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Welcome to eThekwini Mayors Blog. Read all about what is on your Mayor's mind.
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
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eThekwini Municipality > City Government > Council > City Mayor > Blog
May 21
Let peace prevail in the City

I CONDEMN the threats made against foreign shop owners trading in the Inanda, Ntuzuma and KwaMashu (INK) areas in the strongest terms. While we, as the City, are cognisant of the challenges facing local shop owners in the INK area, violence is never the solution. EThekwini Municipality is working tirelessly through my Office with other spheres of government to holistically deal with the issue.

This includes dealing with threats of violence as well as exploring solutions to the problems faced by South African shop owners. However, I must reiterate that violence will not be tolerated and will be dealt with effectively by law enforcement agencies. I condemn the inflammatory remarks reportedly made by a business forum in the north of the City. This follows a letter that has been circulated to foreign nationals ordering them to stop trading and to leave the area by 18 May.

My Office earlier this week received a letter supposedly from the Northern Region Business Association business forum which called for foreign nationals to stop trading. We, as the City, will not tolerate acts of incitement or intimidation of any kind. I wish to reassure residents of eThekwini and foreign nationals living in the City that Municipal leadership is working with provincial government and security agencies. We are aware of the threats being circulated and do not wish to see a repeat of the brutal attacks perpetuated against foreign nationals which occurred in previous years. Since those attacks the City has had ongoing dialogues with foreign nationals and local businesses.

These engagements were held through business forums and we also used community level war rooms to identify challenges that might arise. I appeal for peace and calm during this time. Violence and disruption is never the solution to any problem we may face. An emergency meeting was called by provincial government this recently which after robust engagement from all principals present plotted the way forward to ensure that peace will be maintained in the City.

May 03
We owe it to Madiba

Election Day, 27 April 1994, the day that gave us freedom!  I still remember this day like it was yesterday. I remember very well standing in a queue with thousands of South Africans who were waiting enthusiastically to cast their vote in the first democratic elections at Ohlange High School.

This is the same school where Former President Nelson Mandela also cast his first vote. At the time, I was still a member of the Amaoti Civic Organisation and we were not only excited by the fact that we will be casting our vote for the first time but by the fact that we were also in the presence of the great Nelson Mandela.

Whenever we celebrate this day as we celebrate this day, it is important that we remind each other that the Vote was never free. It is because of people like Nelson Mandela who believed that the cornerstone of a free and democratic and society was: one person one vote. Fellow citizens Durbanite lest we forget it is equally important therefore that we don’t take this freedom for granted or forget the depth of sacrifice of the likes of Mandela.

This year marks the centenary of Mandela.  Remember his legacy and be the legacy. The centenary aims to promote Madiba’s ethos of Ubuntu by advancing our collective unity, irrespective of race, creed, and orientation. This is an opportunity to recommit ourselves to his principles and building the nation we envisioned at the start of our democracy. The centenary will be marked with a year-long series of awareness, educational, celebratory and legacy commemoration events.

It will build up to main centenary celebration on the 18 July 2018 which is former President Nelson Mandela’s birthday. Nelson Mandela’s courage and commitment to our freedom should inspire us to serve our people with a sense of accountability, dignity and humility. This should serve as a reminder that   as public servants we must always be committed to the principles of Batho Pele (People’s First) and as we are building towards our vision of being the most caring and liveable City in Africa, this should inspire us to go an extra mile for our ratepayers.  We owe it to Madiba to provide quality service delivery and good customer care at all times.

We owe it to Madiba to honour his legacy and walk in his footsteps to build our rainbow nation. Long live the legacy of Madiba.

April 20
Public urged to attend Budget/IDP roadshows

THEKWINI Municipality is home to over 3.7 million residents and we endeavour to provide service delivery to all residents within our boundaries, especially the poor. That being said, our service delivery rollout as well as initiatives to promote the City on a global scale while attracting further investment is driven by our Integrated Development Plan (IDP).

The IDP is a key strategic document which guides and informs all planning, budgeting, management and decision-making related to delivering services and development in the Municipal area. The plan is a requirement of the Municipal Systems Act of 2000 and is reviewed annually. The IDP therefore informs our budget and how funds will be allocated. It is clear that the IDP and the budget play a crucial role in how the City is governed.

The operating budget, which funds the continued provision of services provided by the Municipality, has increased from R37.2 billion in 2017/18 to R38.7 billion in 2018/19, R41.7 billion in 2019/20 and R45.2 billion in 2020/21 respectively. Capital expenditure is budgeted to rise to R7 billion in 2018/19, and thereafter to R7.7 billion by 2020/21.

