ETHEKWINI NEWS FLASH
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
27 June 2017
 
Executive Committee Decisions
 
ETHEKWINI’S PLAN OF ACTION TO IMPROVE CONDITIONS IN COMMUNITY RESIDENTIAL UNITS (FORMERLY HOSTELS)
 
The Hostels Stabilisation Strategy, to ensure that Community Residential Units (formerly known as hostels) in the City are safe and a conducive place for residents to live, will be implemented in eThekwini.
 
The process to be followed includes conducting a social analysis to establish a baseline of the status across all Community Residential Units (CRU). Thereafter, dedicating social facilitation as per priorities already determined namely at Glebelands CRU and from the outcomes of the analysis.
 
This will be followed by the development of the programme for social stability and ongoing social interventions focusing on safety, security and CRU tenant issues.
 
These interventions follows a report from the Public Protector on addressing the instability at the Glebelands CRU.
 
A report tabled at the Executive Committee today, 27 June, outlined the provision of and implementation of the Hostels Stabilisation Strategy.
 
The report states that in October 2015 the Public Protector found eThekwini to be in breach of various constitutional provisions in the manner in which the CRUs are being managed.
 
In her findings, which followed a walkabout inspection at the Glebelands CRU, the Public Protector mentioned the state of neglect that was sighted during her visit.
 
The provisional report was received in November 2016 and the City Manager was given 30 days to respond. However, an extension was requested and granted. A response to the findings was coordinated by the City Manager’s Office and formulated by the Legal Department in January 2017.
 
The reports states that many of the findings were refuted and the Public Protector was requested to review some of the findings. Also, many of the interventions recommended have been implemented.
 
The final report of the Public Protector requires responses within 30 days from the receipt of the report which is 19 June.
 
The report states that the City and provincial departments have prioritised all hostel social interventions as a matter of urgency and have developed an action plan to deal with various issues affecting hostels. The Hostel Intervention and Response Plan includes:
 
• Tenant management,
• Service delivery strategy,
• Hostels governance and institutional arrangements,
• Safety and security interventions,
• Rent recovery strategies and,
• Peace accords agreements between factions.
 
“Central to the successes of the response plan was the minimisation of violent killings that were occurring at the hostels. Hence, at the Glebelands Hostel a conflict resolution reconstruction and development programme was embarked on by the City and the provincial department of Community Safety and Liaison,” the report states.
 
It goes on to say that for the City to realise any gains from the processes that have been established to bring about peace and stability in all hostels, it is essential that the post conflict programme be closely managed by competent resources that have adequate experience in such environments.
 
The Post-Conflict Settlement and Reconstruction Programme emphasises on social and economic dimensions of the post-conflict settlement and reconstruction. This includes re-establishing the functional component of society including restoring internal security and prompting the rule of law, rebuilding the local economy through skills development, repairing the physical infrastructure and effecting social change through sports development.
 
The total budget for the Social Facilitation Programme will be covered across budget from Safer Cities, Security Management Unit and the Human Settlement Unit at an estimated cost of R11.5 million over three years.
 
EThekwini Deputy Mayor Fawzia Peer said this report was important as the Public Protector has asked for certain implementations to take place at the Glebelands CRU.
 
However, she said, the City was aware of the issues at Glebelands which have been previously identified with plans to address them prior to the Public Protector’s Report.
 
Chairperson of the Human Settlements and Infrastructure Committee Councillor Mondli Mthembu while welcoming the report said the City was not only taking action at the CRUs as a result of the Public Protector’s findings.
 
“We are not reacting to the report. Previously, R22 million was approved to address issues at Glebelands. While implementing the recommendations of the report the City has made other interventions to improve the conditions at Glebelands. It is a process we have engaged on for some time,” Councillor Mthembu added.
 
CITY PURCHASES ARMOURED VEHICLES TO ENSURE EFFECTIVE POLICING
 
EThekwini Municipality is in the process of purchasing four armoured vehicles from Denel for Metro Police use at a cost of R19.9 million.
These vehicles will assist the Metro Police to carry out their duties while ensuring effective policing for crowd management deployment to ensure the safety of police members in riotous situations when rocks or petrol bombs are thrown. The vehicles will also be of use to assist in land invasions.
 
