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Welcome to eThekwini Mayors Blog. Read all about what is on your Mayor's mind.
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eThekwini Municipality > City Government > Council > City Mayor > Blog
March 08
Register to vote, it is your civic responsibility

AS WE celebrate the centenary of late former President Nelson Mandela’s birth this year, we must always be mindful of his legacy and that peaceful democratic processes were achieved through free and fair elections.

Next year, South Africans will have the opportunity to vote in the 2019 National Elections. Held every five years, the elections are an opportunity for citizens to actively elect the government they want to lead our beautiful country. The opportunity to vote should not be taken lightly as many of our forefathers died in the pursuit of this democratic right which we enjoy today.

We will never forget that historic day on 27 April 1994 where for the first time all South Africans, regardless of race, were allowed to vote in the first democratic elections. The euphoria of that day will never be forgotten as it marked the signal of change for our country and ushered in the democracy and freedom we have today.

That is that power that your vote has as a South African citizen and I encourage you to ensure you are registered to vote. The Electoral Commission (IEC) of South Africa will be holding a voter registration drive over the weekend of 10 and 11 March. They are calling on all registered voters to help them ensure an accurate and credible voters roll. Visit the nearest voting station to check and confirm your address at your correct voting station.

You can also update your details if you have a change of address. Voting stations will be opened from 8am to 5pm. To locate your nearest voting station, visit the IEC website at www.elections.org.za and use the Voting Station Finder. Alternatively you can call 0800 11 8000 with any questions you may have. I urge you to check and update your details as a credible and up-to-date voter’s role is a vital instrument to ensure free and fair elections.

EThekwini Municipality will provide assistance to the IEC closer to the 2019 National Elections by providing infrastructure such as the allocation of halls, libraries and grounds for registration and voting stations as well as training venues with the tariff costs being waivered. The provision of various types of vehicles including specialised ones will also be catered for. Human resources in the form of officials acting as Sub-Municipal Electoral Officers responsible for portfolios such as recruitment and results, operations, logistics and warehouse function as well as distribution management will also be provided.

There will also be further provision of staff to support activities at various levels including ward managers, voting station staff and drivers. Ensure you are registered to vote, it is the right thing to do.

February 22
City unveils new customer relations contact numbers

WE REMAIN committed to improving the lives of our people through innovative and ground-breaking interventions. This was clearly demonstrated when we launched the City’s first integrated toll-free customer service contact number as well as the Mayoral Hotline recently.

The toll-free number is 080 311 11 11 while the Mayoral Hotline number is 031 322 8200. The launching of these numbers is a direct response to the needs of people and shows that we are indeed a caring and responsive government. The one number is for all queries related to water, revenue and electricity as well as to contact the City’s switchboard. It’s toll-free from any landline or cellphone and is operational 24-hours a day.

I am also proud of the Mayoral hotline which is an open line of communication to the public who have exhausted all other structures in the City and have not resolved their query. I am happy to announce that the office is operational and has a staff compliment of 10 highly trained and skilled people. There are 12 lines operating currently. We are embracing the various forms of technology to remain open and accessible to the public. Also in the pipeline is the new Municipal App which will allow for a live interaction between the City and customers to log water and electricity faults, check statements as well as get information on events, the weather and traffic.

It is evident that we are making great strides to becoming a Smart City. Also of importance is to highlight the key achievements and record the challenges experienced in the City over the past financial year which is contained in the Annual Report. The Report, which is open for public comment until 2 March, is available on the City’s official website as well as local libraries and Sizakala Centres. We encourage an active and responsible citizenry so I urge you to go out and view this important document and give us your input. Comments received from this process will inform the Integrated Development Plan and the budgets for the upcoming financial years.

Those wishing to provide feedback can do so to Khululiwe Faya at khululiwe.faya@durban.gov.za The Municipality will be able to assist in transcribing representations and comments, should such services be required. Speak to us, we are ready to listen!
February 09
City’s successes reflected in annual report

THE positive strides the City has made to curb irregular expenditure and to curb water losses were reflected in the Annual Report for the 2016/17 financial year which was tabled at a Full Council meeting on 31 January.

The Annual Report, which will be submitted for public participation this month, is an important document as it provides a record of the activities of Council during the 2016/17 financial year. It also promotes accountability to the local community for the decisions made throughout the year by the Municipality.

A presentation was made by the office of the Auditor-General South Africa (AG) at Full Council, outlining the unqualified audit report the City received. We welcome this report as we understand that the AG exists to strengthen South Africa’s democracy by enabling oversight, accountability and governance in the public sector through auditing, and thereby building public confidence.

