12 October First Mayoral Imbizo kicked off on Tuesday 10 October in King William's Town at the City Hall October 12, 2017 By Luxole Komani Latest News 0 The Mayoral Imbizo is an on-going Mayoral Outreach Program aimed at bringing government closer to the people, whereby the Municipality interacts with communities regarding upcoming service delivery projects in their areas and progress on existing ones. Hundreds of Buffalo City Metro Municipality residents braved the cold weather conditions to attend the first Mayoral Imbizo in the king Williams Town City Hall Tuesday 10 October. The venue was changed after following advice from the Disaster Management Unit from Victoria Grounds, despite the wet conditions residents still showed up in numbers to engage the City’s leadership lead by the Executive Mayor Xola Pakati, his Mayoral Committee, Speaker, Chief Whip and administrators lead by City Manager Andile Sihlala. Charing the session, Council Speaker Alfred Mtsi acknowledged 26 community members representing the 13 wards which form the Inland Region, allowing for two questions per ward. The City is pleased with the turnout which led to an overflow due to space restrictions. The day started with a site visit to the Berlin November venue to inspect the work being done in anticipation of the signature event. Infrastructure is one of the 10 priorities identified by the Mayor and his committee, it is therefore imperative that progresses is assessed and monitored on a regular basis. Project sites to be visited include the Phakamisa waste water treatment works plant site and the Tshatshu and Qalashe Bridge. A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held in Kuwait to signify the completion of a VIP toilets project. Lastly there will be two projects launched on the day. An Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) waste mini station and cleaning project and the Barcelona 10 communal toilets and taps in Zwelitsha. Pakati will give feedback on matters raised in the previous meeting and also relay future plans the City has in delivery adequate services. Members of the community will also be given a chance to raised issues affecting them in their communities. The Mayoral Imbizo forms part of government public participation processes as well as bringing government closer to the people. The Imbizo roadshows continue as follows: • 12 October – Mdantsane at the NU6 Sports Field opposite the NU6 Mall at 12h00 • 13 October – Mzamomhle sports field at 12h00 • 15 October – Ncerha Village 2 field opposite the community hall at 12h00 Related 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. 2017 Mayoral Imbizo The City – is on a massive drive worth millions of infrastructure development – and the Executive Mayor will use this opportunity to launch these projects prior to each Imbizo. Cllr Pakati together with BCMM officials will be going to the communities to account and give feedback on issues raised on previous meetings as well as inform them on the currents projects and future plans. By their nature Imbizos are an interactive program where after his presentation to the community, the Executive Mayor will listen and respond immediately and also allow the residents to raise issues they see as priority to them. This exercise will then assist the Metro in planning for the next financial year. The purpose for the Mayoral Imbizo is for the communities of the Metro as well as its City Officials to engage in community dialogues under the theme Unity in action, A city hard at work. The venues for all the meetings are as follows: * 10 October- King William’s Town Victoria Grounds Stadium at (12H00) * 12 October- Mdantsane NU6 Sportsfield at (12H00) * 13 October- East London Mzamomhle Sports field at (12H00) and * 15 October- Ncerha Village 2 at field opposite Community Hall at (12H00) 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. New Parking Meter system for BCM The system will be operated by a marshal in a parking area and motorist will be allowed to park for only two hours. The system, which is a park and display terminal, will also be able to scan the number plate of the vehicle to check the validity of the licence disc and outstanding fines and if there is an outstanding fine, the system will print a notice that serves as a reminder to the motorist. Motorist can pay cash or use a parking smartcard and nonpayers will be dealt with by law as traffic service will enforce the law. Speaking about the system, Traffic Services Commander Quintin Chetty said the system will help Buffalo City regulate and control parking areas in the central business district. Chetty said parking has become an issue as a result people prefer to go to malls where there is parking due to the CBD being congested. "We want to ensure that people come to town and do their business. We want them to come to our CBD rather than go to malls.” Currently, the section is conducting public hearings for the proposed draft bylaw to introduce the management system before it goes to council for adoption. “Council had to review what parking management system they want to put in place. The current one that runs around all cities at this stage is the hand held system,” said Chetty Chetty said the purpose of the hearings is to get the public’s opinions on the bylaw as it will affect them. Business will be also be affected by the proposed bylaw as they also utilise the parking space around the City. Asked when will be the system implemented he said after the hearings a report will be submitted to council and the programme is expected to be rolled out by the end of the year. “We want to have the programme running before the end of the year. We want to have the control parking management system by December.” The draft by-law provides for a fine of up to R20 000 or 90 days in jail,or both for anyone who contravenes or fails to comply with the provision of the by law. The first hearing was held in King Williams Town and the second which was planned for Braelynn, however, the session did not sit due to poor attendance. The third session was held in Mdantsane. Chetty said, “The metro will organise another session for the East London.” The system which is currently used by other cities will work as follows: · The motorist arrives at a parking bay which is marked with a unique bay number, and is greeted by the Parking Marshall. · The marshal then records the vehicle’s registration number and parking bay number. · The marshal informs the motorist of the parking tariff and then requests the motorist indicate the period for which the use of the parking bay will be required. · The hand-held meter (the Park & Display Terminal) then automatically calculates the parking tariff for the parking time and the motorist is informed accordingly. Payment is made in advance. · The Park & Display Terminal automatically issues an electronic Display Ticket. · The motorist places the Display Ticket on the on the dashboard, inside the vehicle. · A passive parking tag/vehicle sensor is placed on the tar of each parking bay to assist the marshal to tag each vehicle. · The service provider employs parking marshals who are clearly identifiable to the public to operate the hand-held parking system. · The hand held system can also scan the number plate of the vehicle to check the validity of the license disc as well as for outstanding traffic fines. · If there is any outstanding fine, the system will print a notice that serves as a reminder to the motorist. · The system also has a built in telephone which is linked to the server room. Buffalo City looking for alternative energy solutions The indaba is hosting experts from across the country to find alternative solutions towards energy. Speaking at the event Pakati said, “Our view as the City should be characterised by rapid and inclusive economic growth with falling unemployment, poverty and the reduction of inequalities. All of this can happen if there is a stable and sufficient energy supply in our Metro.” The indaba is held under the theme Alternative Energy Solutions for Sustainable Development Other speaking giving advise on how the metro should shape its energy solutions include Rui Silva from Beka Schreder who spoke on the benefits of LED Street lights vs Conventional Street lights; Subash Dowlath from SDP Holdings who gave a talk on the solutions to non-ferrous theft and Illegal connections amongst others. The Indaba will be attended by energy industry role players and will feature presentations, case studies and panel discussions on critical issues like curbing illegal connections, funding options, green energy, modern electricity metering and LED street lighting vs conventional street lighting. The event ends on Tuesday 21 November. 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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