eThekwini Municipality > City Government > Council > City Mayor > Blog > Posts > Coming together during natural disasters
March 25
Coming together during natural disasters

LET me take this opportunity to send my heartfelt condolences to the families that lost loved ones during the heavy rains experienced recently which triggered flooding in the northern parts of the City. Our hearts also go out to the families of the three school children who lost their lives while crossing the street in Newlands.

The City is looking into ways to ensure motorists reduce their speed on that stretch of road. We are a caring City and as such we have taken the decision to assist the bereaved families, who lost family members during the flooding, with the burial of their loved ones. We will also be providing them with food hampers. We believe in Ubuntu and have extended a helping hand to these families in need.

Severe flooding was experienced in many areas north of the City especially in KwaMashu where a number of houses were flooded. This resulted in furniture, food and many other household items being damaged. I would like to commend all our employees for the sterling work they have done to offer much needed relief aid to victims. We are certain that our relief efforts have provided much needed welfare to those affected.

We would also like to thank the MEC of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nomusa Dube-Ncube for the distinguished leadership she has provided in this regard during this trying time. It is important to note that the widespread flooding was a result of irresponsible behaviour by some who dispose of waste into the drainage system. This behaviour needs to stop as we are spending resources trying to rid our stormwater system of this waste.

I urge everyone to join the crusade against dumping solid waste into our drainage system. We must teach our children this from a young age so that they grow with this knowledge into responsible and civic-minded adults. In conclusion, I would like to reiterate the call made by national government to use electricity sparingly. The country is currently experiencing widespread load shedding and we all need to work together to confront this challenge.

I need to add that compounding our woes, is that amidst this challenge electricity is being stolen. We have many in our communities who can afford to pay for electricity but choose not to, instead opting to steal it and then abuse it as they know someone else will be footing the bill.

If we do not work together to nip this illicit behaviour in the bud, our country will continue to be plagued by blackouts. Let us be good residents by saving electricity and paying for that which we use.

Comments

Re: Coming together during natural disasters

The torrential rainfall that has rampaged many places in Durban is a tragedy. I echo your sentiments around all families who are the victims of this heavy downpour. My heartfelt condolences too to the stricken families. I hope your Disaster Management Unit has taken control of the situation.
 
The fact that you have worked closely in collaboration with the provincial government on this matter under the auspices of the honourable Minister Nomsa Dube-Ncube demonstrates the seriousness with which you are treating this tragedy. For that reason I would like to commend both of you for your efforts.

Certain functions tend to overlap between local and provincial governments in terms of schedule 4 and 5 of the Constitution and there are certain grey areas in respect of some of these functions, but case law has to a certain extent provided clarification in regard to these functions.

As a result of the confusion some officials in these two spheres of government would engage in a tug of war as to who has the authority to exercise a particular function.  I am therefore glad that you two have decided to work together instead of against each other. This is how the principle of cooperative government is supposed to be applied in practice. Thank you very much for the high level of maturity that both of you have demonstrated in servicing the people South Africa in general and people of KwaZulu-Natal in particular.

Makamisa
Umlazi
 on 3/26/2019 7:40 AM

Re: Coming together during natural disasters

Indaba yakwa-Eskom ifuna sifakele izibuko, as the country is teetering on the brink of the catastrophe. The Eskom saga must be put under the microscope and must be in the crosshair of the public henceforth. I have heard many commentators air their views on the Eskom saga. I have listened to the minister, I have read the commentary of the various journalists on the matter but I think all of them have misdiagnosed the problem of Eskom. Some have referred to the incompetence of engineers, corruption in the supply chain and so forth. In our view at UICD these are the symptoms of the major underlying problem.

The executive has been chopped and changed many times. Currently there are new people at the executive level who have recently been appointed but the problems do not seem to go away of which the major one is load-shedding.  So the question that comes to the minds of many people is what is the problem with Eskom when new people who have a fresh pair of eyes cannot solve the problems that have been lingering on for quite some time?

I am going to share this advice for free for the sake of helping the country that is in dire need of a proper professional advice. The one that I am not going to share is the one relating to helping the fiscus to get more revenue so as to ease the tax burden of many ordinary people on the ground. This will remain my position until certain factors are set in motion.

In not so many words, the fundamental problem with Eskom is the structure, how it is structured. If the structure can be sorted out all the current problems plaguing Eskom will fall away as a matter of course. One example of the possible problem with the structure of the embattled Eskom: there are too many layers of management. If for example an executive requires feedback regarding the boiler leaks, the query will have to be cascaded down through maybe about 5 layers of management before it reaches an engineer on the ground. The feedback by the engineer will have to follow the same route back and by the time the feedback reaches the executive it has been distorted, and inaccurate information would then land on the desk of the CEO and the same inaccurate information is relayed to the board and the minister or the information may be accurate but it arrives late.  This was just one example of the possible flaws with the structure; there could be many other problems with the structures – the bloated payroll, redundant staff that poke their noses where they do not belong.

