KZNCOGTA MEC HLOMUKA MOVES WITH HASTE TO ADDRESS THE IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE AT PROVINCIAL DISASTER SUMMIT

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Disaster management in the province of KwaZulu-Natal is due for a major shake-up as the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC Sipho Hlomuka moves with haste to ensure that municipalities realign their disaster management policies to factor in the reality of climate change.

Hlomuka this morning officially opened the two-days KZN Disaster Summit in Bergville, in the Okhahlamba local municipality, which is attended by mayors and senior disaster management officials. The summit aims to address shortcomings in the disaster management space, which includes capacity building, realignment of policies to factor in climate change, and the activation of local structures at ward level to ensure well-coordinated responses to disaster incidents.

“As a province, we have been on the receiving end of bad weather patterns which have left a trail of death and destruction in their wake. During the previous year, we experienced incidents, such as tornadoes, cyclonic winds, floods and hailstorms. In 2019 we lost 208 innocent lives in these incidents while in the previous year we had experienced 163 fatalities. These numbers are too high and this summit aims to respond to these challenges through the realignment and reassessment of policies on; Disaster Risk Management, Mitigation, Preparedness and Sustainable Development at a local level and provincial level” said Hlomuka.

The province has disaster management centres located in each district whose primary role is to plan and react to disaster incidents. Hlomuka has vowed to support municipalities in their quest to beef up capacity. “We will be working with our municipalities to ensure that they allocate sufficient budgets for disaster management for things like connectivity, personnel and equipment,” added Hlomuka.

The two-day summit is also attended by senior officials from national Cogta, SALGA, traditional leaders and sector departments.

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KZN COGTA MEC HLOMUKA CALLS ON RESIDENTS TO UTILISE LAST CHANCE TO REGISTER FOR TC ELECTIONS

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KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuko has appealed to residents wishing to participate in the Traditional Council elections, which are set to take place on Saturday 29 February, to make use of this last chance to register at their nearest IEC office before 16:00 on Friday 24 January.

Hlomuka’s call comes after the bumper registration weekend, which saw 2854 voting stations opened on Sunday across rural communities in the province, where residents were able to register. “Many residents used this opportunity to register and to check their details on the voters roll,” said Hlomuka.

This year’s Traditional Council elections are an opportunity for traditional communities to elect 40% of the members who will sit in their respective Traditional Councils. “Our province has 303 traditional communities which have Traditional Councils headed by AmaKhosi. These councils have an important role to play in the fostering social cohesion and working together with Amakhosi to ensure that services are rendered to communities. These elections provide an opportunity for the reconstitution of these councils as they have a term of five years,” said Hlomuka.

The department has also created a toll-free line 0800 023 333, which residents can use during office hours in case they have any questions.

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MOP UP OPERATIONS CONTINUE FOLLOWING HEAVY RAINS THAT DAMAGED HOUSES IN MSUNDUZI

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Disaster Management teams are continuing with mop-up operations following the heavy rains that hit the uMsunduzi local municipality over the weekend which damaged 56 houses and affected 241 people in Wards 2, 4, 11 and 23.

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Sipho Hlomuka dispatched disaster management teams on Saturday to respond to several incidents that took place because of heavy rains, which caused the Msunduzi River the burst its banks, which flooded some houses.

Disaster Management teams have commenced with mop-up operations and the supplying of affected people with interim relief which includes blankets, plastic sheeting and food.

Cogta MEC Sipho Hlomuka has commended the good work being done by the disaster management teams in responding speedily to this incident. “Our teams are working together with the municipality to ensure that the affected residents receive adequate support during this difficult time” added Hlomuka.

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STATE OF READINESS FOR TRADITIONAL COUNCIL ELECTIONS MEDIA BRIEFING REMARKS BY MEC SIPHO HLOMUKA

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We are here today to provide an update on the preparations for the traditional council elections which are taking place on Saturday, 29 February.

The Province of KwaZulu-Natal is a deeply rural province, which has large areas that are classified as traditional communities. The province has 303 traditional communities with traditional councils which are headed up by AmaKhosi. These councils have an important role to play in the country’s developmental agenda.

