12 February Free Wi-Fi for Mdantsane residents February 12, 2018 By Tabisa Mntengwana Latest News 0 Free-ad Wi-Fi is coming soon for Mdantsane residents all thank you to Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA). As part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme MBSA will be rolling out free ad-funded Wi-fi in Mdantsane as part of its partnership and already signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Metro. Speaking broadly about the project, MBSA spokesperson Asanda Fongqo said, “The rationale behind choosing Mdantsane is that the majority of our employees reside there, approximately 70 percent of our employees are from Mdantsane.” “The project is however not only targeting our employees but the broader community. We have already identified five sites where we initially be installing Wi-Fi points.” “We plan to implement this initiative on a phased approach, with the first phase (pilot phase) starting with five sites that include, Kuyasa Shopping Centre, Mdantsane Park at Highway Taxi Rank, one primary school which is currently supported by MBSA two butcheries,” added Fongqo. Each of the installations will cover a 350-meter radius. Adding to that, Head of Directorate for Economic Development and Agencies Noludwe Ncokazi said, “This is great for the relationship that we already have with MBSA, the Metro is going be part of a project that will bring change to many citizens of this City. BCMM will also be granted a dashboard report to monitor the usage of the Wi-Fi for our own planning purposes.” According to Fonqo, MBSA has appointed View4Mahala as their service provider and implementing agent who has advised that this platform will be paid for through advertising. “View4Mahala also confirmed that they will not be using the City’s network but will install their network points in the strategic locations. The agent will have a four-to-eight technical response period for faults that are reported and also assist in the monitoring as they have paid for the time slots.” According to a Municipal Report, the service provider will not be storing the details of the users but will keep generic statistics to generate a dashboard for advertisers and this is one of the features the MBSA has committed to consider in the process. Each user will get up to 15MB with restrictions such as blocked access to pornography sites among other restricted internet platforms. MBSA team is expected from mid-February to install the Wi-fi points and they anticipate that everything will start rolling out early in March 2018. Related City rolls out free Wi-Fi Access points have been installed around the CBD, Libraries and Civic Centres across the Metro with access initially restricted to Buffalo City employees, but citizens will also soon enjoy free Wi-Fi as the City is in the process of activating public access. BCMM ICT Manager Jongikhaya Stuurman said, “Controllers of the access points are currently being programmed to create a separate public access to the network for public Wi-Fi.” He added that four public outdoor access points have already been activated in Duncan Village Redevelopment Initiative (DVRI) by the Community Hall, Steers in Oxford Street, Cnr of Amalinda Main Road by Clarendon High School and Buffalo City College. The remaining 18 public outdoor points will be activated by end October 2017. The hotspots will include among others the East London City Hall, Trust Centre, John Forbes Pharmacy, BP Garage, Bhisho and King William’s Town. Stuurman said the public will benefit from having access to free internet as it will increase access to job opportunities and information as well as decrease the digital divide. The City’s network will provide the public with 250MB of data per day at a connection speed of 2MB to 4MB per second. There will be a once-off registration required where a cell number will be authenticated for security purposes. Major developments for Mdantsane urban hub The funding has been allocated under the Neighbourhood Development Partnership Grant (NDPG) and a precinct plant, designed by the Urban Design Concept Company, was presented to National Treasury earlier this year by a delegation sent by the City. The City on Tuesday 16 August hosted the Mdantsane Urban Stakeholder (Highway) Workshop at Mdantsane Sun Hotel to engage as well as to let them know about the upgrade and development plans that are soon to happen in the CBD. Speaking at the delegates at the workshop, Project Manager from Urban Concept Designs Sopna Kumar- Nair said, “The urban upgrades will focus on expanding and consolidating the existing economic heart of the CBD through the creation of new anchors and facilities. It will also enhance existing streets and creating new tree-lined streets as well as space.” The upgrades will also include the creation of prominent and pedestrian-friendly gateways into the CBD as well as creating new higher density social housing and mixed uses on strategic sites and lastly open up access bottlenecks as well as creating a network of well-connected streets and spaces throughout the CBD. Kumar-Nair mentioned that additional funding will be available from National Treasury to initiate the implementation of the anticipated projects. “The historic, cultural and sporting significance of the hub is also acknowledged in the plan and various opportunities are identified for the further development of these,” adds Kumar-Nair. Acting HoD for Enterprise Project Management Office (EPMO) Neo Moerane said, “We want Mdantsane to be our pride and joy and that it will happen. After this session as entities we must go back and plan. Remember, this is also a concerted concept to deliver on the IDP budget.” She also emphasised that the Metro is all about township regeneration as well as boosting the economy. A resident from Mdantsane Anelisa Luwa said, “We are so happy that finally Mdantsane will receive the recognition it deserves as it is one the biggest township in South Africa. I am also pleased with the job creation the project will come with.” According to a Council Report a detailed study by Buffalo City Metro is on the cards to determine the exact capacity of existing infrastructure as well as the upgrade requirements in relation to water, sanitation, storm water, electricity and roads. New houses for Mdantsane Cluster Speaking about the initiative Executive Mayor Alfred Mtsi said, “These are the housing units built in this area to reduce the number of shacks. We hope you will keep these houses safe and secure.” 