ETHEKWINI NEWS FLASH
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
19 September 2017
 
Executive Committee Decision
 
PLAN TO IMPROVE LIVING CONDITIONS AT GLEBELANDS COMMUNITY RESIDENTIAL UNIT
 
EThekwini Municipality Mayor Zandile Gumede paid an oversight visit to the Glebelands Community Residential Unit (CRU) accompanied by National Police Minister Fikile Mbulula last week Friday, 15 September.
 
Mayor Gumede provided an update on interventions to improve safety and cleanliness at the Glebelands CRU at the Executive Committee meeting held today, 19 September.
 
She said from the visit and after meeting with police she believed police officers are working hard to deal with the violence.
 
“We are also working with the provincial government to address the situation. We thank Minister Mbulula for coming to see the situation for himself in order for him to give the necessary guidance to law enforcement agencies. He has made promises about the Glebelands CRU and already we are seeing some results.”
 
Mayor Gumede said one of the assurances they were given was that a satellite police station will be opened.
 
“Minister Mbulula said that a police station will be opened there. While it will be a satellite station it will be a fully-fledged police station. He will be coming back to the City to launch it. We welcome this intervention because we will know that people will be safe. We are working hard to ensure residents safety,” she said.
 
She also raised concerns about cleanliness at the CRU and tasked Municipal officials to devise a plan to address the issue.
 
“There are also no skips so people are just dumping their dirt. I think we need four vehicles to permanently clean the CRU. This will also assist in creating jobs for residents. There must be a visible change in this area. Issues such as grass cutting and cleanliness have to be addressed.”
 
Mayor Gumede also praised officials for ensuring the family units at the Glebelands CRU are in good condition and are well maintained. “The same cannot be said for the CRU’s that still bear the stigma of the old state of apartheid. Officials please give us a plan about how we will move forward. There is a difference between the two units yet they are on the same property,” she added.
 
INNER CITY REJUVENATION PLAN MOVING AHEAD
 
EThekwini Municipality has bold plans to rejuvenate the Inner City to create jobs and attract further investment to the Durban Central Business District (CBD).
 
Providing an update on progress made eThekwini Municipality Mayor Zandile Gumede said a stakeholder breakfast was held on Friday, 15 September.
 
She was speaking at the Executive Committee meeting held today, 19 September.
 
“We held a breakfast with business and stakeholders talking about the Inner City Rejuvenation project. Great cities are places where the human spirit can thrive socially, economically and culturally. Durban has the aspirations of being a great City,” she said.
 
Mayor Gumede said the City had undertaken more than two weeks of a radical CBD clean-up as phase one of the implementation of the Mayoral Inner City Intensive Urban Management Project. This is part of the overarching Inner City Regeneration Plan which aims to holistically improve the inner City.
 
“The Urban Management Project saw all operational departments within the City dedicate four hours each day to jointly clean and make the City safe and attractive to all. We hope this project will bear results as we want to see Durban clean.”
 
She urged community and business to work together and support this project.
 
“If we rejuvenate the inner City, we will create job opportunities and business will invest more in the CBD. I urge businesses in the CBD, both emerging and established, to do things right. Follow the correct processes and don’t contravene Municipal by-laws. Officials from the Business Support Unit and Metro Police are dealing with issues of non-compliance,” Mayor Gumede added.
 
REPORT ON THE CITY’S CONTRIBUTION FOR THE REED DANCE CEREMONY
 
EThekwini Municipality Mayor Zandile Gumede said a report on the City’s contribution for carpets for maidens from the City who attended the annual uMkhosi woMhlanga (Reed Dance) ceremony at King Goodwill Zwelithini’s eNyokeni Royal Palace in KwaNongoma was still outstanding.
She was speaking at the Executive Committee meeting held today, 19 September.
 
Speaking briefly on the issue, she said the matter has been politicised which was unfortunate.
 
“We are still awaiting the report regarding the issue of carpets paid for maidens attending the Reed Dance. The unfortunate thing is that this issue has been highly politicised. I feel so bad about it, these maidens cannot be put in the middle of politics,” she said.
 
Mayor Gumede said while she was not against people who followed proper channels when raising issues of concern, she cautioned them not to allow politics to cloud the issue.
 
“The City has structures in place and if anyone suspects wrongdoing they can report it to the City Integrity and Investigations Unit or the City Manager’s Office.”
 
City Manager Sipho Nzuza confirmed that he had received two letters from opposition parties raising their concerns about Municipal funding of the carpets provided and that they were delivered late.
 
“I have engaged with the department to look into the matter. I have since gathered that the carpets did arrive late and the total cost was R190 000. Whether it was the right carpet to be used by maidens that has to be checked by the manager in charge so that we can learn for the future. This is an annual event so we must plan correctly and provide a decent service to the maidens,” he said.
 
Commenting on the cost, Mayor Gumede said she was clear when the report first came to the Executive Committee that the cost listed was not the exact pricing.
 
“My brief as the Mayor was to provide maidens comfortable carpets to sleep on and heaters which we have done in previous years. For that service provider to bring something we did not order and to bring it late, the relevant department must deal with it. This is a supply chain management issue and is not for me as the Mayor as I do not deal with procurement. There is a department that deals with procurement,” she said.
 
