MEDIA STATEMENT: KZN COGTA MEC MOURNS FORMER MAYOR OF NDWEDWE AND INKOSI NTULI OF KWAMAPHUMULO

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MEDIA STATEMENT: KZN COGTA MEC MOURNS FORMER MAYOR OF NDWEDWE AND INKOSI NTULI OF KWAMAPHUMULO

21 June 2019

KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka has learned with great shock and sadness of the senseless murder of the former Mayor of Ndwedwe local municipality, Cllr Maxwell Hadebe, who was gunned down last night by unknown assailants.

Hadebe served as mayor of Ndwedwe during the period of 2011 and 2016, and led the municipality with distinction by setting a solid foundation for service delivery in this deeply rural region of KZN.

According to reports, Hadebe was gunned down by unknown assailants near his business operation area.

“We are shocked and saddened by brutl killing of the former Mayor, who remained a community activist and contributed his ideas in support of other councilors even though he was no longer a councilor. We call upon the law enforcement agencies to uncover the perpetrators of these heinous crimes,” said Hlomuka.

“His senseless murder has resulted in a great loss for the sphere of local government as Hadebe was a true servant of the people. He dedicated his life to the service of his community and left no stone unturned in his efforts to ensure that adequate services were rendered to Ndwedwe residents,” said Hlomuka.

PASSING OF INKOSI NTULI

MEC Hlomuka has also extended heartfelt condolences to the family and community of Mkhonto/Khoza Traditional Council in Maphumulo local municipality whose leader Inkosi John Mbhekeni Ntuli (72) passed away yesterday following a long illness.

“As a department, we join the institution of traditional leadership in KZN in mourning the loss of this great leader who was a pillar of strength and a unifier in his community. Inkosi Ntuli’s death leaves a gaping void that will be difficult to fill within the institution of traditional leaders,” said Hlomuka who has also dispatched departmental senior officials to comfort and assist the grieving family during this difficult time.

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

Twitter: www.twitter.com/kzncogta

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Website: www.kzncogta.gov.za

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LOCAL GOVERNMENT POLICY DIRECTIVE FOR THE SIXTH TERM OF OFFICE ADDRESS BY HON. SIPHO HLOMUKA

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LOCAL GOVERNMENT POLICY DIRECTIVE FOR THE SIXTH TERM OF OFFICE

ADDRESS BY HON. SIPHO HLOMUKA

KZN MEC FOR COOPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS,

BERGVILLE: 21 JUNE 2019

Programme Directors;

Your Worships, the Mayors;

Municipal Managers;

Head of Department, Mr. Tubane;

Cogta officials;

Ladies and gentlemen;

All protocol observed

Introduction

Let me start by thanking the leadership of Okhahlamba Local Municipality for hosting us today and let me extend our heartfelt congratulations to you as our clean audit loadstar. Thank for the hospitality and for flying the flag of our province high.

I am deeply honoured to be afforded an opportunity to engage with the leaders and senior bureaucrats of our most important sphere of government – municipalities. You are the people who are manning the forward trenches in our quest to deliver a better life for all our citizens and it is through this sphere of local government that ordinary people experience government first-hand.

I would like to first and foremost thank the many of you who sent us messages of congratulations and best wishes following our appointment. We had a bit of trepidation as we contemplated the road ahead and the magnitude of the task at hand but your messages of support have given us confidence, warmth, excitement and pride because we now know that we can count on you as our partners on this important journey.

I warmly welcome you and thank you very much for all the positive encouragements.

Renewed Mandate

Yesterday, His Excellency President of the Republic, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, presented his State of the Nation Address, which details a five-year programme of priorities of the sixth administration of the democratically elected government of the country. In his address, the President issued an open invitation to all sectors, especially local government: he said that, collectively, we must grow South Africa and create jobs.  These are the new marching orders and part of the renewed mandate for us and this is a new barometer that the citizens will use to measure our performance.

We therefore felt it is very important that we engage early on as the session of the sixth administration gets in motion so that all of us can identify the role we will play in promoting and ensuring the realisation of this national programme of action.