The report also provides clarity where we as the City need to focus our efforts. However, it must be pointed out that the report was compiled within a specified timeframe and a number of issues that were raised have been addressed. This includes the hiring of senior management which we have been doing to ensure there are no vacancies at top management level.

I am confident that the various other measures implemented in the City will reflect in the next report by the AG. But for now, achieving an unqualified audit shows that good progress has been made in several areas including curbing irregular expenditure in the City. On 27 January I attended the National Police Day celebrations which were held in Hammersdale at the Mpumalanga Stadium.

The event was a resounding success and I would like to thank National Police Minister Fikile Mbalula and National Police Commissioner Lieutenant-General Khehla Sithole for bringing the awards ceremony to our City. We are also pleased with the mobile police station that was unveiled at the event.

We are confident that this will go a long way in reducing crime in our communities. Fighting crime and corruption is one of the top five priorities of government. We are confident that our men and women in blue will be able to effectively deal with all criminal activity in our province.
January 25
Service delivery efforts to be doubled in 2018

IT IS wonderful to be back this year ready to serve the people of eThekwini. I have to thank everyone involved who worked tirelessly throughout the festive season to ensure that residents and holidaymakers enjoyed a wonderful and safe time in our beautiful City.

I also appreciate the work done by the MEC of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs the Honourable Sihle Zikalala. We worked on a number of campaigns and events together during the festive season and I am pleased that the public saw first-hand that we are one government working together to improve the lives of our people.

The tourism statistics detailing the number of visitors to our City are still being finalised. These statistics, which will be scrutinised, will assist us to improve our tourism strategies to increase local and international visitors. Interventions to reduce the number of road fatalities over the festive season yielded positive results. These included a number of roadblocks conducted by Metro Police.

We welcome the good news that KwaZulu-Natal recorded a 10 percent decrease in road fatalities. Last year there were 324 accidents, down from 361 in 2016. We are ready for 2018 as City officials and are looking forward to a productive year. However, I reiterate that we must increase our speed of service delivery, in fact our efforts must be doubled.

This year we must create more job opportunities and create a conducive environment for investors and business so they in turn can generate more opportunities. We must also retain skilled workers while attracting the best talent in the country. I believe this is possible if we all work together. We will definitely create jobs and defeat poverty. So let us double our efforts in service delivery.

On our end we will fill vacant positions and managers will ensure that officials are on the ground working. It is important to take care of ratepayers and give them the level of service that they deserve because at the end of the day they are our customers. Remember, let us serve them with a smile. To this end, we will soon be launching the one number for all customer calls.

Last year I made a promise of the one number call centre and a Mayoral complaint desk. We are ready to launch and will soon make the announcement to the public. We will ensure that call centre employees will be retrained with relevant customer skills. They must be able to deal with customers in a friendly manner and ensue that the customer is satisfied at the end of the call.

We must treat our customers as kings and queens. I wish you all a wonderful year ahead. Let us work together to take eThekwini to greater heights.

December 15
EThekwini ready to improve lives in 2018

THE festive season is upon us with Durban already bustling with visitors who have flocked to our beautiful City to enjoy this time. We have adequate security measures in place to ensure everyone has a wonderful time in eThekwini within the ambit of the law.

While the focus is on the approaching New Year, it is also important to reflect on the gains made this year, looking at our successes, challenges and where we can improve. Firstly, 2017 was an important year in the calendar of the revolution. It was the year of Oliver Tambo and was commemorated as a year of unity and cohesion. It is also important to note the flagship programmes of action launched this year. We are in the business of changing people’s lives and we did just that through the adoption of the Radical Economic Transformation Framework in response to the needs of our people who are not enjoying the fruits of our democracy.

The gap between the rich and the poor continues to grow with a majority of our people remaining poor. We need to radically change that situation. We also adopted the people’s budget which was for the first time canvassed in all 110 wards in eThekwini this year. Deputy City Managers were appointed as well as a new City Manager, Sipho Nzuza taking over the administration of the City. He is experienced and knowledgeable and understands our ocean economy. He is a humble man but at the same time a decisive leader. Another gain made this year is the launch of the Invest Durban Strategy which will attract further investment to the City.

I am also happy that all 35 catalytic projects are in action in the City. We are also making inroads with regard to cleaning up eThekwini. We remain committed to fighting poverty, unemployment and inequality and will continue to push for township and rural growth and development. We will also strongly advocate for the development of women, youth, people with disabilities and military veterans. We live in an award winning City and I thank officials for their hard work throughout the year.

