ETHEKWINI NEWS FLASH
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
23 May 2017
 
Executive Committee Decisions
 
BUDGET HEARINGS A SUCCESS, RESIDENTS COMMENTS TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT
 
The meetings for public comment on eThekwini Municipality’s R45 billion draft budget for the 2017/18 financial year are currently underway.
Encouraging residents to attend the hearings, Mayor Zandile Gumede said consulting with communities forms an integral part of the budget process.
 
“The budget hearings that have been held have gone well. We are pleased that people came out in their numbers to participate in this process. They listened and aired their views. Municipal officials are analysing comments made during the hearings and will incorporate their input in the budget process,” said Mayor Gumede.
 
Residents and interested stakeholders have until 25 May to submit their comments before the budget adoption.
 
Mayor Gumede said the budget, to be tabled next week, was the people’s budget.
 
“The budget must reflect the people. It must bring hope and show the seriousness of service delivery,” she said.
 
MAYOR TO SET UP ENVIRONMENTAL FORUM TO IMPROVE CLEANLINESS IN ETHEKWINI
 
In a bid to stop illegal dumping and promote cleanliness among residents of eThekwini, Mayor Zandile Gumede has announced that plans are afoot to roll-out a campaign aimed at ensuring that the City is kept clean.
 
Mayor Gumede told members of the Executive Committee today, 23 May, that an environmental forum will be set-up to address the low levels of environmental management, littering and illegal dumping in the City.
 
“There needs to be a collaborative approach among City departments in how we address these challenges. Through the environmental forum we will ensure that the City is kept clean. We should also make opportunities available for local communities so that they become part of this programme,” said Mayor Gumede.
 
She said it was important for the different units to work together.
 
“I will be championing this forum through the Operation Sukuma Sakhe programme which is already operational. This will ensure that the City is clean while providing opportunities for the poor,” added Mayor Gumede.
 
CITY EVENTS TO EMPOWER COMMUNITIES
 
EThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede commended City officials for their hard work to ensure the Tourism Indaba, hosted in the City last week was a resounding success.
 
“Durban has been very busy with both the Tourism Indaba and the World Economic Forum on Africa. Both events were a resounding success. I would like to thank Acting Deputy City Manager (DCM) of Economic Development and Planning Phillip Sithole and other DCMs for ensuring that the events were a success.”
 
Mayor Gumede said looking ahead, with the City given the rights to host the Indaba for another five years, officials had to ensure we delivered a spectacular event.
 
“The Indaba will give us a platform that will ensure that our poorer communities benefit. We want to see events that will have long-term impact, where local communities benefit. The City must ensure local representation and such events must be in line with our Integrated Development Plan.”
 
She said eThekwini must not be an events-based City but must have impactful programmes to positively change people’s lives.
 
“We must strengthen Community Tourism Organisations to ensure they work. These structures must be empowered to ensure they benefit from events hosted in the City. We must host events that have a long-lasting impact,” said Mayor Gumede.
 
She said if events were hosted in the City, local communities had to benefit.
 
“Events hosted must be in line with our programmes. An example is the Essence Festival where we can see the benefits to local communities,” Mayor Gumede added.
 
GO!DURBAN CONSTRUCTION MOVING AHEAD
 
Construction of various aspects of the Integrated Rapid Public Transport Network (IRPTN), known as GO!Durban, was moving in full steam said eThekwini Transport Authority Head Thami Manyathi.
 
Manyathi was presenting a progress report on the IRPTN, which aims to improve public transport in the City, to the Executive Committee.
He said the improved transport system formed the foundation for development in the City.
 
“The City’s IRPTN provides the structuring element for the Integration Zone and supports the spatial development framework and Urban Network Strategy. It is designed to link major residential and underserved areas to places of economic and social activity including the CBD and urban hubs.”
 
He said the focus of implementation is on phase one which includes corridors 1, 2, 3 and 9.
 
C3, which is the route between Pinetown and Bridge City in KwaMashu, is the first corridor planned to go live.
 
“Progress on C3 includes 23km of 27km completed. The sections at Dinkelman Road and Crossroads are delayed but this will not affect the start of operations. The pilot station of Regent Street, New Germany is expected to be completed in June 2017. The platforms for 14 stations are completed with the top structure to be completed in November 2017.”
 
Manyathi said an interim depot is being constructed in Pinetown, pending the completion of the main depot in Bridge City. Construction of Stage 1 of the Bridge City Terminal is underway.
 
He said planned future activities to ensure operation readiness include putting together an operational plan for C3, refinement of service plans and cost estimates to include a hybrid model which incorporates part of the existing fleet as feeders and preparation of contract packages for negotiations with operators.
 
Regarding the Skills Development Strategy, he said it was completed and in place with the training of drivers and other Vehicle Operating Company requirements to commence as soon as agreements are reached with operators.
 
“Negotiations deal with regards to not only how operators will participate in Go!Durban, but also address other empowerment programmes such as Public Transport Operations Grant Contracts, Public Transport Service Improvement Incentives and Enterprise Development,” Manyathi said.
 
Providing an update on progress made on C2, he said planned improvements include Infrastructure and signal system upgrades, new rolling stock and depot, station modernisation and an upgrade of station precincts in accordance with international best practice and principles of universal accessibility and transit orientated development.
 
“Business plan for C2, developed jointly by the City and PRASA to be tabled at budget discussion in November 2017.”
 
Progress on C9 includes construction of right of way starting, C9 interchange linking Cornubia and Umhlanga Gateway to be completed by
 
August 2017 and to commence construction on Cornubia Boulevard and the C9/M49 interchange in first quarter of the 2017/2018 financial year.
Manyathi said there was prime investment on C3, C9 and C2.
 