We have all been recently on the ground where we were campaigning in the elections and we heard for ourselves the views and frustrations of ordinary citizens. I think we all agree that this has been the most difficult election because the voters, as we were interacting with them, have been asking difficult questions. Indeed it has become evidently clear that they are and will continue to hold us accountable. The voters have been unequivocal in that they will not give any government a blank cheque; they have put us to yet another test and we dare not fail this test.

The only way we will pass the test is by responding to and delivering on the commitments we have presented to them.

Key to that commitment is that we will have a stable system of local government that is faster in implementing programmes to change the lives of our people.

For this to be achieved, it is critical that we proceed from an identical service delivery script where we are clear about our respective roles and what is expected of all of us as elected public representatives. Unity of purpose is an important ingredient of success. We cannot be pulling in different directions and still expect to succeed. This requires that we must listen to each other, learn from each other and always strive for consensus. Munimec is an important forum for intergovernmental relations in this province and it is also a platform where we must perfect listening to each other, learning from each other and forging consensus.

New Dawn and Khawuleza

We are in this era of the New Dawn where now government has been sent (Thuma Mina) to now implement faster and faster (Khawuleza) a better life to all citizens.  Those of us who have been around in the sphere of local government will remember that we started by diagnosing the problems, we then emerged with a turnaround programme, thereafter we went back to basics. The question now is where do we go from here and the answer can only be “implement”! Deliver! Implement faster!

We are in that age where the dust has to be seen flying as we engage in implementation. As we do so, we are acutely aware that we will be building upon the solid foundation laid by many of you, colleagues, including my predecessor, Honourable Nomusa Dube-Ncube and the many generations of councillors and local government practitioners.

We therefore have a critical task ahead to break new ground. This means that we have to urgently respond to the major problem areas that impede the performance of local government and affect ordinary citizens. These include job creation and attracting investment, the land question, striving for greater efficiency in service delivery,  responding more quickly to community concerns, speeding up transformation of the apartheid landscape by encouraging more racially-integrated residential areas, increasing capacity via effective management instead of relying on the crisis-driven interventions, improving municipal revenue collection, ensuring that financial commitments are commensurate with resources, and co-ordinating the work of community development officers, municipal councillors and ward committees.

We have to attend to a number of inherent challenges that present stumbling blocks to local government achieving its full developmental potential. Part of this is the problem of uncoordinated planning and implementation. A common complaint of municipalities has been that national and provincial government and state entities implement their programmes in local areas without the full participation, knowledge and input of municipalities.

We have just emerged from the Cabinet Lekgotla which was convened by our Premier, Honourable Sihle Zikalala, and I want to assure you that we have a new vigour and determination to address this long-standing anomaly. It is time that we move beyond just theory towards practice and walk the talk when we say the IDP is our bible of implementation as government. The IDPs have to incorporate what will be implemented by other spheres of government in municipal spaces. We are going to use all the available intergovernmental relations platforms to make sure that departments and entities provide resources for the programmes they committed themselves to on the IDP. We want them to do this on time and not in the last quarter of the financial year when they have to clean their books as they fear under-expenditure.

A writer once said that local government in South Africa at times acts like “a chicken whose legs have been tied for too long”.

In other words, even when the chains that bind the chicken’s legs are loosed, it remains at a loss for what to do with its newfound freedom. This descriptive analogy apparently refers to the failure of local government to harness its newfound power in post-apartheid South Africa and to claim its rightful position as the driver of development at the local level, and instigator of bottom-up growth and progress, which is meant to shape and transform our society. In this era we want to see local government fortifying its role as a service provider of choice and not acting like a poor cousin of national and provincial government.

For this to happen, we have to ensure that we have the correct capacity and we are able to deliver. The common concern that is often raised is that municipalities are under-capacitated. This we must address speedily because after 19 years in the life of local government, we should not be making such excuses. Critics argue that the challenges are as a result of placing the major burden of responsibility for the delivery of social services, in large measure, on the weakest level of government: municipal or local government. Our task in this era will be to change this state of affairs.

