9 February Fire victims receive food parcels February 9, 2018 By Nomatshawe Vellem Latest News 0 Ward 46 fire victims received food parcels on Thursday 8 February from the Buffalo City Metro to give them moral support after fire engulfed their shacks. Speaking about the incidence Ward 46 Councillor Nceba Kilimani said, “The incident happened in Orange Groove informal settlement near East London Airport on Monday 5 February in the afternoon.” “At least 27 families from Orange Groove are left without homes primarily due to illegal connections,” said Kilimani. “However, the City has organised temporary place for the victims to stay in the meantime whilst trying to resolve this tragedy,” he said. “The Buffalo City firefighters arrived at the scene and tried their best to help but the fire was uncontrollable, it was too late to save the shacks,” he added. A resident from Orange Groove, Nomfuneko Tukutezi, “The way the shack was burning, it was as if there was fuel around the shack. Everyone was panicking outside thinking of those who are inside and their valuables.” “It was hard to watch the fire destroying our homes knowing that some of us are not working and underprivileged and won’t be able to replace what we had, we were helpless next to our shacks,” said Tukutezi. “I’m happy that our municipality came to our rescue when we needed help. It’s not easy to come to terms with the reality of losing everything we had all at once,” she said. Related DV fire victims receive food parcels Mtsi visited the area and promised victims who lost everything with something to cheer them up in the festive season. The fire also burnt down a nearby crèche closer to the Duncan Village Post Office. Addressing the victims, the Executive Mayor Alfred Mtsi said that he feels for them and that he is glad there were no reports of loss of lives. “Your heartache is our heartache. We are aware of the living conditions and the density of the shacks and as the Metro we are trying by all means to deliver services to you.” He added that the Metro has plans in place to change living conditions for people who live in informal settlements throughout the Metro. “There are plans to change the living conditions of our people. We have built houses for people but because of land issues we end up building these house far away from town and that has become an issue with the beneficiaries,” said Mtsi. However, he pleaded with the people to move when they receive their houses as they will have better living conditions in their new homes. “Those houses are of good quality and we encourage beneficiaries of those houses to go and live in their new homes as they provide better conditions and better lives.” He also mentioned that through the Ward Councillor Clara Morolong, the Metro will also help with school uniforms and also help facilitate the process of getting new Identity Documents (ID) for those who have lost their IDs. NGOs receive aid to help develop the community Over 90 organisations benefited from the Grant-In-Aid project which was set to support community development programmes in the City. The hand over follows a visit that was conducted last year by BCMM officials to several organisations who applied for support in the Metro to verify and identify where there is need for development in their organisations. The selection process was then conducted after the visit by looking at the most needy organisation and its purpose. According to a Municipal Report, the committee took a decision to prioritise security and structures where Early Childhood Development Centers (ECDC) are operating. “It was agreed that temporary structures and fencing be provided for safety and security purposes to centres that are operating in poorer conditions.” “Beneficiaries were selected from various organisations across the Metro that are responsibilities for child and youth centres, HIV/Aids centres, disabled and old age centres, support groups, training centres, alcohol and drug centre,” reads the report. The NGOs were allocated between R10 000 and R30 000 which was subject to urgent different needs of each organisation. Giving an overview of the allocation of funds to NGOs, Ward Councillor Monwabisi Mahodi said, “In the past years, the NGOs were granted minimal amount of four thousand rand.” Speaking at the event, Executive Mayor Alfred Mtsi said, “I would like to thank each and every organisation that applied for funding.” He added that it takes a willing and good heart to do what you have done and it shows us that you are willing to work with the government to improve our community. “To those who did not receive in this financial year, we urge you to apply again in the next year.” Adding to that Mahodi said, “The allocation of the grant has adopted a more developmental approach. As the Metro, we want the allocation of the funds to make a difference to all the benefiting organisations and that the allocation will be rotational.” Zoliswa Stemele, who is one of the beneficiaries from Ducking Ducks Day Care Centre in Sweetwaters said, “Our day care consists of 122 kids ranging from babies to five year olds. We’re really feeling blessed today. God has heard our cries. We will make sure we utilise the funding wisely.” Another beneficiary Sibulele Ntsangani from Rise and Shine Disability Magazine from Mdantsane said, “We are very happy and thankful to the Metro for the funding. Our magazine educates and empowers