EMOTIONAL FAREWELL AS CHURCH AND MOTOR ACCIDENT VICTIMS ARE LAID TO REST

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There was a sombre mood as scores of people gathered in Esikhawini, Ulundi, KwaMqhwakazi and Howick to bid farewell to the 13 victims of the church disaster and the five who lost their lives in a motor vehicle accident during Easter weekend.

Today mass funerals took place in various parts of the province, including uLundi where six of the victims hailed from. The others were held in Esikhawini for three of the victims, in Eshowe-Ngudwini area for another three of the victims and the funeral for one of the victims took place in Howick.

Tears and emotions punctuated the send-off ceremonies as scores of mourners thronged the funeral sites to pay their last respects. Various government leaders, including national Ministers and provincial MECs attended the mass funerals in all these areas.

These included national Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize, Police Minister Bheki Cele, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant who is also a church member and all provincial MECs.

Speaking at an emotional funeral of Londiwe Mcambi, Ntando Mlondo, Thule Ncube and Alice Mhlongo who were buried today in Esikhaleni Township just outside eMpangeni, Police Minister Bheki Cele urged mourners to band together during this difficult time which the province and country is going through. “What we have witnessed in our province has left many of us speechless. As government we are here with you as members of your families,” said Cele.

Cogta MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube, described the deceased as true soldiers of faith who died with their boots on while serving God.

The provincial government has been quick to respond since this tragic incident took place. The funerals of the victims have been coordinated by the provincial government. Other services were held in uMlalazi where national Cogta Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize joined by KZN MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo comforted the Langa, Ngwenya and Mthabela families at the Princess Langazini Primary School.   

Similarly, KZN MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Sihle Zikalala comforted the grieving Masondo, Mdluli, Shandu, Mzila and Dube families at the Family Worship Centre, C Section in uLundi.  

BUS FROM A FUNERAL SERVICE OVERTUN – MEC WISH A SPEEDY RECOVERY TO THE INJURED – NO DEATHS YET REPORTED.

Meanwhile MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube has wished a speedy recovery to the mourners who were involved in a bus accident, in KwaCeza just outside Nongoma. They were on the way to attend the funeral of the victims in uLundi. At this stage no reported deaths from this incident and the MEC has wished those who were injured a speedy recovery.

For more information contact: KZN Cogta spokespersons Lennox Mabaso, 082 884 2403; or Senzelwe Mzila 082 474 1882

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KZN HEAVY RAINS UPDATE DEATH TOLL FROM KZN RAINS REACHES 32 AS AUTHORITIES CONTINUE TO ASSESS DAMAGES

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KZN Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) is urging residents and visitors to the province to remain on full alert and if threatening situations arises vacate and move to higher ground after a night of heavy rains Disaster relief efforts are in progress in all affected areas.

“Heavy rains have since claimed 32 lives so far and 10 missing persons, all of them children in and around Durban alone. There have also been 42 reported injuries. Over 2000 emergency calls were logged at the PDMC in Durban last night,” said KZN MEC for Cogta Nomusa Dube-Ncube.

Dozens of incidents of collapsed walls and flooded homes have been reported throughout the night, with 235 Durban homes already assessed as damaged. The assessment continues both in respect of private properties and public infrastructure. Roads have been flooded too, disrupting traffic as KZN enters the first working day after the long Easter weekend.

“We are also calling on residents of low-lying areas to move to higher ground without delay. And motorists and pedestrians are urged to exercise utmost caution on the roads that are already flooded or where there is high risk of flash flooding,” said Dube-Ncube.

Today Cogta MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube, Human Settlement and Public Works MEC Ravi Pillay, Ethekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede and Deputy Mayor Fawzia Peer and Exco led various assessments and relief efforts in various parts of the province.

KZN Cogta is working closely with the eThekwini metro and other affected municipalities to ensure that all emergency relief efforts are coordinated and timeous. The authorities have also reported 145 displaced persons, some of whom have already found refuge with relatives. Those without alternative accommodation will be provided with temporary shelter as close to their homes as possible.

