The City of human Origin
27 September 2010
The launch of October Transport Month
October is National Transport Month, a time to reflect on our behavior on the roads, to do more to ensure road safety, to support public transport and cut down traffic and pollution. The theme for this month is Moving South Africa to do More Together. Read what the Minister of Transport, Sibusiso Ndebele has to say about it.
KEYNOTE address at the launch of the 2010 October Transport Month (OTM) by Mr. Sibusiso Ndebele, MP, Minister of Transport, Bridge City, Durban.
KwaZulu-Natal Transport MEC, Mr. Willies Mchunu
Gauteng Transport MEC, Mr. Bheki Nkosi
Head of Transport Department for KwaZulu-Natal Mr. Chris Hlabisa
EThekwini City Manager, Dr. Sutcliffe
Senior government officials
Members of the media
Ladies and gentlemen
“Transport: Moving South Africa to do More Together”
As we launch October Transport Month today we say no more shall our people die in so many accidents. We say no more shall our people die deaths which can be avoided. Therefore:
- As a country, we have signed to achieve the millennium development goals of cutting crash-related deaths by 50 percent in 2014.
- In October we launch the national rolling enforcement plan: From 1 to 31 October we shall have stopped one million vehicles. We will stop a million vehicles every month thereafter. It is in line with the priorities of the Moscow declaration and the United Nations “Make Roads Safe” campaign.
- As part of OTM, we are moving to implement a programme to skill and re-skill our drivers. From 1 October 2010 to October 2011, we will train one million new drivers. Working together with the Minister of Basic Education, we want every 17 years old to complete high school armed with a matric certificate on one hand and a learner or driver’s license on the other. Working together with the Minister of Higher Education, we want every graduate to emerge with a tertiary certificate on one hand and a driver’s license on the other. We have the technology for it in the latest simulators. We have the funding for it. We are ready to introduce a new crop of the driver, a new skill and a new driving culture onto our roads.
- Together with the taxi industry, we will in October announce a training academy for the taxi industry. The Taxi academy will teach business management and advance driving skills to the taxi industry.
- Our plan is clear; we want the mass participation of women in transport as owners and operators. We also want our youth to become the basis of a future in which drunken driving without a proper license is shunned in the same manner as smoking in public places.
- In October, we launch a massive public education campaign to educate drivers about the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO). AARTO, which was passed in 1998, has been around for over 12 years. Pilot programmes have been completed in Johannesburg and Pretoria. Ignorance of the law was never an excuse. We are however going for massive education anyway to ensure that there is a general understanding of AARTO among all drivers. By the time the demerit system starts, it will only be unwilling who will be victims. Others will, however, be safer drivers.
- We have also started rolling out community road safety councils in all nine provinces. These councils are the basis on which we will implement our commitments to road safety, by making road safety every body’s business. You are your neighbor’s keeper. Let them stand up those who say “let them die”. Let them stand up those who say the carnage must continue. Let them stand up!
- Post-accident support through the Road Accident Fund (RAF). While we reduce accidents, we shall make life easier for the unfortunate victims of crashes. Services are best delivered at points closest to those who use them. We are therefore rolling our RAF centers which are based in health centers around the country which will bring access to post-accident assistance closer to them.
- In order to improve service delivery standards, we will conduct a spot visit to all service centers to find out which is the best licensing center, which is the best traffic officer.
- We will also be rooting out corruption in the issuing of licenses or traffic fines. A drunk and unlicensed driver, more than anything else, leads to people being killed on our roads. There is no basis for believing that an unlicensed or drunk driver is not going to cause an accident.
- Furthermore, the Cross-Border Road Transport Agency (CBRTA) is going to ensure that contraband material and human trafficking and poaching should not be conducted across our borders. The CBRTA is ready.
For the first time this year, our department has acquired enforcement capacity commanded at the national level. Up to now, this was left to municipalities and provinces. Up to now other than the sea rescue, the minister did not have any power to enforce at a national level. Together with the CBRTA which already has law enforcement and the RTMC, we will send a clear message that the tide has turned, the time for games is over.
Transport in our lives
Whether one is talking about the Exodus, the Great Flood of Noah or the Great Trek transport has always been part of human endeavor in the past and will be in the present and the future. It was the refusal of Rosa Parks to move from her seat which gave birth to the civil rights movement in the United States. It was Ghandi being thrown out of the train that spawned a worldwide peaceful resistance to the injustice of apartheid and racial discrimination. Whether miners descend to the bowels of the earth in Chile or humankind takes off to the moon at Cape Canaveral in the United States, it is transport that moves people and goods from point A to B. Transport can fulfill the dreams of young lovers and family by bringing them together across distances. It is clear that the history of transport cannot be divorced from the history of mankind. If so, why is it that in South Africa we appear to be concerned more about studying criminology and less about studying transport? We are likely to know the dictionary definition of a Tsotsi, defined as a black youth who is prone to hooligan behavior then we are to know what cabotage means: i.e. the act of picking goods from one country and leaving them in a third country along the sea.
For this reason, we will soon be announcing a study which will look at among other things the contribution of transport in the transformation of South Africa, provinces and communities. That research will show the place of transport in the social psyche your folklore, your poems, folklore about love, death and resistance and the role it can play in breaking racial barriers of South Africa. Apartheid was spatial. It created artificial distance and based it on race. Our role is to bridge that gap. In his book, India 2020, Abdul Kalam, the celebrated scientist and former president of India writes thus about the importance of transport in developing economies. This applies to South Africa and I quote: “A simple truth is that a modern developed economy cannot be built on a large number of people living just above the poverty line, producing agricultural products alone and cut off from the rest of the manufacturing and business centers. This means that every production center in the country should have speedy economic activity with other parts of the country”.
Rail and the 2010 FIFA World Cup
Three months ago, through our transport infrastructure, we gave the world the clearest signal to date about where we want to be as a country. We stated, not only through words but mostly through deeds, that we want to move very swiftly from being a developing country to being a development one. Importantly, we also said that transport would play a leading role in driving and sustaining that developmental growth path into the future. We entertained 3.1 million spectators who attended 64 matches of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in 2010. This attendance was the third highest behind the United States in 1994 and Germany in 2006. The transport family ensured that our rail, road and aviation infrastructure and services played a significant role in the transportation of domestic and visiting fans. This we did on time, on schedule, efficiently and in safety. By all accounts, we hosted a world-class event, in a world-class country and in a continent that has the potential to become world-class.
Nothing is impossible if we all work together hence the theme for this year’s Transport Month; “Transport: Moving South Africa to do More Together”. From defeating apartheid to hosting the World Cup we are certain that we can attain anything we set our minds to. For the 2010 World Cup, the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) upgraded existing stations and built new ones while expanding key rail infrastructure. This was aimed at increasing mobility and accessibility for commuters during the tournament and beyond. As a legacy of the world cup, many train stations in the vicinity of most stadiums such as the newly constructed Moses Mabhida station here in Durban are now approximately a five-minute walk from our stations. Through Metrorail, we transported a total of 1,467 million passengers and ran a total of 2 256 trains.
It is also with great pleasure to note that Gautrain on Wednesday celebrated carrying one million passengers since opening phase one of Africa’s first rapid rail project. This milestone coincided almost exactly with 100 days of operation. The next big milestone in the life of the R25 billion project will be the opening of phase two which is scheduled for the latter half of 2011. The “north-south” line, which comprises the remaining two-thirds of the project, will link the Johannesburg CBD to Pretoria and Hatfield via Rosebank, Sandton, Midrand, and Centurion. Preceding the opening of phase two will be the finalization of construction works, the testing, and commissioning of all systems and sub-systems and the trial running of both the trains and buses.
We take this opportunity to congratulate Ms. Ulindi Krull from Reiger Park in Boksburg a regular commuter from Rhodesfield to Marlboro stations who was the millionth passenger on Gautrain. During the world cup, Gautrain was transporting about 80 000 passengers per week. Post world cup, the train service has stabilized at about 50 000 passengers a week, with bus passengers at about 4 000 passengers weekly and showing steady growth. The introduction of the Gautrain has clearly transformed passenger rail traveling in the Gauteng province. We identified public transport as a key legacy project for the world cup and beyond. This development includes customer focused and world-class airports, upgraded train stations and refurbished coaches to luxury buses, taxis and integrated rapid public transport networks such as the bus rapid transit system.
