14 February Mobile science lab to boost City school February 14, 2018 By Tabisa Mntengwana Latest News 0 As part of the City’s Back to School programme, the Metro together with Standard Bank officially handed over a mobile science laboratory to Sandisiwe High School. The handover was held at Sandisiwe High School in NU14 Mdantsane on Tuesday 13 February. The programme is aimed at encouraging BCMM learners to take up science field in order to plough back to its development and uplifting the standards of education in the City. The Mobile Science Lab is set to support budding scientists and it forms part of several initiatives that are to benefit a lot of City’s schools. Speaking at the event Executive Mayor Councillor Xola Pakati said, “Education is a powerful tool for youth development and is essential to transforming the economy. “As the City, we are very proud to be part of the programme and we also take note of other challenges that you have,” said Pakati. “For education to create tangible future opportunities for our children, corporates need to collaborate with the government and communities to help pupils develop the skills they need to achieve their dreams,” he said. Deputy Principal Zola Peter said that they appreciated the donation, and that it would go a long way at their school, which is stretched for resources. “We need equipment, especially with us being a technical high school. Maths and Physical Science are very important subjects and we want to enhance our pupils’ understanding of the subjects and the equipment received today will be useful to our school,” said Peter. “Our pupils face a very difficult future, so we try to uplift them. We try and encourage them on to this technical pathway, because it can change their lives. We hope this investment will make more pupils interested in the subject,” he said. Peter said they would put measures in place to ensure the labs were used effectively. Asanda Tyali a representative from Standard Bank said, “Standard Bank is a bank that supports education and we are proud, delighted to assist our black students.” “Standard Bank is committed to contributing to youth development and this is just one of our ways of ploughing back into the community,” said Tyali. Speaking on behalf of science pupils Kwakhanya Mkonqo said, “The underprivileged learners of Sandisiwe High School will finally be able to conduct science experiments to better understand the field of science and improve their results.” He added that their understanding of the subject would improve a lot because it was difficult to grasp some concepts if you only have theoretical knowledge. “We cannot wait for the live demonstrations,” said Mkonqo. Related Electricity Smart Meter Technology This process will kick off with the industrial and commercial sections as the first phase and later in the project the domestic billing will kick off as phase two. This project includes the electricity meter audit, changing the old meters to the new smart meters. “We have picked up that many businesses in this City, in fact over 100, are using old meter systems that are outdated and ultimately cost their bottom line,” Ngwenya. The City is aiming at replacing at least 200 industrial and commercial sites as part of the pilot phase to be implemented in the 2017/ 2018 financial year. Thereafter the program will be rolled out to the masses. This is a transversal contact (RT 15/2016) done by BCMM and is supported by the National Treasury. Th primary benefits of the project for the consumer includes accurate billing, better monitoring of electricity consumption through a Mobile App and completeness of monthly billing. A Mobile App (SmartWire) has been developed for consumers to monitor their electricity consumption. The App gives the consumer to view their electricity consumption in a 30-minute interval. In the later stage the City will have a USSD for easy access to consumers with queries. The City also has a control room (Intelligence Operating Centre) which is situated at the Munnifin building 3rd floor to deal with the roll out and implementation. At least R59 000 will be spent in changing the old meters to the new smart system in the first phase. For more information on the kindly email the Project Manager Office on Smart_Metering_Query@buffalocity.gov.za “We are tightening the screws and ensuring that the City is innovative, connected and productive in its approach to service delivery. In October we introduced an advanced prepaid vending system which enabled people to buy electricity in the luxury of their comfort and increased many vending areas. “Now this platform is meant to supplement that and all these efforts that we are putting together to enable people to monitor their consumption, budget properly and ultimately be able to pay for services easily,” Ngwenya. MGDS vision to bolster the City The purpose of the day was for the City representatives and external stakeholders to interact, represent community needs and priorities to be achieved by 2030. Speaking at the meeting Executive Mayor for Buffalo City Metro Alfred Mtsi said, “I want to see space created for the many super talented Metro citizens who have good ideas on how to save the future of the city.” The City’s MGDS Coordinator Abongile Dlani listed five strategic outcomes to be achieved in the next five years that include: · Creating an innovative and