5 October Gavle and BCMM strengthen ties October 5, 2017 By Tabisa Mntengwana Latest News 0 On Thursday 5 September, Buffalo City will be hosting a delegation from its sister city, the City of Gavle from Sweden. This comes after a visit to the City of Gavle by a BCMM delegation in May 2017 for a joint partnership for youth programmes and vulnerable groups. Executive Mayor Councillor Xola Pakati with the delegation will be at the East London ICC this morning to discuss various issuses including youth issues, gender equality issues and human rights roles. During the session, there will be presentation by BCMM (Youth engagement project); Commission for Gender equality (issues of discrimination); Human Rights Commission (Roles). After lunch there will be visits to the East London Harbour, Nahoon Point Boardwalk, East London Museum and the Masimanyane Women’s Centre. The twinning relations between the two Cities were initiated in 2002 with the aim to strengthen local democracy, expand knowledge and capacity development as well as to improve competence among the parties in their developmental roles as service providers. The sister Cities have cooperatively implemented projects with the fundamental objective to address underlining issues amongst others, that focus on; local democracy, governance and administration, technical municipal services (waste management, energy, water and sewerage), environmental/climatic issues, sustainable urban development, social welfare operations, education, youth projects and health and medical care operations. From June 2017 the City of Gavle and BCMM jointly implemented the following projects: · Steering Group Project which initiated in 2016 and programmed to carry over to 2018, focusing on matters of discrimination in both cities. · Youth Project also initiated in 2016 and planned to carry over 2018, aimed to enhance and create youth development opportunities for youth in both cities. The Metro in this regard has since piloted six Social Labs which are a ward based multi-stakeholder response for vulnerable groups to proactively engage in Integrated Development Planning Processes. Related Twinning ties strengthened This is part of the twinning partnership, which is set to look at an alternative energy solution and renewable technology systems. City of Oldenburg was in town for a weeklong visit from 19 to 21 October. Speaking about the project, Manager: Integrated Environmental Management and Sustainable Development Nomthandazo Hanise said, “The objective of the project is to convert the Metro’s Electricity Department to an energy efficient building and to add a limited amount of renewable technology system.” This is a pilot project for BCM so that the communities, schools and business can see an example from the project. The delegates also visited the Nahoon Estuary Reserve Environmental Centre in Beacon Bay. The strategy and the outcome of the project is for communities, schools and business to view an energy efficient, renewable energy, energy efficient projects as a showcase for various applications that may be adopted within their environment. Speaking at the event Executive Mayor Alfred Mtsi said, “Indeed, our relationship with the City of Oldenburg has borne fruits in various fronts. We have worked together on various projects. Some of those projects include projects pertaining to renewable energy and waste management.” “Through our interaction with Oldenburg, we have gathered much knowledge, skills and understanding on matters about climate change and the need for us to go green. We need to introduce solar houses in the Metro. Thank you very much we will make sure that the equipment that you are handing over to us is used wisely.” “Working in partnership with the City of Oldenburg has been an eye opening experience for many of us and the relationship has already enriched us in so many ways. We hope that the bilateral relationships our countries for many more years,” Mtsi said. The Mayor of Oldenburg Jurgen Krogmannalso added, “It is a great pleasure for us to come here for a good work, our partnership with Buffalo City Metro still continues and we are really enjoying exchanging knowledge with each other.” This year marks the 20-year anniversary of the partnership between Eastern Cape Province and the Lower Saxony in Germany. Metro and MBSA renew ties Speaking at the event Executive Mayor Xola Pakati said, “MBSA has demonstrated over the years the commitment they have for the City. The economy of this region is centred on the automotive sector and as a result MBSA has contributed immensely and as the city we are very grateful.” The ties between the City and MBSA are visible with various projects that have already kicked off including the Green City Initiative which recently launched the Call 2 Action campaign last week. The campaign is a strategic initiative aimed at improving the image of the City through greening and preserving the environment. “I wish for other industries to be part of the campaign but as the City we must meet our end of the bargain by creating a conducive environment for investors. We must also retain the current investment and investor base in the city so that we can all together continue with the commitment to grow the economy and to better the lives of the people of this region.” Another campaign linked with the MoU is the Invest in Buffalo initiative which is aimed at marketing the City as an investment and tourism destination of choice. Lastly, the Skills Development initiative is another leg of the MoU that has proven to be a success. MBSA together with Jobs Fund has a joint venture that provides a world class technical training. “The learning academy offers a world class technical training and in that way contributing to the development of the skills base in the region,” added Corporate Services Manager Feliciano Jannekke. “We appreciate Cogta for proving the necessary support mechanism to the municipality as we all know the role of the state is to create and provide a conducive environment for business to invest,” said Pakati. MBSA also introduced the newly appointed CEO Andreas Engling to BCMM leadership, following the departure of the previous one, Arno van der Merwe to their plant based in China. Pakati welcomed Engling and said that the City is happy to renew the relationship with MBSA and also “hope that our City and MBSA will continue with sharing ideas and best practices to take the city to better heights.” BCMM celebrates National Library Week As part of the celebration, Executive Mayor Xola Pakati officially launched the Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator project to offer BCMM unemployed youth a chance to work. The launch was held on Tuesday 20 March at East London Central Library. On the day, Pakati also opened the new Children’s Library which has moved beyond the traditional library services, loaning out of books and providing a safe haven for children as well as to provide an area of study to be able to complete projects and assignments and sometimes just to do their homework. The purpose of the launch is to promote literacy and enhance libraries in Buffalo City, especially the culture of reading, as well as engage the community through targeted outreach