South Africa and rail transport
Ladies and gentlemen today we launch the 2010 Transport Month here at Bridge City in KwaZulu-Natal. OTM showcases transport activities in all nine provinces and that carries out by the agencies of the Department of Transport. We are launching OTM here in order to emphasize the importance of rail as a key part of our transport plans into the future. Rail remains a pillar of our strategy to move towards safer roads and to reduce accidents on our roads. Rail is a key part of our strategy to reduce transport-related emissions into the environment and to reduce our country’s carbon footprint. Rail is a key part of preparing our country for the inevitable reduction and end of fossil fuels which the world is also preparing for. Rail is also a key part of our plans to move both our freight and passengers from road to rail. The strategy to move to rail does not mean that we are working towards a county without any roads or cars on our roads. The strategy is about ensuring that the most appropriate form of vehicles sits on the right mode. Our future will, therefore, see more taxis and buses on our roads carrying passengers and fewer privately owned vehicles. Together with rail, our public transport system which includes taxis and buses must ready itself to carry more and more people and not fewer.
For South Africa and Africa to grow and take their rightful places in global trade and movement, it is important that our rail transport remains effective and efficient. It has to play a much bigger role in a globally competitive environment to provide our companies and people with a competitive advantage in the global markets. For this sustained growth that we aspire to achieve, rail transport must play a sustainable economic role. We are committed to a greater integration and interconnectivity between rail operators and other systems especially taxis. This is in order to enable the joint delivery of a cost-effective, provincially, regionally integrated, seamless and predictable South Africa and Africa rail transport service. Our aim is to make traveling an exercise in convenience and safety thus removing the need for use of private motor vehicles. In time, our public transportation will become one seamless system, with the commuter at its center.
The Bridge City Rail project
This R5 billion Bridge City initiative is another development on the road to delivering a true and better life for the people of eThekwini and the rest of the country. After the completion of this center townships such as Phoenix, Inanda, Ntuzuma and KwaMashu will enjoy the benefits of a better public transport system, increased access to economic opportunities and job creation. As a transport family, we had to ensure that we would complement this excellent initiative by establishing a grand public transport system in and around the Bridge City precinct especially as part of our national passenger rail plan.
We are therefore delighted to announce that:
- Through PRASA, the transport family has invested more than R350 million in the underground Bridge City rail station
- The rail extension that will serve 40 000 commuters per day and handle 14 000 passengers in peak hours
- A further amount of more than R360 million was invested on the new roads, road upgrades and public amenities within and surrounding the Bridge City precinct to further augment the R750 million shopping mall within this precinct.
- This project is playing a major role as a catalyst for economic growth and integration of local communities and has created more than 60 000 job opportunities.
Once complete this station will help deliver many social, economic and environmental benefits to all who use it both locally and nationally. At the same time, our passenger rail initiative will reduce journey times and give greater journey certainty to all those traveling to the Bridge City. It will also add capacity to cater for future growth in the Northern corridor. Significant public transport interventions and road infrastructure improvements have been identified to cater for the trips generated and attracted by the development of surrounding areas.
- provision of a new rail link with a terminal station at Bridge City
- provision of a bus or taxi intermodal facility at the station
- new half-diamond interchange on the M25
- the uBhejane road extension
As the Department of Transport, we, therefore, want to ensure that we create a public transport network that will promote regional and national economic competitiveness.
PRASA: Bridge City network planning
The PRASA has been associated with the Bridge City Development from the onset and has as part of the process provided the necessary rail planning. However, the provision of a future rail corridor to serve the “Greater Inanda” area was identified long before the Bridge City development proposal came to the fore. The desirability and need for the provision of the future Inanda Rail Corridor were in fact acknowledged by all major stakeholders in the process since the early 1980’s.
South Africa’s rail network
Our country’s passenger rail system requires that we balance investment between refurbishing existing stock, acquisition of new stock and the construction of new corridors. Our department is working toward a comprehensive Rail Investment Programme for South Africa. We are adopting an approach which suggests a sequenced delivery process for the rail sector over a 20 year period.
Through South Africa’s national transport master plan (NATMAP), we have identified three high-speed rail projects:
- Johannesburg to Durban
- Johannesburg to Cape Town and
- Johannesburg to Musina
Furthermore, PRASA has identified the need for the re-capitalization of their fleet over the next 18 years and there is an R98 billion financial allocation for new rolling stock. Jointly with the provincial governments of Gauteng and Mpumalanga, we have identified the need for a commuter rail corridor between Tshwane and Moloto.
Global rail investments
We are developing rail as part of a worldwide rail renaissance that is taking place globally. This renaissance is necessitated by to rapid urban migration, economic development of the Asian tigers and the emergence of mega-cities all over the world. In geographically spread countries with long-distance commuting on a daily basis, rail presents the best option. Having noticed that rail transport is the backbone of our economic development, we have invested over 40 billion in passenger rail infrastructure and services in South Africa. This involved R25 billion in the Gautrain Rapid Rail project and almost R1.3 billion on rehabilitating PRASA coaches and signaling systems. The challenge we are facing is that most of our commuter rail systems have reached the end of their lifespan. We believe that a carefully thought out an ambitious programme of introducing new rail stock and technology in our system is an absolute necessity and will protect our historical investment in the sector.
There are major socio-economic spin-offs from a comprehensive rail investment programme.
A sustained programme over a 20 year period will create certainty and will enable input manufacturers to re-tool their factories and therefore create sustained local industrial activities. We are also developing a rail development plan template which has four outcomes that will assist us to plan and move forward.
These outcomes are:
- urban transit systems
- long distance transit systems
- key strategic freight corridors and
- rural access and mobility
Ladies and gentlemen part of our rail plan is to identify critical inputs through a cost-benefit analysis based on our competitive advantage and through the creation of economies of scale. This approach is important for the creation of sustainable jobs and growth of our economy.
High-speed rail in South Africa
The Moloto long distance commuter service is presently operated by a contracted bus service, with an additional few commercial bus and taxi services. As we look at various options within transport modes, we are convinced that a rail service is the best option for Moloto corridor. Our plan is to conduct the necessary feasibility studies for the high-speed rail projects. For the Durban to Johannesburg rail project by next month, we will commence with the dual process of concept development and testing the market for a period of six months. We anticipate that concept development and testing the market will take six months. The Durban to Gauteng corridor is the busiest corridor in the Southern Hemisphere both in terms of value and tonnage. It also forms the backbone of South Africa’s freight transportation network. It is also vital in facilitating economic growth for the country, the region, and the continent. It is therefore against this background that the 2050 Vision for the Durban to Gauteng corridor has been institutionalized. It was adopted on 15 September 2010 to be politically championed by the Minister of Transport in conjunction with decision making Steering Committee. The Steering Committee is chaired by the director-general of Transport.
The Steering Committee has various work streams which are planning and infrastructure, communication, funding and policy, legislation, regulation, and compliance. Its main objectives are:
- To streamline freight logistics within the corridor, related corridors and sub-corridors
- To lower logistics cost within the corridor, related corridors and sub-corridors
- To improve efficiencies within the corridor, related corridors and sub-corridors
- Provision of capacity ahead of demand
- Short, medium and long-term economic objectives
The Steering Committee constituted the following key stakeholders:
- Department of Transport (lead department)
- Department of Public Enterprises
- Department of Trade and Industry
- National Treasury
- Provincial Offices of the Premier (DGs)
- Free State
- Provincial Departments of Transport of the above-mentioned provinces
- Municipalities or metros of the above-mentioned provinces
- Airports Company South Africa (ACSA)
- Transnet, and
This process will focus on the following key nodal points within the corridor:
- Port of Durban
- Cato Ridge
- Harrismith and
- City Deep (Johannesburg)
The above mentioned nodal points will be linked to the following key developmental points:
- road and rail freight corridors
- logistics hubs and terminals, and
- land-use plans
A process is underway for the establishment of a dedicated Project Management unit to ensure the implementation of the various work stream programmes and projects. This process should be viewed as a pilot project because of its capacity and the integral role it plays in the region, continent and internationally. In conclusion ladies and gentlemen, South Africa’s future lies in being able to move people and goods faster, efficiently and in a cost-effective manner. We can only succeed in this venture if all of our work together; government across all tiers, business big and small, civil society and all formations of our people. We require more dedication, hard work, cooperation and a continued willingness to learn and to sustain delivery. In time our country will be able to move from being a developing country to being called, rightly so, a developed country. We, therefore, declare the 2010 October Transport Month officially open.
