15 May Homestay in Jinhua International exchange programme opened May 15, 2018 By Tabisa Mntengwana Latest News 0 The City invites university students studying tourism, marketing, anthropology and print and web design to apply for the International Exchange Programme, called Homestay in Jinhua's Historical Villages To download the form click http://www.buffalocitymetro.gov.za/Portals/0/slides/homestay_form.pdf Related Buffalo City Homestay Programme to kickoff in August The homestay concept was adapted from the Metro’s sister city Jinhua, Zhejiang Province in China. Jinhua launched the “Home-stay in Jinhua’s historical Villages” project in 2015. Through this project Jinhua City aimed to tell the story of Jinhua and promote its rural villages by attracting tourists from all over the world who are interested in travelling to historical villages. The Metro saw the need to implement a similar project because of the rich cultural and historical background pertaining to the Xhosa Culture, and the realisation that cultures across the country are slowly being eroded by western influence and therefore need to be preserved. The project will aim to transform Mngqesha into an international center for ecotourism with distinctive local cultural elements, as well as provide an attraction for international visitors to the City. It will also ensure that surrounding rural villages are working centres of economic activity so that villagers do not leave for the cities, but contribute to developing rural villages. 30 international applicants who have a strong interest in South Africa and in particular the Xhosa culture, will be selected for the two week stay in Mngqesha Great Place and will have direct experience of living in a Xhosa Village, its culture, history, folklore, architecture, art, crafts and cuisine. They will also have the opportunity to experience other interesting sites and places of interest in the City. Participants will be required to make suggestions on improving all aspects of the village as a cultural tourist attraction and produce promotional material such as pamphlets, maps and web articles to create an interest in the respective participant countries to visit the project. The two-week exchange will then conclude with the project evaluation as well as the Farewell Ceremony where participants will have the opportunity to show off their talents and skills to the local villagers. For application forms to be part of the Homestay Programme follow the link: http://www.buffalocitymetro.gov.za/Portals/0/slides/HOMESTAY_IN_SOUTHAFRICA_APPLICATION_FORM.pdf Automotive hub opened The initiative is a partnership between the Metro, Automotive Industry Development Centre (AIDC), Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC), The Jobs Fund and the Provincial Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism. The incubator is a hub for automotive glass, battery and tyre sales and repairs. According to a press statement issued by the organisers, the incubator is considered to be the first of its kind in the country. “The idea is that after three years of trading the new businesses will stand on their own, with the resources provided to them, now released to assist in the creation of other new businesses.” Speaking at the launch, Executive Mayor Alfred Mtsi said, “Small businesses stimulate private ownership and entrepreneurship skills, which are necessary to create innovative solutions that bring forth better products and services that improve the lives of citizens.” He added that the Metro’s incubation programme is different as it uses a different approach. “What has been created with this project is virtual incubation which is on the job training. That is what sets this programme apart from others.” The programme is set to boost the township economy by training the business owners, provide equipment, finance to run the business and a three year business guidance to all the businesses who are part of the programme. The complex has four businesses which include the tyre fitment and replacement centre, battery fitment centre, glass centre and a kiosk. Yiliwe Ntanjana one of the business owners at the incubator said, “We are truly grateful for such an opportunity to have our own space to work in. For the next three years we will work hard to make sure other thriving businesses have the same opportunity.” Culminating the day Deputy Executive Mayor Xola Pakati said, “As you have been given this opportunity you need to grab it with both hands and make sure you excel in it.” He added that the incubator programme is part of the revitalisation of township economy. “We all know that entrepreneurship and innovation play are a critical ingredient in growing the economy of any city.” Call-2-Action programme launched The programme was launched on Monday 5 June at Mercedes Benz Learning Academy in Settlers Way. Call-2-Action is the initiate by the Border Kei Chamber of Business (BKCOB) in collaboration with the Metro, Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) and other businesses based in BCM to enhance the conditions of those living, working and operating in the city. Speaking at the Launch, Buffalo City Executive Mayor Xola Pakati said, “We are a city hard at work therefore it is imperative that we collaborate with business sector so as to ensure that we are indeed a Metro that is clean and green, well governed and innovative so as to ensure more investment into the city.” “This initiative serves as a catalyst for the prosperity of our beautiful city. It is through such engagements that we can collaboratively work together as government and business sector to make Buffalo City the land of plenty, “said Pakati. “Our intention is to provide a