ETHEKWINI NEWS FLASH

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

18 September 2015

Community And Emergency Services Committee Meeting Recommendations

Women fire-fighters hailed after training exercise

The bravery of eThekwini Municipality’s women fire-fighters was applauded at the Community and Emergency Services Committee meeting on Thursday, 17 September 2015.

The sterling work they do to maintain the City’s emergency services was commended.

Chief Fire Officer, Mark Te Water, tabled a report on six women candidate fire-fighters who recently travelled to the Drakensberg as part of the Female Potential Officer Development Programme.

The candidate fire-fighters displayed good team spirit and high levels of fitness as they participated in various challenges. Some of the challenges included a seven-hour hike at an altitude of 1 500m above-sea level, diving into a pool of water just above freezing point and camping outside where temperatures reached two degrees Celsius. The exercise was held from 13- 14 August 2015.

Grant-in-aid to assist multi-disciplinary arts organisation

R4 million will be paid to the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre for Creative Arts as a grant-in-aid. This was approved at the Community and Emergency Services Committee meeting on Thursday, 17 September 2015. 

This would be paid over the 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18 financial years. 

The centre is a multi-disciplinary arts organisation aimed at creating an enabling environment for the flourishing of artistic and cultural expressions, development and exchange within the City.

The Durban Music House will also receive funding of over R1 million over the next three years as grant-in-aid. The Music House offers free lessons to youth interested in orchestral instruments as well as guitar, piano and keyboard. They also teach music theory. Situated at the heart of Durban in Albert Park, they also have outreach programmes in Umlazi and KwaMashu.

The funding for the grant-in aid is subject to the availability of budget. The recommendations for both will be tabled at the Executive Committee and Full Council for final approval. 

Plans to deal with the homelessness in the City

Deputy City Manager for Community and Emergency Services Dr Musa Gumede said several initiatives have been undertaken by the Municipality to address the issue of homelessness. This included a Dare to Care Street Sleepover aimed at creating awareness of the plight of the homeless. Members of the public were dared to sleep on the City’s streets for a night to experience first-hand what the homeless endure daily. Funds raised were donated to an organisation that assists with the rehabilitation of street children.

Dr Gumede said the Municipality has enlisted the services of two Non-Profit Organisations (NPO), AGAPE and ICARE, who identify street children, profile them and facilitate re-unification with their families where possible. A building has also been identified in Illovo which will be used as a reception centre for the homeless. Funding for the renovation and running of the centre is currently being finalised. 

The Safer Cities Unit is also working with several NPOs to facilitate their accreditation in order to receive funding from the Department of Social Development to be able to assist those in need. The Municipality is also currently undertaking a study, which will determine how big the problem of homelessness is in the City. This will help officials better understand the situation and draw up plans targeting these issues specifically.

ENDS 

Issued by eThekwini Municipality’s Communications Head, Tozi Mthethwa.

For more information members of the media can contact Gugu Sisilana on 031 311 4855 or email: gugu.mbonambi@durban.gov.za​ or Princess Nkabane on 031 311 4818 or princess.nkabane@durban.gov.za