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 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. Roads rehabilitation in BCMM Residents of Mdantsane are in for their share of development as the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality is announcing the commencing of a R117 million roads project starting next week. Locals are advised that as from 03 October 2017 until the end of November 2017, the City will be rolling the improvement of Qumza Highway which involves rehabilitation and widening of Qumza Highway on both sides to a dual carriageway. The road is currently 6.8 meters wide and will be upgraded to 16 meters wide with a barrier median. The Qumza multi phased highway project, which started in October 2015 will see its phase 7 consisting of a construction of the section of the road between NU6 Mall main entrance to the Sasol Garage near Fort Jackson. Motorists are advised to make use of alternative routes where possible and to exercise caution when travelling the work areas. (see map attached) The project is estimated to create 50 employment opportunities to local community and local SMME’s will be used on the construction components. Projects of this nature also have economic spin offs as businesses are attracted by a smooth road infrastructure network. Due to the narrow road, Qumza Highway has seen a high volume of head-on collisions and vehicle-pedestrian conflict. The section of road is being upgraded to alleviate traffic congestion and improve safety for road users. Other factors of concern include the lack of pedestrian facilities, lack of signage, poor lighting, continued flooding of cross-culverts due to heavy rains, potholes due to the failing condition of the pavement structure and lack of intersection control during peak hours. The overall project will see an extensive scope of work done that will take 18 months to complete. This work will include the following: · Accommodation of traffic by deviating on local parallel roads, · Removing of existing surfacing and layer works, · Relocation of existing minor services such as overhead electrical services, sewer and bulk water supply services. · Removal of pipe culverts. · Widening of the road prism. · Construction of minor earth retaining structures. · Installation of traffic signalization and street lighting · Installation of road furniture including guardrails and road traffic signage. In recent months, the City has turned the Metro into a construction site investing in infrastructure projects like Fleet and Oxford streets; Quenera-Beacon Bay Link road at R70, 3 million, rehabilitating bridges in Beacon Bay and launching several bulk infrastructure projects that includes housing handovers, electrification of settlements, major treatment works like Umzonyana; Zwelitsha Water Treatment at R223 million; R200 pipe and water meter replacement program. 2017 BCMM Agricultural Show The BCMM Agricultural Show was a two-day event which began from 20-21September 2017. Day one consisted of information sharing. Speakers gave talks on topics such as markets as well exports. Potential investors and agricultural companies were also invited to make presentations. Day two consisted of demonstrations of exhibition of stalls. Farmers with produce were judged on the day by judges based on how they presented their work. Speaking about the programme Portfolio Head for Local Economic Development Pumla Nazo said, “The programme seeks to acknowledge, encourage and increase the participation of emerging farmers in agricultural sector. The major thrust of this programme is to underline the fact that the emerging farmers play a significant role in food security, job creation, economic growth and poverty alleviation”. “The programme has a long term ambition to leveraged emerging farmers from subsistence and small holder producers to commercial entrepreneur who will also venture in to export market,” she said. The categories that they were judged on comprised of; · Fresh produce farmers · Grain produce farmers · Livestock farmers (small & large) · Poultry farmers · Beadwork · Hand work and · Home industry According to a Municipal Report, the aim and objectives of the agricultural show are: · To provide an environment for all those involved in agricultural development to exhibit their products · To disseminate information on agricultural products for which there is a potential in the City, as well as ways and means for their piloting. · To attract presenters from large-scale corporate buyers of agricultural produce to learn their requirements. · To engage agricultural stakeholders from outside the City to learn different approaches and best practices for agricultural development. · To promote the concept of agro-processing and to introduce possibilities for “home-industry” processing as a means to learn basic methods in preparation for future industrial scale processing. · To engage trade suppliers as potential exhibitors of equipment and inputs. · To attract interest of potential investors in agricultural development from inside and outside the City. The winners for the day each received a cheque for the presentation of their work. The third price which was taken by Cameroon was R10 000, followed by Lesotho in the second place and received R20 000 and lastly the winner of the day was South Africa who received an amount of R30 000 for taking first place. Comments are closed.