disabled people. The money, we received here will help us for printing the magazine, sometimes we find ourselves asking other organisations to print for us for free.” Gompo Library receives new books During the, Taking Parliament to the People programme, officials focused on education amongst other topics discussed and as a result several schools and public libraries were visited after the programme. Gompo Library was one of the libraries that were visited and in honouring the commitment that was made a book handover ceremony was held at the library last week. Speaking at the function, House Chairperson of the NCOP Archibald Nyambi said that it was the responsibility of the NCOP to ascertain that they leave a legacy wherever they go. “We are here today to donate books in an effort to serve on the challenge faced by libraries in the Metro as we stated in our previous visit that we will focus on enriching education and libraries.” Nyambi added that they were thrilled about the library legacy project in Buffalo City. “We are also pleased to support the initiative by the Executive Mayor Xola Pakati to sustain information centres as he has also embarked on his Library Legacy project,” said Nyambi. He also mentioned that they will return in November 2017, for another follow up session as well as to build sustainable partnerships. Speaking to the City’s Website, the Metro’s Acting General Manager for Libraries Mzodumo Dliwayo expressed his gratitude for the initiative by the NCOP. “We are grateful for this initiative because it will result in pro-activeness of the public and entice them to make use of the resources at their disposal.” Dliwayo further expressed the importance of resources in libraries and strategies on how to sustain the visitation from the public. “Libraries need to have strategies that are more interactionist and hold material issues that talk to social issues,” added Dliwayo. Member of the NCOP Lungelwa Zwane also recognised as Chairperson of the Select Committee on Education and Recreation said, “We did not come here empty handed. We came with various books that will serve on the purpose of education.” “Education is the best weapon to fight against poverty, as a result a biggest chunk of the state budget goes to education,” she added. Zwane further added that the culture of reading and research should start from a very young age. “It is therefore our responsibility as parents to instill the culture at a very tender age.” The various books that were donated by the NCOP include Mathematics books, Law books, English Grammar and Literature books, Public Administration books and the South African Constitution. 67 Minutes for Nelson Mandela The day is marked as the International Nelson Mandela Day, where individuals spend 67 minutes doing a good deed that will bring about positive change to the rest of the world. This year marks two years since the passing of Nelson Mandela in December 2013. Buffalo City Metro together with the Eastern Cape Legislature joined the rest of the world in celebrating the life of the late statesman’s birthday. The celebrations kicked off at Dickson Dyani Senior Primary School in Mdantsane with the refurbishing of classrooms, painting of ceilings on classrooms, installation of new furniture and also the leadership of the City cleaned Mtsotso Cemetery at NU 1 as well as planting of trees. This year Mamlambo Construction Company donated books, computers and fixed the ceilings of Dickson Dyani Senior Primary School to make it a safer and conducive environment for learners. Speaking about the activities for the day Executive Mayor Alfred Mtsi said, “This is an important day for all of us, Madiba was a good man and we need to follow suit In order for us to succeed we must be united and work hard 365 days.” He added that the Metro felt that they should do their bit as leaders, “It encourages us to lead by example just like Tata did.” Addressing the youth, Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature Speaker Noxolo Kiviet said, “I respect Madiba, as he was an educated man and he had the potential to have a better life but he chose to fight for us so we can have a brighter future. So, my children please use opportunities to your full potential.” Adding to that City Manager Andile Fani said, “This is an important day for South Africans and I believe such good deed should not only last for 67 minutes but should be an everyday thing.” Learner from Sakhisizwe Senior Secondary School Siphesihle Gafini said, “As Tata always believed that helping one another as much as you can should be our norm, I am very happy for what has been done today here to ensure brighter future for us, as they say, a healthy mind in a healthy body.” A grateful parent Nosiphiwe Tutu said, “We are overjoyed as cold winter nights will be a thing of the past soon as we have received blankets, may the Metro continue doing such warm gestures.” The day ended with a handover of food parcels, blankets to needy families of NU 4 and 10 computers were donated to various schools in Mdantsane. Some of the schools that received computers include Fanti Gaqa Senior Primary School, Dickson Dyani, Dalukukhanya Senior Primary School and Sakhisizwe Senior Primary School. 