KZN Government partners with ABSA for Mandela Day Marathon until 2020

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KZN Provincial Government and uMgungundlovu District Municipality have welcomed Absa Bank’s “win-win” decision to become a strategic partner for the Mandela Day Marathon until 2020. Absa today announced a R6-million financial injection to this iconic race over the next three years further solidify the marathon’s reputation as an annual celebration of the legacy of former President Nelson Mandela.

The Mandela Day Marathon has since its inception in 2012 become one of the fastest growing sporting events in Africa, attracting a loyal international following from both athletes and observers. The main race runs from the Manaye Hall in Edendale where Nelson Mandela made his last public speech before his arrest in 1962 and the Capture Site near Howick where he was arrested by the apartheid police on 5 August of the same year.

At the signing of the sponsorship agreement with the KZN Provincial Government, Steve Seaka, Absa Head of Public Sector Banking, said: “We are excited to be part of this Mandela Day Marathon because it fits in very well with our Shared Growth Strategy as a bank to make a meaningful contribution in the communities where we do our business. As a business we can only be successful if we connect positively and create value within the society in which we operate.”

In her remarks, KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Nomusa Dube-Ncube has urged all prospective participants in the 2017 race to register before the closing date of 31 July. “This year’s theme for the marathon is #Run for unity and this reflects the race’s celebration of the ideals of a non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous South Africa that was envisaged by Madiba and that has since come to symbolise the Mandela Day Marathon,” said Dube-Ncube.

Today’s signing ceremony was also attended by Mayor of the uMgungundlovu District Municipality which hosts the annual event – Councillor TE Maphumulo. The Mayor welcomed Absa’s contribution while emphasising the marathon’s positive impact on the local economy of her district. “Every year the Mandela Day Marathon draws thousands of athletes and observers to our district, all of whom contribute to the growth of our tourism sector in unprecedented ways,” said Maphumulo.

Absa has also pledged to adopt a community development project in the uMgungundlovu District area to demonstrate its commitment to imparting a lasting legacy as part of its partnership with the marathon. In addition to the direct financial contribution to the marathon, Absa will also be promoting participation in the marathon among its clients through advertising via their ATMs and branches.

The marathon consists of events such as Road Running, Mountain Biking, Trail Running and a Triathlon. The actual marathon run has since its inception in 2012 grown into one of Africa’s toughest races for runners from across the globe. The marathon is recognised by the Nelson Mandela Foundation through a formal strategic partnership, with an endorsement by the KwaZulu-Natal Athletics Federation and it is also registered with the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races.

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Travelling long distances to get chronic medication is now a thing of the past for the elderly in uMlazi U-Section

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The burden of walking long distances in order to get access to crucial medication is now a thing of the past for residents of Ward 86 in uMlazi U Section, thanks to intervention by the Provincial government of the Province of KwaZulu-Natal and the Ethekwini Metro.

The MEC for the department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nomusa Dube-Ncube visited the Central Methodist Church which houses the Central Chronic Medicine Dispensation and Distribution (CCMD) Centre. The centre ensures that the elderly and those that suffer from chronic illnesses are able to receive their treatment closer to their homes without having to travel to Prince Mshiyeni Hospital.

Dube-who is the champion MEC for the eThekwini municipality says she will work unceasingly to ensure that the poor in the Municipality are not spending even a cent to collect medication. She vowed to advocate for community structures such as churches to be used as collection points all over the metro.

Her visit today is part of the Province wide programme called Operation Sukuma Sakhe. This is aimed at addressing social ills. Through it members of the Provincial Cabinet visit various wards and meet with the communities and the respective ward based War Rooms which bring various government departments together to work with the community in addressing challenges.

Dube-Ncube also urged residents to close ranks around combating crime and the social ills that accompany it. “As a community, we have to stand together and combat the scourges that are destroying us. We have to unite and ensure that we are never divided in our efforts. Law enforcement agencies have been instructed to deal harshly with illegal electricity connections that continue to pose a danger to our communities,” said Dube-Ncube.

For more information contact: KZN Cogta spokespersons Lennox Mabaso, 082 884 2403; or Msawakhe Mayisela, 060 966 4220

Date: 12 July 2017

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MEC urges municipalities to fill all critical vacancies

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KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Nomusa Dube-Ncube is urging all municipalities to ensure that all expiring contracts of municipal managers and other senior managers are filled with immediate effect to prevent instability at the top level of municipal administration.

Dube-Ncube made her appeal during a meeting with all the Mayors of KZN‘s 54 municipalities in Kokstad.  Munimec is an established and regular inter-governmental forum where the MEC for Cogta meets with all political heads and high-ranking officials from municipalities.