Issued by: Department of Transport
27 Sep 2010
31 March 2010
2010 State of the City Address presented by the Honourable Executive Mayor, Cllr. Koketso Calvin Seerane of the Mogale City Local Municipality held at the Centenary Hall, Krugersdorp Civic Centre, Mogale City.
Madam Speaker: Councillor Noluthando Mangole;
Executive Mayor of the Westonaria Local Municipality: Cllr. Maserame Khumalo;
Executive Mayor of Merafong Local Municipality: Cllr. Papi Molokoane
Member of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature: Cde Uhuru Moiloa;
Chief Whip of Council: Councillor Sipho Dube;
Chief Whips of our sister municipalities
Speakers of our sister municipalities;
Members of the Mayoral Committee;
The Regional Chairperson of the ANC, Cde Mpho Nawa and the Regional Secretary, Cde Boyce Maneli;
Leaders of the Alliance;
Leaders of other political parties;
Honorable Councillors of Mogale City;
Municipal Manager of the Mogale City Local Municipality: Mr. Dan Mashitisho;
Other municipal managers here present;
Senior officials from government departments;
Veterans of Our Liberation Movement;
Provost Marshall General Reginald Rabotapi;
Area Commissioner of the SAPS, Tirani Maswanganyi;
Business and Religious leaders;
Senior management and staff of Mogale City Local Municipality;
Members of the media;
Distinguished guests, friends, and comrades;
People of Mogale City:
Before everything else, we want to commence by paying tribute to former Councillors Lashman Baloyi, Sam Oliphant, Gadifele Molefe and Crosby Dingezweni; our fallen comrades who left the spear for us to pick up and continue the great task of creating a better life for all our people. Madam Speaker, President Jacob Zuma recently declared in his State of the Nation Address that, “This year, 2010, shall be a year of action. The defining feature of this administration will be that it knows where people live, understands their needs, and responds faster. The government must work faster, harder and smarter. We will expect the executive and the public service to comply with this vision. We are building a performance-oriented state, by improving planning as well as performance monitoring and evaluation.” This call by President Zuma is to a large extent informed by the realization that after sixteen years of democracy and despite successive ANC electoral victories, the forces of reaction remain hell-bent on reversing our democratic gains and wrestling our victory through large-scale rubbishing and sabotage of our national transformation programme. It is, therefore, the responsibility of the ANC-led democratic state to reconfigure itself, arouse the masses to a partnership in action which enables a continual and qualitative response to the needs and aspirations of the people. Our municipality aligns itself to this call by the President because we know too well that the democracy we enjoy today was won not by the power of our words but essentially through the might of the united action of our people.
First and foremost, Madam Speaker, it should be understood that our account on the state of our city today is not to torment doomsayers, or an attempt to liquidate doubters. If we do so, we then confirm that common sense has been expelled and that we are so preoccupied with negativity to overhear its thoughts. On the contrary, today we report on our last year’s performance and table a programme of action for the year whose sole mission is to express our forward advance towards a better life for all communities in Mogale City. Just for some emphasis, Madam Speaker, when one by one the doubting Thomases join the ranks of the progressive forces because there is a little left to criticize, we will embrace them. In the end, a non-sexist, non-racist, prosperous and peaceful South Africa belongs to all of us and shall be built by all of us. This is all possible, Madam Speaker, as the grandson of apartheid’s chief architect Hendrik Verwoerd, Wilhelm, who joined the ANC- the pioneering movement of the people – wrote to a friend in 1986: “…there are so much reconciliation and healing work ahead, but what a wonderful challenge, not so? (Especially if we can work together, because of this I am surer than ever: that I want to work with you in a team, that I cannot and don’t want to work without you for a better future for our country, our children.” Nelson Mandela was to say about Wilhelm’s recollections that, “We can all be thankful that freedom has taken the danger out of political choice. But the building of a non-racial, non-sexist and democratic society has just begun. It will continue to confront each and every person with choices that will not always be easy. It is a protracted process which demands the active participation of every section of society.”
This is, therefore, the nub of our account to our city today. We call for a partnership in action to make this another successful year for the people of Mogale City. During the past year, the municipality has been involved in the revision and development of a number of policies that will guide and strengthen the economic and spatial development of the City. The revision of the Spatial Development Framework (SDF) is in its final stage of the approval process. The SDF is geared to assist in the realization of governmental policy objectives including poverty alleviation, rural development and general improvement in the people’s quality of life by promoting a spatially and economically integrated environment where development and investments are effectively guided and well managed to directly respond to the developmental challenges facing the City. Within the context of the existing SDF, the municipality is working closely with two mining houses that are actively involved in the rehabilitation of mine land which, once completed, will provide the City with developable land for residential, industrial and business purposes for a 20 year window period. The short-term benefit from this initiative is the development of the proposed Millsite Township that will yield 2850 residential units, 3,79 ha of business development, a primary school as well as a community facility. Madam Speaker, the CBD Urban Design Framework will be concluded during July 2010. This plan will pave the way for investment and revitalization of the Krugersdorp Inner City to ensure that the CBD remains a central hub which presents employment opportunities for the residents of Mogale City and beyond. Currently, a process is underway to review the Policies for Development Contribution and tariff determination for Engineering Services, which contains proposed amendments to the method that the municipality uses to determine the contribution to infrastructure development in the city.
The City is developing an Urban Revitalization Strategy for the Munsieville and Kagiso Areas to guide the capital investment of R 256.3 million from the Neighbourhood Development Partnership Grant received from the National Treasury. In addition, we are engaged with Old Mutual on the redevelopment and extension of Kagiso Mall to strengthen the economic development of the Kagiso area. Over the past twelve months, the municipality has considered and approved Development and planning applications for Business and Residential Developments to the extent of over 10ha, proving that the development and investment interest in the City is sound even in the midst of the worldwide economic challenges. Amongst the approved applications are a number of Bed & Breakfast and Hotel applications as well as a tented camp to house visitors to meet the needs of the Soccer World Cup 2010. Mogale City continues to be one of the only cities with the luxury of having the opportunity for development to the north, south, east and west, as well as the availability of centrally located land, contributing to the unique developmental dynamics of our City. In the Magaliesberg area, we are finalizing the approval of the Maloney’s Eye Development, a private initiative that will yield approximately 2230 dwelling units, 9 ha of business sites, 4 ha for a hotel, 20 ha for schools, 7 ha of industrial development and 3 ha for a community facility. This development, which is estimated at R800 million, will not only provide sustainable job opportunities but will also aid the provision of infrastructure to adjacent settlements and act as a catalyst for the development of Magaliesburg and surrounds whilst strengthening the Tourism Character of the area.
Whilst most citizens follow the legal route to obtain land use rights and submit building plans for approval, there are unfortunately those who decide to follow the illegal route and thereby undermine the resources of other citizens of the city. We have established a task team and dedicated additional personnel to it, not only to identify and address illegal land uses, but also to give spot fines to illegal builders and institute legal action against transgressors of the relevant Town Planning Schemes. The Municipality is making good progress with the establishment of a Land Management Entity that will be tasked with optimizing the management of Municipal Properties, rentals and lease agreements to ensure that the City derives the most income possible from its assets. It is foreseen that the establishment of the entity will be concluded by October this year. Madam Speaker, in line with our commitment to exploring innovative ways and partnerships to expand and diversify our economy, I am pleased to announce that we are busy finalizing a process to establish a solar energy project valued at R600 million. The project will contribute immensely to the nationwide drive to find alternative sources of energy, job creation, and serve as our own contribution to the reduction of carbon emissions. We are also in discussions with Sunvalley Foods to establish an organic food production project across Mogale City, which will provide opportunities for our local co-operatives to actively participate in the agricultural sector.