The news that Eskom would be unbundled should be welcomed, I suppose. But how the unbundled entities would be structured should be a cause for concern; because if they are not properly structured the current problems will be carried over to the new entities.

Makamisa
Cavendish - Durban
 on 3/26/2019 8:28 AM

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 on 3/26/2019 1:02 PM

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 on 3/26/2019 1:02 PM

Re: Coming together during natural disasters

Let us talk about the title “Dr.” as a form of address. Of late there are many people who use this title as a form of address instead of using “Mr.”, “Ms.” or “Mrs.”. You find people with doctoral degrees using this title and you also find people who are medical practitioners who do the same. This has created confusion and the question arises as to who is the appropriate person to use this title.

Historically, the Dr. title has been used to signify the ultimate academic level of achievement. A doctoral degree is the highest academic qualification that a university can offer. Examples of a doctoral degree include Phd, Dphil, DCompt, DCom, D.Ed, LLD etc. A person who has completed a doctoral degree is conferred the Dr. title to signify the level of his academic achievement. The Dr. title is therefore used in an academic sense, not in a professional sense.

On the other hand, we have medical practitioners who practise medicine. In many parts of the world the medical practitioner is also called a medical doctor. In ordinary speech the word “doctor” is normally used to refer to a medical doctor. In this context the word doctor is used in the professional sense to refer to the profession of the person who practises medicine. So there is coincidence here that the same word doctor is both used to refer to a medical practitioner and as a form of address to the person who has completed a doctorate.

To be able to practise medicine in South Africa a person has to complete a degree called Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MBChB). This qualification is pitched at NQF level 8 by SAQA whereas a doctoral degree is pitched at NQF level 10. Clearly MBChB is not at the same level as the doctorate.

What seems to be happening now is that many medical practitioners who use the Dr. title seem to be using the Dr. title in both senses i.e. in an academic sense and professional sense. Clearly from the academic sense, medical practitioners do not meet the requirements of having their title change from Mr. to Dr. because the MBChB degree is below NQF level 10. There seems to be an abuse of the coincidence by the medical practitioners that the word can be used in two different senses.

The professional sense of the word does not warrant the change of the title from Mr. to Dr. because in the professional sense the word refers to the nature of the profession; it does not refer to the academic achievement that signifies respect. It looks like certain medical practitioners have ambushed the Dr. title by taking advantage of the confusion brought about by the two senses in which the word is used. 

I have seen in the news certain politicians who no longer practise medicine but who hold MBChB whose titles have been changed to Dr. In our view at UICD, this is misleading. The only person who should use the Dr. title is a person who holds a doctorate.

Ngasho ngabacasula abanye.

Makamisa
Umlazi
 on 3/26/2019 1:41 PM

Re: Coming together during natural disasters

The MBA has lost its value and respect in many organisations. The reason for this is because many un-educated people succeeded in hiding behind the MBA. There were no strict requirements for admission to the MBA, until recently. A person without a degree would be able to do and complete an MBA, and then he would be regarded as a highly educated person. This is nonsense.

The fact that a person with a BTech would compete with a person who holds a BCom tells you that there is something wrong with our economy and education system. A BCom/BSc/ BBA/ BA/ BBusSc degree will always be superior to a BTech degree but the two is not supposed to be in the same competition because their fields are supposed to be different.

In the past there used to be a question whether the MBA is a master’s degree or not. The authority was probably heavily lobbied as the MBA was eventually pitched at NQF level 9. How do you get to NQF level 9 when you do not have NQF level 8, let alone NQF level 7?

A person with a BSc degree here in South Africa cannot engineer a product but a person with a two year diploma in the US can.  If we are serious about making South Africa a better country, we must sort out our education system.

Bese niyeka umkhuba wokuzonda abantu abafundile. Isihlava esibi lesi esihlupha izimenenja everywhere.  Mina ngulova waseMlazi angibazondi abantu abafundile; ngiyabathanda.  Siyabadinga abantu abafundile kuhulumeni, komasipala ukuphucula i-governance naku private sector. Musani ukuzonda abantu abafundile.

Makamisa
Umlazi
 on 3/26/2019 2:14 PM

Re: Coming together during natural disasters

Your municipality should be able to pride itself for having highly educated people. Your municipality must not have any qualm to give preference to people who are highly educated i.e. people who have many academic certificates with registered academic institutions. That is how you promote excellence. You cannot say you want to professionalise your environment, yet you ignore people who have many qualifications. Knowledge is power when it is applied! We are in the 4th industrial revolution, we cannot afford to ignore knowledge and academic qualifications. Academic qualifications must come first if we want to promote innovation and excellence. Amandla to knowledge!

