3 October Rural Indigent Registration Campaign October 3, 2017 By Luxole Komani Latest News 0 In an attempt to improve the lives of the citizens of the Metro, Buffalo City Metro is embarking in the Rural Indigent Registration Campaign roadshows from 19 September 2017 to 10 November 2017. The first Rural Indigent Registration Campaign kicked off on Tuesday 19 September in Mzintshana covering Pirie Trust, Nakani, Nomgwadla and Mzintshane areas. The aim for the roadshows is to give the underprivileged citizens access to free water and electricity. As of 30 June 2017 The consumers that are receiving Indigent Subsidy are approximately 60 000. The Metro has identified more than 40 locations that will be part of the Registration Campaign as part of its mandate of improving the lives of the citizens of the City and truly living up to its A City Hard at Work mission. Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality is undertaking the campaign in the first quarter of the new financial year 2017/18 which aims to register all rural indigent consumers so as to ensure that indigent consumers benefit from the free basic services offered by council. The main aim of the Metro is to cover rural areas within its jurisdiction including the recently demarcated areas to BCMM. Indigent subsidy and who benefits from it? It is a citizen of the Metro and must earn less than R3.200 per month, the person must be a pensioner, must be an account holder, must own and be staying at the house, should not own more than one fixed property and lastly the value of a property must not exceed R120 000. The criteria for applying for the subsidy is that community members must get an indigent application form from a nearest municipal office and take it to their ward councilor to sign and submit it with these supporting documents: ID copy and affidavit; Proof of income if employed and earning less than the threshold income (Threshold income must not exceed R3.200 (Household income); Proof of pension if you are a pensioner and When the applicant gets approved they receive an equivalent R652.90 towards their account, which translates to six kilolitres of water and free 50 units of electricity once a month. In the rural areas applicants receive free electricity from Eskom and the Metro pays at a lesser price. The Indigent Subsidy is funded from an equitable share from National Treasury. BCMM provides indigent subsidy to its indigent consumers through the billing of their accounts and free tokens in respect of electricity which is equivalent to 50Kwh. Related Back to School Campaign kicks off The event will start at 11am. This program is part of the Mayors back to school campaign which started on Monday. Before handing over the bursaries, the Executive Mayor will first visit schools in Mdantsane where he will be handing over 50 pairs of shoes at Nobhotwe and Zimasa Primary Schools at 08:30 am. The annual Executive Mayoral Bursary Fund is aimed at helping learners who are interested in studying in fields where skills are scarce and in demand, such as Engineering, Finance, Computer Science, Planning & Economic Services and Agriculture. The R1.2 million fund covers tuition, registration fees, prescribed books, study material and accommodation for candidates studying predetermined scarce skills The total number of benefiting BCMM Bursary Fund recipients for 2018 Academic Year is 19 - new intake plus 27 from previous years that is total of 46 beneficiaries. The fund’s budget on the current financial year is R1.2 million. Since inception of the Bursary Fund in 2008, 49 beneficiaries have graduated and an additional six will be graduating in April and May 2018 that brings the total to 55. This is part of asserting the municipality’s vision of making education fashionable and implementing government’s overall prioritisation of education as an apex. Today, Pakati visited Masijongane Higher Primary School where he gave learners school shoes in Ndevana. Speaking at the school, Pakati said “We know the plight of the kids in rural areas and it is not easy to have discouraged young people to attend school. As the Metro it is our mandate to make sure that kids from these areas are not disadvantaged when it comes to education.” Rural development initiative brings hope Growing up in a home headed by a single parent in the outskirts of Morgan Bay, Alex Tshijila together with his younger brother shared a two bedroomed RDP house with five of their extended family members. His mother Collina Tshijila has over the years been the sole breadwinner putting food on the table for the family of eight. After matriculating from Byletts High in 2012, Tshijila had dreams and aspirations of becoming a nurse but due to financial difficulties he was unable to enroll in a tertiary institution. However, circumstance did not deter the polite calm spirited young man as he went on to volunteer at a clinic in his area for nine months and was appointed to serve as a counselor for a further two years. In 2016 a unique opportunity presented itself in the form of a youth development programme called National Youth Service Cops (NARYSEC) which he benefitted from it. Alex was one of ten young people chosen from his area to be a participant in the programme, in the second intake of 2016. NARYSEC is a skills development programme launched by the Department of Rural Development and land Reform (DRDLR) in 2010 to recruit rural youth between the ages of 18 and 25, who have completed grade 12. Speaking to BCMM Monthly, the 23-year-old said, “I am thankful to be a part of this programme, it is a great privilege. I am now able to take some of the burden off my mother’s shoulders and help put food on the table at home”. He further added that young people need to regain dignity and the respect that has been tarnished by bad behavior and the use of drugs. Delivering the keynote speech the BCM Speaker Alfred Mtsi said, “This programme not only combats the high unemployment rate in our rural communities but also provides an opportunity for our youth to be the champions of socio-economic development.” A welcoming event was hosted by Buffalo City Metro together with DRDLR