Madam Speaker, enterprise development remains a key priority of the municipality so as to ensure that the majority of our people participate in the mainstream of our economy. In effecting this, the municipality is continuing with its participation in the Plato Mentorship Project and intends to enroll approximately 20 SMME’s when the programme reopens in April 2010. Interested SMME’s who would like to participate in the project should contact our Enterprise Development unit for more details. Madam Speaker we have assisted with the formalization of 215 small businesses and the registration of 51 cooperatives. A total of 90 SMMEs attended different training sessions in the areas of marketing, costing and computer skills. To raise awareness and provide further business training sessions, the municipality organized and conducted an economic opportunities’ roadshow in December 2009 at which 80 SMME’s participated and had an opportunity to interact with 17 Government departments and other relevant institutions that took part. We have started with the construction of hawker trading platforms in Kagiso and Munsieville and construction will be finalized soon.
Currently, twenty-one (21) young people from rural areas are being trained on a venture creation programme. The training will take place over a period of 12 months and it encompasses business management, marketing management and the production of chemical cleaning material. The training is funded and accredited by the Chemical and Industry Seta and it is at NQF level 4. At the end of the training, the young trainees will form a cooperative that will supply cleaning material products to the local and broader markets. We are still in the process of finalizing the local economic development strategy that will guide the future growth of the municipality. We also have close interaction with the business community through the Economic Advisory Council, a forum that engages constantly on the challenges experienced by business and also in finding possible solutions to grow and sustain the economy of the city. In growing our local tourism offering we have, in partnership with Gauteng Tourism Authority, assisted 4 Bed and Breakfast establishments from our townships to receive star grading status. We continue to engage and support all tourism associations in Mogale City. Our collective efforts make us to remain the leading player in the tourism sector and at the West Rand tourism awards ceremony hosted in September 2009 at Silver Star Casino, Mogale City tourism products dominated the awards in all the categories which included accommodation, tour guides and Meetings, Incentives, Conference and Events (MICE).
Madam Speaker, infrastructure development retains center stage to ensure that this important pillar and backbone of our economy remains responsive to achieving economic growth that creates decent work opportunities, sustainable livelihoods and meets the basic needs of our people. During the course of this financial year, we have developed an integrated infrastructure management plan and infrastructure maintenance management practice guidelines so as to ensure that the infrastructure network has sufficient capacity to provide these services in a consistent and reliable manner. These plans guide the development and maintenance of our electricity, water reticulation, wastewater treatment, roads, and stormwater as well as our buildings infrastructure. As part of this programme, we have initiated an electricity network upgrade programme to ensure continued and improved supply capacity to our domestic and commercial users which amongst others include:
- Increasing the capacity of Condale and Azaadville Substations by 80 and 5 MVA respectively. The upgrading of these substations will commence in the 2010/2011 financial year at a cost of approximately R137,5 million over the next 3 (three) years.
- Implementation of collective funding agreements to provide electricity to private developments amounting to R73 million rands. Batavia and Ruimsig substations are amongst those funded through these agreements.
- The upgrading of Munsieville power supply at a cost of R5 million
- Installation of high mast lights in informal settlements including rural areas to the tune of R1, 8 million
Madam Speaker, we appreciate the contribution of the Mogale City business community to the socio-economic development of the city. We may recall that Silverstar Casino contributed R450 000 towards the baby Thandile Madikane Trust last year. It is our pleasure to report that the baby had a successful liver transplant operation and is on her way to full recovery. This year again, Silverstar Casino has made a valuable contribution of over R3 million towards the provision of street lighting on Hendrik Potgieter, Furrow and Fals Roads in the Muldersdrift area. This is, therefore, the essence of our call when we say working together we can do more to speed up service delivery to our people. We continue to implement our pro-active scheduled electricity network maintenance programme and so far R16 million has already been expended for this purpose. In addition, we have recruited an additional 10 electricians to strengthen our maintenance capacity. Our new approach on street light maintenance is starting to bear fruit and to date, we have managed to repair 5 000 streetlights across the city at a cost of R 6 million. We are gearing up efforts to ensure that our streetlight network of 40 000 across the city is reasonably functional despite the ongoing theft and vandalism of the infrastructure.
We are making a humble plea to our communities to assist us in dealing with the vandalism of our infrastructure. Vandalism is an act of criminality and is taking us back. The limited resources that we have could be put to better use in the absence of vandalism. Madam Speaker, overall there has been significant progress in the management of our Water and Sanitation Sector. The mechanical and electrical refurbishment of the Percy Stewart plant concluded in August 2009 at a cost of R 22 million resulted in improving its legal compliance from 20% to 70%. It is pleasing to report that the average performance of our three water treatment plant operations has improved to 60% towards meeting full compliance with the National Water Act. As you are aware, operational requirements of these treatment plants have to be in line with the National Water Act which stipulates that the effluent discharged into the river systems from these plants should be of a prescribed quality and should not harm the environment of the river systems.
To further improve the compliance and capacity requirements of our water treatment plants, we will embark on the following programmes:
- Upgrading of the Percy Stewart Waste Water Treatment plant by additional 10 megalitres per day at a cost of R100 million. This project will start in May 2010 and be completed in September 2011.
- Effecting the necessary repairs on the Flip Human Waste Water Treatment plant at a cost of R5 million with construction work starting in April 2010 and to be completed by the end of the 2009/10 financial year.
- The extension of the Magaliesberg Treatment Works to increase its capacity by 5 megalitres per day at a cost of R50 million. On completion of this project some areas in the rural nodes of Magaliesberg and Hekpoort would have access to waterborne sanitation during the 2012/2013 financial year. At the moment we continue to provide sanitation services to some of these communities through the use of chemical toilets.
The conclusion of the upgrading programme would ensure that these three treatment plants are fully compliant with the requirements of the National Water Act by September 2011. It is with delight that we inform you today that the construction of the Rangeview bulk water pipeline is at an advanced stage and will be completed in June 2010 at a cost of R5 million. It will improve the water pressure and capacity in the areas of Featherbrooke, Pinehaven, Ruimsig, Silverstar Casino and Diswilmar. Madam Speaker, it has been a daunting task to provide water to our rural communities over the previous years by way of water tankers at a yearly cost of R5 million. In our quest to improve the quality of life of the communities of Hekpoort, Lindley, Tarlton, Rietfontein, Magaliesburg and Protea Ridge, I am pleased to report that the construction of the 27 km water pipeline was completed in February this year to which we plan to connect standpipes for approximately 16 000 rural households by the end of this financial year. Madam Speaker, we are aware that many localities experience challenges with regards to the quality of drinking water. I am confident to state that the quality of our drinking water cannot be doubted. All our water sources are tested on a weekly basis and the results consistently show that we meet the acceptable national standards.
As part of our water demand management programme, we have since 2005 to date installed 9500 prepaid water meters across Mogale City. This project is ongoing and additional prepaid meters will be procured with the recently acquired MIG grant of R 2 million. Madam Speaker, we are conscious of the scarcity of the water resource, and the need to ensure that this resource is used wisely. As part of our programme to reduce unaccounted for water, we have in addition to our ongoing maintenance programme, resealed the Munsieville Reservoir at a cost of R500 000, and also replaced the main water pipeline in Jacob Street in Chamdor at a cost of R1,8 million. On 19 March 2010, the Municipality hosted the Deputy Minister of Water Affairs, Mme Rejoice Mabhudafhasi on the War on Water Leaks campaign. During this campaign, the Deputy Minister showed her appreciation to this cause and donated R 2million to support our ongoing efforts in saving water. We, therefore, urge community members to use our water wisely and bring to our attention any water leaks that they come across in the city.
Our Roads and Surface Drainage networks are central to ensuring that both economic and social activities within the City are able to continue smoothly and efficiently. It is in that regard that attention is paid to the management of this infrastructure. Our total road network infrastructure is 1,200 km in extent, of which 1,000 km is paved road and 200 km unpaved. The 200 km of unpaved roads comprise 150 km that is in the rural areas and 50 km in the townships. Madam Speaker, we are committed to eradicating unpaved roads or gravel roads in Mogale City by 2014. Already we have secured R180 million of MIG Funding for the eradication of gravel roads in the rural areas and initial construction phases will commence in January 2011. With regards to the eradication of gravel roads in the townships, we have already completed the construction of 2 km of paved road in Rietvallei Extension 2 at a cost of R7 million and as of January this year, we have continued with the construction of an additional 2 km. The completion of this project in December 2012, would mean that the entire Rietvallei road network will be paved. Furthermore, the construction of connecting roads at both Ethembalethu and Rietfontein township developments will commence in July 2010. On the maintenance of our existing roads infrastructure, we have managed to resurface 4 km of road in Kagiso Extension 6 and 4 km in the CBD along Paardekraal Road at a total cost of R8 million. Pothole repairs are an ongoing important activity of the municipality. We are aware of the challenges around this particular function and have therefore decided to employ community-based approaches to raise our game in overcoming this challenge. These approaches include the engagement of local cooperatives. Furthermore, we continue to entertain numerous requests for speed calming measures in various parts of the city.
