18 December Ann Bryant Art Gallery gets a facelift December 18, 2017 By Tabisa Mntengwana Latest News 0 In the 2016/17 financial year, the Metro set aside a budget over R1.6 million for the restoration work of the famous Ann Bryant Art Gallery. The gallery which was built in 1905 as a private residence for Arthur Savage, father of the well-known East London artist Miss Elaine Savage, is known to attract the attention and comments of most visitors. In 1907 the house was purchased by E.A Bryant, a well-known businessman from the Gibberd and Bryant firm. Buffalo City Metro’s department of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Heritage identified the Ann Bryant Art Gallery as a crucial tourism facility which was in much need of repairs and maintenance. The work that has been done include the restoration of the balcony, painting of both the interior and exterior of the building as well as sanding and vanishing of the floors. However, due to the fact that the gallery is a heritage site, only restoration work could be done so as to depict the original state of the building. The scope of work includes the following - remove the torch on waterproofing on the wooden balcony to see where the rot is; remove all the rotten won and replace it with the new ones; painting of the both the interior and exterior walls of the gallery; sanding and vanishing of the floors at the gallery; painting of the roof and cleaning of the original parquet floors (give a coat of clear) vanish. All the restoration work listed above was completed professionally and was welcomed by all stakeholders in the art fraternity. Related Mandela exhibition at Ann Bryant The colourful exhibition entitled On the Trail of Nelson Mandela is currently showing at the gallery and is showcasing the life of Nelson Mandela. The paintings are both in acrylic on canvas and acrylic on paper. Speaking at the launch of the exhibition executive Mayor Alfred Mtsi said, “Art is a great form of expressing feelings and that has been proven today, as this day brings a lot of emotions and memories to me. This was the day when a great man was release in prison in 1990 and it was an exciting moment for most of us.” According to a press stamen issued by the City, “The paintings will remind the visitor about the life and times of the late icon Nelson Mandela.” To reflect on Mandela’s life, some of the paintings are about the life he spent in Robben Island, his childhood in Mqhekezweni, Mandela’s release at Victor Visser Prison, his inauguration as President in 1994 and Mandela’s home in Soweto. The paintings are done by German artist Dagmar Schmidt. Giving an overview of the project Schmidt said, “I am grateful that the Province of Mandela has accepted my work. It is a great honour to be here and showcase my talent to the people of South Africa.” She added that the exhibition will move to Soweto in March. Some of the artefacts that form part of the exhibition include posters, booklets, postcards, mugs and T-shirts all these are on sale including the paintings. The exhibition will run until 5 March. Metro gets its own graders The graders were handed over to the Mdantsane Roads Department on last week in an effort to help make the job easier and faster. In the past the Metro only hired the machines from service providers and that was costing the institution dearly. During the IDP roadshows last year the upgrading of suburbia roads and the maintenance of rural roads were amongst the top issues the community were complaining about. The machines will help with the construction of roads, attend to emergency request from ward councillors, maintain rural roads and also attend to roads after heavy rains. Speaking at the event Executive Mayor Alfred Mtsi said, “The purpose of purchasing these graders is to maintain, and where necessary to re-gravel our roads in both midlands and coastal areas. Most of the current plants are old and often brake down and are expensive to fix at times, however we believe maintenance is a big challenge but we are trying.” “Two graders are not enough, but it is a positive start to plan for more. Investment in infrastructure remains a priority, it is the foundation for the economic growth of our Metro,” adds Mtsi. Speaking about the background of the project Acting Head of Department Luyanda Mbula said, “Today we are here to introduce and welcome our new addition to our fleet. For the last three or four years we have noticed that the City has been spending a lot of money on hiring of the plant to assist municipality.” “If you look at our Metro in the last two or three years, it has expanded in terms of addition of villages from Great Kei and Ngqushwa and other surrounding villages. These two graders are going to assist us in terms of maintenance, rehabilitation and the upgrade of our road network.” “We have about 1 200 kilometers gravel road network