To reclaim the lost confidence, we have to attend to the issues of how we manage the resources of our municipalities. The latest audit reports from the Auditor-General indicate that as a province we received only one clean audit, which is here at Okhahlamba Municipality. This is indicative of the work that lies ahead of us. I am sure that, as we are about to close the books and prepare the annual financial statements, this picture is going to change.

Equally we have to rise to the challenge of consumer municipal debt which I am advised is now standing at some R14-billion and increasing. We have a challenge now where some municipalities are on the road to defaulting on their responsibilities, such as Eskom. This is an area of grave concern and we have to mount a serious campaign to persuade our residents to pay for services.

This should start by ensuring that our billing departments send out accurate and up-to-date accounts to ratepayers.

Land Reform

Our government is currently formulating how deal with the challenge of land reform and the operative word, once again, is “implement”. As local government, we need to identify our role in this and determine how we can assist our partners in the national and provincial government in ensuring that title deeds are restored to all rightful owners of land within our respective municipal jurisdictions. As the new MEC for Cogta in KZN, I would like to see our sphere of local government taking the front seat in the regard and our municipalities have a range of tools they can use to speed up land reform. Let us, for instance, deploy our existing structures, such as CDWs and municipal War Rooms, in identifying land reform beneficiaries and let us use our muscle to facilitate the legal procedures in fast-tracking this government initiative on the ground working with the Department of Human Settlement.

Job Creation and Working Economy

Another message that came very strongly out of the State of the Nation yesterday was the urgency in creating jobs and improving the resilience of our economy. We sometimes forget that the bulk of economic activity takes place in municipal spaces.  This is where we need to work to improve the state of our economy. If we are to improve the overall economic growth of the province, we have to start in individual municipalities.

We need to mobilise businesses and create conditions where business people can invest and thrive. No business is going to invest in a municipality that is dysfunctional, disorganised or a by-word for non-efficiency and red tape. We need to attend t infrastructure and aesthetic appeal of our municipalities. They must be clean and attractive.  We must support township and rural economies through SMMes so that we create a generation of job creators, not mere job seekers especially among young people. We must tap into the opportunities that the new technological revolution, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is bringing.  To achieve this, we need a clear vision that is tailor-made for the needs of each municipality, that takes into account local strengths and weaknesses that harnesses the local potential.

Cost Containment Measures

We still find ourselves in a situation where the province is impacted negatively by a constrained economic climate and the new Premier, Honourable Sihle Zikalala has made it clear that the cost-cutting measures the Provincial Government introduced to improve our finances must stay in place. The cost-containment measures now formally extend to municipalities and what this means is that we all have to remain prudent in spending our finances, prepare for budget cuts and reprioritisation. Against this background, we must still do our work effectively with fewer resources, managing them effectively and receiving value for money. We are in this together and we must encourage each other as we adhere to our respective cost containment measures.

Need for Stability

I believe that, going forward, we should be more proactive in raising the red flags before things deteriorate too far for us to take quick remedial action.  One of the prerequisites of well-run municipalities and traditional institutions is that they must enjoy high levels of stability. We appeal that we stop engaging in power games and occupy ourselves more with services to the community.  We need to create a legacy of our work and not be remembered for maintaining the status quo in our municipalities.  We are almost three years into the era of local government, we need to take stock of the work we have done since we assumed office. Is it a record we are proud of? If not, lets use the time to catch up and refocus.

Professionalism and Integrity

The people of South Africa have made it very clear in the 2019 elections as to what they expect of their elected public representatives. They have reminded us that we are servants of the people from whom they expect efficient and professional service. I appeal to all of you to perform your duties and functions in a manner that put people first and with professionalism and integrity as your ultimate values to live up to these expectations. We have all been given people’s trust and we cannot betray it. Integrity, in particular, is a very important currency, colleagues. You can do many good things and commit just one mistake to undo all your integrity. Once lost, reputation for integrity can easily be lost forever.

Fighting Corruption

Even as we ourselves do what is right, we must also be driven by courage to prevent or report any corrupt practices that we observe as these will ultimately reflect badly on all of us. After all, we are all part of the sphere of local government and we do not want to be painted by the same brush if some of us are involved in any form of corruption. Let us all be clear: corrupt practices are going to be punished without any fear or favour. As Cogta, we are well equipped to conduct forensic investigations into all reported instances of fraud, corruption and maladministration in municipalities. Our past record in this area speaks for itself.