“At the same time, we would like to assure the general public that our disaster management teams are working round the clock to attend to all reported incidents. Where help is needed, it is already on its way or will be very soon. We are overwhelmed but our presence throughout KZN ensures that we will be able to assist everywhere we are called,” said Dube-Ncube.

For more information contact: KZN Cogta spokesperson Lennox Mabaso, 082 884 2403

 

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Local government excellence on display as Kokstad achieves universal access to electricity

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Tears of joy could not be contained by Nomahomba Mkhize (58) of Shayamoya village when KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nomusa Dube-Ncube, together with Mayor of Greater Kokstad Cllr Bheki Mtolo and Harry Gwala District Mayor Cllr Mluleki Ndobe, visited her household on the occasion of Kokstad local municipality’s celebration of 100% universal access to electricity for its residents.

“With winter approaching I am happy that my family will now be able to keep warm and prepare a meal all thanks to the electricity provided to my house by the government. Previously we were exposed to elements when we had to go and gather fire wood in the forest in order to have warmth and to cook” said Mkhize who is one of many beneficiaries of the R 9 million Marikana Ward 10  electrification project which brings electricity to 850 households.

This feat which has already been achieved by a few municipalities in the country is a significant milestone in the province’s continuing efforts to ensure that residents have adequate access to basic services. In her address to the residents at the Bhongweni Youth Centre, Dube-Ncube commended the hard work that has been put in by the local leadership to ensure that universal access to electricity is realised.

“As the provincial government, we celebrate with the Kokstad residents, as we kick off the province’s celebration of 25 years of freedom in style. This important feat is yet another indication of this government’s commitment to the creation of a better future for all our residents. Electricity changes lives and we can see this in Kokstad today,” said Dube-Ncube.

The MEC also officially unveiled a state of the art fire engine and two waste compact trucks which were bought by KZN Cogta, with the purpose of increasing the capacity of the municipality to render services to residents. “We have invested millions into assisting our municipalities with equipment needed to speed up service delivery. For this purpose we have bought plant equipment valued at over R100-million which includes graders, rollers, honey suckers, water trucks and sewer jets. Municipalities will be able to borrow this equipment from us at no cost. This will help to reduce the sums our municipalities spend on borrowing such equipment,” said Dube-Ncube.

KZN Cogta has invested millions of rand across the province to ensure that electricity is brought to the public and the province currently sits at over 90% access to electricity. The Greater Kokstad and Dannhauser local municipalities are the trend-setters as many municipalities within the province race to achieve 100% access to electricity.

For more information contact: KZN Cogta spokesperson Lennox Mabaso, 082 884 2403; or Senzelwe Mzila 082 474 1882

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NEW DAWN FOR MSINGA AS KZN COGTA DELIVERS ELECTRICITY TO LOCALS

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Life in the rural village of Mjintini in Msinga will never be the same again following the switch-on of 124 local households by KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Nomusa Dube-Ncube today.

The switch-on was a significant moment for the local residents who now have access to electricity for the very first time. Nokubonga Mchunu, 24, a local resident, said life will drastically change now that they have electricity.

“Previously we could not buy much meat because we had no electricity but now, thanks to this project, that has changed. We are now able to charge our phones and use fridges which is a great convenience,” said Mchunu.

The electrification of these households was the result of a R4-million investment by KZN Cogta. The investment was championed by MEC Dube-Ncube after the plight of the residents of this community was brought to her attention.

“Msinga, as one of the most rural areas in KZN, has a myriad of challenges. As the provincial government, we are working hard to bring adequate services, such as electricity and water, to these communities” said Dube-Ncube.

The electrification of all households in Mjintini is yet another symbol of the provincial government’s commitment to bringing tangible change to the lives of communities that had historically suffered from economic exclusion.

In her address at Nogida Sports Grounds, Dube-Ncube urged people to use electricity wisely and to report anyone who attempts to make illegal connections as this could compromise all connections within the area.

KZN Cogta has invested millions of rand across the province to ensure that electricity is brought to the public and the province currently sits at over 90% access to electricity.