R17.3 billion (approximately 79 percent) is allocated to meeting infrastructure and household service needs and addressing backlogs over the medium term. R2.2 billion of this is directed to new housing developments and interim servicing of informal settlements. The capital budget continues to reflect consistent efforts to address backlogs in basic services and the renewal of infrastructure of existing networks.

It is therefore imperative for all interested members of the public to attend planned Budget/IDP Roadshows where the IDP and draft budget will be unpacked and residents will have an opportunity to provide input. These comments will be taken into consideration before the final budget is adopted by Council. There are eight regional roadshows planned which started on 19 April and will run into May.

I urge you to attend these important meetings to ensure you fully understand the IDP and the budget for the 2018/19 financial year. We will also highlight service delivery successes made by the Municipality in the past 18 years. It is important for us to adopt a people-centric budget which is why your input is so vital.

April 05
Farewell Mama Winnie

IT WAS a sad day for all of South Africans when we heard of the passing of Mama Winnie Nomzamo Madikizela-Mandela on 2 April. Mama Winnie, as she was affectionately known, was indeed the mother of the nation and we lower our revolutionary banner in her honour and in memory of this fearless woman.

On behalf of the 3.7 million residents of eThekwini Municipality and its Council, I send my deepest condolences to the family of Mama Madikizela-Mandela as well as the entire Liberation Movement on the passing of this great stalwart. Mama Winnie inspired many of us in our youth to face the unjust and brutal system of apartheid head-on while most of our leaders were in exile or jail. She kept the revolutionary fi re burning inside the country and tirelessly fought against the oppressive system until it was defeated.

She has been an inspiration to women both inside and outside of politics and we as leaders have learnt a lot from her character, her bravery and her immense contribution to the struggle. Even today, we still look to her for inspiration, to guide us as women leaders as she was one of those rare leaders who spoke the truth no matter how inconvenient. It is bittersweet that we lost Mama Winnie in the year that has been dedicated to honouring Struggle stalwarts Nelson Mandela and Mama Albertina Sisulu.

We would have drawn on the wisdom of Mama Winnie to educate us about these two icons who she knew so well as fellow pillars of the resistance. Mama Winnie’s heroism in the face of police harassment, banishment and ensuing isolation while her husband faced life in prison inspired many to continue in the struggle no matter the cost. She became a source of encouragement for women whose husbands and sons were either in prison or exile. She was a pillar of strength to women left alone in rural areas while their husbands toiled for gold and diamonds at the mines. I remember Mama Winnie as an avid campaigner of women’s rights, who understood the dialectical connection between women and the national oppression and the need to wage these struggles in tandem.

May her revolutionary flame continue to inspire all oppressed people of the world to rise up and fight against all forms of injustice. In her memory, we commit to fi ght for a united movement that is truly an instrument of liberation at the hands of the people of South Africa. Hamba kahle Mkonto we Sizwe! Hamba kahle Mama!

March 22
Promoting human rights in our city

​WE CELEBRATED Human Rights Day on 21 March as the entire nation. This comes as South Africa commemorates Human Rights Month during the month of March. We commemorated this monthly celebration under the theme: “The Year of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela: promoting and deepening a human rights culture across society”. The theme is fitting and in line with the celebration of the centenary of late former President Nelson Rholihlahla Mandela’s birth this year.

Human Rights Month reminds us of Madiba’s unwavering commitment to justice, equality and a non-racial South Africa. I urge you to use this period to reflect on the dreams and aspirations of President Mandela which included the respect of basic human rights and commitment to the rule of law. All South Africans have a responsibility to promote freedom and defend our democracy in honour of Madiba’s life-long commitment to these ideals.

Since 1994, government has worked hard to ensure that all communities, especially those in rural areas and townships, enjoy equal access to justice. To this end we have built more courts and Chapter 9 institutions which continue to entrench constitutional protections. We as the City restored the human dignity to thousands of eThekwini residents through the Title Deeds Restoration Programme which was held at City Hall on 15 March.

This is in keeping with Human Rights Month and the restoration of dignity and human rights. I was pleased to see both young and old, representing families in our City, attend the title deed handover ceremony. This was just the beginning as the programme will continue to be rolled out at zonal and ward level. EThekwini has a backlog of 71 815 units for post 1994 and 11 262 for pre-1994 stock that still has to be transferred to beneficiaries. The target for the current financial year is to finalise 3 000 title deeds and I am happy that we have already issued about 5 200 title deeds to-date.

We have to address the late issuing of title deeds as this mostly affects black people. As a result they are unable to take out insurance on their property because banks require a title deed to do so. In conclusion, I urge you to use this time to reflect on issues of human rights and to try make a difference at school, at work or even at home if you see any human rights violations. By working together we can do more and create a prosperous City and nation that we are all proud of.