The awarding of the contract was contained in the monthly report on awards made by the City for the month of May 2017 which was tabled at the Executive Committee meeting on 27 June.
 
The procurement of the specialised vehicles is being made through section 57 of the Supply Chain Management Policy together with section 110 (2) of the Municipal Finance Management Act.
 
Deputy City Manager for Finance Krish Kumar said the City was still in the process of acquiring the specialised vehicles.
 
Head of Supply Chain Management Andre Peterson said while the Act does not require the City to report the purchase, officials had done so for the sake of transparency.
 
Deputy Mayor Fawzia Peer said these vehicles would be used by the Crowd Management Unit of the Metro Police for crowd control and during volatile protests.
 
“These vehicles have been ordered for a good reason to assist Metro Police in carrying out their duties,” she said.
 
ETHEKWINI MOVING FORWARD WITH RADICAL ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION
 
Small and emerging business will be assisted to become part of the mainstream economy through the City’s revolutionary Incubation Programme.
 
A report outlining the Programme was tabled at the Executive Committee meeting today, 27 June. The report states that a minimum of 30 percent of work be set aside for the Incubation Programme as part of the Preferential Procurement Framework Act. It said that each department must identify categories of work and to make a commitment for the project to be done through the Incubation Programme.
 
The Programme is part of the City’s Radical Economic Transformation Programme.
 
EThekwini’s Acting Deputy City Manager for Economic Development and Planning Phillip Sithole said the Radical Economic Transformation Framework was brought to Council earlier this year and was approved. He said this Programme is based on that Framework.
 
“It is just one of the programmes we will be implementing to promote radical economic transformation in eThekwini,” Sithole said.
 
The pilot Programme will focus on the following sectors, namely manufacturing and supply, built environment profession and the provision of services. It will be rolled out in phases with approximately R746.1 million of an estimated R2.59 billion be allocated to these businesses for procurement for provision of water tanks, supply of waste plastic bags and toilet paper, the removal of illegal signs and community based contracts to name a few.
 
Phase two will see the identification of other services in units such as:
 
• Community and Emergency Services (Security, Parks and Health),
• Finance (City Fleet, Corporate Procurement and Real Estate),
• Governance and International Relations (Community Participation and Area Based Management),
• Economic Development and Planning (Business Support, Tourism and Markets and Economic Development,
• Human Settlements, Engineering and Transportation,
• Trading Services (Electricity, Water and Sanitation and Solid Waste) and,
• Chief Audit/Forensic.
 
The report requested the approval to pilot the Incubator Programme (cooperatives and business entities) for the period of 36 months and implementation thereof.
 
It comes against a backdrop of high unemployment in the City especially among youth and women.
 
Incubators differ from the more general business support initiatives such as the Small Enterprise Development Agency and similar business support programmes, in that this programme will be linked to the procurement schedule of the City.
 
The Incubation Programme will ensure that cooperatives, SMMEs and suppliers are developed to produce quality and have capacity to supply government and corporates and to support and encourage sustainable development.
 
Implementing the model, priority will include target groups including youth, women, people with disabilities, military veterans and people living in rural or underdeveloped areas or townships.
 
The programme relates to projects that are budgeted for and are listed in the procurement schedule. The project will be rolled out and managed within nine local communities through a programme management office to be located in eThekwini Municipality and Sizakala Centres.
 
The report was welcomed by members of the Executive Committee.
 
Chairperson of the Governance and Human Resources Committee Councillor Barbara Fortein said the programme would assist small businesses until they are able to stand on their own.
 
“This report is commendable. What better way than this to ensure small business are given the opportunity to be part of the City’s economy?” she said.
 
Speaker Councillor William Mapena said the programme created equal opportunities for all.
 
“This is a pilot programme and is delivering on promises we made to young people to create opportunities.”
 
Chairperson of the Human Settlements and Infrastructure Committee Councillor Mondli Mthembu commended officials for the “sterling work in putting together this report”.
 
“This ensures that radical economic transformation becomes a reality in our lifetime,” he said.
 
ENDS
 
Issued by the eThekwini Municipality’s Head of Communications Tozi Mthethwa.
 
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