As a former civil servant, I would like to implore all of you that we must work in a business-oriented manner and always put people first as Batho Pele principles guide us. We must be functional, efficient and effective. Without these attributes, the sphere of local government in KZN will falter.

Conclusion

As we conclude this opening address, we would like to reiterate our longstanding wish from Cogta’s side that the communication between you in municipalities and us in the department is always smooth and productive. We would also like to impress upon you that Munimec is primarily a forum for municipalities to raise issues that affect them. Cogta is merely the convener of these meetings. We would therefore appeal to you to take full advantage of this forum and bring issues for discussion at Munimec at your own initiative. We are aware that in the past, the vast majority of Munimec agenda items originated with Cogta and this may have given a false impression that we are in charge of this body when Munimec is in fact a cooperative arrangement.

On a related note, we would also like to sound a note of concern about the functionality of our inter-governmental relations. In the past, too many IGR meetings were being cancelled at the last minute and some meetings that did take place were not quorate to take decisions. Needless to say, this has impacted negatively on decision making and one consequence of this have been delayed or entirely hampered service delivery projects, particularly at district level.  Our appeal to you today – as we start from a clean slate – is to afford our IGR structures the seriousness they deserve.

We look forward to learning from you, working with you and improving the lives of communities together with you. I will be embarking on a tour of all municipalities in the various regions of KZN so that we all are ready to sing from the same hymn book.

I wish to thank all of you for making time to travel from all over the province to attend this Munimec. Our deepest gratitude cannot be expressed through words but we will forever be grateful for your presence and for all the ideas, knowledge and  information you are going to share with us. I wish you the best for the entire journey of the sixth term of democratic government that lies ahead of all of us. Let us grow South Africa together!

I thank you!

____________________________________________________________________________________________________

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

Twitter: www.twitter.com/kzncogta

Facebook: www.facebook.com/kzncogta

Instagram: www.instagram.com/kzncogta

Website: www.kzncogta.gov.za

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Media Statement: Millions of rands announced by MEC Hlomuka for resettling flood victims

Posted Posted in News, Speeches

MEDIA BRIEFING ON REBUILDING EFFORTS IN THE WAKE OF KZN EASTER FLOODS

BY HON. S. HLOMUKA

KZN MEC FOR COGTA

DURBAN: 11 JUNE 2019

Ladies and gentlemen of the media

Thank you for availing yourselves for today’s media briefing.

The purpose of this engagement is to give an update on the progress we are making towards rebuilding people’s lives and infrastructure following the devastating storm that wreaked havoc in the province of KwaZulu-Natal and left a trail of destruction in its wake over Easter.

You will all recall how on Monday, 22 April 2019, as we returned from the long Easter weekend, we woke up to the news of a terrible tragedy caused by a natural disaster that adversely affected various communities in the eThekwini, Ilembe, Ugu and King Cetshwayo municipalities. The ferocious storm that led to more than 70 deaths had its epicentre along the coastal areas of KZN, primarily in and around eThekwini where most casualties and damages to property occurred.

We know it as a matter of fact now that the damage that was caused on infrastructure, including houses, roads, power networks, schools and health facilities, was quantified to the figure of R1,1-billion, with eThekwini alone accounting for over R650-million of the damages caused.

Since the incidents occurred, we have had to respond as government through the provision of emergency support. We assisted all those affected in terms of temporary shelter, including providing them with food, blankets, mattresses and immediate necessities. We responded to the injured, we attended to the bereaved families, including by ensuring that they are assisted to lay their loved ones to rest in dignity and provided with post-trauma counselling. All of these efforts required resources as part of the immediate interventions. So we began spending money as soon as the disasters occurred.

We then assigned teams which visited every affected household to conduct detailed analysis of the damages caused to personal property as well as public property. This then informed the decision by the then Premier, Honourable Willies Mchunu and the Executive Committee in the fifth administration to declare the province a disaster area. We approached the National Government and indeed the responses have been very fast and various departments are starting to work with us to respond to the outstanding infrastructural issues.