For more information contact: KZN Cogta spokesperson Lennox Mabaso, 082 884 2403; or Senzelwe Mzila 082 474 1882

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MEC Dube-Ncube calls on department’s bursary holders and interns to make their mark

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“I am here today because of the intervention that you have made in my life: I now have a home and have been able to finish my studies – all because of you,” these were the emotional words uttered by Ndabenhle Buthelezi of eMahlabathini – one of 200 bursary holders and interns in the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) who attended an interactive session with MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube at the Senate Chamber, UKZN Westville today.

The words spoken by Ndabenhle were echoed by many other learners and interns whose lives have been transformed by the department’s Internship and Bursary Programmes. KZN Cogta has over last two terms empowered over 1000 bursary holders and interns who are today working in the various sectors of our society which include the private sector and the public service, including local government.

In her address, MEC Dube-Ncube urged bursary holders to make the most of the opportunities they have been given. “Those of you who hold bursaries from Cogta or hold internships at Cogta are being groomed so that you can serve our people when you graduate or when you eventually take up permanent employment. It is an initiative of this government to ensure that all departments nurture their own talent from an early age,” said Dube-Ncube.

“The triple challenges our country is facing are poverty, unemployment and inequality. They can only be overcome if we tap into the talents that many of you possess. As a department, we are tasked with exercising oversight over municipalities in our province. We also provide assistance to municipalities in many areas, such as disaster management, spatial planning, local economic development and financial management,” said Dube-Ncube.

KZN Cogta is proud of its record with interns and bursary holders and both programmes are set to continue.

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Media Statement on Msunduzi Intervention by Provincial Government

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MEDIA BRIEFING FOLLOWING THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF SECTION 139(1)b INTERVENTION AT MSUNDUZI LOCAL MUNICIPALITY

STATEMENT BY NOMUSA DUBE-NCUBE

KZN MEC FOR COGTA

PIETERMARITZBURG: 9 APRIL 2019

Ladies and gentlemen of the media

Thank you for availing yourselves for this important media briefing to announce measures that are intended to bring about the long-term stability of the uMsunduzi municipality.

We have just concluded a meeting with the Msunduzi Council, where I have delivered before the council a decision taken by the Provincial Executive Council.

I wish to start at the onset by highlighting that this municipality as many of you are aware is a home of our Capital City and as such it is a pride of our province.   It is therefore reasonable that all of us as citizens of this province expect it to lead by example when it comes to good governance, sound financial management and efficient service delivery. The people of this province look up to Pietermaritzburg as an embodiment of a well performing, well-governed municipality.  It is our collective duty as National and Provincial Government to assist and ensure that it lives up to this expectation.

We have just presented before the council measures to provide hands-on support and assist, not to point fingers and penalise, because we love and respect our capital city. Pietermaritzburg is the jewel of our province and we wish it to shine again.

Purpose of meeting with Msunduzi Council

We have apprised the council of the Provincial Executive’s decision to intervene in this municipality in terms of section 139(1)(b) of the Constitution to restore this municipality’s functionality in terms of proper governance, administration and, by extension, service delivery.

Reasons for the intervention

The intervention we have announced today is due to the inability by this municipality to hold its councillors accountable for deliberately absenting themselves from critical meetings and thus collapsing the quorum and rendering the Council dysfunctional. This municipality has also failed to institute consequence management measures for managers responsible for unauthorised and irregular expenditure. The Msunduzi Council has likewise failed to exercise oversight over management, with particular reference to the management of conditional grants resulting in under expenditure, stopping or threatened stopping of funds by National Treasury.

The Council has further failed to exercise oversight over management resulting in the cash position of the municipality being overdrawn. The Msunduzi Council has additionally failed to implement consequence management measures against persons responsible for failing to maintain proper records, resulting, for instance, in the municipality’s non-disclosure of pension and medical aid deductions.

The Msunduzi Council has also failed to resolve innumerable service delivery related challenges besetting the city, particularly waste management, roads and street maintenance as well as electricity services. And finally, the Msunduzi Council has failed to investigate allegations of malfeasance and maladministration against senior managers and other leaders of the municipality where necessary.

Way forward

It is against this background that we announce that with effect from today uMsunduzi is placed under intervention in terms of section 139(1)b of the Constitution, 1996.  This means that the functions specified in terms of sections 51, 56 and 57 of the Municipal Systems Act as well as those related to financial management and service delivery, including project management will be done with the hands-on support of the provincial government. It has become clear to the provincial government that uMsunduzi municipality is no longer able, alone, to guarantee the provision of a sustainable services to communities without an intervention from the national and provincial government.

