16 May The Metro hosts 2018 Council Open Day May 16, 2018 By Tabisa Mntengwana Latest News 0 The Council Open day kicked off this morning at the East London City Hall, following the successful road shows for the 2017/2018 draft Integrated Development Plan (IDP) and Budget. Speaking at the event, Executive Mayor Xola Pakati said, “We believe that this gathering will go a long way in strengthening governance and democracy in our City. This means that the vision, which is mainly contained in the manifesto of the governing party should be visible and that we should be at the stage of actualising its intentions.” The purpose of the day was to present the outcomes of the IDP and Budget roadshows as well as key issues raised by traditional leadership and the business fraternity before it is tabled in Council for adoption. “We are doing this not because of our own goodwill but we are instructed by the people’s Freedom Charter which asserts that; “All bodies of minority rule, advisory boards, councils and authorities shall be replaced by the democratic organs of self-government,” said Pakati He added that the City has always ensured that we engage our communities through the Mayoral Imbizo programme which we held at the close of last year and we have recently completed intensive and fruitful Integrated Development Planning consultations as earlier alluded to. Community members were also part of the gathering as they are given an opportunity to raise queries that might have been left out during the roadshows. “It is important to note that the participation of our communities in our processes is not only limited to the budgeting process. The Council of our metro has an operating Ward Committee Public Participation Framework whose sole intention is to foster direct involvement of residents and local organisations in the decision-making processes of the municipality,” Pakati added. Related BCMM 2018 Council Open Day The purpose of the day is to present the outcomes of the IDP and Budget ward meetings as well as key issues raised by traditional leadership and the business fraternity before it is tabled in Council for adoption. A summary of the key issues raised during the ward meetings were roads, housing, water and sanitation, refuse removal, electrification, sports and recreation facilities as well as youth development programmes. Community members are invited to attend as they will be given an opportunity to raise queries that might have been left out during the roadshows to the City and also ask questions of clarity on how the budget will be allocated in the upcoming financial year. BCM Council Open Day The purpose of the day was to present the outcomes of the IDP and Budget ward meetings as well as key issues raised by traditional leadership and the business fraternity before it is tabled in Council for adoption. Speaking at the open day, Speaker of Council Alfred Mtsi said, “Our responsibility as municipal councillors is to play a central role in promoting local democracy in the form of ensuring public participation.” “The City has a responsibility to encourage and create conditions for local community to participate in the affairs of the municipality including the preparation, implementation and the review of its IDP.” A summary of the key issues raised during the ward meetings were grouped into three regions of the Metro namely Inland wards, Midland wards and Coastal wards and were presented by the Chief Whip of Council Mzwandile Vaaiboom. Vaaiboom said, “All the issues that have been raised by the people here will be taken to council on May 26 for endorsement.” He added that the Executive Mayor’s State of the Metro Address in June will be informed by the outcomes of everything contained by the IDP. In the Inland Region key issues that were raised included the upgrading of roads, a requests for houses, repairing of damaged RDP houses, upgrading of water pipes, electrification, upgrading of sports facilities and job creation particularly for the youth. The Midland Region sited roads, housing, water and sanitation, refuse removal, electrification, sports and recreation facilities as well as youth development programmes as their key issues. Coastal Region ward issues include additional communal standpipes, clarity on illegal occupation of RDP houses, electrification of new areas, land for new cemeteries, job creation and training for the youth. Delivering his keynote address, Executive Mayor Xola Pakati said, “Today is the culmination of the journey we have undertaken to report and account to all the citizens of the Metro about what we have done and request a further mandate on what more should be done as we continue to be of service to our people.” Pakati also presented the Metro’s medium-term expenditure budget for the 2017/18 financial year in which he painted a picture of the current economic climate in the Metro. He said, “The economic climate is marked by immaterial growth, high unemployment, a small revenue base, aging infrastructure, a low collection rate and cost containment measures.” Community members in attendance were given an opportunity to raise queries that might have been left out during the roadshows to the portfolio heads of the various municipal departments and also asked question of clarity on how the budget will be allocated in the new financial year. Council Open Day The public hearings took place from 14 April until 13 May to communicate the plans of the City and future development to residents and stakeholders for the 2016/17 financial year. The objective of the day was to give feedback on key issues raised from the wards and also reflect on matter raised by the business fraternity and the traditional leaders. Speaking at the Council Open Day, Executive Mayor Alfred Mtsi said, “The priorities for the next finical year are to provide adequate housing for residents, providing clean and safe drinking water and creating various ideas to ensure the City is kept clean.” “The strategic outcomes we have set out as a Metro are to be an innovative and productive, green, connected, well – governed and spatially transformed City.” “Indeed we have made strides in attempting to realise our vision of being a developmental local government,” said Mtsi. Presenting at the council open day Mtsi said, “A total of over 200 000 households in the Metro have access to water and over 90 percent receive the basic minimum requirements.” He also added that the electricity department spent over 90 percent of its R85 million budget on refurbishing, upgrading and enhancing the electrical network throughout the City he also said that over 16 000 indigent people receive free basic electricity since the financial year of 2014/2015. In regards to housing Mtsi said, “Second Creek residents received decent housing with full ownership due to the quality of the housing