“We have a problem that most of the Municipal Manager’s contracts have expired and municipalities should have put plans in place to ensure a smooth transition.  We now have a situation where we have a lot of “Acting Managers” at a critical point when we have to prepare Annual Financial Statements. If these posts are not filled this will impact negatively on service delivery,” said Dube-Ncube.

“We must fill these positions timeously to ensure stability at the top level of management. When there is instability at the top, it affects performance.  These delays in filling of posts have negative effect in the functioning of municipalities and may cost us clean audits”, Dube-Ncube said.

We are asking ourselves why some municipalities wait until municipal managers’ contracts are about to expire before they take steps towards finding suitable replacements. Municipal managers’ contracts usually expire one year into every new term of local government.

Municipalities applauded for approving IDPs and Budgets on time.

Dube-Ncube also praised KZN municipalities for timeously approving budgtes and IDP’s.  However, she called on municipalities to budget realistically, collect revenue vigorously and generally live within one’s means when it comes to funding service delivery projects and municipal operations,” said Dube-Ncube.

She further urged councils to thoroughly assess the revenue streams earmarked in their budgets and ensure that they are reliable.

KZN Cogta’s support programmes offered to municipalities include assistance with budgeting and long-term planning within the confines of the IDP process as well as revenue collection including determination of rates through Valuation Rolls and management of the municipal billing systems.

“Key to healthy municipal finances are budgets that are based on a realistic appraisal of revenue streams and realistic expectations of what can be achieved with a given amount of funding. Inflated budgets based on wishful thinking are a recipe for disaster and a source of distrust between the municipality and the community they serve,” said Dube-Ncube.

As a going concern, KZN Cogta is also appealing for political stability which is a prerequisite for functional municipalities in the province. The department maintains that without a stable municipal government, there can be no guarantee of efficient administration or effective service delivery in our municipalities.

For more information contact: KZN Cogta spokespersons Lennox Mabaso, 082 884 2403; or Msawakhe Mayisela, 060 966 4220

 

 

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MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube condemns murder of yet another Richmond councillor

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The MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Nomusa Dube-Ncube has expressed shock and outrage at the killing of yet another councillor in Richmond local municipality in the KwaZulu-Natal midlands.

Councillor Sfiso Mkhize of Richmond’s ward 2, was killed in a hail of bullets today evening while on his way home.  Councilor Mkhize is the third municipal official to die in gruesome manner in Richmond in just three months.

“This is an extremely difficult time for the fraternity of local government as we mourn yet another loss of a public representative at the hands of cold-blooded assassins who have no respect for human life.  Incidents such as this callous murder are a wrenching reminder of the great sacrifices and risks that councillor’s make by choosing to be servants of the people”, said Cogta MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube.

“We will not be deterred as leaders in the sphere of local government by this unfortunate incident. We must all come together to keep pressure on the criminals in our society who create an atmosphere of fear through the murder of local government representatives” said Dube-Ncube.

“We ask the community of Richmond in the midst of the hurt and heartache that they are all feeling in this moment, to remain calm and united and continue to work with law enforcement agencies and provide information that will lead to the arrest of those behind this dastardly deed”  Dube-Ncube added.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, constituency and political party of Cllr Mkhize, the ANC, whose untimely death without a doubt has left a void in the community of Richmond,” said KZN MEC for Cogta Nomusa Dube-Ncube.

KZN Cogta is urging the law enforcement agencies to investigate the killing without delay and bring the perpetrators to justice.

“This is a period in which together we must unite to take back the space from the criminals who want to plunge the Richmond area back to violence.  We must never reverse the progress we have made in building a Richmond that has turned its back on violence and embraced peace” added Dube-Ncube.

For more information contact: KZN Cogta spokesperson Lennox Mabaso, 082 884 2403 or Msawakhe Mayisela on 0609664220

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Municipal services to resume in Msunduzi as Municipality cracks down on saboteurs

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KZN Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) is pleased to report that most municipal services affected by acts of sabotage in Msunduzi local municipality have been restored to near full capacity.

“Cogta teams have been working around the clock to assist the municipality in dealing with unprecedented power outages and deliberate damage to electricity infrastructure.  Our engagements with Msunduzi leadership have demonstrated extraordinary commitment on the part of this municipality to end the on-going interruptions to essential services which include electricity and water,” said KZN MEC for Cogta Nomusa Dube-Ncube.