We are passionate about our work to improve the lives of residents and thank God for keeping us this year. We are focused and energised. As the City of Durban we are ready for 2018!

December 01
Attracting key investment into Durban

NVESTMENT in our beautiful City will aid job creation and empower residents to improve their lives. I am therefore very pleased that we launched the Invest Durban Strategy on 24 November at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Centre.

The Strategy is set to drive economic growth and attract new investment to the City. It will also improve the ease of doing business in the City while at the same time promoting eThekwini as the premier investment destination of choice in Africa. We are very optimistic that we will attract new investment to Durban. This in turn will create more jobs. This Strategy is a vital tool to facilitate growth of trade and investment to enhance the competitiveness of the City.

It further aims to facilitate sustainable investment in Durban through the expansion, retention and aftercare of existing multinational investors as well as targeted attractions for significant new foreign direct investment. It will also market and promote Durban as an investment destination. At the launch of the Strategy I unpacked how economic transformation will be accelerated, in line with our Radical Economic Transformation agenda, which in turn will unlock investment opportunities.

This will position the City as a premium investment destination. I also attended the relaunch of the uMlazi Mega City recently which underwent a multimillion rand upgrade. The revamp will have a long-lasting and positive impact on the lives of residents in uMlazi and surrounding communities. It will help to improve the everyday lives of the people of the south who no longer have to leave their community to do shopping. Everything they need is right on their doorstep. Meanwhile, I have to touch on another issue that is very close to my heart as a mother and as a woman leading eThekwini.

That is the powerful 16 Days of Non- violence Against Women and Children campaign which was launched on 26 November at Amaoti Sport Grounds in Ward 53. We as the City have taken a tough stance against domestic violence and abuse in general. Our message is very clear, we are calling for society, especially men, to stand up and defend women and children. We encourage communities to work together to stem the tide of this abuse.

November 17
Rooting out corruption in the public sector

ETHEKWINI Municipality has joined global efforts to minimise fraud and corruption by beefing up its anti-fraud campaigns throughout the year and not only during International Fraud Awareness Week observed from 12 to 18 November.

To commemorate International Fraud Awareness Week, the Municipality hosted a one-day seminar on 15 November, where speakers from both the public and private sector engaged on the negative impacts of fraud and corruption. Our Municipality is leading in the fight against fraud and corruption; as it is the first and only municipality in South Africa to establish a Disciplinary Board as a supplementary mechanism to fight the scourge.

Interestingly, the Business Day’s new Index that tracks how well cities and towns spend ratepayers’ money ranked eThekwini Municipality second in the country among the eight metros, while the City of Ekurhuleni took first position. The index allocates each municipality a score out of 100 points based on key indicators such as how strictly it managed its debtors, among others, and eThekwini Municipality received 81.1 points. While we strive to be ranked on top, the Business Day’s new Index demonstrates that eThekwini is committed to ensuring prudent use of public funds.

Rampant fraud and corruption has been identified as one of the significant risks threatening the sustainability of public resources. Legislation provides guidelines for all role players in the management of the public purse which includes political oversight, internal audit, risk management and performance management. In the current Integrated Development Plan, our Municipality has deliberately focused on steering the organisation on a path of compliance and rooting out fraud and corruption which has undoubtedly set necessary foundation for sustainable service delivery.

I want to make it clear that our Municipality adopts a zero tolerance approach on all forms of corruption and does not victimise those who report it. In fact, we encourage employees and members of the public to report alleged transgressions in order to root out fraud and corruption in our organisation.

November 06
Durban sets the agenda for climate change

LIMATE change is an issue very close to my heart. I recently attended the C40 cities network Together4Climate event in Paris, France. It was vital for me to attend this prestigious gathering as I am the vice-chairperson for C40 Cities Africa.

The event was a resounding success which saw mayors from various cities across the globe come together with influential businesses to pave the way to a greener future. We engaged in robust discussions in our joint effort to make our communities cleaner, healthier and more sustainable while growing the green economy and promoting innovation. African cities are fully committed to the Paris Climate Agreement.

We are committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions even though African countries only contribute under 3 percent of the global energy related carbon emissions. The reality of climate change on African cities is no longer a thing of the future. We have seen the impacts of climate change in Accra, Addis Ababa, Johannesburg, Cape Town and even in Durban where a storm wreaked havoc in the City. Our commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement remains resolute and we are determined for Africa to tackle issues of climate change to ensure that we protect the most vulnerable in our communities.