and that is the gravel network which we have to cover,” adds Mbula. Operators will be trained to do preventative maintenance operations such as weekly greasing, daily check list to prolong the life span of the equipment’s. Expressing his gratitude BCMM worker and grader driver, Bulelekile Tolbaard said, “I have been working here for five years now and what I love the most about our Metro is that service delivery is a priority. I feel honored that I will too help in making that happen.” Xolisa Bhedesi who is one of the grader operators said, “I feel very happy about these new graders they are going to help us so much in doing our job. What excites me more is the training that we will go through so that we can drive the graders better and with caution.” In culminating the handover Ward Councillor Landile Vika said, “Driving this grader alone is a skill and drivers need a training to operate the grader. It is going to create jobs as there will be people needed to drive them.” City gets new air quality gas analyser calibration system The Executive Mayor Xola Pakati officially handed over new portable air quality gas analyser calibration system on Thursday 29 June to improve air quality in the Metro. Speaking about the new system Pakati said, “The new system will improve air quality while protecting human health and securing environmental sustainability in the City.” “Council approved R700 000 for the procurement of the calibration system in the 2016/17 financial year. The system was delivered to the municipality before the financial year ends. Environmental pollution staff completed training in the operation of the calibration system in the new financial yea 29 June 2017.” “Adding to that, Portfolio Head for Public Safety Amanda Mnyute said, “In terms of the air quality act the Buffalo City Metro has a legal responsibility to monitor air quality in the municipal area. To fulfil this obligation, the municipal Health Services Department operates three air quality monitoring stations that functions on a continuous basis.” “The first air monitoring station was established in 2006 and is situated at the Municipal Health Services Department in East London. The second station was set up in Zwelitsha in 2008 and recently a mobile station was established in Gompo area,” said Mnyute. “The stations monitor a range of pollutants in the city. The data generated at the stations is required to be submitted to the Department of Environment of Environmental affairs for inclusion in South African Air Quality Information System,” she said. Senior Environmental Pollution Officer Alan Mclntyre said, “To ensure the air quality monitoring stations generate reliable data the instruments must be calibrated on quarterly bases as well as on the return of an instrument following repair or when an analyser is moved between stations.” “Moreover spare back-up instruments must first be calibrated before they can be used,” said Mclntyre. “We are confident that the procurement of the calibration system and the training of staff in its use will greatly improve the functionality of the air monitoring stations and will also ensure the municipality is in a better position to perform its statutory obligation to monitor air quality and will reduce the operating costs of the stations,” he concluded. New traffic lights for Buffalo Street intersections Traffic lights have been installed in the busy Buffalo Street. “Buffalo Street Traffic Lights were installed to provide free flow due to the new Gillwell Mall and also to remove the congestion at Buffalo and Caxton Street intersection,” reads a Municipal Report. Resident Tandikaya Koyana said, “Although the road was deadly robots were not the solution as they could be vandalised or used for illegal electricity connections. Vehicles at intersections across the street struggle to enter because vehicles are always travelling at a high speed which is why I believe we need more speed bumps to continuously keep traffic calm.” In Mdantsane speed humps were built for the dangerous crossing on the Qumza Highway road, the 50 meters stretch has become the most deadly in the suburb. According to a Municipal Report, the long stretch takes place fortnightly and at least one life is lost a month. Four speed humps have been built to help decrease accidents as well as measure to reduce speed which allows for pedestrian crossing for passengers. Speaking on behalf of his Ward Councillor Simon Maphuka said, “I have been pleading with Buffalo City since the year 2000, I am glad something has finally been done.” “The areas that we are looking at now are the new roads that are being surfaced under the Mdantsane Project especially near schools as taxis tend to speed, hence our target is to put measures before accidents happen,” reads a Municipal Report. Frenchman wins EL Ironman 70.3 Guilaume took part in the 10th edition of the