ETHEKWINI NEWS FLASH
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
28 May 2019
 
Executive Committee Decisions
 
CITY’S PLAN FOR EMERGENCY SHELTER FOR HOMELESS PEOPLE
 
The Executive Committee tabled a report at a meeting today, 28 May to transfer management of the Strollers Building on Mansel Road from the Human Settlements Unit to the Safer Cities Unit for use as an emergency shelter to accommodate homeless people.
 
The report, first tabled at a Security and Emergency Services Committee meeting on 22 May, stated that the Municipal-owned building will see the upper floor level of the building being reserved for homeless people with the ground floor level being used by the Business Support Unit and the eThekwini Municipal Academy for small business support and skills development initiatives.
 
The report states that vulnerable groups, including women, children and families will be accommodated at the building.
 
The report recommended that in line with supply chain management regulations, authority be granted to the Acting Deputy City Manager for Community and Emergency Services Noluthando Magewu to advertise and call for proposals with the view of securing a suitable non-governmental organisation in possession of capacity and resources to operate the Strollers facility as a shelter for vulnerable homeless people.
 
It further recommended that upon the establishment of a no-profit company (NPC), for use as a special purpose vehicle to implement projects and programmes linked to curbing homelessness in eThekwini, funds generated through the NPC be utilised towards supporting the Strollers building and other related projects.
 
The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Department of Social Development and the Department of Human Settlements will also be consulted to provide necessary support in the form of institutional funding for projects and programmes linked to alleviating homelessness in eThekwini.
 
The report also recommended that a business plan outlining business processes applicable to the Strollers Building and the financial implications thereof be submitted to the Finance Unit.
 
The report was welcomed by the Executive Committee to assist in combating homelessness in the City.
 
CITY PARTNERS WITH DURBAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE TO ATTRACT FURTHER INVESTMENT
 
EThekwini Municipality will be partnering with the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry through a one year memorandum of agreement in order to drive investment and development in the City.
 
This follows the tabling of a report at an Executive Committee meeting held today, 28 May.
 
The tabled report states that the strategic objective of the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry – City Partnerships Projects is in line with plan two of the City’s Integrated Development Plan which is to develop a prosperous, diverse economy and employment creation.
 
The Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry, according to the report, represents a large number of businesses within eThekwini and has been a key stakeholder in various areas of engagement with the City’s Economic Development and Planning Cluster.
 
The partnership will see a number of initiatives undertaken to drive investment and development in the City. This includes quarterly business breakfasts, facilitating a networking platform where the City can engage directly with business leaders to provide insight into City initiatives that impact on Durban business and growing Durban business through improved access to opportunities. Furthermore, the partnership will identify and develop international business opportunities for local exporters through formal research available and leverage the Chamber’s international network to identify investment and export opportunities.
 
UPDATE REPORT ON CITY’S DISASTER MANAGEMENT PLANS FOLLOWING HEAVY RAINS IN APRIL
 
While the City responded effectively following heavy rains experienced in the City during April, a review of the Municipality’s disaster management processes to ensure it was even more effective during times of natural disaster is underway.
 
This emerged during the tabling of a report by the Executive Committee at a meeting held today, 28 May.
 
The tabled report outlined the reported incidents in the City following heavy rains on 22 to 23 April, the immediate response interventions provided by the Municipality as well as the flood damage estimate costs and the relief and recovery operations underway.
 
The report states that the Disaster Operations Centre was in constant communication with critical stakeholders to provide rapid response and to monitor the situation. It noted that the heavy rainfall led to localised flooding in most parts of the City resulting in a number of structural damage to houses and injuries and fatalities. The official death toll is 64.
 
The report noted that the Disaster Emergency Call Centre was inundated with calls receiving approximately 171 to 200 calls per hour. The reporting of incidents by councillors and the community was still ongoing, the report stated.
 
Burial support was offered to a number of bereaved families. The report states that disaster management officials have been conducting assessments of the damaged and profiling affected households. This includes 4 007 houses that are partially damaged and 3 929 that are totally damaged. The total number of people affected are 7 365 of which 2 988 are children. Fifteen mass care centres were established in various wards to accommodate the displaced. The report notes that while some people have been reintegrated back into their communities, 12 mass care centres are still operational and housing over 1 500 displaced residents.
 
A summary of damages and cost implications for each unit was also included in the report. For engineering the estimated cost is R405.4 million which includes roads and stormwater maintenance related, roads provision and coastal stormwater and catchment management.
 
The total cost for human settlements is R663.3 million which includes breaking new ground houses and informal settlements.
Parks, Recreation and Cemeteries saw a bridge totally washed away, a picnic spot washed away and lifeguard towers severely damaged. The total cost of repairs is R1.8 million.
 
Meanwhile, the Electricity Unit estimates costs to be R19.5 million while the Health Unit requires R3 million to repair clinic roofs damaged and consultation rooms that were flooded.
 
The Metro Police requires R3.1 million to repair damage to the roof, tiles, wall and equipment at the Albert Park Police Station and for operational costs.
 
EThekwini Deputy Mayor Fawzia Peer said it was hard to predict natural disasters and that the City was as prepared as it could be. She said the Disaster Management Unit had formulated a template for councillors to fill in to ensure affected residents could be assisted speedily.
 
EThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede commended officials as well as other stakeholders who came on board to assist the City during mop up operations. She said a number of volunteers came on board to assist the City which greatly appreciated.
 
“We need these kinds of champions to be situated across all wards in case of a disaster, as they are ready to respond and give the help where needed.”
 
Mayor Gumede said the issue of disaster management was not the Disaster Management Unit’s concern alone as it affected all units in the City. She proposed that a workshop be held for all unit heads to come together to strategies in order to minimise the impact of disasters in the City.
 
“Climate change affects all of us and impacts all departments so we all need to respond to it,” she said.
 
Representing the Acting Deputy City Manager for Community and Emergency Services Noluthando Magewu was Vusi Mazibuko who said a process to assess the Disaster Management Unit was underway to ensure the City would respond to disasters even more effectively.
 
“The Disaster Management Centre is a relief and response centre as opposed to being proactive which we want to change and currently reviewing,” he said.
 
ENDS
 
Issued by the eThekwini Municipality’s Acting Head of Communications Mandla Nsele.