The impact of climate change cuts into our annual budgets and impacts on our long-term planning processes. Climate change, which is often viewed as an environmental issue, is now directly hindering development within our cities and slowing down Africa’s economic progress. Action to reduce the risk and build resilience has never been this vital for our region as the impact of climate change is destroying much needed infrastructure such as schools, roads and hospitals. I therefore support the establishment and Durban’s participation in the C40’s Adaptation Network.

Durban would like to take a strong lead in this programme and build on the work of the Durban Adaptation Charter that was established in 2011 during COP17 Durban. Our adaptation work of the City, together with the mitigation, will show itself in the development of a comprehensive 2020 Action Plan.

October 19
Working together to rebuild our City

At this crucial time as we assist those affected to rebuild their lives after the unprecedented storm experienced on 10 October that wreaked havoc in the City, I urge everyone to put aside their differences and work together.

I have personally visited a number of affected wards and have seen first-hand the devastation caused by the inclement weather. But even in the midst of this devastation, there is hope to be found. I am encouraged by the non-governmental organisations, selfless individuals and private businesses who came on board to assist.

Religious leaders, amakhosi, councillors and volunteers also took it upon themselves to lend a helping hand. I thank City officials for working around the clock to ensure that service delivery continues. Emergency services have gone above and beyond the call of duty. I saw the commitment they displayed in finding the body of a grandmother who died during the storm. The South African Social Security Agency at a provincial level was also ready to assist us.

They distributed blankets and good quality mattresses; truly giving hope to those in need of it most. I also want to thank Premier Willies Mchunu for his support during this time as well as acting MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Wesizwe Thusi. I commend President Jacob Zuma for deploying Minister of Governance and Traditional Affairs Des van Rooyen as well to see the impact of the storm first hand. We are indeed a caring government of the people.

I am saddened that a number of people lost their lives during the storm. Our deepest condolences go out to the affected families. City officials will be meeting with the families as well as assisting financially with the funerals. I want to reassure the public that we are here for them. We held a massive city-wide clean-up this week to further assist volunteers on the ground. We will also be assessing homes built on flood plains.

We must be radical about dealing with this. We must be clear on housing and safeguard these areas to ensure that people, once removed, don’t rebuild there ever again. We will also be implementing measures to ensure we are better prepared if there is another disaster in the City. This includes increasing the number of lines to our call centres to meet the high volumes of calls during emergencies.

Also City Manager Sipho Nzuza with officials will review the processes to ensure we can respond quickly financially and that people do not suffer. There will also be more staff and volunteers in the Disaster Management Unit.
October 05
Bold plans to rejuvenate the Durban CBD

IN MY inaugural speech last year I made a firm commitment to clean-up the City, to create a safe and hygienic Durban Central Business District (CBD). The recent launch of the Radical Durban CBD Clean-up and Safety Programme demonstrate that I am following through on that promise with the implementation of the Mayoral Inner City Intensive Urban Management Plan.

This is a project under the overarching Inner City Regeneration Plan which aims to holistically improve the inner City. A well-maintained CBD is vital to the success of any city as it is the very heartbeat of a city. Great cities are liveable communities of people where government, commerce and culture thrive. Great cities offer a variety of lifestyle and recreation finding the unique balance between the natural and the built environment. Great cities are places where the human spirit can thrive socially, economically and culturally.

Durban has aspirations to be a great city and we are taking steps towards making this a reality. Much work has already been done to clean up the inner City by hardworking officials since the on-going intervention began on 14 August. I thank them for their dedication in achieving our vision of making eThekwini Africa’s most caring and liveable City by 2030. All operational departments dedicated four hours daily for three weeks to jointly clean and make the City safe and attractive to all.

Furthermore, all security clusters have worked tirelessly to ensure that cleaned areas are sustained until the City appoints a dedicated team to take full responsibility of CBD urban management. The Supply Chain Management process is underway to ensure that due processes are followed and to ensure the team is operating soon.

The official launch of the radical CBD clean-up and safety programme was on 15 September where the plan to rejuvenate the inner City was officially unveiled to stakeholders including business. The plan outlined strategies and interventions the City has in place to revive the inner City. Improving the CBD is of vital importance as it will attract further investment to the City and create more employment. We have availed additional resources to sustain the Radical Durban CBD Clean-up and Safety Programme and other initiatives to improve the inner City over the next three years.

The programme aims to address cleanliness and safety related issued which includes crime and grime, illegal trading and derelict buildings. Since the first phase was implemented, the programme has already started to show a remarkable impact to ensure safety and cleanliness around the CBD.

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