productive city with rapid and inclusive economic growth and falling unemployment; · A green, clean and healthy city of subtropical gardens that makes the best of its natural assets; · A connected city with cheap, high quality connections to information and communications technology (ICT) and · A well governed city and a spatially integrated city. Dlani presented the Metro’s MGDS overview which puts officials to work building business confidence by supporting thriving sectors which in turn would lead to more growth and jobs. The over view calls for quick decision making when dealing with investors and most importantly for the Metro to release land for development and economic growth. Acting General Manager of the IDP and Performance Management System Nozuko Frans highlighted priority issues and challenges the Metro needs to focus on. “BCM has prioritised finding houses for the disabled and people who have been on the housing list for more than 20 years, meeting requests for toilets, water supply, fixing faulty electrical poles, upgrading and maintaining sports fields, regularly collecting refuse, building new storm drains and maintaining existing drains.” The outcomes of the summit have been adopted by Council at the executive mayoral lekgotla that was held on November 16 t0 18 and that they should reflect in the new Integrated Development Plan (IDP). The meeting also comprised of three clusters that include Institutional and finance that covers communication, By-laws, Public participation, budgeting, special programmes, disabled, elderly and youth. Economic development for SMMEs, agriculture, tourism, safety, disaster, fire and rescue services, environmental health and township economy. Infrastructure and Spatial that include water, electricity, roads, sanitation, spatial planning, human settlements, urban generation and transportation. The socio- economic cluster which is led by BCMM Executive Mayor called for linkages to rural development with manufacturing plants to supply the rural areas. The forum called for the establishment of an investment council and the revival of the metro agricultural forum. Electricity Indaba hosted by the Metro According to a Metro’s press statement Municipal Report the Indaba aims to give various role players in the electricity sector to discuss and inform all of the impact and cost of illegal implications as well as the occupational health impact the illegal connections have on the people and electrical infrastructure of the Metro. The Electricity Indaba also discussed the alternative energy systems that the City is already using and future plans. Some of the topics that were discussed include legal implications, the effect that illegal connections impact on the community and electricity losses. Speaking about the purpose of the day Portfolio Head for Infrastructure Services Mteteleli Sam said, “The purpose of this session is to discuss and debate issues that affect a large portion of our population, which is the issue of illegal connections. “Illegal connections do not only affect BCMM as an institution but it deals with the day to day impact on the Metro’s ability to provide an effective service to all, as electricity and energy affect the day to day lives of the citizens of the Metro.” He added that illegal connections affect the Metro’s budget as funding is spent to replace and repair networks that are damaged, on a more social level they have also resulted in the identified deaths of at least 47 BCMM residents, some of which have been innocent by standers of this illegal act. Some of the stakeholders that were there include, SAPS, Southern African Revenue Protection Association (SARPA), Eskom (Operation Khanyisa Program) the Department of Energy, the Department of Labour and Border Kei Chamber of Business. Speaking about the Metro’s electricity and energy status quo Acting HOD for Engineering Services Luyanda Mbula said, “The electricity department intends to continue with its capitalisation program. The department completed a major project in June 2015 with the 80 MVA Queenspark Zoo substation coming in line, this has improved supply to the CBD and also ensures additional capacity for RDP Electrification.” “We have completed over 200 projects in the last three years to upgrading, refurbishing and renewing cables, transformers, switch gear, mini substation and switch houses.” “We work hand in hand with the Department of Energy, we apply for funding based on information we receive from the Department of Human Settlement, at the moment the back log that we have for electrification of formal houses is at 2500 housing un-electrified houses,” adds Mbula. He added that the department has a severe shortage of skilled labour, the plant, vehicles and equipment need to be replaced, aging infrastructure that needs to be replaced, and theft of copper and vandalism of equipment. The session ended with lively debates that included possible short, mid and long term solutions and have programmed way forward to address the electrical and energy challenges within the Metro and surrounding areas. Buffalo City to host Proteas and Chippa matches So much so that as a City, we are not only predicting victories for both teams but also a full capacity crowds to live up to our reputation as South Africa’s “capital of fun” and a “sports destination of choice”. The Chilli Boys, as the football