March 08
Register to vote, it is your civic responsibility

AS WE celebrate the centenary of late former President Nelson Mandela’s birth this year, we must always be mindful of his legacy and that peaceful democratic processes were achieved through free and fair elections.

Next year, South Africans will have the opportunity to vote in the 2019 National Elections. Held every five years, the elections are an opportunity for citizens to actively elect the government they want to lead our beautiful country. The opportunity to vote should not be taken lightly as many of our forefathers died in the pursuit of this democratic right which we enjoy today.

We will never forget that historic day on 27 April 1994 where for the first time all South Africans, regardless of race, were allowed to vote in the first democratic elections. The euphoria of that day will never be forgotten as it marked the signal of change for our country and ushered in the democracy and freedom we have today.

That is that power that your vote has as a South African citizen and I encourage you to ensure you are registered to vote. The Electoral Commission (IEC) of South Africa will be holding a voter registration drive over the weekend of 10 and 11 March. They are calling on all registered voters to help them ensure an accurate and credible voters roll. Visit the nearest voting station to check and confirm your address at your correct voting station.

You can also update your details if you have a change of address. Voting stations will be opened from 8am to 5pm. To locate your nearest voting station, visit the IEC website at www.elections.org.za and use the Voting Station Finder. Alternatively you can call 0800 11 8000 with any questions you may have. I urge you to check and update your details as a credible and up-to-date voter’s role is a vital instrument to ensure free and fair elections.

EThekwini Municipality will provide assistance to the IEC closer to the 2019 National Elections by providing infrastructure such as the allocation of halls, libraries and grounds for registration and voting stations as well as training venues with the tariff costs being waivered. The provision of various types of vehicles including specialised ones will also be catered for. Human resources in the form of officials acting as Sub-Municipal Electoral Officers responsible for portfolios such as recruitment and results, operations, logistics and warehouse function as well as distribution management will also be provided.

There will also be further provision of staff to support activities at various levels including ward managers, voting station staff and drivers. Ensure you are registered to vote, it is the right thing to do.

February 22
City unveils new customer relations contact numbers

WE REMAIN committed to improving the lives of our people through innovative and ground-breaking interventions. This was clearly demonstrated when we launched the City’s first integrated toll-free customer service contact number as well as the Mayoral Hotline recently.

The toll-free number is 080 311 11 11 while the Mayoral Hotline number is 031 322 8200. The launching of these numbers is a direct response to the needs of people and shows that we are indeed a caring and responsive government. The one number is for all queries related to water, revenue and electricity as well as to contact the City’s switchboard. It’s toll-free from any landline or cellphone and is operational 24-hours a day.

I am also proud of the Mayoral hotline which is an open line of communication to the public who have exhausted all other structures in the City and have not resolved their query. I am happy to announce that the office is operational and has a staff compliment of 10 highly trained and skilled people. There are 12 lines operating currently. We are embracing the various forms of technology to remain open and accessible to the public. Also in the pipeline is the new Municipal App which will allow for a live interaction between the City and customers to log water and electricity faults, check statements as well as get information on events, the weather and traffic.

It is evident that we are making great strides to becoming a Smart City. Also of importance is to highlight the key achievements and record the challenges experienced in the City over the past financial year which is contained in the Annual Report. The Report, which is open for public comment until 2 March, is available on the City’s official website as well as local libraries and Sizakala Centres. We encourage an active and responsible citizenry so I urge you to go out and view this important document and give us your input. Comments received from this process will inform the Integrated Development Plan and the budgets for the upcoming financial years.

Those wishing to provide feedback can do so to Khululiwe Faya at khululiwe.faya@durban.gov.za The Municipality will be able to assist in transcribing representations and comments, should such services be required. Speak to us, we are ready to listen!
February 09
City’s successes reflected in annual report

THE positive strides the City has made to curb irregular expenditure and to curb water losses were reflected in the Annual Report for the 2016/17 financial year which was tabled at a Full Council meeting on 31 January.

The Annual Report, which will be submitted for public participation this month, is an important document as it provides a record of the activities of Council during the 2016/17 financial year. It also promotes accountability to the local community for the decisions made throughout the year by the Municipality.

A presentation was made by the office of the Auditor-General South Africa (AG) at Full Council, outlining the unqualified audit report the City received. We welcome this report as we understand that the AG exists to strengthen South Africa’s democracy by enabling oversight, accountability and governance in the public sector through auditing, and thereby building public confidence.