To this end, we have appointed a ministerial representative to be based at the municipality who will prepare and implement a comprehensive recovery plan. Our ministerial representative will ensure implementation of financial systems, policies and procedures, including preparation and implementation of cost-cutting measures as well as implement governance systems and procedures, including oversight over the administration including ratification of decisions taken by the Municipal Council, the Executive Committee, Municipal Manager and Section 56 Managers.

Specifically, the ministerial representative will establish and act as chairperson of the Interim Finance Committee to monitor and manage the cash flow of the municipality, to approve or disapprove purchase requisitions and to ensure that the municipality’s cash position is not overdrawn. This newly established committee will have to meet and report regularly to the Executive Committee of the Msunduzi Council.

The ministerial representative will also ensure the implementation of remedial action plans dealing with negative findings from the Auditor General, including consequence management against managers and officials found to have caused unauthorised and irregular expenditure. Our representative will similarly ensure implementation of findings arising from any investigations into fraud or maladministration or corruption and to initiate new investigations where necessary.

It is time for a fresh start in this municipality. After a long period of instability and poor results, the people of Pietermaritzburg deserve that we give them a municipality they can be proud of through our hard work and flawless performance. The challenge for us here is to make sure that this municipality will soon live up to its promise of maintaining infrastructure, including roads, managing waste and delivering basic services to its communities.

Today I urged the elected municipal Council of Msunduzi to accept this new temporary arrangement and cooperate with our ministerial representative to ensure a smooth running of this municipality and its return to normality until this intervention is formally called off. It is our shared responsibility as two separate spheres of government to ensure that our capital city lives up to its designation as the City of Choice and that all its residents take pride in their municipality.

I thank you!

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KZN Provincial Government urges caution as more tests are underway to establish cause of intestinal disease in Vryheid

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KZN MECs for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs – Nomusa Dube-Ncube and Health – Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo today urged the residents of Abaqulusi to exercise caution even as cholera has been ruled out in the area and as further tests are being done to establish the cause of intestinal infections in the area.

The two MEC’s visited communities in Vryheid to launch a massive electrification initiative that will see close to 2000 households being provided with electricity. They used the occasion to give an update to the community on the ongoing probe into the source of the Diarrhea cases that have seen some of the community members being admitted to hospital. “We have now concluded that cholera is not the cause of health issues experienced recently by local residents. Suggestions that local water is unsafe are also unfounded at this stage as further tests are being conducted but caution is in order in the interim,” said Dube-Ncube and Dhlomo in a joint statement.

The Provincial Government has been aware of numerous instances of intestinal infections at Abaqulusi and the area is being monitored by health experts. The first laboratory results have conclusively ruled out cholera and other tests are still underway. These will be formally publicised as soon as they become available.

“In the meantime, we urge the local residents to exercise extra caution while maintaining the highest standards of personal and domestic hygiene. When it comes to water, as a precaution, residents are encouraged to boil all local water that is intended for home use and particularly consumption,” said Dube-Ncube and Dhlomo.

The two MECs today jointly visited the area to monitor the progress their respective departments have made on the ground since the story of allegedly contaminated local water hit the news headlines. Dube-Ncube and Dhlomo met with the local residents who were encouraged to work with the authorities to establish the cause of intestinal infections in the area.

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Ground-Breaking Amahlubi Service Delivery Hub Launched By Cogta Mec Dube-Ncube

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KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Nomusa Dube-Ncube today officially opened the R16-million Amahlubi Community Service Centre in the Inkosi Langalibalele local municipality.

Today’s opening ceremony is a significant milestone in the lives of the Bhekuzulu residents and the surrounding communities as they now no longer need to travel long distances – as far as Ladysmith and Estcourt – to access government services.

Government services are now conveniently close to these residents, including standard services offered by Home Affairs, Post Office, Social Development, ward councillors and the local inkosi. This centre is therefore an important milestone in the government’s efforts to develop rural communities.

