By Lwando Nomoyi

Port Elizabeth – The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) welcomed the Chinese delegation together with Eastern Cape Premier Phumulo Masualle at the Coega Business Centre on Friday. This prestigious visit by the foreign investors and Eastern Cape Premier is set to grow and strengthen the relationship of Zhejiang Province and the city of Port Elizabeth and formed part of the conclusion signing of the strategic Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) between the two International Provinces.

According to Premier Masualle, the indefinite commitment and intention of Chinese investment in the Eastern Cape Province and South Africa, is indeed a key component in the socio-economic development of the people of South Africa.

“This gives me the impression and certainty of the abundant opportunities presented within this Special Economic Zone (SEZ) as part of building our relationship between the two Provinces”. Added Masualle.

He further alluded the gratitude and honour of the Eastern Cape Provincial leadership and hopes to multiply the numerous investment opportunities and possibilities with the Chinese delegation.

People’s Republic of China Party Secretary, Mr Che Jun was deeply impressed by the Special Economic Zone and its International investment potential.

Mr Che Jun stated, “Compared with other Development Zones, the Coega Special Economic Zone (SEZ) has its own advantages in terms of its geographical location, deep water ports and the infrastructure in the city”.

The Party Secretary further mentioned, the SEZ has very rich resources, being the large mass of land it operates in and its reasonable tax and customs policies for foreign investment. “The presence of two major Chinese companies investing in the SEZ namely First Automotive Works (FAW) and Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co (BAIC), sets the platform for more Chinese companies to invest in this Special Economic Zone”. Said Che Jun

The Chinese delegation showed great interest in future investment in the SEZ and vowed to continuously grow the relationship between the Eastern Cape Province and the Chinese Zhejiang Province.

Transnet’s Rajesh Dhana expressed the critical role of Transnet in the South African economy and its link with the Coega Development Corporation (CDC) to fuel development in the country.  The mandate of Transnet is to lower the cost of doing business in South Africa, enable and most importantly to ensure the security of supply, through providing appropriate port, rail and pipeline infrastructure.

Dhana further alluded “Transnet’s very ambitious mission is to fuel Africa’s growth and development as a leading provider of innovative supply chain solutions”.

He said Transnet’s mission is to link economies, connect people and grow Africa.

New Refugee Reception Office for the Bay

By Sidima Mfeku

Public works department on Friday officially handed over the new Refugee Reception office site in Port Elizabeth. 

Public works regional manager Johan van der Walt formally handed over the Telkom Building site to the Home affairs director general Mkuseli Apleni. The new site with the capacity to accommodate approximately around 500 people is expected to help every refugee with their new asylum applications. The office is situated alongside the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium in North End, Port Elizabeth and is expected to be operational by end of July.

The operations will be advanced to easily process applications and will make use of bio-metric security systems. “The new building will have adequate accommodation with which to extend better services to persons with legitimate claims” Apleni confirmed.

Apleni said the old RRO offices closed down in 2011 “due to the local business community in the vicinity who exerted pressure on the department saying the office was a nuisance factor”, he says the department encountered other challenges in the area, including eviction orders and landlord refusal to renew the lease agreement.

Apleni added that the department conducted research and established that most refugees who sought asylum entered the country from the northern borders that also have asylum application facilities. The department was then mandated to relocate the asylum offices to “strategic areas”, areas where most asylum seekers enter the republic.

He says the department’s records show that most asylum applicants using the PE RRO hailed from China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Somali, Ethiopia and other northern countries and none of them used Port Elizabeth as a point of entry.


2018/19 Budget Finally Passed in the Nelson Mandela Bay

By: Esethu Matetu

Port Elizabeth- The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality finally passed the budget on Wednesday morning after a number of council meetings adjourned.

On Tuesday morning the municipality had a council meeting which did not end  as expected. The budget was represented to the council for the third time which led the councilor to say that the budget had not changed and he felt like it was a waste of time since it was something that had been presented to them before. The opposition parties were then given a chance to respond to the budget.

The ANC’s response was “Challenges of the inequalities facing the City should be at the center of the budget. Homelessness and unemployment are the major things and creating labour intensive jobs and we do not see that very strongly addressed, therefore the ANC is not supporting and accepting the budget.’’

Zilindile Vena from the EFF responded by reminding the council that a few weeks ago the EFF told the speaker that the City Mayor Athol Trollip should sign the budget, and that they were looked as if they were stupid. The City Mayor has now signed the budget and it turns out that the EFF was right “as usual” and they wanted to be recognized. He added by saying: “We will not vote for the budget, because this council does not take us serious, we will not be misled by the R21 Million”.