at the East London City Hall for the participants who completed the first phase on Wednesday 15 February 2016. Speaking at the event, Mandayi Rala Director of DRDLR said, “The aim of the programme is to develop young people at the cutting edge of rural development. We wish to empower these young people to become agents of change and development.” The recruits are contracted for a period of 24 months with a stipend of R1320 per month which comes as much needed financial relief for the participants. Rala said the participants are put into initiation phase which is a period of four months where they receive military training. “The participants are put into initiation phase which is a period of four months where they receive military training in either Saldana or 3 Sai Battalion military base followed by two months of community service.” She said after the first phase participants can then choose from a range of fields in which to be trained. “The participants choose from a range of fields that include plant production, specialist security, information technology technical, water and wastewater, business management and transport operations to name a few. NARYSEC currently has 1200 participants enrolled in the programme across the province and is looking to strengthen its relationship with the Metro through partnerships with colleges and the municipality. National cleanup week campaign The workshop focused on waste as a resource and waste minimization initiatives with emphasis was on illegal dumping as it is a major issue in the area. Community members were educated on the dangers of illegal dumping as well as ways in which to dispose of waste in a safe manner. The campaign continues at the Sweetwaters Hall on Tuesday followed by cleanups in Tyutyu on Wednesday 13 August and Sweetwaters on Thursday 14 August. The Clean-up will focus of litter picking and separation of waste. During the campaign, the City will use two types of bags, one for recyclable waste and one general waste. The general waste will be collected by refuse trucks and the recyclable kept for the Recycling Day. The Recycling Day is held as a platform to increase the awareness concerning waste management and particularly to promote a cleaner environment to live, in and around urban areas. Community volunteers have been roped in along with EPWP’s, CWP’s and officials from various stakeholders. The main event will be held on Friday 15 August at the Sweetwaters Hall. On this day, volunteers will be sorting recyclable waste for the first two hours and the formal program at 10am with the Executive Mayor Xola Pakati as the Main Speaker. Back to School Campaign Drive On Monday the 22 of January 2018, the Executive Mayor will host a working lunch with the previous bursary holders of the Mayoral Bursary. This lunch will also include those that are currently benefiting from the fund. The intention of this meeting is to track progress and therefore assess the full impact of the bursary to the previous holders. The Executive Mayor also wants to get a direct update on how the current beneficiaries are finding the fund and how they are doing in their current studies. On the 25 of January, the Executive Mayor will visit Gubevu Primary and Ndevana Higher Primary. On the 26 of January, Pakati will then visit Bhotwe and Zimasa Primary Schools. In all the four schools, the Executive Mayor will be handing over 50 pairs of shoes in each school. He will then address the school assemblies in all the four schools and will encourage learners on the year ahead. The Executive Mayor will conclude the week by handing over 41 bursaries to needy and deserving students from our City. The bursary handover will take place at the City Hall Auditorium from 10am on Friday the 26 of January 2018. The bursary covers tuition, registration fees, prescribed books, study material and accommodation for candidates studying predetermined scarce skills in the fields of Engineering, Finance, Planning and Economic Services, Information Technology as well as Agriculture. The fund further provides beneficiaries with an opportunity to participate in experiential learning placements within the Metro. KWT spruced up The main issues of the residents were the non-pickup of refuse on scheduled days, the over grown grass at the cemetery, the maintenance or the lack there off in municipal buildings especially community halls and the illegal dumping sites. Speaking about the campaign Acting General Manager for Parks and Cemeteries Phumzile Kalazane said the campaign was done due to the unhappiness expressed by residents of Club View about the state of the town’s cleanliness when they met with the mayor in December and also the commitment by the Metro to keep its towns clean. The hotspots were identified as the King Williams’ Town Cemetery, illegal dumping sites in the Club View Main Road and the West Bank Area. “Today we are honouring the promise made by the mayor to the residents to ensure that people get the services they deserve around King William’s Town particularly with grass cutting in Club View and West Bank, the cleaning of King William’s Town cemetery, clearing of illegal dumping sites and the maintenance of municipal buildings,” said Kalazane. “We have combined teams from Zwelitsha and King Williams Town to focus on the identified hotspots in Club View on the first day Jan 11 and picking up litter in the West Bank area on January 12 starting from the Alberton Street which is over polluted and also carry out some bush clearing.” Kalazane added that they will also put up no dumping signs to stop people from dumping litter illegally. “We want to ensure that the general public is informed of the effects of dumping and that they must refrain from dumping.” He also mentioned that the non-collection of refuse on scheduled days contributes to illegal dumping however he said that the department has addressed the challenges. Even though the taxi rank is not part of the campaign Kalazane said they are looking at extending the campaign to accommodate the taxi rank. 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. 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