ON 18 July, eThekwini Municipality joined the world to commemorate Mandela Day. This year’s International Mandela Day was themed ‘Do what you can with what you have and where you are’. In recognition of the struggle icon’s contribution to making the world a better place, the United Nations declared 18 July as Mandela Day. Global citizens are encouraged to spend 67 minutes of their time doing good and supporting communities in need on the late former president’ As part of celebrating this day, we handed over five houses in ward 30 to 29 beneficiaries who were living under inhumane conditions.
Most of these beneficiaries were identified during the Operation Sukuma Sakhe Outreach programme. One of the recipients is Sibusiso Mgobhozi who was living at the SPCA transit camp with his wife and two grandchildren. Because he is wheelchair bound, the Municipality had to build a house taking into consideration his special needs. Last week, we also handed over houses to families that were displaced by the April floods in wards 3 and 108. The beneficiaries were part of the uMqhawe Housing Project and the Storm Disaster Housing Project in the area. The families were prioritised, and the rebuilding process was part of the City’s emergency response.
This is an indication that we are a government that delivers on its commitment to improving lives. These beneficiaries now have a roof over their heads and more importantly, their dignity has been restored. After handing over the houses to the deserving families, we convened a community engagement in ward 3 to outline our plans of improving water supply in the area. Furthermore, working with the provincial government, we will continue to focus on repairing damaged road infrastructure. Umzinyathi was one of the areas hardest hit by the April and May floods. To this end, we must commend the work that is being done by City officials in the area to help people rebuild their lives. The month of July is also commemorated as Men’s Month. As part of our month-long activities, we launched the Mina Campaign in Clermont on 18 July which encourages men to live a healthy lifestyle by going for regular checkups to know their health status. This platform also allows men to openly discuss challenges they face daily and guide young men on their journey to adulthood.
The process of rebuilding and restoration of services after the April floods is moving with speed. We recently introduced the contractor undertaking the construction of the oThongathi Water Treatment Works, which was damaged during the floods, to the community. We are pleased that the contractor is onsite and has been given 105 days to complete this R31 million project. We have agreed that due to the tight timeframes and the magnitude of the technical work that needs to be done, the Municipality will allocate 10 percent of work to local suppliers. It is important to note that the repair work would normally take between five and six months to complete. But we have asked the contractor to reduce this period to less than four months.