To ensure that our buildings are properly refurbished, repaired and adequately maintained, we have secured services of contractors in the areas of building work, electrical maintenance, plumbing, painting, and waterproofing at a cost of R60 million over the next three years. During the budget speech last year, I announced our resolve to promote Mogale City-based business enterprises through the procurement of their goods and services. During the past 12 months, the municipality has over and above the run of the mill procurement processes, awarded a total number of 49 tenders and 50% of these were awarded to local Mogale City-based companies, with a total value of more than R 70 million. It should be noted, that in many instances, the nature of the work required is so specialized that no Mogale City-based companies tender, and in these instances, external service providers have to be appointed. For all these service providers appointed from outside our municipal area, a 1% Corporate Social Responsibility levy is deducted from all the payments made to them in terms of the total contract value. This is one of the methods through which companies plow back to Mogale City. On a monthly basis, it is becoming evident that more and more tenders are being awarded to Mogale City-based companies, as our local service providers are becoming more competitive in their pricing and tender submissions. We are continuously updating our database of suppliers to ensure that many local enterprises participate in our procurement processes.
We remain committed to this cause and will endeavor to improve our performance in local economic empowerment efforts in the years ahead. Madam Speaker, our tireless efforts in this regard do not go unrecognized. At the provincial level, Mogale City is one of only two municipalities that adhere to the Municipal Infrastructure Grant procedures and reporting requirements. Nationally, Mogale City is a participant in the Expanded Public Works Programme, where we engage in labor-intensive construction methods through which we create a number of job opportunities on the MIG and other capital infrastructure projects. For the 2009/10 financial year, Mogale City is leading in the category of local municipalities in terms of participation and reporting on this Presidential initiative. We are therefore well on track to receive an incentive that will further boost our performance in job creation initiatives. We have also concluded a policy that will guide us in mainstreaming Expanded Public Works Programme implementation in our projects. The municipality has adopted a multi-pronged approach to take its rural development priorities to new heights. The approach seeks to afford all key roleplayers an opportunity to contribute to the improvement of the lives of the rural communities. It entails:
- An integrated approach to rural development, through which all departments should include rural development interventions in their plans and reports. They must also participate actively in the re-established integrated rural development task team that is looking into matters of evictions, natural disaster and any other matters of emergencies.
- The implementation of the emergency site and service approach on municipal-owned land in all the rural nodes to urgently address the pressing needs of the rural communities including their security of tenure, relocation from unsafe living conditions and access to basic services.
- The development of precinct plans in all the rural nodes to create an enabling environment for socio-economic development wherein growth can be realized and opportunities can be created. This will also enable other interested key players to make a contribution to this important priority of the government
- The collaborative development of high potential agricultural potential with relevant stakeholders as envisaged in the Gauteng Agricultural Development Strategy to ensure optimal utilisation of our rich resources to contribute to adequate food production for the province and the country in general. To support agri-business development initiatives in the city, the municipality is in the process of developing business plans for commonages to ensure their maximum contribution to this course.
- Putting other land portions owned by the municipality which are not earmarked for integrated rural settlement establishment into good use through our existing policies to stimulate economic growth and job creation in the rural areas.
- Strategic acquisition of additional land to address additional socio-development needs of the peri-urban and rural areas
- Promote and encourage other land uses that contribute to the stimulation of the rural economy in line with our spatial development planning imperatives
The municipality remains committed to the maintenance of a healthy environment for its people and to this end, a number of environmental management policy instruments were developed and approved including the Environmental Audit Compliance Strategy and Environmental Guidelines on Rezoning. A process is underway to revise the Environmental Management Framework of the city. Recently, the municipality developed a City Aesthetics Plan to guide the beautification and greening of the city. Projects being implemented according to this plan include the development of the Kagiso Regional and Azaadville Parks, the beautification of Paardekraal Avenue and other main arterial routes across the city including rural centers to enhance the appearance of the city especially for our visitors during the 2010 Soccer World Cup and beyond. Madam Speaker, the municipality continues to receive recognition for its good environmental management performance. We received a Gold Award at the 2009 Garden World Spring Festival for best garden design. We also continue to show consistent performance in the Provincial Bontle Ke Botho Campaign. Two of our wards namely, ward 13 and 18 each won R50 000. Three schools, namely Thutuzekani Primary, Dr. Yusuf Dadoo Primary, and Swartkop Primary schools also won prizes that they will use to beautify their school gardens. We wish to congratulate all the winners and in particular, Councillor Nobesutho Ngubane and her ward for having won this prize in two consecutive years.
The municipality aims to improve on its waste removal services function and is exploring various ways of providing this service efficiently. We have commenced with Phase 3 of the upgrading of Luipaardsvlei Landfill site at a cost of R22 million over three years. It is worth noting that a local contractor, King Civils, was appointed for this project. Currently, a citywide clean-up campaign funded by the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure is underway in several wards of the municipality. This Community Works Programme has created more than 2000 jobs and is effective in clearing refuse in most of the hotspots in Kagiso and Munsieville. Going forward, initiatives to be implemented include the establishment of waste transfer stations in strategic locations across the city and piloting of rural waste management at a cost of R875 000. The cemetery upgrade programme is well on course. This year we will finalise the upgrade of the rural cemeteries through which all will have functional ablution facilities and caretaker houses. The upgrade and expansion of the Kagiso cemetery are on course and the construction of a new ablution and office building will commence in May this year.
We remain committed to contributing towards household food security and we pride ourselves in the support to local communities through our food garden programme. To date, we have distributed vegetable seeds and seedlings to community food gardens which feed a number of households. The Municipality is closely liaising with the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to ensure the expansion of this programme to reach most of our needy and deserving households. A number of activities were undertaken under our social upliftment programme. To date we provided support and assistance to groups and individuals to the tune of R290 000 out of the Grant-in-Aid allocation of R576 000 and the remainder of this will be spent by the end of June 2010. We established a Victim Support Group in Magaliesburg where 33 women were trained on gender-based violence. A total of 108 Elderly persons participated in a yearlong literacy programme (Khari Gude) that we facilitated in collaboration with the Department of Education.
To improve our performance on issues related to designated persons that include the disabled, youth, women and the elderly, we are developing an integrated plan to scale up our interventions which will guide our approach and interaction with relevant stakeholders. We will endeavor to implement youth development programmes in conjunction with other stakeholders to improve their access to funding, employment creation, and skills development opportunities. We are engaged with the Military Police branch of the SANDF in a youth development project that seeks to recruit youth to undergo training after which they will have necessary skills for them to be absorbed in the military police branch or other relevant sectors. This project will go alongside other youth development initiatives which include Career Exhibitions, Young Entrepreneurs Networking Session and so forth. Madam Speaker, the provision and maintenance of community facilities is of utmost importance to us. To date, we have concluded Phase I of the construction of the Kagiso and Munsieville Multi-Purpose Centres as planned and Phase 2 of both projects will be implemented from April 2010. I am pleased to announce that the Kagiso Swimming Pool was re-opened on 26 March 2010 after it was refurbished at a cost of R425 000. We also aim to refurbish other swimming pools across the city in the near future.