unit delivered by the Human Settlements Directorate the Metro has also won an award for the best rural housing project.” He also added that as part of the rural development programme many housing opportunities will be provided to many rural communities in the Metro. “It is our mandate to provide basic waste management services to citizens of the City this includes street sweeping, waste and litter collection, refuse removal and sundry solid waste management services,” said Mtsi. Mtsi also mentioned some of the challenges facing the Metro such as illegal dumping, land for central transfer station, community mindset, behaviors and enforcing waste management by-laws. Looking at roads, Mtsi said that currently the Roads Department is operating a ward based project which consist of 500 volunteers, 10 volunteers per ward. “The ward based volunteers will assist with pothole patching and storm water clearing,” said Mtsi. The meeting was attended by various key stakeholders of the IDP such as Councillors, Municipal Officials, Community Development Workers (CDW), Traditional leaders and private sector as well as members of the public were invited to engage and discuss the implementation of the IDP and to discuss the successful projects that have been completed in the Metro thus far. The open day was part of the public hearings before the adoption of the 2016/2017 IDP and budget by Council on 31 May. BCMM 2018 Mayoral Bursary Application Open Every academic year, the Metro sets aside an amount of R1.2 million to assist underprivileged individuals including persons with disabilities who are interested in studying in scarce skills fields such as Science, Engineering, Information Technology and Finance. The Fund assist current or prospective students towards covering tuition and registration fees, prescribed books, study material and accommodation. Candidates must be bona fide residents of Buffalo City who are between the ages of 14 and 35 years and have at least D in English and C in Mathematics and Science. The closing date for application is 31 October 2017 and shortlisted candidates will be contacted by 30 November 2017 for personal interview. Forms are also available on http://www.buffalocitymetro.gov.za/Portals/0/BCMM/youth/Bursary_2017.pdf City hosts 2nd Afrika Bike Week 2018 Speaking to Carl Frayne who is the Project Manager for Afrika Bike Week 2018 he said, “We have chosen Buffalo City because East London fits our demand as bikers as it possesses tourism attraction sites, good accommodation and knowledgeable people with regards to biking,” he said. According to Frayne 10000 people are expected to descend on the City’s shores to experience live entertainment. On the four days thousands of motorcycles from all over the country are expected to attend this great motorcycle event which has become a must do annual event for Harley-Davidson owners and other bikers enthusiasts. Hordes of event visitors will get to experience the world of entertainment and soak up its philosophy and lifestyle and one lucky person will be going home with a brand-new Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Other entertainment will include world class stunt shows, trial bike shows; cage racing; flight-night motorcycle aerial displays; skills riding; extreme motor cross; BMX and skateboard shows as well as the traditional mass ride. Bikers enthusiasts will appreciate the opportunity to ride and have fun while making their way to East London. Event organisers are encouraging everyone to share their Road to ABW 2018 on social media platforms like Facebook; Twitter and Harley Davidson website as well as the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality’s website. Entry is free, register online at http://www.afrikabikeweek.com/ and enjoy Afrika’s largest free motorcycle extravanza. Metro rehabilitates Roundhill Major upgrades to rehabilitate the site are almost done and they will set the benchmark for waste management in the Metro as the landfill will now be equipped to handle and manage waste efficiently and effectively. The site has been operating while it had a high percentage of non-compliance as a result incidents of smoke and the releasing toxic gases in the air due to uncovered waste frequently happened at the site. Speaking at the landfill site Executive Mayor Alfred Mtsi said, “The implementation and rehabilitation plan of the landfill site marks the beginning of a new journey towards integrated waste management for the City.” Mtsi said waste management is a global issue and that the Metro has set a mandate to deal with waste effectively so that the health and safety of the citizens is not compromised. “Recycling waste and providing environmental protection is our long term vision,” said Mtsi. The Metro is currently drafting a waste management strategy to deal with waste effectively in the City. In dealing with the challenges at Roundhill site, the Metro awarded an emergency tender in August 2014 to Envitech Solutions. The Gauteng based company which has expertise to carry out studies from preliminary investigations through to detailed design and implementation of waste management and disposal systems and Interwaste Environmental Solutions to try and turn the landfill site around. Speaking about the development of the landfill site Technical Engineer for Envitech Solutions Abinash Dookhi said, “The biggest challenge we faced was managing the harmful gas leachate which causes significant threat to ground and surface water.” He also said that when they arrived at the Roundhill landfill site, the site was in a very bad condition and it was not compliant according to the national landfill regulations. “The waste not being covered meant that harmful gases where being released and contaminating the air and the water in the area. Residents were living on the land fill site illegally as well as endangering their own health,” said Dookhi. Dookhi also added a lot of work needed to be done to turn the landfill around but said he was positive that with the assistance of the Metro it could be done. “We had various meetings with the Metro and drafted a detailed plan on how Envitech and Interwaste Solutions were going to turn the landfill site into an engineered landfill site and make it 100 percent compliant,” said Dookhi. It has taken three years to turn Roundhill Landfill site from 30 percent compliant to now 80 percent complaint. This has also opened up employment opportunities for a group of 50 residents who were living at the landfill site earning between R250 and R500 per week. The group were organized into small groups and were equipped with business opportunities of collecting cupboards, plastic bottles, used cans and many more disposals that are being dumped by trucks at the site. The launch was recently launched last week in Berlin. Comments are closed.