Standard Bank Ironman 70.3 South Africa held on Sunday, 29 January 2017. Gailaume described his race as a perfect race, saying that he fought hard to create a gap, finishing with a two minute lead ahead of South Africans James Cunnama finishing second and Kyle Buckingham, who took the third spot at the podium. “At the end of the bike ride I was leading by six minutes, I knew then that victory was certain but I had to keep fighting because I was up against the best,” said Gauilaume. He encouraged other triathletes to never give up even when the going gets tough. “Last year, I was tempted to stop competing in triathlons altogether because the past two years were very difficult, but my winning spirit would not let me quit. I trained harder and today my hard work has paid off,” said Gauilaume. Meanwhile, Britain’s Jodie Cunnama who confirmed her status as the most commanding female triathlete winning her seventh consecutive title expressed a mixture of relief and satisfaction with her win. “It was not an easy win, the race gets harder every year and having won six consecutive races there is a lot of pressure to retain the title, I am relieved and happy with the outcome,” said Cunnama. A delighted Susie Cheetham from Britain was the well-deserved runner up, with Poland’s Jerzyk Agnieszka in third place. Over 3000 competitors gathered at Orient Beach for the 1.9 kilometre ocean swim, followed by a 90.1 kilometre bike ride and a 21.1 kilometre run in temperatures hitting the lower 30’s. Ironman Communications Specialist, Michael Flanagan said that they are happy to host yet another successful Ironman 70.3 race which shines an international spotlight on the Metro and contributes to its economy. “The influx of athletes and travelling companions provides a substantial tourism injection into the Buffalo City Metro, bringing an estimated R40 million worth of direct spend into the City for the period of the event,” said Flanagan. He also added that reaching ten years is a big milestone. “Over the years this event has grown in size and stature and has become a major fixture on the international calendar.” STI and Condom week The event was organised with the aim to look into the National Condom Week which is commemorated each year from 14 February until 21 February. The City joined thousands of South Africans in observing this week to increase awareness and to help fight the spread of HIV and Aids as well as caution on myths and stigmas around the virus and sexuality focusing on the community. Speaking about the initiative, Co-Chair of Metro Aids Council Nzuzo Novuka said people must know the importance of getting tested so that they don’t live in fear. “If you’re not infected it doesn’t mean you’re not affected. It is important to ask questions about matters or issues one is not aware of to gain more knowledge. The more one gets more insight the more it is advantageous to share information not just with family members but with the community at large,” said Novuka. He also encouraged residents to attend such programmes “as these forums provide knowledge and a clearer understanding of the various forms of STIs, the symptoms and the importance of getting it checked out before it is too late.” Ward Councillor Mendi Wetsetse said, “The community of Buffalo City Metro both young and old need to be part of sessions like this one to gain more information and to increase their knowledge on STI’s and sexuality associated with HIV and Aids.” “Let us all be responsible, love one another, support and encourage each other,” she said. Giving words of support, Nokuthula Tsawu from the Metro’s Disability Forum said, “Persons living with disabilities also need a voice as they also have sexual needs and need to beware of the dangers of not using protection during intercourse. Tsawu mentioned that women and children living with disability are the most vulnerable not only towards being victims of sexual abuse but in contracting various sexual infections. “The disability sector supports this initiative to address the stigma and myths around disability, reproductive health and sexuality as well as to raise awareness about STI’s and condom usage.” As part of the programme of the day, testing centres were also set up to encourage residents to get tested not only for STI’s or HIV but for diabetes and blood pressure levels and also got an opportunity to pose questions and comments to eliminate their fears. Nolizwi Mantsanga a resident from Duncan Village also touched upon the importance of not discriminating against people living with HIV and Aids. “We should be more knowledgeable about the various infections so we can understand and assist other people in our communities who are not aware about the virus.” “I have learned a lot today and will take what I have learned and share it with my children and my community,” she said. . Comments are closed.