“The public sector investment is R 14 billion while the private sector investment is R35 billion and includes both residential and commercial. The Right of Way is 77km with 22 transfer stations. Also 80 000 units will be built by human settlements with the private sector building 3 000.”
 
Another positive was the investment in communities.
 
“In construction there will be 448 000 full time employment opportunities with 44 200 permanent jobs created. There will also be skills development through entrepreneurship, professional drivers, construction, manufacturing and cycling.”
 
He said the Empowerment Charter supported the City’s Radical Economic Transformation Framework, through contracts to empower and uplift small businesses.
 
The target value for local wards was R 123 969 545, with the total spend to date being R170 609 045.
 
In greater eThekwini, the target value was R 247 939 090 but the total spend to date was
R332 362 444.
 
“We have exceeded the targets set for ourselves. Everything is moving along well,” Manyathi added.
 
Manyathi said formal negations with operators, including both the taxi and bus sectors, had commenced. He said all engagements were chaired by an independent facilitator.
 
EThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede praised the work done so far and urged the Unit to keep up the good work to improve the public transport system.
 
CITY TO UNVEIL CATO MANOR MUSUEM
 
The Cato Manor Museum will officially be opened on Sunday, 28 May, by King Goodwill Zwelithini, Premier Willies Mchunu and eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede.
 
Presenting to the Executive Committee today, 23 May, Deputy City Manager for Community and Emergency Services and Dr Musa Gumede said the City launched a programme to develop a museum in Cato Manor in 2015.
 
He said the City had a relationship with the Royal Family dating back a number of years.
 
“King Zwelithini wanted to locate his mother’s remains which were buried in eThekwini so she could be reburied. The museum would be built around the tomb of the Queen Mother.”
 
Gumede said the museum would be built in three phases. The first was the tomb of the Queen Mother, the second phase was to develop the museum and the third will be to create a hub for Cato Manor which will include an amphitheatre.
 
He said the museum has been completed and is ready to be handed over to the City.
 
Outlining the events preceding the official handover on Sunday, he said Mayor Zandile Gumede will host King Zwelithini at a dinner function on Friday.
 
On Saturday there will be a cleansing ceremony in Mpumalanga where there was lots of fighting and bloodshed in the 80’s. This will be followed by the opening of the Mpumalanga Heritage Centre. Later that evening there will be an overnight vigil to prepare for the opening of the museum because the Queen Mother is buried there.
 
On Sunday, King Zwelithini, Mayor Gumede and Premier Mchunu and other invited Ministers will officially open the museum.
 
WITHDRAWN REPORTS FROM EXCO ARE NOT OFFICIAL STATEMENTS BY THE CITY
 
Senior African National Congress politicians, who sit on the Executive Committee (Exco), have expressed concerns about the misrepresentation of facts by certain media houses who report on matters that have not been discussed by the Committee.
 
Reports that are withdrawn from the Exco agenda are null and void as there could be inaccurate information contained. All items on the Executive Committee agenda are embargoed until they are discussed by the Committee.
 
Speaker Councillor William Mapena, expressing his unhappiness, said it is irresponsible for members of the media to report on items that were not discussed.
 
He said articles painted Council in a negative light, when they had not even been discussed by the Committee.
“It is about procedures that are not being followed,” he said.
 
Chairperson of the Human Settlements and Infrastructure Committee Councillor Mondli Mthembu said this was a serious issue.
 
He said articles, on reports that had been withdrawn from the meeting and would return at a later stage to be discussed, thrust the City into the public domain with incorrect information.
 
“The media must refrain from doing that. They cannot report on an item that was not discussed,” he said.
 
Chairperson of the Governance and Human Resources Committee Councillor Barbara Fortein, supported the expressed views.
 
“If an item was not discussed, there may be changes to the report before it returns to the Executive Committee. It does not belong in the public domain until it is discussed,” she said.
 
Deputy Mayor Fawzia Peer said prior to the article being published last week from a withdrawn report, no precedent had been set.
 
“Let us not do that until the item is ready. It will come back to the Executive Committee to be discussed,” she said.
 
CITY ROLLING OUT STATIC TANKS AT CLINICS TO COUNTER DROUGHT EFFECTS
 
The City will be purchasing 165 static water tanks to be provided to identified clinics as per a report tabled before the Executive Committee today, 23 May.
 
The report states that while eThekwini expects above average rainfall, the drought could continue for at least another 12 months. Even if good rains are received before the next dry season (winter 2017), they may not be sufficient to fill the water supply dams to high enough levels to see the City through until the following rain season (summer 2017/18).
 
The eThekwini Water and Sanitation (EWS) Unit has therefore embarked on the roll out of static tanks and stands to supply water in drought affected areas as well as areas with regular interruptions. Water static tanks will assist the Unit to optimise the utilisation of insufficient water tankers that they have.
 
The report states that the Unit has relied on 83 Council-owned and 40 hired water tankers to weather the storm thus far. However, to maximise the effectiveness and increase the ability of the Unit to expand coverage to deliver to areas that are affected by the drought, the Unit had embarked on the static water tank roll out.
 
Deputy City Manager for Trading Services Philemon Mashoko said the City would be providing the tanks, stands and the installation.
 
This included preparing the foundation to prevent the tanks from being contaminated.
 
ENDS
 
Issued by the eThekwini Municipality’s Head of Communications Tozi Mthethwa.
 
Please read this confidentiality disclaimer: http://www.durban.gov.za/Pages/edisclaimer.aspx