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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
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.

August 10
Mandela’s legacy lives on

ON 18 July, eThekwini Municipality joined the global community to honour our late former President and international icon Nelson Mandela through celebrating Nelson Mandela International Day.

The day was officially adopted by the United Nations in November 2009 as an annual international day. The UN noted that marking the day recognises Mandela’s “values and his dedication to the service of humanity” and acknowledging his contribution “to the struggle for democracy internationally and the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world”.

The predominant objective of Nelson Mandela International Day is to inspire ordinary citizens to take action in order to help change the world for the better; and in doing so build a global movement for good. We draw inspiration from his lifelong teachings and ensure that we render services to our 3.7 million residents in a fair and equitable manner thus improving the quality of life of even those that reside in informal settlements.

The Municipality, together with the provincial government went beyond 67 minutes to give back to fellow residents, we rolled-up our sleeves and cleaned up various parts of the City to ensure that the people of eThekwini live in clean and healthy neighbourhoods. Ensuring that the communities’ physical environment is conducive to growth, development and progress remains our key focus. We also handed over houses to families who never dreamt of one day having a warm and comfortable place to call home.

Furthermore, the Municipality has rolled out a robust interim service delivery programme in informal settlements, where we continue to provide electricity, water and sanitation services as well as foot paths. This is to ensure that while some people find themselves living in informal settlements that they at least live under humane and dignified conditions.

The most vulnerable members of our community remain a concern for us and while notable strides are being made in the areas of skills development and job creation, we also activated a series of initiatives to help ease their financial burden. This includes the roll-out of free basic services. Mandela has been one of the greatest moral and political leaders of our time. In honour of Madiba and the values that he stood for, we remain committed to continuously improving the lives of our residents through effective service delivery and going beyond the call of duty. Long live the spirit of Nelson Mandela! Long live!

July 13
Follow proper processes to voice complaints

​I STRONGLY condemn the recent public protests experienced in the City which resulted in damage to Municipal and private property. Members of the public were also adversely affected by being prevented from going to school and work.

We live in a democratic country where people are free to exercise their constitutional right to protest, and we acknowledge this right. But when people protest, this must be done in a peaceful manner without damage to property, injuring law-abiding citizens or blockading roads.

The vandalising of Municipal property hampers service delivery as repairs or rebuilding of the damaged property has not been budgeted for. The damage to Municipal infrastructure affects everyone in the community who may utilise that service. I urge protestors to bear this in mind when embarking on violent protests. We must also respect the rights of those who choose not to engage in protest action. Too often they are victimised and prevented from making their way to work or school. While the right to protest is enshrined in our Bill of Rights, I caution against illegal marches which often result in the damage of property.

I call upon all residents to join me in condemning the damage to infrastructure. I am the People’s Mayor and care deeply about the plight of all residents in the City, particularly the indigent. I have reiterated that we have an open door policy in the Municipality where both councillors and officials are willing to engage with the public regarding service delivery.

To ensure that those without homes also enjoy a good quality of life, the Municipality has rolled out a robust interim services service delivery programme in informal settlements, where we have provided electricity, water and sanitation services as well as foot paths.

This is in order to ensure that while some people find themselves having to live in informal settlements that they live there under humane and dignified conditions. We have also made inroads in the delivery of houses and in the last 20 years over 180 000 houses have been built by the City. We are ready to engage with aggrieved parties but urge them to follow proper channels for their grievances to be heard.

June 30
Transforming townships into thriving economic hubs

​EThekwini Municipality has touched the lives of millions of people through various service delivery programmes that aim to radically transform the economic status of our people. Over the last couple of years, millions of rands have been spent on projects to regenerate township areas in order to unlock the potential of these communities, bringing investment, employment opportunities and much needed social facilities.

To-date, extensive investments have been made in townships across the City as part of our Township Renewal Programme. Programmes such as the Regional Business Fair which took place at KwaMnyandu Shopping Mall in uMlazi from 23 to 25 June were initiated by the City to create an enabling environment for small and big businesses to thrive and contribute meaningfully to the local and mainstream economy of the City. In my inauguration speech on 23 August, I made it clear that transforming township economy is going to receive an added focus over the next five years.

While we are proud of the milestones achieved thus far to improve the economic status of residents in townships, we are mindful of the fact that more work still needs to be done to free our people from the shackles of poverty. The Municipality will work with all stakeholders to fast-track the City’s vision of empowering small businesses. These efforts will boost township economy which is vital if we are to reach the target of 11 million new jobs to be created by 2030. The National Development Plan has emphasised that 90 percent of these created jobs will come from Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises (SMMEs).

Extensive work has been done in the Inanda, Ntuzuma and KwaMashu (INK), uMlazi, Clermont and KwaDabeka and Mpumalanga areas as they have large populations. These areas also meet the criteria for National Treasury’s Neighbourhood Development Partnership Grant which provides funding for projects within these areas. There are a number of capital projects that are in the implementation stage which seek to capacitate SMMEs and boost the township economy.

The City will continue to work with the private sector and captains of industry to grow the economy and create jobs in order to realise the vision of our great City which is to be the most caring and liveable City in Africa by 2030.

June 19
EThekwini cares about its youth

​June is a very significant month as it is observed as Youth Month. During this month, we remember the brave fight of the youth of 1976 who took a stand against the oppressive apartheid regime. They are an inspiration to us all especially to the youth of today, who are fighting for economic freedom. Financial freedom is characterised by the return of land to the people, creation of job opportunities, the development of a state-owned bank, free and quality education for the poor and the promotion of youth entrepreneurship.

This is the year dedicated to Oliver Tambo and there is going to be a statue of him erected outside our beautiful City Hall, which has been commissioned from a young person that lives in Clermont. The youth have shown us, through media and social networks, that they are ready to fight social inequality. The youth has said #DataMustFall. There are 250 wi-fi hotspots around the City. We want to have wi-fi at clinics, schools, libraries and Sizakala Centres.

We are also looking at increasing wi-fi hotspots to respond to the needs of our communities. The youth has said #FeesMustFall. We, as the City, are looking at increasing bursary allocations as well as learnerships, internships and apprenticeships offered in the Municipality to youth. As a mother and the Mayor I will not sit back and fold my arms when there is an accommodation problem for students even though it is a national issue. We are doing what we can.

We, as City leadership, will never forget how important it is to take care of our youth. In my budget speech I outlined the various youth programmes that are being implemented in the City. This includes creating more platforms for youth in business. We want to skill youth to ensure they find jobs and contribute to the economy. We are also partnering with the private sector to create jobs and business opportunities for young people.

I want to assure you that we will continue to guard the gains of the struggle and that we will lay the foundation for youth to achieve financial emancipation in this lifetime. We have clear and achievable projects for our youth. We are serious about youth development in eThekwini. We are moving away from parties and events that have no impact on the youth. But rather we will have lasting programmes that promote the development of young people. Remember, working together we can achieve more. Unity is power and education is your strength.

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