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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
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.

September 21
City policies working to improve residents’ lives

​EThekwini Municipality is a caring City and we as the leaders of this great City continuously strive to improve the lives of all residents. In particular, we are working hard for the betterment of the lives of the poor in our communities.

One way we are addressing this is through the Radical Economic Transformation Framework which aims to promote economic transformation in the City to ensure all residents are given the opportunity to meaningfully contribute to the City’s economy. The Framework supports my prioritisation of job creation, small business support and community empowerment. It will benefit youth, women, the disabled, Black African-owned business and war veterans by providing simplified guidelines for dealing and ensuring economic empowerment of local communities through projects executed by the Municipality.

We cannot sit as leaders and pass policies and not see the impact these policies are having on residents’ lives. I task the relevant heads of departments and Deputy City Managers to deal with this matter. We approved the Radical Economic Transformation Framework but we need to see it working for the people. We cannot have one consultant still getting the bulk of the contracts.

The poor in our communities need these jobs to ensure that they are able to put food on the table. As the leaders of the City, we are fighting on behalf of these poor communities. I urge officials to take this matter seriously. I want to see this change implemented in various departments. I further suggest the existing cooperatives we have be reviewed to see if they are working. These co-operatives should be awarded contracts for grass cutting and painting of clinics and the like.

I want to see co-operatives who have the necessary skill and capacity to handle the work to be awarded contracts so that their businesses can grow. I am setting a deadline for officials to implement this before reporting back to me on progress made. However, I must add that good work is being done to include marginalised communities into the mainstream economy. But more can be done. I urge officials to take their work seriously and remember that service delivery is at the heart of what we do. Remember, together we can do more.

September 08
Let us pray for our City

IN the wake of the spate of gruesome deaths and road accidents taking place in KwaZulu-Natal, I am calling on councillors, officials and the public to pray our City and province. Let us bring peace in our land and work together to end this violence that has left scores of children orphaned.

I was informed about the head of a missing woman who was found in Ward 44 in Inanda with the tongue and eyes removed. There was another incident where a woman was shot but thankfully her child did not sustain any injuries. These are serious issues that we need to discuss.

The discovery of a head recently as well as reports of cannibalism in Estcourt means we need to pray for our City and country as there are strange incidents happening. My heartfelt gratitude goes to the officials from local and national government, including ANC Treasurer-General Dr Zweli Mkhize and former African Union Chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma who attended the funeral of the 19 people who passed away in a taxi accident in KwaXimba recently.

I also wish to extend my deepest condolences to the families of the deceased, because this tragedy is very painful as most of the people that lost their lives in the accident were breadwinners. Government runs numerous campaigns to create road safety awareness among all road users including drivers, public transport commuters, passengers and pedestrians.

Yet our people still continue to die on our roads. It is important for road users to exercise extreme caution while traveling on the road, obey speed limits and road rules. While road safety is an on-going campaign, it is intensified during the festive season because Durban is a tourist destination which usually sees an influx of visitors during this busy period.

The three main objectives of this campaign are to reduce traffic accidents, reduce the number of injuries on the road and reduce the number of deaths on the roads. We urge residents to work with the Municipality in achieving these objectives. For this campaign, the Municipality has adopted a slogan #NgizobaRoadSafe which means: “I commit to be road safe”.

During this campaign residents are encouraged to pledge their support against texting, drinking and eating while driving. The campaign also seeks to discourage drivers from stopping at dangerous parts of the road, applying make-up and talking on the phone while driving and putting a child on your lap in the front seat.

August 24
Appeal for calm as City addresses land invasion

ETHEKWINI Municipality strongly condemns the land invasions taking place in the City. We also discourage any resident from illegally occupying land and appeal for calm during this time.

The City is facing a serious challenge of land invasion which I believe is politically driven. Land is a scarce resource and the Municipality has an obligation to protect and preserve land with the purpose of utilising it to unlock future development opportunities for the growth and sustainability of our City.

We are also seeing opportunists taking advantage of a court interdict preventing the City from evicting 241 listed applicants provided they have been verified. EThekwini Municipality will be returning to court on 1 September 2017 where we will have the opportunity to argue the matter regarding the alleged illegal eviction of these residents.

While we cannot go into the merits of the case as it is before court, the areas in question where the respondents live include New City Settlement in Marian Ridge, Cato Manor Settlement in Cato Manor, Asiyindawo in Lamontville, Nagina Phase 2 in Shallcross, Polokwane Transit Camp in Lindelani, Ekukhanyeni in Emansenseni and Ekuphumeleleni in Shallcross.

As is practice, the City only demolishes incomplete and unoccupied structures. The public is urged to be aware that the City’s Land Invasion Unit is still working as mandated and is responding to incidents and reports of land invasion across the City. Their work has not been hindered by the court interdict. The invading of Municipal owned or private land is a serious issue as it can hinder development taking place in the City.

We will continue to look for solutions to deal with this matter to ensure that we continue to take the City to greater heights. The solution will be driven through the efforts of Deputy Mayor Fawzia Peer through the Security and Emergency Services Committee which she chairs. She will be addressing this matter as well as looking for long term solutions which may include establishing a task team to get to the root of land invasion in eThekwini.

While we are a caring City we cannot allow lawlessness to reign. I reassure residents that we are addressing this matter and reiterate my call for calm during this time.

August 10
City leadership is decisive on service delivery

AS THE political head of eThekwini Municipality, it is incumbent for me to continue to demonstrate decisive leadership in order to ensure clean governance, effective use of public funds and service delivery to all the people of eThekwini. I welcome the acting appointments in senior positions which have been made by the City administration.

I have stated previously that the reports about an exodus of senior management or a purge in the City are unfounded. Our Municipality provides a conducive platform for senior experienced managers to lead various units and effectively implement service delivery. As Mayor, all staff members who are committed to service delivery excellence have my full support. The acting senior officials join a group of other equally committed officials who work hard every day to ensure that they meet the needs and expectations of our residents. I have also said we will not tolerate or protect wayward officials who flout processes for their own personal gain.

In cases of misconduct, we have a clear policy to deal with such matters. However, we do not run our Municipality by way of a witch-hunt. Where there are allegations of misconduct against any member of staff, a formal process should be followed which includes conducting a thorough investigation in line with the Labour Relations Act.

We are also very concerned about inconsistencies in the manner in which staffing matters have been reported by the media in other cities. The media has sensationalised staffing matters when reporting about eThekwini Municipality when compared to headlines of similar issues in other cities. The departure of senior staff members in eThekwini Municipality has been reported as a “purge” and an “exodus” while similar matters in other cities were reported as “new broom sweeps clean” in the case of the City of Cape Town and “seeking stability” in the case of the City of Tshwane.

Such headlines have created unnecessary reputational damage to eThekwini Municipality. The Municipality is pleased to announce that some of our senior vacant posts have been filled in an acting capacity. To clarify an inaccuracy that has been reported in the media and purported in other platforms, Mr Phillip Ntsimane is still the Chief Audit Executive at eThekwini Municipality.

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