PRESS RELEASE
For immediate release;
24/02/15
EXCO STATEMENT – 24/02/2015
CONDOLENCES FOR MSHOLOLO

The Executive Committee (EXCO) has approved to give a civic funeral to the late Menzi High School Principal Felix Mshololo who passed on last week. EXCO held its meeting on Tuesday, 24/02/14, at City Hall. All political parties represented at EXCO agreed that Mshololo’s contribution to the development of education in previously disadvantaged townships, especially in Umlazi, qualifies him for a civic funeral.

Mayor James Nxumalo said: “Last week we received the sad news about the passing on of Mr Mshololo. We were all shocked by his death knowing the contribution that he has made in the education fraternity not only in KwaZulu-Natal but in South Africa as a whole.”
His illustrious career include turning a previously underperforming school to one of the top achievers in the country, with Menzi High School achieving a 100 percent Matric pass rate in 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

“In January this year we honoured Mr Mshololo and his school for achieving a 100 percent pass rate during the Mayoral Matric Awards. He also received recognition in the Premier’s Awards early this month. This is a huge loss to the Department of Education and to all of us who were touched by his work,” said Nxumalo. Mshololo was also one of the recipients of the Living Legends Awards last year.

Deputy Mayor Nomvuzo Shabalala said Mshololo deserves to be given a send-off that fits his contribution to nation building.

“With the kind of contribution that he has made we believe that he deserve to be given a civic funeral. He contributed immensely to nation building. A 100 percent pass rate in a township school represents over 100 children, unlike in some of the private schools that would have only 20 students in a class. Such individuals deserve recognition,” she said.

Costs implications for hosting the funeral which expected to take place on Friday will be finalised and reported to Council.

FUNDING FOR LORIES APPROVED
EXCO has approved funding of over R12.5million over three years towards the hosting of the prestigious Lories Creative Week and Awards in the City. The 36th edition of the Lories will take place from 13-16 September 2015 and will bring together South Africa’s top advertising and creative industry specialists. The Awards have over the years expanded to encompass all areas of brand communication including television, radio and print media, communication design, direct marketing, public relations, non-broadcast video, live events, sponsorship, digital communication and integrated campaigns. The Lories Creative Week includes a judging week and ultimately culminates into the Awards Ceremony.

Deputy Mayor Shabalala said the City secured the event against tough competition from Cape Town and Johannesburg.

“This is one of the events that we have managed to secure through the KwaZulu-Natal Convention Bureau, which is a partnership with the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government. As the City we would like to host as many events as possible hence we have this partnership. The Convention Bureau is mandated to bid for events on our behalf and if we win the bid they then inform us. Unfortunately with this one there was a delay in the process. However this is an international event that will attract many people to the City,” she said.

City Manager Sibusiso Sithole said the Convention Bureau has assisted the City in securing the right to host a number of events including the International Aids Conference.

He said the City will carry the cost of venue hire and the Provincial Department of Economic Development and Tourism will pay for the bulk of the expenses.

“This event will attract the who’s who of the South African and international creative industry to our City. It’s an important event that will bring a lot of good for our City and Province and it will have tremendous tourism and marketing benefits for the City,” said Speaker Logie Naidoo.

BUDGET STATEMENT REPORT WELCOMED
EXCO welcomed and noted the Budget Statement Report for the month ended 31 January 2015, which gives details about progress in the spending of the Municipality’s 2014/15 budget.

“The report shows that we have done well in spending our capital budget notwithstanding the under-spending on some of the items like the Integrated Rapid Public Transport Network (IRPTN). When compared to other cities we can unequivocally say that we are number one when it comes to spending our capital budget,” said Sithole.

“For the first time we have a 50percent spend at midterm and this shows that the measures we are putting in place to streamline our procurement processes are working. We are also working on addressing the areas where we are weak.”

He said the Internal Audit Unit is already conducting an investigation in relation to the usage of Council vehicles and insurance claims against the Municipality. This was after opposition parties raised concerns about the increasing number of insurance claims against the City.

“We are obviously concerned about the proliferation of cases involving Metro Police and medical negligence. If there is a need for extra training we will look into that. Unit Heads are also monitoring the expenditure in their areas of operation and if there is a need to take disciplinary action for transgressions we will do so,” he said.

Sithole said the administration will present monthly reports to EXCO on all legal cases to ensure transparency.

CLIMATE CHANGE POLITICAL TASK TEAM
A Climate Change Political Task Team will be set up to monitor and support the City’s work in promoting the climate change agenda.
“Given our involvement in the climate change mitigation and adaptation work it is important to establish a Council committee comprising of Councillors to help the City to fully engage on these matters,” said Sithole.

Durban is recognised as a global pioneer for its early engagement in the issues of climate change adaptation. Mayor Nxumalo is the leader of the Durban Adaptation Charter following COP 17 climate change conference and has since become a global champion of climate change adaptation. He was recently re-elected as a member of the ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability’s Global Executive Committee and holds a Resilience portfolio. ICLEI is the international focal point for local government in the arena of climate change internationally and is one of the Durban Adaptation Charter’s key strategic and founding partners. Mayor Nxumalo has also been re-elected to ICLEI’s African Regional Executive Committee where he is currently serving as Chairperson of the Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction portfolio.

The Political Task Team will guide the process of implementing the draft combined adaptation and mitigation climate change strategy, which once adopted by Council will make Durban the first city to have such a strategy in place.

The Task team will consist of councillors and will be led by the Mayor and Deputy Mayor.

Ends

Issued by eThekwini Municipality’s 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 on 031 311 4855 or 079 751 4986 email: Gugu.Mbonambi@durban.gov.za