87-year-old Alfred Ngqaba, one of the beneficiaries from Ilinge said that it’s a great pleasure to have received a new house and furniture. Another beneficiary who received a new house is Nocawe Dube. Her shack burnt down few months ago. “I did not only receive a new house but also new furniture for my house and I am very grateful to the Metro.” As part of the City’s efforts to build more houses for its residents, Mdantsane Cluster 1 units form part of the initiative. Over 1400 housing units will be built in the area and already 49 units have been completed. Areas that fall under Mdantsane Cluster 1 include Masibambane 156, Masibulele 161, Ilinge 561, Velwano 420 and Dacawa 161. The development is an upgrading of infill areas, it was held back by lack of bulk sanitation. According to a press release issued by the Metro, the Metro’s Engineering Department has upgraded the services to allow for the development of these areas. “These areas are along the Mdantsane Bufferstrip under Ward 12, 14 and 17.” Possible Water Interruptions in Mdantsane and Surroundings This burst pipe has significantly reduced the bulk water supply to Mdantsane as a result the distribution reservoirs are critically low, which may lead to water interruptions in some of the areas, especially the high lying areas. The maintenance teams are onsite to do the repairs but it may take more than 12 hours to complete the repair due to the size of the water main and difficult site conditions, which are worsened by Izinyoka. Please inform the Cllrs/ Community and request the consumers to use water sparingly during this period to avoid water outages. This may affect Ilitha, Needscamp, Ncera villages up to Kaysersbeach as Amatola Water are currently sending all the water to Mdantsane. Mdantsane shows great support for Chippa Last year, a partnership between Buffalo City Metro and Chippa United football club was formed to bring top flight football into the City after years of not hosting football matches of Premier Soccer League calibre. This has reinvigorated the love of football in the city and has brought much needed recognition for both the City and Mdantsane. Chillie Boys, as the team is popularly known, entered into a deal with the City to bring five football matches to Buffalo City. However, the team has already played two of the matches against Highlands Park in December last year which they won by two goals to nil and played a one all draw against the Premier Soccer League (PSL) and African Champions Mamelodi Sundowns in scintillating game despite the heavy pitch on 14 February. Other PSL clubs to descend to BCM shores are Golden Arrows on the 24 of February, Ajax Cape Town in March 15 and Bidvest Wits on the 6th of May all matches schedule for Sisa Dukashe Stadium. Leading into the game against Sundowns, the BCM Executive Mayor Xola Pakati welcomed the champions to the Metro by honouring the team on their achievement in the African continent. Speaking at the gala dinner held in Hemmingways, Pakati said,” We are here to celebrate with you the achievements that put our country on the continental map in the history of football.” The Chloorkop side won the Africa team of the year and their Head Coach Pitso Mosimane was awarded with the accolade of coach of the year in Africa. Pakati said ,”Your awards were not just compliments for job well done but a beacon of hope that all South Africans can be proud of, there for it feels me with pride to welcome and host the giants of African in Buffalo City.” Giving a reply Mosimane said he was humbled and honour by the gesture the City shown to him and his players. “This came as a surprise but it is always good to show humility when people with influence in the community say inspiring word about me.” “I am humbled and honoured to be acknowledged and be recognised by the municipality. We are grateful of the environment that has been created for us.” On the same week a supporter branch for the Greater East London was launched at the East London City Hall. Chippa United Head of Marketing and Communications Luthando ‘Trompies’ Zibeko said; “The launch of the Supporters Club here in East London is in line with our growth strategy, our theme for the season, Season of Growth. Chippa United is currently the fasted growing football brand in South Africa and we have to create an environment for the Club to launch more branches. The Greater East London Branch covers fans from Engcobo, Tsomo, Queenstown, Butterworth, Ngqamakwe, King Williams Town and Alice and fans can get hold of Chairperson, Bafo Nweba on 072 371 3858 or 078 156 0785 to enquire about membership. Tickets for all the games are available at Ticket Pro, Edgars, Jet and Jekwa Service Station for R40. Mahlangu informal settlements electrified “These funds have been made available by the City to improve the access of electricity for the communities and residents of the Metro,” said Head for Infrastructure Services Ncedo Kumbaca. Over 200 homes will have proper electricity in Mahlangu Informal Settlement at NU13 in Mdantsane just in time for the festive season. In the 2012/13 financial year, the council took a decision to electrify the informal settlements of Buffalo City Metro and Mahlangu Informal Settlement is one of the areas who met the criteria to be electrified. “Other areas in the Metro with informal settlements will also be electrified, we have just started here as we believe everyone is entitled to electricity and decent living,” said Kumbaca. According to Kumbaca, each house already has a switchboard with a light and three plugs. In addition to that, residents who qualify as indigents receive 50 free units of electricity each month. Many people have died from illegal connections made by the residents even young children are exposed to the connections when they play outside. Speaking about the dangers of Izinyoka, Ward Councillor Mlandeli Ngabayena said, “Having electricity will help decrease the death roll of people dying as a result of illegal connections including innocent young children.” “The different sides of communities use to clash over electricity as one side of the area would go completely dark, the other area would come steal electricity from them. This will really help bring peace in the ward,” he said. According to the State of the Metro Address, “The Metro appeals to residents to stop the persistent acts of illegal connections which may not only incur unnecessary costs to the Municipality but also expose residents to fatalities.” Kumbaca added that over 100 people have died in the City over the past year as a result of illegal connections. Expressing her gratitude 75-year-old resident Victoria Qoqa said, “I am joyful, life was difficult before. We had to snip electricity in order to survive with fear of stepping on the exposed electricity cables.” She also added that in the past her grandchildren would have to do their homework at night using a candle. “There will no longer be the risk of burning down the shack with a candle as we have proper lights now, we are very thankful to the City for this project.” “I will be able to also cook properly with no stress of paraffin or primer stove,” she said. Comments are closed.