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Executive Committee Decisions
MAYOR’S PARLOUR TO HOST A NUMBER OF EMPOWERMENT EVENTS
 
The Mayor of eThekwini Metro today tabled her office report which outlines the annual community empowerment programme during the Executive Committee meeting held today, 21 November, at Durban City Hall.
 
The aim of the unit programmes are to ensure that the Mayor strengthens relations with communities and various stakeholders during the 2017/18 financial year. “We need to close the gap between us and communities by ensuring that we have programmes that directly assist our people. We must not only be seen when it is elections time,” said Mayor Gumede when she was tabling her Mayoral Parlour report.
 
The report stated that the objective was to ensure that eThekwini Mayor Gumede fulfils all her responsibilities which extends beyond officiating at Council meetings, cutting ribbons and other Municipal proceedings. This includes providing political direction, strategic leadership, promoting positive relationships and modelling good governance.
 
“We have empowerment programmes which aims at empowering the youth, vulnerable groups and military veterans in recognition of their sacrifices for the attainment of the country’s freedom and democracy,” said Gumede.
 
The report states that the Mayor also has a responsibility to attend and support civic and ceremonial functions, to promote eThekwini Municipality as a whole and where necessary host functions to promote the Municipality and its interests. The Mayoral Imbizo is an ongoing mayoral outreach programme aimed at bringing government closer to the people whereby the Municipality interacts with communities regarding upcoming service delivery projects in their areas ad progress on existing ones. The Mayoral Imbizo assists in reducing the number of violent protests.
 
There are also programmes to assist military veterans including the verification of all military veterans within eThekwini, promoting the heritage and legacy of military veterans and military veterans’ business opportunities.
 
The report was largely welcomed by the Executive Committee.
Mayor Gumede said while these were not new programmes they were good to assist communities.
Barbara Fortein, chairperson of the Governance and Human Resources Committee encouraged the Mayor’s Parlour to “push on and deal with these programmes”. “We need to empower women, we need to empower the youth and these programmes are going to empower. They are not just one day events,” she said.
 
Deputy Mayor Fawzia Peer said it was within the ambient of the Mayor’s functions to host such programmes. Chairperson of the Human Settlements and Infrastructure Committee, Mondli Mthembu said information is power. “It is critical that the Mayor goes out and interacts with people. I encourage Mayor Gumede to keep going out and doing what she is doing,” he said.
 
UPDATE ON REPAIRS FOLLOWING STORM DAMAGE IN THE CITY
Repair work to infrastructural damage sustained during a recent storm is set to begin. This follows the approval of a report by the Executive Committee at a meeting held today, 21 November. The report requested authority from Council to undertake City wide emergency repairs resulting from a storm on 10 October.

The report stated that the repairs are urgent in order to mitigate threat to life, property and additional cost from consequential damages and to restore essential services. While the severe storm affected many parts of eThekwini Municipality, the southern areas of the City were the worst affected. Severely affected areas include Amanzimtoti, KwaDabeka, parts of uMlazi, Isiphingo, Montclair, Jacobs, Clairwood, Bluff, Chesterville, Malvern, Queensburgh, Glenwood, Durban CBD, Durban North and La Lucia.

Lesser damage was reported in Pinetown, KwaMashu, Ntuzuma, Phoenix, Cornubia and uMhlanga Rocks. The report stated that since October, the City has been inundated with calls from residents, councillors and officials. Complaints continue to be received on a daily basis with most of them being allocated to technical staff to investigate.

The complaints have been divided into two categories namely:
  • Emergency – where there is high risk or potential risk to life. These projects need immediate action and,
  • Urgent Projects not on Capital Budget- these high priority projects have been identified following the storm but are not on the capital budget for this year or ensuing years.
Regarding financial implications, the report states that normal projects will follow the standard supply chain management procedure however funding will need to be identified for all projects. It noted that the R30 million emergency fund for the 2017/18 financial year is already fully committed to addressing projects identified during the major storm of 24-26 July 2016.

The storm has been declared a provincial disaster. The KZN Provincial leadership will make representations to National Treasury for disaster related funds. Depending on the outcome of the engagements some funds may be provided to eThekwini Municipality for emergency works.

The approval of the report grants project authority to undertake the repair work arising from the storm amounting to approximately R308m and for the Deputy City Manager of Finance Krish Kumar to identify funding for emergency repair work and include the projects in the next adjustment budget and the 2018/19 budget.

EThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede said this report was speaking to the next phase to address the storm damage in the City. “Officials have been dealing with these issues, they have been on the ground working,” she said.

SENIOR CITIZENS PROGRAMME TO START IN CITY
“It is the time of the year that we should show gratitude to our citizens especially children and the elderly, as caring municipality we will start rolling out Senior Citizens Programme for all of our 110 wards,” said Gumede.

Mayor Gumede said the rollout of the annual programme was starting in wards in the west of the City. She was speaking after the Executive Committee approved a report to implement the 2017/18 Senior Citizens Programme.

The report stated that the Programme is an annual programme that is jointly organised by Mayoral Parlour Unit and Office of the Speaker together with ward councillors, ward committee members and volunteers bring joy to thousands of senior citizens across eThekwini. During the programme elderly residents are presented with refreshments and a gift package containing food and other selected items.

Mayor Gumede said everything was set to ensure senior citizens had an enjoyable time.
“Our officials are 100 percent ready. Holding this event to honour senior citizens is a must and we want to ensure that the elderly are happy when they leave. We want to ensure that all the grannies are happy,” she said.

CITY TO ROLL OUT SOLAR WATER HEATER PROJECT
A National Solar Water Heater Programme will soon be rolled out in the City. A report was tabled by the Executive Committee at a meeting today, 21 November outlining the project. The report advised members of the Executive Committee of the programme which is funded by the national Department of Energy to roll out solar water geysers which will be installed through the installation of local resources.
The report stated that the national Department of Energy approached the Municipality to participate in a national programme for the generation of job opportunities by installation of solar water heaters on the roofs of low income houses.

The Department of Energy previously ran a programme for the installation of solar water heaters, ending in 2012 after installing approximately 30 000 heaters in eThekwini homes. Most installations were successful.

The report further stated that the Solar Water Heater Programme has two components namely the Social Programme and the Load Reduction Programme. The Load Reduction Programme will target higher income homes and will only be partially subsidised and will not be offered to low income suburbs.

The Social Programme is fully subsidised and will be free to recipients. Work will be carried out by local labour and local contractors trained by the Department of Energy. The full subsidy will cover both installation and maintenance. The areas to be served by this programme will be identified by the City with final approval by the Department of Energy.

The participation of local labour is in line with Municipal procedures. Integral to this programme is the plan to develop the skills and secure employment to local communities affected by this programme.
The City will ensure all installations are of good quality. The plumbing must be signed off by a registered plumber and the structural work on the roof must be checked, both for the strength of the roof beams and for the proper waterproofing of the holes in the roof tiles and roof sheets.

There is no direct financial costs for the City as management of the programme will use existing staff resources especially in setting up the programme and to a lesser extent while it is running. No additional staff will be hired.

Chairperson of the Human Settlements and Infrastructure Committee, Mondli Mthembu said the recommendations of the report were clear that the rollout process is underway. He said there will be regular update reports of the project. “We will ensure that the distribution will be done according to the poorest of the poor to ensure we put geysers where they are needed most,” he said.
WEATHER

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