Mayor James Nxumalo has emphasised that the postponement of the three Executive Committee (EXCO) meetings for the month of September has not hampered service delivery in anyway. Mayor Nxumalo was speaking at the EXCO meeting at City Hall this morning, 26/09/14.

He explained that the Municipality’s 24-thousand-strong workforce delivers services on a daily basis and are not affected by whether or not EXCO meets.

“The decisions taken by EXCO have to be ratified by full Council before any project can be implemented. Council will only meet next week and it was our plan that we would meet before then,” he said.

Nxumalo explained that September had been a busy month for most members of the executive who at different intervals were away on Municipal business, and were still putting service delivery at the forefront.

The first meeting was cancelled early this month due to the visit to the City by members of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) who were on an oversight tour.

Deputy Mayor, Cllr Nomvuzo Shabalala, who was acting Mayor, was hospitalised and later attended the extended an important meeting called by the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs in Cape Town and the Presidential Local Government Summit in Johannesburg.

At the same time, Mayor Nxumalo and Cllr Nondumiso Cele were in Chicago, USA, participating in the World Routes 2014, an event that brings together global players in the aviation and tourism industry. Durban will be hosting the World Routes Conference next year.

Deputy Mayor Shabalala chastised the DA for bringing Council into disrepute by issuing a misleading statement to the media about the postponement of the EXCO meetings. “This is nothing but cheap politicking by the DA,” she said.

NTUZUMA BUS ACCIDENT
The Municipality is carrying out an independent investigation into the Ntuzuma bus accident in which four people were killed on Tuesday, 23 September 2014. EXCO was given a full report on the accident which involved a Municipal bus that is operated by private operator, Tansnat.

EXCO noted the report and authorised eThekwini Transport Authority (ETA) to work closely with Tansnat to consult the families and provide any necessary assistance to the families on the funeral arrangements. ETA would report and seek authority from the City Manager on any assistance that may have financial implications to Council.

“We extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased and wish those that were injured a speedy recovery,” said Mayor Nxumalo.

He thanked EXCO member Cllr Nigel Gumede and Acting City Manager, Dr Musa Gumede for visiting the injured at Mahatma Ghandi hospital on Tuesday.

The cause of the accident is still unknown at this stage and is subject to a thorough investigation by SAPS, Metro Police, Tansnat as well as an independent investigator. The investigation will include an analysis of the vehicle tracking system.

A comprehensive report will be provided to Council once the investigation has been completed. Meanwhile, EXCO also expressed condolences to the families of people who lost their lives when the church collapsed in Nigeria. Scores of people, including South Africans, died in this unfortunate incident.

EXCO also noted the passing away of former Councillor Phindi Duma from KwaMashu. A moment of silence was observed in their honour.

GLEBELANDS PEACE INITIATIVE WELCOMED
EXCO approved the comprehensive measures that will be implemented at Glebelands Community Residential Unit (CRU) to restore peace and stability following weeks of unrest. These include the installation of CCTV cameras, fencing, high mast lighting, access control and security measures to control entrance to the CRU.

The CRU has been troubled with rivalry and fighting between different groups that has impacted negatively on the administration of the Units. There have been allegations about illegal selling of bed spaces and rooms and this has led to the illegal eviction of tenants.

Last week a peace deal was brokered between the factions and Premier Senzo Mchunu will on Sunday, 26/09/14, address residents at the CRU to strengthen the peace process. EXCO recommended that authority be given to the Speaker’s Office to establish the CRU Committee at Glebelands as a matter of urgency after the completion of the regularisation and verification of legal tenants. After the process has been finalised illegal tenants would be evicted.

The Mayor was also authorised to disband all illegal structures at the CRU and affirm the CRU committee.

The Chief Financial Officer was authorised to identify funding for emergency interventions to address security, with a total cost of approximately R9.5million, to be shared on a 60/40 basis with the Provincial Department of Human Settlements carrying 60 percent of the costs.

SENIOR CITIZENS BUDGET
EXCO approved an additional budget of R1.2m to host the Senior Citizens Programme. This brings the total budget up to R14.2m. The Senior Citizen Programme is an annual programme initiated by the Office of the Speaker in all 103 wards of the eThekwini region, to acknowledge the efforts of the elderly towards the success of the Municipality.

The Programme caters for 600 pensioners per ward and provides them with Christmas hampers, refreshments and different entertainment activities. Furthermore, the event provides an opportunity for senior citizens to socialise with old friends and make new ones, reducing loneliness and boosting their wellbeing.

Mayor Nxumalo said the event is a highlight in the calendar of the elderly. “It affords us an opportunity to interact with them and hear their views on various issues that affect them. They love the interaction and value the hampers that are given to them.”

MAYOR TO STAND FOR RE-ELECTION TO INTERNATIONAL CLIMATE CHANGE COMMITTEE
EXCO has approved that Mayor Nxumalo be nominated to be re-elected for the Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction Portfolio seat of the ICLEI Africa Committee for the period up until 2018.

The Mayor has been actively involved in various climate change roles around the world and has helped enhance Durban’s representation at a global level.

He has just returned from attending a Mayors round table meeting in New York where the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (UN SDG) 11 was discussed. The leadership of various cities around the world met to outline concrete steps that will be taken over the next 15 years to achieve the proposed UN SDG 11 “to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable” that was adopted by consensus by the UN Open Working Group in July this year.

In 2011, the Mayor led the signing of the Durban Adaptation Charter (DAC) which was signed by 114 signatories, representing 950 local government organisations from 27 countries during the Durban Local Government Convention, hosted in partnership with ICLEI. This was a parallel event to United Nations Conference of the Parties 17 (UN COP17) held in Durban in 2011.

The Durban Adaptation Charter commits local governments for local climate action in their jurisdiction that will assist their communities to respond to and cope with climate change risks thereby reducing vulnerability. This charter now has over 1000 signatory cities around the globe with 76% being African and 94% from developing countries.

Durban has since developed a close relationship with ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability which is reinforced by Mayor Nxumalo’s role as one of ICLEI’s Global executive committee’s three Vice Presidents and the current Chair of the Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction Portfolio of ICLEI’s Africa Committee. Mayor Nxumalo has become an important global leader for climate change adaptation. He is also a member of the Mayors Adaptation Forum (MAF), and the World Mayors Council on Climate Change (WMCCC) and Chair of the SALGA Climate Change Champions Committee.

As political head of an African city that is acknowledged globally for its leadership role in climate change adaptation, the Mayor’s re-election to the Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction Portfolio of the ICLEI Africa Committee, would help to ensure that the environmental, social, and developmental perspectives of African cities are well represented. It will also provide an important political platform from which to advance the Durban Adaptation Charter at a global level.

Ends

Issued by the Head of Communications, Ms Tozi Mthethwa.

For more information contact Municipal Spokesperson Thabo Mofokeng on 031 311 4820 / 082 731 7456 or email Thabo1.Mofokeng@durban.gov.za or Gugu Mbonambi 031 311 4855 or email gugu.mbonambi@durban.gov.za