The quest to create a better life for all residents in the province can only be fulfilled through co-operation and partnerships with various institutions. The institution of Traditional Leadership is one of the most critical stakeholders.

 

TRADITIONAL COUNCIL ELECTIONS

Our Government, strongly believes that the institution of Traditional Leadership has an important role to play in creating social cohesion within our communities.  In fact amaKhosi are well known for their role in instilling respect and discipline within the communities that they lead.

The law, through the KZN Traditional Leadership and Governance Act, 2005, together with national legislation provide for the election of traditional councils every five years. It provides for the democratic election of 40% of the members that make up a traditional council. The remaining 60% is appointed by the respective Inkosi or Ibamba. It further stipulates that at least 33% of the 60% appointed made by Inkosi has to be comprised of woman.

The law provides for a minimum of 18 and a maximum of 50 traditional council members, this, of course, depends on a formula which takes into consideration the size of the community and the number of izigodi.

These elections provide an opportunity  for all South African citizens who belong to traditional communities to elect from among themselves people who will make up 40% of their respective traditional councils.

These Traditional Councils play a pivotal role in upholding the values and administering the affairs of Traditional Communities and assist Traditional Leaders to perform their functions effectively.

 

ROLE OF THE IEC

As Government we cannot over-emphasise the importance of these elections in entrenching the democratic culture within our society.  It is for this reason that we have fought to have these elections under the guide and command of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) who are utilising their world-renowned expertise to ensure that these elections are credible, free and fair.  We remain grateful for the cooperation of the IEC throughout the process.

 

Our teams have been hard at work with the IEC, in preparation for the Voter Registration Day which is taking place this Sunday, 19 January. We can confirm today that it is all systems go for the voter registration day.

 

We have 2854 voting stations which are spread right across the province in all our Traditional Communities. These stations will be open from 08:00 AM and will close at 17:00 PM.

 

We are urging residents who reside within these communities to visit their nearest voting stations on Sunday to register, re-register if they have moved residence after the May 2019 National and Provincial Election or to check and confirm their details. They can also visit the IEC website on www.elections.org.za to Click, Check and Confirm their registration details or check via SMS by sending an  ID Number to 32810 (R1.00 per SMS).

 

The IEC is using the national common voters roll as it currently exists for these elections. This means that residents who are on the voters’ roll do not need to re-register, as they are the already registered.  HOWEVER, It is important for voters  to check if their current voting station is listed under their traditional authority for the purposes of these elections,   if not, they will need to register in one of the voting stations that appears on their traditional authority list.

 

The list of voting stations was published on Isolezwe Newspaper yesterday (16 January 2020). If they have missed the publications they can visit our website www.kzncogta.gov.za/tcelections to download the list of voting stations

 

ELECTION OF IZIPHAKANYISWA 

 

The elections also include the election of IziPhakanyiswa by the 9 communities who use the system of iziPhakanyiswa. This system is practiced by a few communities whereby they democratically elect for themselves someone to assume the role of a traditional leader. The term of these leaders is also five years as prescribed in the legislation governing the institution of traditional leadership in the Province.

Geographically the communities that will be having the elections of iziPhakanyiswa are in the King Cetshwayo District (2) and in the Harry Gwala District (7).

These iziPhakanyiswa elections will take place on Saturday, 1 February. An  imbizo will be held in the respective communities and  prospective candidates will be nominated and voted for.

 

DISTRICT ISIZWE
King Cetshwayo Kholwa/KwaMondi
Kholweni/eNtumeni
Harry Gwala Isibonelesihle
Mabandla
Malenge
Jongilizwe
Ladam
Mvolozi
Sandile

 

 

 

EXCLUSIONS

It is important to sensitise our citizens that in Traditional Communities where the seat of ubuKhosi is vacant and there is no recognized Ibamba, the elections will not be held.

 

ACTIVATION OF LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES

 

As a Department, we are working hand in hand with relevant law enforcement agencies to ensure that the voter registration day is a success.

 

Our plea to communities is for them to ensure that they participate in these important elections. The list of voting stations has been dispersed to all the relevant communities throughout all the Districts.

We also have a toll free number 0800 023 333 which community members can call in the case they have any queries.