To date the municipality has to provide security to contractors who are being intimidated when they attempt to fix the problems.  The interruptions in the supply of electricity have had a knock-on effect on the supply of water as water pumps are operated by electricity.

KZN Cogta has praised the lengths to which Msunduzi has gone to address the underlying causes of the large-scale service interruptions in this municipality. The actions taken by Msunduzi range from criminal charges being laid against the perpetrators to security arrangements to bolster municipal services.

“The Msunduzi leadership is tackling the crisis with iron resolve and the residents of this municipality will soon come to appreciate this as municipal services including electricity and water resume to their pre-crisis levels,” said Dube-Ncube.

The Msunduzi municipality will hold a media briefing tomorrow, Tuesday, 27 June 2016, to outline in detail the measures to restore its municipal services.

For more information contact: KZN Cogta spokesperson Lennox Mabaso, 082 884 2403 or Msawakhe Mayisela on 0609664220.

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MEC tightens screws on municipal audit regressions

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KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), Nomusa Dube-Ncube,  has welcomed the latest municipal audit outcomes which place KZN as the second best-performing province within the country but which also register several regressions.

“We are deeply disappointed by the decline in the number of municipalities receiving clean audits. Indeed, we want the mayors and councilors to take full responsibility and turn things around,” said Dube-Ncube.

“We have already had meetings with mayors, councilors and municipal managers of municipalities that have caused KZN to regress from its clean audit performance.  As Cogta, we are dead serious about managing consequences for poor performance when it comes to municipalities. We want mayors to ensure that there are consequences for those who have dropped the ball,” said Dube-Ncube.

“Our message to poorly performing municipalities is clear: there must be harsh consequences for poor municipal performance and we want those responsible units and officials held accountable,” said KZN MEC for Cogta Nomusa Dube-Ncube.

“Municipalities have been urged to consider drastic measures including, among others, reprimanding the CFOs and Accounting Officers.  We have already taken a decision that there will be no bonuses or salary increases by all those that received poor audit outcomes and we will be monitoring that bonuses and increment are not paid as a ritual but reward excellent  perfomance.  We can’t pay bonuses when the municipality’s financial books are in shambles,”said Dube-Ncube.

KZN Cogta is also urging individual councillors to play a robust oversight role in their respective municipalities to ensure that recurring audit issues are addressed timeously in municipal oversight committee and municipal councils and that consequence management is performed adequately.

Dube-Ncube also lauded the province for still holding the record of most municipalities with good audit outcomes in the country. “While we have 48 relatively good audit outcomes, we want to avoid complacency, hence we are treating the six where we have not done well as a wake-up call and we want clean audits as a non-negotiable for all KZN municipalities,” said Dube-Ncube.

 

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Msunduzi electricity interruptions: deliberate acts of sabotage

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KZN Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs ( Cogta) has called on the law enforcement agencies to investigate what appear to be deliberate acts of sabotage by certain elements that are tampering with electricity infrastructure and causing blackouts in various parts of uMsunduzi municipality.

Residents and businesses have been negatively affected by frequent blackouts that have been taking place in various townships, residential communities and businesses in Pietermaritzburg. Preliminary information indicates that these are deliberately orchestrated by some individuals.

While KZN Cogta respects the rights of anyone concerned with the decisions of the municipality to voice their grievances, the department takes a dim view of illegal activities such as the deliberate switch-off of electricity infrastructure with the intention to cause harm to residents and businesses.

We appeal to law enforcement agencies to investigate these incidents and bring the perpetrators to book speedily. We call on the municipality to open channels of engagement with anyone who has an issue to raise with the municipality but acts of anarchy cannot be tolerated

All our municipalities have first-class dispute resolution mechanisms and we expect that anyone with a grievance against the municipality make use of these channels.

Tampering with electricity to cause blackouts is a act of sabotage that is counter-productive and infringes on the rights of other citizens and deserves the harshest of punishments by our legal institutions.

The uMsunduzi municipality has assured KZN Cogta that it is making every effort to ensure that the electricity is restored in all affected areas. The municipality apologises to all ratepayers for the current electricity interruptions and inconvenience.

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Millions of dollars worth of rescue equipment donated to kzn by the 911 Fund

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MILLIONS OF DOLLARS WORTH OF RESCUE EQUIPMENT DONATED TO KZN BY 911 FUND

Disaster management efforts in KZN have received a massive boost with the United States-based 911 Fund donating millions of dollars’ worth of fire-fighting equipment which will be utilised by firefighters and disaster management crews in the province.