side is known, are returning to Buffalo City for the first time this season at their hunting ground the Sisa Dukashe Stadium following their win against Kaizer Chiefs in the Premiers Cup in August. Chippa will be hosting a wounded Cape Town City side who are coming from two defeats. Elsewhere in the City, the high flying Proteas will be hosting Bangladesh at the Buffalo Park Stadium on Sunday at 10 am. The Proteas lead the ODI series by two nil after winning their first game by 10 wickets and the second game by 104 runs. The Buffalo City local organising committee has indicated that the City is ready and it is all systems go for the weekend games. The LOC has been sitting with other safety organs of state planning to deliver incident free events that are of international standard. Our security clusters include our disaster, traffic and law enforcement and these have submitted their plans and necessary certificates which have been approved. For the Chippa, game tickets are still available at Ticketpro for R40 adults and R20 for children. We advise people that do not have tickets not come close to the stadium precinct as security will be on high alert and we warn perpetrators who are dealing with counterfeit tickets that they will face the full might of the law. The Sisa Dukashe Stadium will open at 12h30 and with curtain raiser matches. The Chippa/CT City game will kick-off at 15h30. For the Proteas game, Tickets for the Proteas game are available through Ticketpro and at the Buffalo Park ticket office with cost raging from R80 to R350.Road closure for Proteas and Bangladesh. Road Closures: Proteas Game • Buffalo Park Drive at Commercial Road • Buffalo Park Drive at John Baillie Road • Buffalo Park Drive at the Entrance to the Old Craven park • Buffalo Park Drive at the Main Gate Lane Closure • John Baillie Road will be converted into a one-way Traffic from Buffalo Park Drive towards Link Road. Alternative Parking will be made available at Commercial Road and Buffalo Park Drive (close to Fitzpatrick Road) Chippa game Streets in and around NU 2 Mdantsane and general parking will be available at the Orlando stadium. Back to School Campaign kicks off The event will start at 11am. This program is part of the Mayors back to school campaign which started on Monday. Before handing over the bursaries, the Executive Mayor will first visit schools in Mdantsane where he will be handing over 50 pairs of shoes at Nobhotwe and Zimasa Primary Schools at 08:30 am. The annual Executive Mayoral Bursary Fund is aimed at helping learners who are interested in studying in fields where skills are scarce and in demand, such as Engineering, Finance, Computer Science, Planning & Economic Services and Agriculture. The R1.2 million fund covers tuition, registration fees, prescribed books, study material and accommodation for candidates studying predetermined scarce skills The total number of benefiting BCMM Bursary Fund recipients for 2018 Academic Year is 19 - new intake plus 27 from previous years that is total of 46 beneficiaries. The fund’s budget on the current financial year is R1.2 million. Since inception of the Bursary Fund in 2008, 49 beneficiaries have graduated and an additional six will be graduating in April and May 2018 that brings the total to 55. This is part of asserting the municipality’s vision of making education fashionable and implementing government’s overall prioritisation of education as an apex. Today, Pakati visited Masijongane Higher Primary School where he gave learners school shoes in Ndevana. Speaking at the school, Pakati said “We know the plight of the kids in rural areas and it is not easy to have discouraged young people to attend school. As the Metro it is our mandate to make sure that kids from these areas are not disadvantaged when it comes to education.” Back to School Campaign Drive On Monday the 22 of January 2018, the Executive Mayor will host a working lunch with the previous bursary holders of the Mayoral Bursary. This lunch will also include those that are currently benefiting from the fund. The intention of this meeting is to track progress and therefore assess the full impact of the bursary to the previous holders. The Executive Mayor also wants to get a direct update on how the current beneficiaries are finding the fund and how they are doing in their current studies. On the 25 of January, the Executive Mayor will visit Gubevu Primary and Ndevana Higher Primary. On the 26 of January, Pakati will then visit Bhotwe and Zimasa Primary Schools. In all the four schools, the Executive Mayor will be handing over 50 pairs of shoes in each school. He will then address the school assemblies in all the four schools and will encourage learners on the year ahead. The Executive Mayor will conclude the week by handing over 41 bursaries to needy and deserving students from our City. The bursary handover will take place at the City Hall Auditorium from 10am on Friday the 26 of January 2018. The bursary covers tuition, registration fees, prescribed books, study material and accommodation for candidates studying predetermined scarce skills in the fields of Engineering, Finance, Planning and Economic Services, Information Technology as well as Agriculture. The fund further provides beneficiaries with an opportunity to participate in experiential learning placements within the Metro. Comments are closed.