Category Archives: local News

WARD 4 COUNCILLOR DELIGHTED BY MANDELA MONTH DONATIONS IN COMMUNITY

By: Sidima Mfeku

Port Elizabeth– Nelson Mandela Bay’s ward 4 ANC Councillor, Mr Ayanda Tyokwana expressed his gratitude and honour towards the various stakeholders that gave back to  Walmer township community during the course of Mandela month [July].

Councillor Tyokwana applauded the efforts taken by different private organisations that took the initiative in helping to eradicate poverty in Walmer township.

“As walmer community we are grateful to have benefited from Nelson Mandela’s 67 minutes and the entire month in general”. Tyokwana said.

Tyokwana said as a collective they hope the sponsorships will change the lives of the impoverished Walmer township residents.

The community of Walmer township received various donations from numerous organisations, including the re-painting of Walmer Primary School.

The community also saw visits from Dameline College students who donated snacks to John Masiza Primary School pupils as part of the 67 minutes’ initiative in celebration of the Nelson Mandela legacy.

A variety of free services were provided to the community including: Feeding schemes, cleaning initiatives, blanket donations and home of safety food donations.

Councillor Tyokwana described that, since he took office in 2017, he realized a lot of work had to be done to improve the community, including youth building and development.

“when I was elected as a Councillor in this community I had the opportunity to correct some of the issues that I deemed challenging and done incorrectly, therefore i established a youth forum called Gqebera Youth Movement (GYM)”

The Councillor alluded the exceptional work done by GYM as they take matters of social development upon themselves and not solely depend on government.

“Drugs and alcohol abuse is a rife challenge because there is a lack in sustainable activities involving the youth and through the Gqeberha Youth Movement [GYM] the future is bright, we will have sustainable programmes through music, arts, entertainment, sports, and education”. Described ANC Councillor Tyokwana.

The issue of drugs, alcohol abuse and crime is one of the overarching challenges the community comes across on a daily basis.

BAY SCHOOLS SHOWCASE ARTISTIC TALENT IN HONOUR OF NELSON MANDELA.

By: Esethu Matetu

Port Elizabeth-  The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality invited various schools around the city to showcase and recite poetry in honour of late former President Nelson Mandela, as part of commemorating and celebrating what would’ve been his 100th birthday. 

The schools came in numbers and gathered outside City Hall to each recite a 3 minute poem and various stage performances, under the theme, “Be The Legacy”.

The Municipality’s Nabil Hendricks stated that, this initiative taken by the Municipality was to inspire and en-craft artistic creativity through education.

“We are here to pay respect to the legacy of Tata Nelson Mandela and pledge our commitment as a Municipality to follow in his footsteps” Hendricks said. 

According to Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor Athol Trollip, education plays a very pivotal role in our society and forms as a cornerstone to nation building.

“As the Nelson Mandela Bay we are privileged to be named after such a globally renowned legend”,described Trollip.

The Mayor  further stated that, the Municipality has to practice Nelson Mandela day everyday and take initiative in empowering the youth through education.

Trollip concluded the event by handing over five framed quotes of Nelson Mandela to each school.

CYCLING FOR MANDELA 

 The Mayor also embarked on an early morning cycle through the townships of Port Elizabeth around 04:30 am. The cycle commenced from City Hall and proceeded towards the various townships such as, NewBrighton, Kwazakhele, Veeplass and Missionvale. .

Trollip cycled with young kids from the Imveli Cycling Academy based in Kwzakhele. 

“When I cycled earlier this morning I saw some shocking areas in the townships. I saw a lot of things that needs the attention of the Municipality in some locations”,the Mayor added.

He vowed to continue working tirelessly in the fight against poverty in the city.

“While poverty persists, there is no true freedom,  as the Municipality we strive to eradicate poverty and crime in our beautiful city”. He said. 

JOE SLOVO RESIDENTS STILL WITHOUT TITLE DEEDS.

By: Sidima Mfeku

Port Elizabeth – The Eastern Cape department of Human settlement representatives visited ward41 on Monday [16 July 2018] as part of the department’s action plan of getting residents their tittle deeds.

Ward 41 Councillor Simphiwe Tyukana organised a mass meeting with the Professional housing support team and the Joe Slovo residents regarding issues affecting housing in the area.

Gathered in Joe Slovo Big Centre hall, the residents have stayed in the area for more than five years after receiving houses from government and have not received their title deeds. The housing team from Human Settlements Provincial offices vowed to administer the title deeds later this year.

Professional housing support members Jimmy Tutu and Wandisile Jikeka said they will be working closely with the Eastern Cape MEC for Human settlement Mlungisi Mvoko in tabling action following complaints from the residents of ward 41.

“The title deed issue has been a major problem for a very long time and we are willing and ready to make things right” said Tutu.

According to Wandisile Jikeka, people owning different houses are causing the department to waste a lot of money on budgeting more houses than the actual number budgeted for.

Jikeka said, there will be a door-to-door operation by the department before issuing the title deeds. Residents will be asked questions about the houses they live in, specifically those that do not have tittle deeds or ones that are still with the department.

Andrew Guilder Tackles Climate Change

By: Charmaine Blose

Port Elizabeth- The department of environmental affairs hosted a stakeholder engagement workshop on the national climate change bill at The Beach hotel.

“Climate change is the variation in our expanded experience of climate over a period of time”, said the Minister of Environmental Affairs, Dr Edna Molelwa after publishing the national climate change bill for public commentary.

The bill states that environmental pollution climate change constitutes a critical danger to human civilization and [that] the environment needs a productive, continuous and well-integrated feedback. “The aim of the bill is to construct adequate climate change feedback and to assure the long term, fair change to a  strong and lower carbon economy”, said Dr Molelwa.

“We need to put mechanisms in place. The two main types of mechanisms are: 

1) Mitigation will stock the human impact on the climate.

2) Put the mechanisms that will allow ‘us’ to deal with challenges as they arise in place”, says Director of climate legal Andrew Guilder.

People need to understand that the climate is changing, but as inhabitants we can’t just stop it. The question we need to ask ourselves is: can it be limited? The worry applies to humans and not the earth.

“One may ask about the reliability of the predictions we read about daily, but the predictions are reliable to a factor of 50%. The law states that humans need to act in a precautionary manner, which means to reduce greenhouse gases”, concludes Guilder.

CDC STRENGTHENS RELATIONS WITH CHINESE DELEGATION

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

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

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 500 people are 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 refusal from the landlord to renew the lease agreement.

Apleni added that the department conducted a 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 as well as 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.