programmes that are aimed at improving the lives of information-deprived communities who currently lack adequate access to information and books. Speaking about the projects, Pakati said, “Education is the great engine of personal development. There is no denying that giving the right education and foundation for our young people plays a significant role in reducing many social ills in our society.” “This therefore means that when a nation is properly educated, the nation benefits as there will be progress,” said Pakati. He also urged businesses to see value in investing in the communities that they are located in. The occasion brought acknowledgement of the services offered by Harambee and how the youth of Buffalo City Metro will benefit from the programmes. The Children’s Library also shows the importance of Early Childhood Development and the measures being implemented to address the low levels of literacy amongst school children. Masakhane Mlamla from the Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator project said, “Harambe’s responsibility is to facilitate opportunities for young people to get a chance to work.” “Unemployment is one of our biggest challenges in the City and it is up to each individual to make the most of the opportunities we provide to get a job.” Mlamla said Harambee is very honoured to be in partnership with various stakeholders that include Buffalo City Metro, D.G. Murray Trust, Beyond Zero, Masimanyane Support Group, Small Projects Forum, Early Childhood Development as well as the Chamber of Commerce in working together to develop our society. Anathi Pule, who is One of the young people benefiting from the said the project has helped her a lot as she was struggling to get employment. “I have learned a lot from the programme. I really appreciate the effort by all the stakeholders in this project to reduce unemployment in our City. Today my life has changed for the better. I want to encourage others to join the project,” said Pule. Other activities that formed part of the library week celebrations included an exhibition of library material held at Vincent park mall and a visit to Sinomonde Primary School in Santa. The activities of the day at the school included story-telling, reading, picture book analysis and a spelling bee competition. BCMM presents the 2017 Franchise Expo The event has gained huge support over the years and as a result, it is set to be bigger and better with about 50 exhibiters in line to showcase their franchises and business opportunities. The expo is an enterprise development initiative of BCMM. It is aimed at linking franchisors and SMEs offering business opportunities with potential investors and financial institutions. Some of the exhibitors this year include ABSA, Amway, Doves, Daily Dispatch, Nino’s and many more. In addition, the expo features an exciting workshop programme which is aimed at removing uncertainties about whether franchising is something they should consider. Existing franchisors, franchisees, business owners who would like to franchise there, business entrepreneurs interested in owning a franchise, school-leavers and graduates entering the business arena, business developers, financial institutions, local, district and provincial government members of the public are all encouraged to attend. Attendees will be able to tap into the latest developments critical to franchising, explore the role of franchising in the empowerment of the small business sector, engage knowledge sharing and networking. Experts in their respective field will inform attendees about the diverse options available, how to assess them and how to make the decision that’s right for them. While some of the presentations will be offered daily, others are once-off events. The full events programme is available on the website www.bcmmfranchise.co.za The day will also see visitors engaging with exhibitors, questions answered by experts, visitors to the expo will receive information material they can take home for future reference. Entry to the eagerly anticipated expo and workshop attend is free. BCMM and Chinese deal set to create jobs Four new electronics factories are expected to be established by the end of the year from the deal and at least 400 permanent jobs created when the factories open. No new buildings would be built as the factories, manufacture electronic devices including computers and cellphones would be housed at the East London Industrial Development Zone (ELIDZ). The signing ceremony was held on Thursday 24 August at the East London International Convention Centre in Quigney. The day started with a visit to the Mpongo Park Game Reserve and finished off with a signing ceremony. The visit comes after Executive Mayor Xola Pakati and his delegation visited China last month to negotiate lucrative deals with the country in an effort to bring jobs to the city. The visit intended to invest in the automotive, information technology, clothing and textile sectors. Speaking at the ceremony Pakati said, “It gives us great joy and pleasure to host the delegation from the City of Jinhua in our Metro. We are confident that the visit and signing of our partnership agreement will strengthen our cooperation and enhance our mutually-beneficial relations as cities.” “Let the signing of this agreement be the beginning of a good chapter for both our cities,” he said. Adding to that Speaker of Council Alfred Mtsi said, “BCM and Jinhua have a 16-year relationship which seeks to improve the livelihood of BCM residents and reposition the City as a desirable destination for investors.” Response by Consulate of People’s Republic of China, Consul General Kang Yong said, “We are very excited and grateful to the Metro about this deal, today we are turning a new page and injecting a new life between the Metro and Jinhua, the agreement will benefit the people from both cities.” BCMM Executive Mayor Xola Pakati in Duncan Village C-Section donating to a creche The Little Kids Centre is one of the 271 organizations that applied for the Buffalo City Metro Municipality Grants-In-Aid for assistance to enhance growth of community development. The fund is an initiative done by the Metro to provide grants to non-political and non- profit making organizations to help support and improve BCMM communities. A total of R1.4 million budget has been set aside for the selected organizations across the Metro that deal with child and youth centers, HIV/Aids centers, social and welfare organisations, home-based centers, early childhood development centers, arts and culture organizations, disabled and old age centers, support groups, alcohol and drug centers. Thereafter he joined and addressed the rest of the beneficiaries at the East London City Hall received their allocation which ranges between R10 000 and R30 000. After the event: The Executive Mayor together with the Speaker of Council, Councilor Alfred Mtsi, visited the Reeston area in Dice at 2 pm where people were killed last week and a Councillor was subsequently arrested. The Buffalo City Municipality leadership have come out strongly condemning the acts that have led to violence and loss of life. This was a courtesy visit to the families and local leadership of the area. Comments are closed.