Today I can report that most of the affected residents whose houses were flooded and others who were evacuated and rescued as part of our proactive interventions have returned home and their lives are now back to normal.

We however, still have some of the storm victims who are accommodated in shelters, owing to the fact that they cannot be returned to the areas they lived in because the land is not suitable for habitation (due to being prone to flooding).  Others had their homes completely destroyed. We are aware that the city is hard at work at identifying suitable replacement land for them.

We will be visiting the Burlington community hall today to update the citizens on the work we are doing to get their lives back to normality.

Today we want to announce that through the collective effort and coordination by the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, an amount to the tune of R90.8-million has been made available through the approval by the national Department of Human Settlements for eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality to expend:

  • 3-million on 772 transitional housing units
  • 1-million to assist 3017 households with building materials to rebuild their homes, and
  • 3-million for relocation costs where it is deemed necessary.

I can also announce that today, as some of you may be aware, my colleague, MEC for Social Development, Honourable Nonhlanhla Khoza, is engaging with the families of those who lost their loved ones and handing over a once-off support grant to each family to the tune of R20 000 and in total amounting to R1.44-million.

Similarly, our Department of Transport is assisting toward the rebuilding of road infrastructure and municipalities continue to reconstruct access roads where necessary.

Clearly we are hard at work and we are determined to put this tragedy behind us. We are dedicated to the long-term recovery of areas affected by this disaster, helping to restore and recreate safe and healthy homes and communities. We continue to appeal to the insurance companies to assist their insured clients timeously.

By working together, we can ensure each and every one of our neighbours can return to a safe and healthy place of living.

I have just concluded a session with the good Samaritans who selflessly came on board and helped us to fast-track emergency relief efforts. They included NGOs, private businesses and ordinary citizens. We continue to be humbled by these gestures of ubuntu and all the efforts that have been made to mitigate the suffering of the disaster victims. We also extend the word of appreciation to the media fraternity for the work you have done to tell the tale of the unfolding tragedy and to inspire everyone to support our citizens in need.

Let us all continue to work together to ensure that we do not leave anyone behind and that we help all those affected to recover swiftly. Until every family and individual affected by the disaster is back in a safe environment and able to continue with their lives as normal, our work is not done.

CONCLUSION

Once again, we wish to thank the humanitarian agencies, the media, the national, provincial and local disaster emergency and response teams, the security agencies, medical personnel and all members of the public who have shown exemplary acts of compassion and care to the victims and affected families in providing assistance and support, both moral and material.

We pledge to continue to work with all of these stakeholders to ensure that all lives disrupted by this tragedy will eventually return to normal.

I thank you!

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

Twitter: www.twitter.com/kzncogta

Facebook: www.facebook.com/kzncogta

Instagram: www.instagram.com/kzncogta

Website: www.kzncogta.gov.za

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MEDIA STATEMENT: KZN COGTA MEC MOURNS PASSING OF INKOSI MKHWANAZI

Posted Posted in News

 

KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka has expressed his sadness at the passing of Inkosi Mzokhulayo Mkhwanazi (52) of the kwaMpukunyoni Traditional Community in Mtubatuba local municipality, following a short illness.

MEC Hlomuka has expressed condolences on behalf of the premier and the people of the province of KwaZulu-Natal; “Inkosi Mkhwanazi played an important role within the institution of traditional leadership in our province. His passing is a great loss. He was a fountain of wisdom whose knowledge was always available to younger amakhosi,” said Hlomuka.

“Inkosi Mkhwanazi’s legacy is one of being an agent for development within his community as he worked hand in hand with various government departments to ensure that service delivery takes place within his community. His grandfather is the great Inkosi Mtubatuba of whom the town is named after” said Hlomuka.

The department has dispatched a team of officials to assist the family at this difficult time of grief with arrangements for the inkosi’s funeral.