“We are committed to changing the lives of residents of the uThukela District who reside in rural areas. Youth within the surrounding communities are now attending computer lessons at the digital learning centre, which is housed within the CSC. This helps them to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the fourth industrial revolution,” said Dube-Ncube.

Sabelo Buthelezi, 26, who is one of the residents of the Bhekuzulu communities, says that the opening of the centre is a breakthrough for him as a young person as he is now able to do a course in programming at the centre.

In his address during today’s opening ceremony, Inkosi MJ Radebe thanked the MEC for the level of commitment her government has shown in bringing tangible service delivery to his people.

KZN Cogta has in the past five years built three community service centres in the uThukela District Municipality, namely Okhalamba Bergville, eKuvukeni and the Amahlubi CSCs. This is part of the massive rollout by government of world class infrastructure to benefit rural communities and to empower the youth to better utilise opportunities presented by the digital age.

For more information contact: KZN Cogta spokesperson Lennox Mabaso, 082 884 2403; or Senzelwe Mzila 082 474 1882

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MEDIA STATEMENT: AMAKHOSI HAVE CRUCIAL ROLE IN GROWING KZN’S ECONOMY

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“Traditional leaders within the province of KwaZulu-Natal have a critical role to play in our government’s efforts to grow the economy so that thousands of jobs can be created in rural areas,” said KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Nomusa Dube-Ncube whose department today hosted a summit with amakhosi from within the eThekwini Metro.
The aim of the summit was to empower amakhosi with adequate knowledge of the opportunities the provincial government has identified for them and their respective communities. In her address, Dube-Ncube urged amakhosi to explore these opportunities with the purpose of strengthening local economic development in rural communities.
Key amongst these projects, according to Dube-Ncube, is the Radical Agrarian Socio-Economic Transformation Programme which is aimed at ensuring that rural communities participate in the procurement of fresh produce by government for various purposes, such as the school feeding scheme, or hospitals, jails and other departments.
“In our communities we have so much land we can utilise to produce things that are in demand within our local economy and even in other countries. Government has gone all out to ensure that adequate resources and support are ploughed into supporting our communities in farming and all related sectors of the economy,” said Dube-Ncube.
The knowledge and insight gained by amakhosi through today’s summit will be taken home to their respective communities. Summits such as this one are conducted in all of KZN’s district municipalities. The eThekwini leg took place at the Public Works offices in Mayville, Durban today.
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Launch of KZN Good Green Deeds Clean-Up Campaign leaves parts of Pietermaritzburg CBD clean

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In response to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s call on all South Africans to take charge and clean up their living environment, KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Nomusa Dube-Ncube has, in the presence of national Ministers of Cogta Dr Zweli Mkhize and Environmental Affairs Nomvula Mokonyane, Deputy Minister of Cogta Andries Nel and KZN MEC for Health Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, today launched “Good Green Deeds” in the Pietermaritzburg CBD.

“Today’s massive clean-up campaign, which will be rolled out to the rest of KZN, has been designed to clean up sidewalks and storm drainage and cut grass and verges. It will also address illegal trading, law enforcement, by-laws transgressions and illegal posters, as necessary. We have made a good effort in Pietermaritzburg CBD this morning with the help of dozens of government and municipal officials,” said Dube-Ncube who personally joined one of the clean-up teams.

Today’s launch commenced early with the unveiling of millions of rand worth of yellow plant equipment which is destined for municipalities which have been hiring such equipment for local clean-up operations at enormous cost. The newly purchased equipment will help in cleaning drains, rebuilding infrastructure and improving the general environment in KZN’s municipalities, many of which have struggled with general cleanliness.

The equipment include:  16 x TLB, 11x Graders, 15 x Water Tankers, 18 x Rollers, 19 x Honey Suckers, 6 x fire trucks, 1 x long base fire engine totaling R104 million.

“In addition to clean-up operations in the province’s municipalities, the government will also take steps to ensure that citizens are informed when their grass will be cut, refuse collected and environment cleaned. We are pleased to report that many businesses are already showing enthusiasm and promising to avail their staff, adopt a spot to clean regularly and donate equipment for this province-wide clean-up campaign,” said Dube-Ncube.

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