Councilor Bobani of the UDM said that the priorities of the wards had not been checked and there was no public participation. He also stated that there was no service delivery, therefore the UDM would only support a proper and a people’s budget, therefore the UDM would not accept the budget until the poor were accommodated. 

The AIC councilor Thsonono Buyeye said that he had been instructed by the AIC leadership to ensure that the municipality was not placed under administration by supporting the budget despite the fact that some important issues were not addressed in the budget. After saying so he walked out of the council chamber and left the DA and coalition parties with not enough votes to approve the budget.

All other opposition parties also walked out of the council and the meeting was adjourned and continued on Wednesday morning.

After Tuesday’s meeting, the executive mayor Athol Trollip said “At the beginning of the budget process a part of the ANC was appreciative of what had happened in the budget reprocess but councilor Lungisa made it clear from the beginning [that] he wanted to be put on record that the ANC will not support the budget that was some weeks ago. The EFF’s commander in chief Julius Malema has instructed them not agree to anything I say and have also instructed them to get rid of me, they tried a several times but did not succeed. We understand the background and the history of  UDM councilor Bobani and that has now teamed up with councilor Lungisa and they make an interesting pair, so that leaves two other oppositional parties the AIC and the United Front. We all saw councilor Lungisa going up and taking phone calls in the public gallery and not too long after that councilor Lungisa, Bobani and Buyeye also left. Obviously there have been instructions at their national leadership level which resulted in placing councilor Buyeye in a very invidious position. It is clear that there are some people in this council who hanker for the past they want the old status quo. We are not going to give up and we are not going to hand the city to people who want a status quo and win the elections. We are going to fight and not give up.’’

On Wednesday morning before the council meeting started all the opposition parties councilor’s were outside the council chambers but did not get into the meeting. Even though Councilor Buyeye was an an hour late,  he was the one who made it possible for the budget to pass because he was instructed to do so. After voting he quickly left the chamber without saying a word. The UF councilor Mkuseli Mtsila also attended the meeting but did not support the budget.

Another council meeting will be next week Wednesday  to discuss other items on the Agenda.

The Land is Ours

By: Ntombifuthi Blose

Port Elizabeth- The Land is Ours: South Africa’s first Black Lawyers and the Birth of Constitution Book launch hosted by the Department of Sociology, Anthropology incl. Hist (CriSHET) and the Faculty of Law launched on Wednesday, 16 May 2018 at the Nelson Mandela University, North Campus Auditorium.

The opening of the ceremony was proceeded by the Vice Chancellor Professor Sibongile Muthwa, thanking all of those who made it to the talk. This included international professors from the UK, Sweden and Brazil who travelled all the way to be part of the book launch by Advocate Thembeka Ngcukaitobi. The speakers of the evening were Professor Nomalanga Mkhize as well as an audience discussion and Ngcukaitobi.

The talk was centred around how Africans need to decolonise their minds against colonial thinking and emphasised the importance of Pan-Africanism to strengthen the youth’s independence, political and economic development and cooperation. Pan- Africanism is an ideology that unifies the people of Africa and the diaspora. The book is about the first black lawyers of the nineteenth and twentieth century in South Africa in a time of belligerent colonial development.

Adv Thembeka Ngcukaitobi said that it was important to place Port Elizabeth to launch the book because this signified colonialism by the names still used for towns and cities including PE. He further made a statement saying “colonialism is gone but it still lives on in our names, language and how the education system does not tell our African history, the way black people know it”.

After the speeches there was a book signing by Ngcukaitobi.

The book is available at Van Schaik book shop.

Nutritious and Healthy Food on Campus for Students

By: Ntombifuthi Blose

Port Elizabeth- Back in 2017 the Tshwane Univerity of Technology (TUT) students protested against unhealthy food being sold on campus. Classes were suspended at TUT in Pretoria West. Students were protesting and got violent, demanding inexpensive standard meals. A number of police officers were at the campus since huge rocks were being used to bar the main entrance to the university. Usually students would be protesting for tuition fees, NSFAS and so on, but this time the student protests took another turn.

The condition of the food served at the principle kitchen is not even close to be contemplated as healthy. “The food is of extreme poor quality, there is diarrhea from that the food they sell”, said Gift Mashini, South African Student Congress (SASCO). This raised a question of why this food still relevant at our university. This compelled me as a writer to investigate the quality of food on campus and how healthy it really is. Some students from NMU are also complaining about the food sold at South Campus. They say the food is not good nor is it healthy for them to consume. As a journalist, I made my way to the campus to find out how students really feel about the food that is being served to them. I spoke to a group of guys and girls and the girls commented by saying that some days are better than others, but usually it’s not nutritious and also mentioned how the food is usually finished before students are out of their 5pm class. Even though the food at the cafeteria is the cheapest compared to other food outlets on campus students are still not satisfied. The guys replied by saying that the only thing that taste good is fried chips. Even though it’s not healthy but it’s the only thing that tastes good on the menu. The guys concluded by saying the food is not healthy but they have no choice but to buy, since they don’t have much of a choice.