IMPORTANT ELECTIONS DATES

 The following are the important dates for these elections:

 

OKUZOKWENZIWA USUKU ISIKHATHI
Ukubhalisela ukuvota 19 January 2020 08H00 – 17H00

 

Ukhethwa kwezi-Phakanyiswa 01 February 2020 09H00
Ukwethulwa kwamagama alabo abakhethwe yiNkosi ukuba bakhe isibalo esingu 60% samalungu omkhandlu.

Amalungu omphakathi azophakamisa amagama alabo abazovotelwa ukwenza isibalo esingu 40% kumkhandlu.

09 February 2020 09H00
Usuku lokukhetha labo abazokwakha isibalo esingu 40% kwimikhandlu yamakhosi. 29 February 2020 07H00 – 19H00

 

In conclusion, we would like to thank for the media for the continuing support and coverage of these important elections.

 

I thank you.

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MEC HLOMUKA VISITS HARRY GWALA DISTRICT SCHOOLS

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Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Sipho Hlomuka alongside members of the provincial legislature visited the Harry Gwala District to participate in the legislature’s school monitoring programme.
The programme is a province-wide initiative spearheaded by the provincial legislature in which members are deployed to various schools across the province to assess the state of readiness for the academic year. MEC Hlomuka first visited Hlokozi High School where he encouraged learners to strive for excellence in the academic year ahead.

In his address to the learners, MEC Hlomuka said, “Education is an important tool that we urge you as young people to use. As young people, you are the future of this country. On this first day of school, we want you to be focused and determined to succeed in this academic year”

Hlomuka also expressed concerns regarding the numerous challenges faced by Hlokozi High School, which include the spread of social ills like drug and substance abuse, vandalism, and poor performance, which stems from the drop in the matric pass rate. The MEC has called for an urgent meeting with Operation Sukuma Sakhe stakeholders so that the issues of social ills can be dealt with holistically.

The delegation, which was chaired by Cogta Portfolio Chair, Honourable Ricardo Mthembu, also visited Kwathathani High School outside Ixopo, where they engaged the management of the school on its plans to improve the performance of the school in the current academic year.

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ZULU MONARCH CALLS FOR END TO GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE AS HE WELCOMES HUNDREDS OF INITIATES IN KOKSTAD

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His Majesty the King of the Zulu nation Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhezukulu has called for an end to gender-based violence. The King’s appeal came today during the uLwaluko Homecoming Ceremony which was held in Kokstad in the Harry Gwala district municipality.

This year’s edition of the ceremony welcomed back 280 young men who have successfully undergone the practice of ukusoka. It celebrates their safe return from the six initiation traditional schools around the Greater Kokstad area. The ceremony was attended by KZN MECs for; Cogta Sipho Hlomuka, Social Development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza and Arts, Culture, Sports and Recreation MEC Hlengiwe Mavimbela.

His Majesty’s call comes at a time when the country and province have experienced several incidents of gender-based violence.

Speaking at the ceremony, the King has also urged the government to ensure that indigenous knowledge is used in conjunction with the best of Western medical practices to ensure that the fight against the spread of the HIV/Aids is ultimately successful.

In 2009 the King revived the tradition of ukusoka (circumcision) which was backed enthusiastically by the KZN Provincial Government. Since then over a million men in the province have been circumcised

“Since the inception of this programme which I revived, our province has not had a single incident where a young man has lost his life because of ukusoka” added his Majesty.

The King also thanked the Indlondlo Organising Committee, for the great work they continue to do in ensuring that young men that are undergoing Ukusoka in Greater Kokstad do it safely.

Speaking at the ceremony, MEC Hlomuka echoed his Majesty’s call for men to play their part in the fight against the abuse of women and children. Hlomuka also thanked the King for his visionary leadership in reviving the practice of Ukusoka which is also being championed by the Provincial Government. “As the Provincial Government, we are happy to see young men in Kokstad and all surrounding areas undergoing the practice of traditional circumcision in safe and hygienic environments. We are also happy to see that these men are being taught about the responsibility men have in building our communities” said Hlomuka.