Iqiniso liyababa. Thina singoskhotheni baseMlazi siyaligwinya asinankinga.

Makamisa
Umlazi
 on 3/26/2019 2:26 PM

Re: Coming together during natural disasters

If South Africa truly wants to become a gateway to Africa it must start now to embrace and promote the culture of showing respect to education. Education must be promoted in every sphere of life.
In school, at church and in the streets education must be promoted. In the supply chain education must be promoted by awarding tenders to people who are appropriated for the work. In recruitment the highest qualified person must be appointed without hiding behind processes that are open to abuse. We must stopping promoting mediocrity and release that knowledge is the key.

The WMC thought ngizobazonda abantu abafundile kanti ishaye phansi. Today I am representing educated people and championing their cause. The criteria in ranking qualifications should be the NQF levels. Please do not get me wrong, I am not saying un-educated people should not be appointed. Where there are people who have qualifications the one with the most qualifications should be the one who gets appointed. A 80/20 rule can be applied, where 80% represents qualification and 20% represents experience and other qualities. This thing of hiding behind experience must come to an end. If you do not have qualifications and you are boasting about the number of years of experience, the question that we at UICD ask you is: what knowledge have you been applying all these years when you did not have the knowledge? Which means your experience is gibberish.

Some people have the affinity of reading between the lines and now think that I am advancing a cause of a particular individual that is not the case. Education is critical and everything else will be learned along the way. An educated person has something to fall back on if he comes across something new for the first time. That something is theory!

Peace lapho emakhaya.

Makamisa
Umlazi
 on 3/27/2019 3:43 PM

Re: Coming together during natural disasters

The importance of academic qualifications cannot be over emphasized. Please note that when I talk about qualifications I refer to academic qualifications not professional qualifications. It is academic qualifications that must form the basis for the appointment of people in government departments, municipalities, government and state institutions, and state owned enterprises etc. The exclusion of professional qualifications is that the WMC’s baleful influence around certain professions has caused untold damages to many indigenous people and these professional bodies are private organisations that are not accountable to parliament. Any maladministration that takes place in those professional bodies cannot be subjected to public scrutiny. This is a political problem that requires a political solution. I am told that there are some indigenous people who have been lined up by certain professional bodies with the help of the WMC to mount a frontal attack on me, but I am unfazed by this. During apartheid we had some of our own who were beneficiaries of apartheid especially in the homelands who resisted transition to democracy because they wanted to protect their privileges. I see the same thing with those who have been lined up by these professional bodies to attack me. Some of these people are in municipalities and government institutions.

The emphasis on academic merits calls for the appointing manager to be conversant with developments in the academic space. For instance in some academic institutions a BTech degree is now called an advanced diploma. Some faculties in certain universities no longer have an honours degree but a postgraduate diploma. This is very important knowledge to have as an appointing manager but if you yourself are not educated how are you going to come to the knowledge of these kinds of developments? You need this kind of information so that you do not deny your organisation the best candidates.

Qualifications are key in promoting excellence but it must be done in an appropriate manner. Imagine if a nurse and a medical doctor are competing for this same position. This would be nonsense but this is what is happening in the country in other disciplines. A person with a BTech and BCom or BSc should not be vying for the same position but it is happening.
Secondly, officials must not refuse to be subjected to the WMC’s influence if there is seriousness about promoting ethical governance. Please note that I am not trying to advance a cause of a particular individual because I know that a person cannot be force because recruitment processes are open to abuse. This is similar to the academic space, what the WMC taught me is that you cannot force the university to pass you even if you are certain that you deserved to pass because the processes involved are open to manipulation. So I am not agitating for a particular cause but principle. 

When academic merit is ignored in the appointment of people and awarding of tenders a whole lot of problems are ushered in. People start killing each other for tenders and positions. People in the workplace do not get the respect they deserve because of how they were appointed. The losers would hold the view that they were the ones who should have been appointed in your place as they know that you got to be appointed because you were connected to so and so, not because there was something that made you stand out from them, distinguishable. In my view academic merit is a very important criterion which must be given the importance it deserves but this will never materialise in a corrupt environment. This is why ethics and leadership are two qualities that cannot be separated in a constitutional democratic setting. Many SOE’s and municipalities across the country are in shambles for want of ethical leadership and as a result those entities are denied the best talent available in the country due to recruitment processes that feeds into the corrupt environment which by the way is an antithesis to what is at heart of our constitutional framework.