Every year from the 9th – 15th of October, South African s celebrate National Nutrition week (NNW).  Amid (NNW) Information is given out to free all South Africans to make healthier food choices.

NMB IDP and Budget tabled

By: Esethu Matetu

Port Elizabeth- The Metro councillors had a special council meeting to look at the budget at council chambers yesterday. The meeting was disturbed by ward committees who were protesting outside the chambers.

The ward committees demanded to be on the budget and also wanted their R1000 stipend to be increased to R10 000. This chaos was before the meeting even started. The protesters held three councillors hostage which were councillor Dano, Feni and Maqolo who were later released. Councillor Mongameli Bobani from UDM suggested that before the meeting starts the speaker and the executive mayor should go out and address the ward committees.

Councillor Nqaba Bhanga said that addressing the ward committees was not in the agenda so the meeting would have to continue. That is when the opposition parties’ councillor went out and the meeting was paused for more or less 30 minutes.

The executive Mayor Athol Trollip read the budget to the council and the political parties were given an opportunity to express their views about the budget. Opposition parties rejected the budget.

In the budget there is a proposal for tariff hikes of 5% for property rates, 8.5% for water and sanitation, 7.5% for refuse, and 5.48% for electricity, which is subject to approval by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa. The ANC councillor Rory Riordan said that in the Nelson Mandela Bay there is no budget for things such as library, parks and swimming pools the budget is always about water and sewerage.

R400 Million boost for small scale fishing

By: Sidima Mfeku

Port Elizabeth-The Department of Public Works (DPW) and Coega Development Corporation (CDC) have collaborated to enforce economic development in small harbours to boost small-scale fishing and tourism in the Western Cape.

R400 million worth of development projects in the marine and ocean economy are expected in the Western Cape. In a statement released yesterday, 28 May, the Department of Public Works and Coega have rolled out the first phase of their development plans to upgrade 13 harbours in the Western Cape. The development projects implemented by the CDC seek to boost the small-scale fishing industry and tourism in the Western Cape. The CDC is implementing the projects on behalf of the DPW and has been an agent of small harbours development programme for a long time. “Since the commencement of the project, we’ve had a great working relationship with the department. We have progressed at a rapid pace and hit all the right notes in supporting the DPW’s focus on developing the maritime economy,” said Themba Koza CDC Programme Director.

Mr Riyaadh Kara, DPW Quantity Surveyor and Project Manager said the development project is aimed at changing the lives of many fishing communities and tourism operators relying on the 13 smaller proclaimed harbours in the Western Cape. “The project forms part of our focus on the oceans economy and is a strategic fit to Operation Phakisa,” adds Kara. The thirteen harbours targeted in this development project include: Hout Bay, Kalk Bay, Saldanha Bay, Pepper Bay, Gordon’s Bay, Hermanus, Struisbaai, Gansbaai, Stilbaai, Arniston, Laaiplek, Lamberts and St. Helena Bay. To carry out the project the CDC has sourced and deployed necessary marine, civil and electrical engineers, as well as marine surveyors.

The CDC has been of great assistance and also the execution of the development projects of this nature. It has successfully concluded Marine Surveys and Reports for all 13 Harbours, as well as the testing of the sediment materials that need dredging in order to open up some of the harbours. Koza added ,”In many cases lives are put at risk and boats are damaged because the harbour basin and approach channel to the slipways have silted up and boats have to be launched off the beach, or only at high tide, which is why dredging is paramount to the longevity of these harbours,”

The tenders for repairs and upgrades to slipways and the replacement of shore cranes have been advertised and are in the process of selecting successful candidates. “We are speeding up the process as quickly as possible as we understand that the livelihoods of at least 13 coastal communities are dependent on the harbour, which is used by the fishing fleet and tourism operators,” Koza said.

He concluded by saying: “Work has started last year in harbours with the removal of all sunken vessels and on completion maintenance dredging will commence by June 2018″. 

Jobs have been created around the coastal regions of the Western Cape and up to 102 jobs in total have been recorded through the upgrading. One of the important objectives of the project is to ensure that emerging businesses benefit from the programme. As a result of this, a total of  11 Small Medium and Micro Enterprises to the amount of R3.5 million have benefited from the programme so far.