The report also provides clarity where we as the City need to focus our efforts. However, it must be pointed out that the report was compiled within a specified timeframe and a number of issues that were raised have been addressed. This includes the hiring of senior management which we have been doing to ensure there are no vacancies at top management level.

I am confident that the various other measures implemented in the City will reflect in the next report by the AG. But for now, achieving an unqualified audit shows that good progress has been made in several areas including curbing irregular expenditure in the City. On 27 January I attended the National Police Day celebrations which were held in Hammersdale at the Mpumalanga Stadium.

The event was a resounding success and I would like to thank National Police Minister Fikile Mbalula and National Police Commissioner Lieutenant-General Khehla Sithole for bringing the awards ceremony to our City. We are also pleased with the mobile police station that was unveiled at the event.

We are confident that this will go a long way in reducing crime in our communities. Fighting crime and corruption is one of the top five priorities of government. We are confident that our men and women in blue will be able to effectively deal with all criminal activity in our province.
January 25
Service delivery efforts to be doubled in 2018

IT IS wonderful to be back this year ready to serve the people of eThekwini. I have to thank everyone involved who worked tirelessly throughout the festive season to ensure that residents and holidaymakers enjoyed a wonderful and safe time in our beautiful City.

I also appreciate the work done by the MEC of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs the Honourable Sihle Zikalala. We worked on a number of campaigns and events together during the festive season and I am pleased that the public saw first-hand that we are one government working together to improve the lives of our people.

The tourism statistics detailing the number of visitors to our City are still being finalised. These statistics, which will be scrutinised, will assist us to improve our tourism strategies to increase local and international visitors. Interventions to reduce the number of road fatalities over the festive season yielded positive results. These included a number of roadblocks conducted by Metro Police.

We welcome the good news that KwaZulu-Natal recorded a 10 percent decrease in road fatalities. Last year there were 324 accidents, down from 361 in 2016. We are ready for 2018 as City officials and are looking forward to a productive year. However, I reiterate that we must increase our speed of service delivery, in fact our efforts must be doubled.

This year we must create more job opportunities and create a conducive environment for investors and business so they in turn can generate more opportunities. We must also retain skilled workers while attracting the best talent in the country. I believe this is possible if we all work together. We will definitely create jobs and defeat poverty. So let us double our efforts in service delivery.

On our end we will fill vacant positions and managers will ensure that officials are on the ground working. It is important to take care of ratepayers and give them the level of service that they deserve because at the end of the day they are our customers. Remember, let us serve them with a smile. To this end, we will soon be launching the one number for all customer calls.

Last year I made a promise of the one number call centre and a Mayoral complaint desk. We are ready to launch and will soon make the announcement to the public. We will ensure that call centre employees will be retrained with relevant customer skills. They must be able to deal with customers in a friendly manner and ensue that the customer is satisfied at the end of the call.

We must treat our customers as kings and queens. I wish you all a wonderful year ahead. Let us work together to take eThekwini to greater heights.

December 15
EThekwini ready to improve lives in 2018

THE festive season is upon us with Durban already bustling with visitors who have flocked to our beautiful City to enjoy this time. We have adequate security measures in place to ensure everyone has a wonderful time in eThekwini within the ambit of the law.

While the focus is on the approaching New Year, it is also important to reflect on the gains made this year, looking at our successes, challenges and where we can improve. Firstly, 2017 was an important year in the calendar of the revolution. It was the year of Oliver Tambo and was commemorated as a year of unity and cohesion. It is also important to note the flagship programmes of action launched this year. We are in the business of changing people’s lives and we did just that through the adoption of the Radical Economic Transformation Framework in response to the needs of our people who are not enjoying the fruits of our democracy.

The gap between the rich and the poor continues to grow with a majority of our people remaining poor. We need to radically change that situation. We also adopted the people’s budget which was for the first time canvassed in all 110 wards in eThekwini this year. Deputy City Managers were appointed as well as a new City Manager, Sipho Nzuza taking over the administration of the City. He is experienced and knowledgeable and understands our ocean economy. He is a humble man but at the same time a decisive leader. Another gain made this year is the launch of the Invest Durban Strategy which will attract further investment to the City.

I am also happy that all 35 catalytic projects are in action in the City. We are also making inroads with regard to cleaning up eThekwini. We remain committed to fighting poverty, unemployment and inequality and will continue to push for township and rural growth and development. We will also strongly advocate for the development of women, youth, people with disabilities and military veterans. We live in an award winning City and I thank officials for their hard work throughout the year.

We are passionate about our work to improve the lives of residents and thank God for keeping us this year. We are focused and energised. As the City of Durban we are ready for 2018!

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