The legacy that I would like to see you as a Mayor leave behind when your time is up for which you should be cherished by the ordinary members of our society is that of excellence. And you can start by ensuring that recruitment processes in your municipality uphold the value of education.  You can emulate what President Ramaphosa has done in relation to his recent high profile recruitments but for local government you must emphasize academic qualifications. I am not just directing this call only to you and your municipality but to the entire public administration at large.

Angilwi bantu bakithi I am just a protagonist for the principle of excellence. I am not going to benefit anything with these views of mine.

You must employ people who many qualifications. Those who have more academic qualifications must rank higher than those who have less, and not hide behind processes that are open to abuse. You must refuse to be used as a tool to promote mediocrity.

Makamisa
Umlazi
 on 3/28/2019 10:32 AM

Re: Coming together during natural disasters

REVOLUTIONARY VIEWS FOR EXCELLENCE

As we try to leverage on the opportunities that come with the 4th industrial revolution we must seek ways to promote excellence in the public administration. The tone of this piece is in an educational context. Azishe-ke.

The importance of academic qualifications cannot be over emphasized. Please note that when I talk about qualifications I refer to academic qualifications not professional qualifications. It is academic qualifications that must form the basis for the appointment of people in government departments, municipalities, government and state institutions, and state owned enterprises etc. The exclusion of professional qualifications is that the WMC’s baleful influence around certain professions has caused untold damages to many indigenous people and these professional bodies are private organisations that are not accountable to parliament. Any maladministration that takes place in those professional bodies cannot be subjected to public scrutiny. This is a political problem that requires a political solution. I am told that there are some indigenous people who have been lined up by certain professional bodies with the help of the WMC to mount a frontal attack on me, but I am unfazed by this. During apartheid we had some of our own who were beneficiaries of apartheid especially in the homelands who resisted transition to democracy because they wanted to protect their privileges. I see the same thing with those who have been lined up by these professional bodies to attack me. Some of these people are in municipalities and government institutions.

The emphasis on academic merits calls for the appointing manager to be conversant with developments in the academic space. For instance in some academic institutions a BTech degree is now called an advanced diploma. Some faculties in certain universities no longer have an honours degree but a postgraduate diploma. This is very important knowledge to have as an appointing manager but if you yourself are not educated how are you going to come to the knowledge of these kinds of developments? You need this kind of information so that you do not deny your organisation the best candidates.

Academic qualifications are key in promoting excellence but it must be done in an appropriate manner. Imagine if a nurse and a medical doctor are competing for this same position. This would be nonsense but this is what is happening in the country in other disciplines. A person with a BTech and BCom or BSc should not be vying for the same position but it is happening. Secondly, officials must refuse to be subjected to the WMC’s influence if there is seriousness about promoting ethical governance. Please note that I am not trying to advance a cause of a particular individual because I know that a person cannot be appointed by force because recruitment processes are open to abuse. This is similar to the academic space, what the WMC taught me is that you cannot force the university to pass you even if you are certain that you deserved to pass because the processes involved are open to manipulation. So I am not agitating for a particular cause but principle. 

When academic merit is ignored in the appointment of people and awarding of tenders a whole lot of problems are ushered in. People start killing each other for tenders and positions. The appointee in the workplace does not get the respect he deserves because of how he was appointed. The losers would hold the view that they were the ones who should have been appointed in your place as they know that you got to be appointed because you were connected to so and so, not because there was something that made you stand out from them, distinguishable. In my view academic merit is a very important criterion which must be given the importance it deserves but this will never materialise in a corrupt environment. This is why ethics and leadership are two qualities that cannot be separated in a constitutional democratic setting. Many SOE’s and municipalities across the country are in shambles for want of ethical leadership and as a result those entities are denied the best talent available in the country due to recruitment processes that feeds into the corrupt environment which by the way is an antithesis to what is at heart of our constitutional framework.

The legacy that I would like to see you as a Mayor leave behind when your time is up for which you should be cherished by the ordinary members of our society is that of excellence. And you can start by ensuring that recruitment processes in your municipality uphold the value of education.  You can emulate what President Ramaphosa has done in relation to his recent high profile appointments but for local government you must emphasize academic qualifications. I am not just directing this call only to you and your municipality but to the entire public administration at large.

Angilwi bantu bakithi I am just a protagonist for the principle of excellence. I am probably not going to benefit anything with these views of mine.

You must employ people who many qualifications. Those who have more academic qualifications must rank higher than those who have less, and not hide behind processes that are open to abuse. You must refuse to be used as a tool to promote mediocrity.


Makamisa
Umlazi
 on 3/28/2019 10:45 AM
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