During the past year, 645 816 people accessed Primary Health Care services through our clinics and the coverage of the Expanded Immunization Programme reached 89%. We also conducted an emergency campaign to combat the outbreak of measles through which we managed to immunize over 100 000 children. We received a commendation from the Gauteng Department of Health’s West Rand Region for helping them communicate effectively about the measles outbreak. In addition to extending operating hours at our clinics, we are striving to achieve the district-wide benchmark of one-and-half hours waiting time for our clients. In dealing with the HIV/Aids pandemic, our 126 volunteers managed to reach 139 844 people through the HIV and AIDS ward-based door-to-door programme. To this end, 8210 people consented to be tested and of those 2269 tested positive. The implementation of the dual therapy programme at the primary health care facilities resulted in the increase in the number of babies born HIV negative from HIV positive mothers. On early childhood development, the municipality has established two Drop-in Centres for children with disabilities in Lusaka and Kagiso Extension 12 and 22 children are benefitting from this initiative. Our partnership with the Department of Health and Social Development managed to link 45 Early Childhood Development centers to the nutrition programme. We also provided supplementary feeding to 27 576 children under the age of five across the city.
Madam Speaker, as you are aware, our people are confronted with the challenge of access to housing. To address this we are working closely with the Provincial Department of Local Government and Housing to progressively and significantly reduce this housing backlog. The housing development approach comprises the rural housing, eradication of Informal Settlements and mixed housing development. In promoting rural housing development, we are assisting qualifying households to register on the Provincial Demand Data Base so that they can access housing subsidies. We have initiated rural settlement establishment planning processes on municipal-owned land portions in Hekpoort and Tarlton, Magaliesberg and Nooitgedacht. Last year, we concluded an informal settlement survey in urban and rural areas of Mogale City. The survey established the current housing and related infrastructure backlogs that will inform the development and implementation of the integrated human settlement master plan. We also managed to complete 2895 housing units in the different extensions of Rietvallei. In Chief Mogale development, we have completed Phase 1 of the civil works programme by installing water, sewer, and stormwater reticulation networks as well as the tarring of internal roads. Installation of electricity reticulation network has just commenced and the appointment of the contractor to build 750 houses will be concluded soon. We also managed to complete the 66 housing units at Ga-Mohale in Magaliesburg.
Going forward, we plan to implement the housing projects in the Horseshoe area and Munsieville Extension 5 which will yield 400 new top structures. We will also continue with the construction of the remainder of the 203 housing units in Rietfontein Village and installation of infrastructure and construction of houses at Ethembalethu village. Hostel redevelopment continues to form part and parcel of improving the living conditions of our communities. We will be conducting feasibility studies in both Kagiso Green and Boiketlo Hostels to convert them into family units. The acquisition of Lanwen Hostel is in the final stages and will be concluded once the infrastructure related challenges have been addressed. The safety of our people, assets, and visitors to our city remains a high priority of the municipality. To date, we have achieved our goal of registering 100 % of our traffic officers. We also employed an additional 12 traffic officers. Our Public Safety unit managed to conduct 969 roadblocks across the city and these efforts resulted in a record reduction of road accidents in our city especially during the festive period. Furthermore, the unit embarked on a Community Outreach and Road Safety Awareness programme aimed at improving the safety of our motorists and pedestrians.
To improve our effectiveness on by-law enforcement, we are constantly engaged with the relevant stakeholders to ensure that our vision of establishing a municipal court becomes a reality. Currently, we are busy procuring firearms at a cost of R500 000 so as to improve the safety of our officers. Our newly acquired fleet of public safety vehicles will soon hit the streets to increase our visibility and presence, particularly to provide an exceptional service to the 2010 Soccer World Cup visitors who will be descending on our shores. Plans are underway to improve the current security of our assets through the installation of an electronic security system in municipal buildings and the introduction of a management system for land invasions, and prevention of infrastructure vandalism and theft. Madam Speaker, the municipality’s motor vehicle and driver licensing services continue to conform to the Department of Transport regulatory requirements. The municipality has been subjected to regular audits by the Department of Transport and was found to be compliant and competent in delivering the motor vehicle and driver licensing services. Enhanced service delivery through the extension of a motor vehicle and driver licensing and registration services to alternate Saturdays have brought great relief to our residents. Through this, we managed to substantially increase numbers in processing vehicle registrations and license renewals as well as driver’s and learner’s applications. We are indeed humbled by the community’s appreciation of our improved performance in this regard.
The establishment of a driver licensing and testing center at the Old Kagiso Police Station is on course. Necessary processes have been concluded within the municipality and we are finalising the agreements with the Provincial Department of Transport for the project to commence. For easy payment of traffic fines, we have increased the number of channels through partnerships with Standard Bank, Pay fines, FNB and counter payments and a contract is being finalized with SA Post Office. We have concluded the review of our five year strategic and integrated development plans to include the crucial elements of the local government turnaround strategy that is relevant to our municipality. Madam Speaker, the municipality is actively involved at various levels in issues relating to municipal service delivery transformation. At the regional level, we participate in various forums including the West Rand Mayors’ IGR forum and the Vision 2014 process on the establishment of West Rand Unicity. Our Municipal Manager, Mr. Dan Mashitisho, has been appointed by the Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs as the chairperson of Merafong Ministerial Transitional Committee for the stabilisation of Khutsong. In the context of intergovernmental relations framework, the Municipal Manager is the representative of all Gauteng municipalities in the Gauteng Global City Region Observatory Board. At the National level, Executive Manager, Corporate Support Services, Mr. Moroashike Mokoena, is part of the Ministerial Task Team that is busy assisting struggling municipalities across the country.
Madam Speaker, we will continue our efforts to deepen democracy in the city through active engagement of our various stakeholders in the affairs of the municipality. In doing so, we are mindful of the capacity requirements of our councilors and Community Liaison Officers in policies and legislation related to local government service delivery. To this end, they are undergoing a number of developmental programmes that would enable them to fulfil the Batho Pele principles in their engagement with our community. We recognise the important role played by the ward committees in entrenching public participation. Currently, 60 % of our ward committees are functional and we aim to introduce measures to improve on their effectiveness including the provision of R1.2 million budget allocation for stipends.
During this financial year, we have established a fully functional Petitions Committee. The committee is actively involved in resolving the numerous issues that are being brought to its attention. The Municipal Public Accounts Committee has been revived and is currently busy carrying out its mandate. The finance and performance audit committees continue to exercise their oversight functions on our financial management and service delivery performance. We continue to meet our compliance with the requirements of Promotion of Access to Information Act and we are consistent in the submission of the required quarterly reports to the Human Rights Commission. The policy on the Renaming/Naming of the streets and places has been approved. The Geographical names Change Committee will now start to consider the applications received on the naming and renaming of streets and places in the city. To be more effective, the committee is to engage in a vigorous education and awareness drive to familiarize the Mogale City community to this process.
We are continuing with our efforts to strengthen the capacity of the institution to respond to the service delivery challenges we are faced with. The organisational performance management system policy, which covers both institutional and individual performance management will be finalized in June 2010 and its implementation will start in the 2010/2011 financial year. We also continue to take advantage of learning opportunities of the twinning agreements entered into with other municipalities through collaborative programmes and projects. The implementation of other service delivery enhancing mechanisms is in full swing. To date, we have initiated projects around the improvement of our ICT network and systems infrastructure, website upgrading, and call center efficiency and effectiveness. On human resources development, the implementation of the integrated human resources management strategy is on course. Twelve (12) life skills programmes and 12 financial management sessions were conducted with the primary aim of assisting employees as part of the Employee Assistance Programme tailored to improve the morale, social and financial management behavior of individual staff members. A total of 172 employees were trained on critically important learning programmes during the year under review.
Madam Speaker, the municipality has also awarded bursaries to 66 municipal employees to further develop themselves at institutions of higher learning. Currently we have 23 municipal employees participating in the Local Government Accounting Certificate Programme (AAT) as a result of the partnership we enjoy between ourselves, the Local Government Sector Education and Training Authority, the National Treasury, The South African Institute of Civil Engineers, the South African Council for the Property Valuers Profession and the Association of Accounting Technicians. Madam Speaker, allow me to highlight one of the key achievement that resulted from our partnership with other external stakeholders. On the 18th March 2010, twelve (12) learners from the Financial Services Department graduated from the AAT Programme.
