe Children’s Home. There are many homeless children around the Highway area, this home takes them in and cares for them.” “That is why we saw the need to give a hand, every child whether they are parentless or not deserves a good upbringing.” He added that Buffalo City Metro contributes at least an amount of R5 000 to help maintenance of the centre as well as books and blankets. Speaking about the home, the Centre Manager Luyanda Lusizi said, “I am so speechless and full of gratitude today receiving this hall. Transnet has made the dreams of these children come true.” “We used to cook in the girl’s house which made it difficult for them to watch television, do their school work or play as there would be stoves and food all over. Starting from today all the children will gather at this new dining hall and kitchen to eat as a family as that is what we are.” The construction of the dining hall and kitchen began in May 2015. The home caters for 72 children from the ages of five to 13 with a mix of boys and girls. Addressing the crowd, Deputy Minister of Public Enterprise Bulelani Magwanishe said, “We are very excited to be here as government to celebrate this important occasion, children are our future we have a responsibility to make sure that we invest in our future and there is no better way to do so by making sure that our children are able to give because as parents we have started giving them first.” He added that the hall is a symbol of a safe place as part of the children’s rights, the kitchen is to make sure the food they eat is better nourished. Speaking on behalf of the children living at Masizakhe Children’s Home, 15-year-old Siphelele Tonisi who is currently doing Grade 9 at Ulwazi High School said, “We are grateful to Transnet for this beautiful kitchen we will eat as a proper family.” Adding to that Deputy Minister of Communications Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams said, “We are members of a caring government not just the organisation only, therefore what it means is that we have a responsibility to take care of each other especially as Africans bringing back that spirit of Ubuntu is the only way to go, my child is your child.” “This is our future and we will do everything in our power to make sure that it is safe and protected so that they can provide a proper and progressive guidance to the country entirely.” The children also received tablets from the National Department of Communications to make it easier for them to access information to do their school work. One of the beneficiaries Kholiswa Matyholweni doing Grade 11 at Ulwazi High School said, “This kitchen makes us so happy especially us girls as we could not play in our house because it was turned into a kitchen. Not only did we get a kitchen but we received tablets to access information, we will no longer walk to the library.” 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. Bursary Fund continues to change lives Raised in a low income family in NU2 Mdantsane, Tutu knew that his single mother Nombulelo Mkhokeli who works as a Nurse Assistant would not be able to afford university fees when he matriculates and that he would need a bursary to further his studies. However, Tutu admitted that he was not always been a dedicated student because during his early high school years, he had to deal with the struggles of peer pressure, that got him involved with the wrong crowd to be perceived as ‘cool’ and being mischievous. “In my first year of high school, I tried to choose my friends wisely but somewhere along the way I found myself belonging to a group where I was unable to exercise good judgment.” “Grade 11 was the hardest year for me, I had deeply succumb to peer pressure which hurt my mother a lot and one day I found myself sitting on a bathroom floor thinking about the direction my life was taking - that day I made a decision that I would refocus and dedicate all of my time to my school work and today I look back on that day and just thank God for the intervention,” he said. The turning point in the young man’s life came at the right time as he made it through Grade 12 with commendable results, obtaining a distinction in Physical Science. The Ulwazi High School former learner was one of the beneficiaries who were awarded with full bursaries during the Mayoral Bursary Fund Handover on Wednesday, 15 February 2016 at the East London City Hall. The Bursary covers all university costs including registration fees, tuition, prescribed study literature and materials as well as institutional accommodation and meals Tutu is enrolled at the Walter Sisulu University for a National Diploma in Analytical Chemistry, a field that has been of interest to him since Grade 10. “I have always been obsessed with experiments in the laboratory and the understanding of how various elements make up substances. This has been my field of interest and my love for it is growing with every lecture I attend,” he said. Recognising the value of this opportunity, Tutu expressed appreciation for the break saying that he will not take it for granted. “I know that there were many other deserving students so I do not take this grand opportunity for granted.” I am determined to take full advantage of this chance and make something of my life,” said Tutu. Executive Mayor Xola Pakati congratulated the beneficiaries, motivating them to commit to their studies and seal their own fate of success. Pakati also added that the skilling of young people is a major investment for the City. “I strongly believe that you will make an immense contribution towards the economic growth of the Metro, and we know that through your skills, we will overcome many of the challenges that have a negative impact on the socio-economic outlook of our municipality.” He further motivated saying that commitment, discipline and a vision to build a bright future for yourselves and your communities will produce great success. 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