“People must be upfront. We approve items at the Executive Committee and then they go to the relevant department to be actioned. Reports come to us and then we are able to scrutinise them. I agree that planning ahead is very important and especially for annual events like the Reed Dance.”
 
CITY ASSESSING THE DAMAGE OF GALE FORCE WINDS TO HOMES AND CITY INFRASTRUCTURE
 
A report was tabled at the Executive Committee meeting today, 19 September providing an overview of the damage caused to homes and City infrastructure as a result of the strong winds reported in the City over the weekend.
 
The report stated that a number of incidents were reported in various wards of the City.
 
Disaster Management teams were deployed to various wards to conduct physical assessments of the damage and to provide the necessary temporary disaster relief measures. The report stated that due to the volume of incidents being reported and limited staff capacity, priority was given to households with major impact. The report further stated that the reporting of incidents from councillors and the community is ongoing with more incidents being reported. Hence the assessment process is still continuing.
 
The report provided a breakdown of each ward and the reported number of houses affected as well as the requested intervention and the relief required.
 
A number of houses were damaged with a number of displaced residents sleeping in community halls or finding solace in neighbours’ homes. There was a total of 1 920 houses reported with structural damage including walls collapsing and the roof blowing off. Assessments on some of these homes are still to be conducted.
 
Two families sharing a compound in uMlazi V-section, ward 76 were affected by the strong winds when their structure collapsed. A total of 20 people, including six disabled people, were affected. The families were left with no shelter and are currently in desperate need of temporary accommodation.
 
The report also listed injuries and fatalities some of which are still to be confirmed if they were related to the strong winds. One incident was a 71 year-old Umbumbulu resident who was hit by a tree branch while collecting firewood at 5pm on Saturday, 16 September and was reported deceased on the same day. She leaves behind a family of 10.
 
Another resident from Sewula died after a fire incident caused by a candle after a power failure as a result of the weather. The report also listed two children who were injured in Newlands East and uMlazi respectively and an elderly person in Ntuzuma.
 
The detailed report provided an up-to-date disaster management assessment findings with 100 households assessed where 321 people were affected. Damage caused includes roofs being blown off and houses partially or fully collapsing. The figures will be updated as per assessment findings.
Disaster relief interventions will be implemented as per the Disaster Management Standard Operating Procedures.
 
Damage to the road network and the storm water system were limited to 21 reports of blocked storm water inlets and four reports of sinkholes. All matters are in the process of being attended to as part of the regular daily operations.
 
The report stated that damage was also caused to the clinic in uMlazi N-section where the roof was blown off, the Roads Department Depot uMlazi N-section where parts of the roof was blown off, Kings Park Pool sustained significant damage to the roof and eThekwini Municipal Library where the large entrance door was blown off and roof sheeting was blown away. The Old Fort Complex sustained damage to the parking awnings.
The report stated that the financial implication are still to be calculated as the assessments process is still in progress.
 
SHARING OF CCTV VISUALS TO IMPROVE SAFETY
 
EThekwini Municipality will enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) as part of an incident and freeway management intervention through the sharing of CCTV visuals using their cameras along the KwaZulu-Natal freeways. This will assist in improving service delivery.
 
The Executive Committee tabled a report today, 19 September to establish the cooperation with SANRAL and the City’s Disaster Management and Emergency Control Unit.
 
The report stated that Disaster Management comprises of two emergency control rooms which supports the Unit with minimising the risk levels of potential disasters through the observation of incidents, early detection of incidents, emergency call taking and dispatching of emergency resources to the areas where incidents have been reported. These rooms are the CCTV Control Room and the Emergency Mobilising and Communication Centre (EMACC).
 
The CCTV Control Room is a 24 hour emergency centre which uses a closed-circuit television surveillance camera system to assist in the prevention of crime and also to aid in public safety.
 
EMACC, also operates 24 hours, with the functions of emergency call taking and dispatching of all emergency services and law enforcement services to emergency incidents.
 
The MOU will allow the Disaster Management and Emergency Control Unit to commence a cooperation with SANRAL in incident management by sharing emergency incidents via telecoms and with the use of CCTV cameras surveillance along KZN freeways.
 
The Disaster Management and Emergency Control Unit CCTV Section has installed cameras close to the national and provincial routes which the City has access to view if there are incidents of crime or traffic in progress. The cooperation will allow the sharing of infrastructure from both parties involved.
 
There will be no financial implications as each party is liable for its own existing infrastructure.
 
The report stated that CCTV surveillance cameras are used in managing traffic related incidents in order to minimise the impact of traffic congestion, natural disasters such as fire incidents, flooding and other emergency incidents that may be a threat to road users. Further, it will assist to activate fast law enforcement response and all other emergency services to scene if incidents as well as camera coverage of all KZN freeways that are covered by SANRAL which are the N2 and N3 at this stage.
 
Also the CCTV/EMACC staff and CCTV Control room staff are to be given the liberty to share emergency related information when dealing with incidents in order to achieve the primary vision of better service for residents.
 
The report was welcomed by the Executive Committee.
 
ENDS
 
Issued by the eThekwini Municipality’s Head of Communications Tozi Mthethwa.
 
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