As part of the broad strategy to develop skills and raise competency levels of unemployed youth and graduates within the City, twenty (20) unemployed trainees were enlisted in the Library Practices Skills Programme and a further twenty-five (25) was hosted on other practical training programmes. In addition, a total of 103 graduates were placed in different departments as interns to further promote employability through skills development. This year, the Special Mayoral Bursary Fund assisted 100 matriculants to further their studies at institutions of higher learning. Madam Speaker, it is an honour to proudly announce that the biggest and most significant achievement of the municipality is the attainment of an unqualified audit opinion from the Office of the Auditor-General on the annual financial statements for the year ending June 2009. This hard earned success is a quantum leap from a history of financial disclaimers in the 2003/2004 and 2004/2005 financial years, two qualified audit opinions between 2005/2006 and 2007/2008 financial years. Judging from this history, we should all take pride in the indelible mark we have made as a municipality through our determination to improve our governance systems. This is an achievement we will jealously guard and continue to improve upon. It should be noted that only 3% of the South African municipalities were able to achieve this in 2008/2009.
We continue to provide the safety net for our vulnerable community members through the implementation of our indigent management policy. In this financial year alone, we approved 4118 indigent households and an amount of R118 810 275 of their debt has been written off as compared to the R19 866 864 debt write off in the 2008/2009 financial year. The review of the current indigent management policy is underway. We are also concluding the appointment of a service provider to assist in fast tracking registration of indigent households. We urge deserving households to come forward and register so as to access this programme.
Furthermore, we have introduced measures to assist consumers to service their outstanding debt to the municipality. These include:
- the recently approved policy through which consumers contribute 30% of their prepaid purchases towards their arrears on their accounts.
- an incentive scheme through which those domestic consumers who are indebted to MLCM for more than one year and settle their account in a lump sum including Rate Clearance Certificates will be entitled to interest write-off charges for the preceding 12 months and those consumers who makes arrangements to pay off a debt to MCLM of more than 12 months will be entitled to interest free charges provided they pay their current account and honour their arrangement.
The municipality will be embarking on a mass communication campaign to raise awareness on these and other related policy matters.
As part of our Revenue Enhancement Strategy as well as ongoing efforts to improve our customer service, the revamping and refurbishment of the Revenue Section has started and will be completed in June 2010. We are proud to announce that there are further improvements in our financial management capability in that we managed to spend 92.17 % and 64% of the approved operational and the capital budget respectively in the last financial year. It is also worth noting that the municipality did not incur any Unauthorized Expenditure, Fruitless and Wasteful Expenditure or any Irregular Expenditure as per the requirements of the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA) (No. 56 of 2003). We have, amidst challenges, managed to successfully implement the Municipal Property Rates Act at the beginning of July 2009. During the process, we received 1 549 objections of which a majority has been resolved and the remaining 91 will be concluded soon through the Valuation Appeal Board. Madam Speaker, we wish to dedicate the latter part of our programme to the ominous international project, the FIFA 2010 Soccer World Cup. We are 71 Days away from the biggest sporting tournament in the world. Many of our people in the city rightly ask the question, how can I benefit from the tournament? In the five years since South Africa was awarded hosting rights of the FIFA World Cup, a range of opportunities have laid themselves across many of our country’s daring entrepreneurs. Many of these opportunities have been at the initiative of government whilst the majority came as a result of the innovativeness of individuals and enterprises. This is the standard characteristic of opportunities; they are either presented to you or are created by you. But the defining factor where opportunities are concerned is whether you grab them or not.
Even though we are not a host city of any 2010 Soccer Games, we are proud to announce that Portugal and Australia have chosen Mogale City as their base camp. We appeal to all to make memorable their stay in the City of Human Origin, a home away from home.
In our drive to make World Cup opportunities available to our local businesses and people, we undertake to:
- Create the hype in the whole of Mogale City around the World Cup and it involves stepped up use of print and electronic media, including a 50 Days Countdown programme which will have a number of activities. Part of the activities that we will be engaged in include the Mayor’s Cup and Patrick Ace Ntsoelengoe games that will serve as a build up to this big event.
- Jointly with the national teams of Portugal and Australia run a series of sports development sessions including coaching clinics.
- Recruit and engage fifty volunteers from all wards to assist our tourists and visitors with information.
- Promote cultural tourism offering of Mogale City, wherein some of the festivities and celebrations during the World Cup will be taken to Kagiso and Munsieville in order to give our tourists a taste of the day and night life in these communities;
- Upgrade the infrastructure and undertake other maintenance activities around team base camps and training venues. These upgrades must be completed by 15 May 2010 to allow testing and final inspections;
- Establish Public Viewing Areas around the CBD and in one of the rural nodes. In the rollout of the PVA’s, service providers from Mogale City will be prioritised based on capacity and expertise required. This will take into account SMME’s and the procurement process has already begun and a service provider/s must be appointed by the end of March 2010;
Lastly, we continue on a path of recognising a cadre described by the late Joe Slovo as ‘one among the giants of our national and working class movement.’ This year our celebration of Dr Yusuf Dadoo’s life will be bigger and better than the launch events we held last year. This man credited for saving the South African Communist Party from complete oblivion will be remembered through various activities which include the unveiling of his statue and a memorial lecture. Madam Speaker, we want to reiterate our unequivocal position to further advance our national transformation agenda. We shall not be derailed, neither shall anyone defeat our resolve to make our city the finest and most accomplished amongst the nation and the world cities. We invite our people to join us in a conspiracy for progress, based on trust, honesty and hard work.
I thank you.
08 January 2010
Mayoral speech at the funeral service of the late Chief Whip of Mogale City, Cllr Lashman Baloyi
Speech of the Honourable Executive Mayor of Mogale City Local Municipality, Cllr Koketso Calvin Seerane at the funeral service of the late Chief Whip of the Mogale City Local Municipality, Cllr Lashman Baloyi held at the Kagiso Community Hall on the 8th April 2009.
Speaker of the Mogale City Local Municipality, Cllr Noluthando Mangole;
Members of the Mayoral Committee;
Senior Managers of the Mogale City Local Municipality;
Leaders of the ANC Alliance in the West Rand and Provincially;
Honourable councilors and managers of various municipalities and government departments;
Leaders of other political parties;
Leaders of the non-governmental and business sector;
Members of the community and those who traveled from various places to join us during this solemn occasion.
We gather here today to pay our last respects to a gallant freedom fighter, an embodiment of resistance and a humble social giant. In the many recollections, we will have about our beloved comrade and leader, we shall always declare like the Americans that, “DEATH IS A CREEP!” Death has robbed us of a father, a brother, a community leader, a pathfinder and a selfless cadre of the democratic movement. We in the African National Congress know this too well. In the prime of his life and when the world had bestowed recognition on the nobility of the cause of our people, death took away our Chief Albert Luthuli. In the throes of robust and hard bargaining for a democratic future for our beloved land and as freedom was no longer an uncertainty for us, death took away our Chris Hani. DEATH IS A CREEP! Programme Director we are inclined to agree with the injunction of a popular Christian hymn that “Re bafiti mo lefatsheng lena.” The leadership of our municipality knows what the injunction means enough to advise the Baloyi family that their son had understood it too and had to resign to death as a matter of course and not as a matter of fate. The ANC had taught him to live a life of difference and not to be different. It is in this deep understanding that the life we lay to rest today is celebrated for the difference it made than for the difference it was.
As Felix Adler says: “A hero is one who kindles a great light in the world, who sets up blazing torches in the dark streets of life for men to see by. The saint is the man who walks through the dark paths of the world, himself a light.” We do not bestow sainthood on our fallen heroes; we, however, know who our heroes are. It is also said that heroes can only be found in heroic places. Our country was born of the heroism of countless numbers of those who paid the high price for our freedom. Our city will certainly recognize the gap in the political engagement that defined Cde Lashman as it is heralded by his departure. Here lies one of the rare political players who knew the basics of the national democratic revolution not to claim to understand something when he did not. Cde Lashman did not exaggerate his understanding to advance himself higher up within our movement. What he stood for was not elegance and sophistication of language but simply the effectiveness of our programme. For this reason, we as employees of the ANC in government were always supportive of the deployment of Cde Lashman to any of the positions the movement had sent him. DEATH IS A CREEP!
Mogale City gets its inspiration from the valiant exploits and bravery of Chief Mogale Wa Mogale who fought for the birthright of his people. It is comrades of the stature of Cde Lashman who will stand as monuments to our people as Chief Mogale. When the repressive regime drove many to pessimism, despair, and defeat, it was comrades like Cde Lashman who stood up for the people and became the shield that protects their desire for freedom. Even when the system through many undergrounds, and so many more to a life notoriously known as UKUPHAKAMA, it was the guiding influence of Cde Lashman and others who fought for the unity of the oppressed thus bringing into being a highly lethal mass movement capable of bringing the Apartheid regime to negotiating itself out of existence. Yes, death is a creep.