This follows the renewal of a bilateral agreement which was first signed in June 2013 for the Fund to support the Province with specialized training in the fire fighting and emergency rescue services. The new Memorandum of Understanding was signed by KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Nomusa Dube-Ncube between the Fund and the KZN provincial government. The province is to benefit from the donated equipment and expertise provided by the Fund in the training of its own firefighters. To date 302 disaster management and emergency management practitioners have been trained through this programme since its inception.

The 911 Fund was established by President Barack Obama in the wake of one of the most devastating disasters in modern history – the aerial attack on the landmark twin towers in New York in 2001.

The province has already benefited greatly from its association with the Fund with over R30-million worth of equipment donated under a previous MOU. The new MOU which was signed by Dube-Ncube in New York yesterday will ensure that the province’s disaster management teams operate more efficiently and will focus on:

  1. Fire-fighting in all facets;
  2. Water rescue training to prepare the province for the ever reported drowning cases in various areas and circumstances;
  3. sharing and development of specific regulations hooks ensuring safety of citizens particularly from fire thereby ensuring that there are relevant regulations in place for everyone to comply and promote fire prevention and safety in all costs;
  4. Sharing of experiences and benchmarking on how disaster and emergencies are being coordinated at provincials, district and local level in terms of the disaster management, operations and call centers with a full and integrated communications system supported by various stakeholders responsible for primary response.
  5. The welfare of the emergency practitioners who are always exposed to damaging scenes that can lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder if not executed very well to support emergency workers.

“The role played by the Fund to date has been immense as KZN experiences periodic disasters such as wild fires, floods and lightning strikes which leave a trail of death and destruction in their wake,” said Dube-Ncube.

 

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MEC Dube-Ncube condemns violence and attacks on foreign nationals

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KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Nomusa Dube -Ncube, has urged councillors to hold urgent meetings with communities, as part of efforts to restore peace and stability in townships around Durban, where protests and acts of violence seem to be spiralling out of control.

Dube-Ncube’s directive to councillors come as law enforcement agencies struggle to control the spate of community protests, which in some instances,  resulted into incidents of attacks on foreign nationals including torching and looting of their shops.

Since last night shocking incidents of violence have been witnessed in KwaMashu, allegedly sparked by rumours, spread through social media networks that some foreign nationals are involved in the abduction of women and school children.  Shops have been torched and police had to intervene to evacuate foreign nationals.  This morning the violence spread to neighbouring townships such as Ntuzuma, inanda where reports surfaced that school children were being forced out of school to join protest actions.

“We appeal to all councillors to play an active role in calming the situation and end the violence that is currently taking place.  Communities are urged to exercise restraint and raise their concerns through their local leaders so that they can be responded to.  Any issues of concern to communities must be resolved peacefully and through dialogue.   Violence and taking the law to your own hands can only make the situation worse” said Dube-Ncube

“We also appeal to those spreading false information, with no evidence to back it, through social media, to desist from doing so, as their misleading information appear to be behind the disturbance of peace in these townships.  We call on the police to investigate the sources of these false and reckless rumours and charge those responsible for these hoax gossips that have given rise to violence in our communities.  Social media cannot be used as a tool for fanning the flames of violence.  Those doing so must refrain as this is a serious criminal offence.  It is very sad that this is happening during the Africa Month” Dube-Ncube added.

We urged the police to remain on full alert and community leaders to work with councillors to restore peace and order and educate communities about the dangers of fake news.   Dube-Ncube who is also a Member of the Executive responsible for supporting Ethekwini Municipality, has also condemned the violence and called for unity and cohesion.

Issued by the Ministry of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs in KwaZulu-Natal: For more information contact: KZN Cogta spokesperson Lennox Mabaso, 0828842403 or Msawakhe Mayisela on 0609664220

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MEC Dube-Ncube condemns murder of uMzimkhulu councillor

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KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, has condemned in the strongest terms the murder of uMzimkhulu municipal councillor Mduduzi Shibase who was gunned down last night.

“It is with outrage that we react to the killing of yet another elected public representative in our local government. Our thoughts and prayers are with the grieving family,” said KZN MEC for Cogta Nomusa Dube-Ncube.

KZN Cogta notes that Cllr Shibase’s murder comes only a few weeks after the brazen killing of uMzimkhulu municipal Speaker, adding to the number of councillors who have become victims of violent murder since the 2016 municipal elections.

“We urge the law enforcement agencies to investigate this murder with speed and apprehend those responsible without delay. We also urge the local community to remain calm as this investigation unfolds,” said Dube-Ncube.

For more information contact: KZN Cogta spokesperson Lennox Mabaso, 082 884 2403 or Msawakhe Mayisela on 0609664220

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