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

Twitter: www.twitter.com/kzncogta

Facebook: www.facebook.com/kzncogta

Instagram: www.instagram.com/kzncogta

Website: www.kzncogta.gov.za

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MEC Hlomuka to meet Eskom to prevent electricity switch-offs in municipalities

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The new KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka is moving swiftly to prevent Eskom-imposed power cuts in debt-laden municipalities by engaging directly with the power utility and one affected municipality that is facing an imminent electricity switch-off.

 

“As a department that oversees municipalities, we are intervening in the matter of imminent electricity switch-offs in municipalities by facilitating an urgent meeting with Eskom and the affected municipalities to find solutions that will satisfy the power utility and keep the lights on at Mpofana,” said Hlomuka.

 

KZN Cogta is also urging municipalities to improve their revenue enhancement strategies to prevent recurring stand-offs with Eskom. Municipal residents are likewise urged to honour their civic duties and pay for municipal services which include provision of electricity.

 

“It is clear that our municipalities cannot continue to provide services unless they collect revenue from those who benefit from these services. This is a matter of civic conscience on the part of municipal residents and a matter of sound revenue management on the part of municipalities,” said Hlomuka.

 

“We are also urging residents to play their part of the bargain and pay for electricity services. Municipalities purchase electricity from the power utility – Eskom. This, in turn, requires that residents must pay for the electricity they use. We appeal to those who are defaulting to mend their ways before drastic actions are taken against them.  There will be serious repercussions for those found to be deliberately defaulting on their electricity accounts,” said Hlomuka.

 

The province has embarked on the path of directing investments and growing the local economies in municipalities so that we can create jobs. “Any looming power cut is a threat to investment and indeed job creation. We must all pull together and help to grow KZN into a better province. I appeal to all those who owe for electricity in Mpofana to address their accounts arrears and negotiate payment terms speedily,” said Hlomuka.

 

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

 

Twitter: www.twitter.com/kzncogta

Facebook: www.facebook.com/kzncogta

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Website: www.kzncogta.gov.za

 

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MEC Hlomuka gives marching orders to Cogta management

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The newly appointed KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka has today given his marching orders to managers within the department.

MEC Hlomuka met with the senior management in Pietermaritzburg where he outlined his vision for the department and what he expects from the various managers. In his address, the MEC emphasised the importance of accountability and transparency. “Our communities are relying on us to support their municipalities that are at the coalface of service delivery and the institution of traditional leadership which is one of the pillars of governance our province is built on. It is my hope that team Cogta will step up to the challenges that are facing Amakhosi and municipalities so that our communities will be able to access efficient and effective services. In order to address these challenges we have to be exemplary and ethical in the pursuit of a better life for all residents of the province,” said Hlomuka.

The MEC also committed himself to championing programmes within the department that empower the youth. “Our province faces a serious challenge in the area of youth unemployment and, as a department, we have to respond to this need and our municipalities must address this issue specifically”.

The meeting was attended by all Directors, Chief Directors, Deputy Director Generals and the HOD, Thando Tubane, who chaired the meeting. The MEC will also embark on an extensive consultation process with all departmental stakeholders who include Amakhosi, mayors and internal staff.

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

Twitter: www.twitter.com/kzncogta

Facebook: www.facebook.com/kzncogta

Instagram: www.instagram.com/kzncogta

Website: www.kzncogta.gov.za

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MEC Hlomuka welcomes appointment of Mshwathi Municipality Mayor

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The newly appointed KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Mr Sipho Hlomuka has congratulated the newly elected mayor of the uMshwathi local municipality Cllr Mandla Zondi.

The appointment of Cllr Zondi follows the tragic passing of uMshwathi Mayor, Cllr Zandile Mbhele in February this year.

MEC Hlomuka has expressed his well wishes to Cllr Zondi and has committed the department of Cogta to working hand in hand with the Municipality to ensure that the significant service delivery gains that have been made by the municipality are continued.

The MEC has also expressed his gratitude at the responsibility that he has been given by the ruling party in leading such a key portfolio as Cogta.

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

Twitter: www.twitter.com/kzncogta

Facebook: www.facebook.com/kzncogta

Instagram: www.instagram.com/kzncogta

Website: www.kzncogta.gov.za

 

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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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