Like the devoted Walter Sisulu, Cde Lashman gave more that the minimum of any task he was given so much that many would be ashamed to complain when assigned. He served our city since transitional local authorities and as a member of two mayoral committees because of the confidence that our leaders had in him. In Cde Lashman we had a cadre who grasped quickly the changes in our revolutionary circumstances, and rose to the challenges and obligations of any new climate. It is no accident that he left us a few months after he had become the Chief Whip of our municipality.
We can make proud and bold claims today that Cde Lashman passionately engaged the housing problem of the people of Mogale City that developments like Chief Mogale near Azaadville will mark the legacy he left for generations to come. We can make these claims because we saw him bring to bear his organizing skills gained from the labour movement and his engaging persistence to ensure that the project is delivered in time. We wonder how many can stand here today and declare that when they fall people will say the same about their own legacy. We celebrate Lashman’s life for the difference it made than for the difference it was.
06 January 2010
2010 Freedom of the City address
Address by the Honourable Executive Mayor of Mogale City, Cllr. Koketso Calvin Seerane on the occasion of the bestowal of the Freedom of the City on Dr. Caesar Nongqunga held at the Centenary Hall, Civic Centre Mogale City.
Madam Speaker, Cllr. Noluthando Mangole;
Executive Mayor of the WRDM, Ald. Faith Matshikiza;
Chief Whip of Council, Cllr. Sipho Dube;
Members of the Mayoral Committee here present;
Honourable Councillors of Mogale City;
Municipal Manager of the Mogale City Local Municipality, Mr. Dan Mashitisho
Leaders of the Alliance;
Business and Church leaders;
Senior management and staff of Mogale City Local Municipality;
Members of the media;
Distinguished guests, friends and comrades;
People of Mogale City;
Madam Speaker, the story of our people is one of anguish, pain, want and longing for prosperity, justice and peace. It is a story of tampering with the desperate outcries of a people unfulfilled in their quest for a better life. For many of our people, as Judge Albie Sachs puts it, any fate is better than uncertainty. It is better for some to commit a crime in order to be arrested and go to prison where there will be free food, water, soap and a bed to sleep. In the greater prison of life some prey on hardworking members of society, brag about their ill-gotten wares in order to gain recognition and respect. For many of our youth, robbers and hijackers have become role models. It does not help that in the past months, the media had bombarded us with stories of one ‘Mr. Bling’ Mbatha from the City of Tshwane. Many have made disturbing comments that Mbatha is a good guy, because the money he allegedly made from the underworld, he shares with the community. It is probably the glamour of it all, to commit crime and share the spoils with the people. Our life today is confounding yet inspiring.
It is confounding, Madam Speaker, because it presents to all those of us who constantly declare that we are freedom fighters, steeped in the ethos of the noble struggle of our people for a non-racist, non-sexist, prosperous South Africa, the challenge of answering the needs of our people as a general abstract as well as concretely. This confusion of the abstract needs of our people with their material says that we cannot stop to critique the life we live as against the life we all aspire for. The traditions, policies and programmes of the African National Congress from which we come, provide us with the clear basis upon which we set off on a serious critique of our life and times. The ANC did so during the struggle against racial discrimination by exposing the lie that through separate development and unequal as well as uneven developmental programmes, the Apartheid state was advancing natural social relations.
It was on the basis of twisted biblical interpretations and invocations that the Apartheid state perpetrated its policies. The relationship between the apartheid state and conservative religious institutions was an unambiguous demonstration that State and Church cannot collaborate on evil. You cannot deny another whilst giving abundantly to the other. The foundation upon which Apartheid was built was to tell us that it was correct that the majority of South Africans could be denied opportunities whilst the minority white South Africans could enjoy a life of abundance, prosperity, and peace because somehow God willed it so.
Madam Speaker, our struggle for freedom was also a conscious effort of the movement to liberate the Bible from the clutches of an ignorant and backward enclave. It was to give the Good Book its rightful place as one of the tools for the proper socialisation and propagation of social cohesion in South Africa. It should have been true then as we suppose it is now, that God could not respond positively to a South Africa divided by race as He finds it difficult to embrace us in a South Africa divided by poverty. The lesson remains that it certainly is not enough to raise moral protest if it is unaccompanied by concrete programmes to eradicate the conditions of depravity in our society. No gospel survives on how much it is preached but on how much it is practiced. Every truth stands on how much it is lived than on how often it is told.
This then presents a new set of questions. The greatest amongst these is whether faith can work twice in a situation of bondage as in a situation of freedom. In times of bondage, we believed strongly that we will be free, whereas in democratic South Africa our faith is based on our search for the prosperity of each and every one of us. Can all of us be free, was the question yesterday. Can all of us be prosperous is the question of our times. Madam Speaker, this is definitely what our municipality seeks to do today. To answer concretely the abstract question of whether all of us can be prosperous. All over the world municipalities confer freedoms of their cities or keys to their towns to outstanding individuals and organizations that play a pivotal role in the advancement of humanity as a whole. The municipality has chosen to honour one such great gift to all of society. We began our presentation by alluding to the need to marry the abstract with the concrete. We make an acknowledgment today that the moral regeneration movement is enriched to have stewards of the caliber of this son of the continent about whom we convened this special gathering today. He is a man of faith from whom close to four million followers in the continent and the United Kingdom find their spiritual nourishment. As an engineer, he is involved in human settlement and infrastructure projects. Perhaps, he is a complicated proposition in that he is both a man of faith as well as a man of science.
It is said in the Good Book that as the weather became inclement and torture some, the storm winds raging, Jesus saw his disciples struggling with their boat. He strode across on the water to his disciples who were so frightened by the sight. He came up and climbed into the boat with them and urged those who feared to be courageous. As he climbed into the boat the winds became calm and left them all amazed. This leader we speak of today also possesses similar qualities. He does not only know that his people need houses, but he becomes one of them, designs and constructs their homes. He thus calms the seas of want and needs like the One who could walk on water. He might not be a miracle maker who could feed five thousand people on five loaves of bread and two fish, but he is as courageous indeed.
That is the complication we are constantly required to respond to as leaders in government institutions. We said earlier this year that politics is the only craft that is both an art and a science. Having considered briefly the confounding aspects that confront us daily, we pause to reflect on the inspiring part of our life. We are a city back to which all of humanity traces their roots. We are also a city of the brave. Therefore we epitomise originality and courage. When we bestow the Freedom of the City on our brother and leader, we also wish to remind him of the commitment of our government and our city to the vision and mission of the moral regeneration programme which seeks to promote human rights, ethical behavior and the values enshrined in the constitution of our country. We are looking at leaders like him who are at the forefront of the restoration of the moral fiber of our society. Our democracy shall stay under threat if we do not have jealous shepherds like him, who look after the peace and prosperity that our government has been constructing through one painstaking step after the other so that there is a Better Life For All.
In 2002, the then Deputy President and now President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, made the point clear that the moral regeneration movement was “founded on the principles that South Africans are highly moral beings, know the difference between right and wrong, and are appalled by the symptoms of moral decay, which sometimes occur in our country. These include the blatant disregard for the sanctity of human life, the abuse of women and children, crime, substance abuse, lack of respect for the next person and their property and so forth.” These words rang true then as they are now. This, therefore, is the difference we honour today. We honour the hard and honest work of one of our own so that all of us can know that we should apply ourselves in order for life to bear fruit. Is that not the injunction of our time that we declare that when we work together we can do more?
We then confer the Freedom of the City to the Chief Apostle and President of the Twelve Apostles Church in Christ, Dr. Caesar Nongqunga as a reminder for all our people that Mogale City is home to humanity’s endurance, innovation, and courage. It is at the forefront of the creation of a humane society. With this Freedom to our city, the Chief Apostle shall help us unburden those who labour under the false impression that because they are jobless, poor and without any source of livelihood then they are the forsaken ones. Just as we cannot live on bread alone, we should able to ensure that spiritual nourishment alone is not the answer that our people need for their wants and needs.
I thank you.