better life for the citizens of Buffalo City. The campaign does not only look at improving the city’s image and attracting investment, it also serves as a poverty alleviation tool through the creation of job opportunities for the unemployed youth of the Metro,” he said. “This, we believe, has a potential to improve the city’s image and its ability to attract more investment,”he added. BKCOB Executive Director Les Holbrook said,” The initiative is focusing on the green and clean city, it is mainly aimed at tackling litter and beautifying the four identified pilot areas in the Metro that include Settlers Way, Southernwood, Oxford Street and Western Avenue as well as Quigney.” “Unemployed residents of Buffalo City have been granted opportunities of employment in the four identified pilot areas, they receive stipend every month,” said Holbrook. “The team has already unblocked drains, removed alien vegetation, cut grass and picked up litter in Settlers Way,” he said. One of the residents working on the project Thembisa Koshe from Santa near airport said, “We are very happy about the project, our community is now clean. We are cleaning the area from 8am to 4:30pm every day. Our job helps us to know how important it is to live in a clean environment. ” Another resident working on the project Siyabulela Ncume said, “We are grateful about the project it really made a difference in our lives. We are now employed and living in a healthy environment like other people. We appreciate what we get from the project, it’s better than nothing.” Youth driver training programme The concept was introduced by the City’s Deputy Executive Mayor’s Office with the aim to improve the lives of Buffalo City youth. “This aims at improving their life opportunities as people who will have better chances of employment opportunities,” said Deputy Executive Mayor Xola Pakati. The driver training programme is run under Coega Industrial Development Zone. The Metro’s Youth Council identified the needy unemployed youth in Buffalo City. Speaking about the opportunity one of the beneficiaries Athenkosi Fikizolo said, “This is a great opportunity and it will open doors for me.” Another beneficiary from Ndileka Village near King William’s Town Vuyisani Gqwetha added that job opportunities will be open for me now “and obtaining a driving license will help me through the process of job search.” “I had never thought that such an opportunity will be given to me, as I hail from rural areas and it has been a dream I thought will never be fulfilled. I had never driven car before and this has been a wonderful experience.” 39 of chosen youth are currently busy with their learner’s licenses and only one is already in possession of the learner’s license . The classes kicked off on Monday 16 November at 2.30pm at Buffalo City College in East London with a total number of 25 people as a first group. They are all between East London and Mdantsane. The King William’s Town class will be accommodated at the Lovedale FET College in King William’s Town. 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. City launches swimming project for kids These kids will be equipped with water safety skills and an introduction on swimming. Every summer, thousands of visitors flock to the beaches in BCM and sadly so, many families go back home with one of their loved ones wrapped in a body plastic bag. To prevent any more of these tragedies, the Metro and its Sister City, the City of Leiden established a Water Safety Project in January 2016 where youngsters from Isibindi Child and Youth Care and Safe Park in Duncan Village were given introductory swimming lessons and trained on water safety. This year, the programme continues with a six-month swimming programme where 20 youngsters from the Safe Park and another 20 from Scenery Park ages nine to 15 will be equipped with water safety skills. The group from Scenery Park are children who were involved in the drowning tragedy at the Umzonyana Dam in Scenery Park where a young life was lost in February 2017. The programme will ensure the identified participants are able to practice water safety activities in different aquatic environments and are able to swim and surf in a safe and fun way. BCMM Spokesperson Samkelo Ngwenya said, “It is our aim that the life skill of swimming is imparted to as many children as possible and that they are exposed to the different forms of water sport including swimming, diving and surfing without fear.” Buffalo City and the City of Leiden will spend a total of R137 550 towards the project covering costs that include swimming equipment and gear, transport to the venue and salaries for the project team. The programme was launched on Wednesday 1 November 2017 at the Orient Beach Pool. Speaking at the event, one of the learners Lisa Quluba who was very excited to benefit from the programme said, “I look forward to learning how to swim because I want to be able to save others.” Motivating the participants, International Surfer, Craig Jarvis said, “Every time I see a young child get on a surfing board for the first time, I relive my childhood as I recall standing on my very first wave here at the orient beach.” He then encouraged them to get familiar with the sea water as “the ocean can be your best friend but it can also be your enemy that is why safety is very important, it is sad to hear of children drowning at sea when it can be prevented through training and education.” Special Programmes Portfolio Head, Xolani Witbooi appealed to the young group to commit fully to the programme so that one day they can represent the City at international sporting events such as the Olympic Games and also impart the knowledge to others. Comments are closed.