67 books were donated to the Mdantsane Library while Dickson Dyani School received netball kits and balls. Making dreams come true This was in partnership with Reach for a Dream an organisation that believes in the power of dreams. The NGO encourages children to use their dreams to fight life-threatening illnesses. Speaking about the event, Project Coordinator for Reach for a Dream Lwanele Sikonje said, “This project is called Captain Courage and it’s to build courage and to instil a fighting spirit in the young boys fighting life-threatening medical conditions such as leukaemia, HIV/Aids, cancer, organ transplants and other illnesses.” She also added that the children may consequently not enjoy a lifespan that others take for granted. The dream day gave each boy an opportunity to abseil down a wall strapped to a fire fighter. The boys were also treated to a ride on a fire engine and the fire fighter showed them how it works and also displayed all the lights and the sounds the fire engine made. Other projects organised by the NGO include Camp Sunshine, Queen for a Day, Captain Courage, Show You Care Send a Bear and the Jabulani Kingdom Hospital which are on an ongoing basis. BCMM Fleet Street Station Commander Noel Williams said that this initiative will expose the boys to the world of being a fire fighter. He also added that the project will teach them to go after their dreams regardless of their situation in life. Dignity restored for Masizakhe Children's Home Over 100 people gathered at the centre to witness the occasion with dignitaries including Programme Manager and Head of Secretariat Vuyisa Dayile, Deputy Minister of Communications Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, Transnet Group executive Human Resources Nonkululeko Sishi, Deputy Minister of Public Enterprise Bulelani Magwanishe and Executive Mayor Alfred Mtsi. According to a Press Release issued by the Department of Public Enterprise, the commitment was successively honoured through a donation of over R1.7 million grants from the Department of Public Enterprise’s state owned enterprise-Transnet Foundation in 2014. International Children's Day is celebrated on the 1st Saturday of November in South Africa. As part of the donations to the centre the Eastern Cape Aids Council (ECAC) in collaboration with the Real Gijimas Athletics Club hosted a healthy living 10 kilometre and 5 kilometre fun walk in 2013 as part of the World Aids Day build-up activities an amount of R5 000 was donated to Masizakhe Children’s Home which was identified as the prime beneficiary from the event. Speaking at the event, the Metro’s Executive Mayor Alfred Mtsi said, “We are gathered here today to handover this beautiful dining hall and kitchen to Masizakhe Children’s Home. There are many homeless children around the Highway area, this home takes them in and cares for them.” “That is why we saw the need to give a hand, every child whether they are parentless or not deserves a good upbringing.” He added that Buffalo City Metro contributes at least an amount of R5 000 to help maintenance of the centre as well as books and blankets. Speaking about the home, the Centre Manager Luyanda Lusizi said, “I am so speechless and full of gratitude today receiving this hall. Transnet has made the dreams of these children come true.” “We used to cook in the girl’s house which made it difficult for them to watch television, do their school work or play as there would be stoves and food all over. Starting from today all the children will gather at this new dining hall and kitchen to eat as a family as that is what we are.” The construction of the dining hall and kitchen began in May 2015. The home caters for 72 children from the ages of five to 13 with a mix of boys and girls. Addressing the crowd, Deputy Minister of Public Enterprise Bulelani Magwanishe said, “We are very excited to be here as government to celebrate this important occasion, children are our future we have a responsibility to make sure that we invest in our future and there is no better way to do so by making sure that our children are able to give because as parents we have started giving them first.” He added that the hall is a symbol of a safe place as part of the children’s rights, the kitchen is to make sure the food they eat is better nourished. Speaking on behalf of the children living at Masizakhe Children’s Home, 15-year-old Siphelele Tonisi who is currently doing Grade 9 at Ulwazi High School said, “We are grateful to Transnet for this beautiful kitchen we will eat as a proper family.” Adding to that Deputy Minister of Communications Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams said, “We are members of a caring government not just the organisation only, therefore what it means is that we have a responsibility to take care of each other especially as Africans bringing back that spirit of Ubuntu is the only way to go, my child is your child.” “This is our future and we will do everything in our power to make sure that it is safe and protected so that they can provide a proper and progressive guidance to the country entirely.” The children also received tablets from the National Department of Communications to make it easier for them to access information to do their school work. One of the beneficiaries Kholiswa Matyholweni doing Grade 11 at Ulwazi High School said, “This kitchen makes us so happy especially us girls as we could not play in our house because it was turned into a kitchen. Not only did we get a kitchen but we received tablets to access information, we will no longer walk to the library.” Comments are closed.