“What we have witnessed today is also a reminder of the important role that the institution of traditional leadership continues to have in creating social cohesion within our communities. When these young men are in the mountain, they are taught to stay away from social ills such as drugs and alcohol abuse, through this we are ensuring that our young men are better prepared to face life’s challenges” added Hlomuka.

One of the initiates Vuyolwethu Tubane called the process that he and his fellow initiates have gone through a life-changing experience. “The process we have undergone through the uLwaluko ritual has been educational and has prepared us to be men who will play a meaningful role in our communities. At the mountain, we were taught what manhood is and the responsibility we have in fighting against social ills that continue our communities which include the abuse of women and children” added Tubane.

 Ends.

 

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KZNCOGTA MEC SIPHO HLOMUKA, JOINS HIS MAJESTY THE KING IN WELCOMING NEW INITIATES IN KOKSTAD

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The task of solidifying and strengthening the role played by the institution of traditional leadership in creating social cohesion in the Province of KwaZulu-Natal continues to be a top priority for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Sipho Hlomuka.

As part of these efforts the Cogta MEC will tomorrow, Sunday 5 January, host uLwaluko Home Coming Ceremony in Kokstad, where His Majesty the King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu, will be welcoming, New Initiates (Amakrwala) that have undergone the traditional practice of ukusoka.

The event celebrates the safe return of the young men from the six initiation traditional schools around the Greater Kokstad area.

The practice represents the beginning of a new period for these initiates filled with responsibilities and expectations.

His majesty will also share his wisdom with these young men regarding their expected role in the building of stronger communities.

This event is taking place at a time when the province is making steady progress in the fight against the spread of the HIV/AIDS virus and with several Districts meeting the UNAIDS 90 90 90 ambitious treatment target to help end the Aids pandemic.

Members of the media are invited to attend and report on this event:

Date: Sunday, 05 January 2018

Venue: Riverview Stadium, Kokstad

Time: 10:00 AM

For more information contact: KZN COGTA Spokesperson Senzelwe Mzila 082 474 1882.

ENDS

 

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KZN COGTA MEC SIPHO HLOMUKA DELIVERS RELIEF TO NEW YEARS DAY STORM VICTIMS

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KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka today visited the Inkosi Langalibelele local municipality, where severe thunderstorms left a trail of destruction on New Year’s Day, with over a hundred houses destroyed.

Hlomuka, who was accompanied by the Inkosi Langalibalele Mayor Cllr J. Mbhele and uThukela District Deputy Mayor Cllr N. Sibiya, delivered interim relief to families in the Mahlubingwane area in Ward 5. The relief included the provision of blankets, food and an emergency box; which has pots, a kettle, a stove and cutlery. 

Cogta MEC Sipho Hlomuka has assured affected residents that the provincial government is doing all in its power to support them during this difficult time. “We are very saddened by the devastation that we witnessed today. The provincial government is doing everything in its power to ensure that the affected residents receive adequate support as they rebuild their lives. We are working with several departments and other organs of state to ensure that more relief is provided to the victims which includes the provision of building material” said Hlomuka.  

Disaster management teams are continuing with assessments and are visiting all the people that are affected in the areas of Mahlubi, Mangwe, Tatane and Mwedandaba in Wards 4 and 5.

Inclement weather conditions expected to continue across the province

Hlomuka has also placed disaster management teams on alert in the Harry Gwala and Mgungundlovu District following weather reports received from the South African Weather Service which indicate that severe thunderstorms are expected to hit the Harry Gwala District moving towards Richmond, Msunduzi and Mkhambathini with possible hail, strong winds and heavy downpours. Hlomuka has called for residents in these areas to be weary of the impact these thunderstorms could have on the roads and in their communities. 

For more information contact: Cogta spokesperson Senzelwe Mzila, 082 474 1882

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Website: www.kzncogta.gov.za

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KZNCOGTA MEC SIPHO HLOMUKA CALLS FOR INVESTIGATION INTO FIRE THAT DAMAGED FOUR MUNICIPAL VEHICLES IN NDWENDWE

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Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC, Sipho Hlomuka has called for an investigation into the cause of a fire that destroyed four vehicles belonging to the Ndwendwe local municipality.

Reports received by the department indicate that at 6 am this morning, security guards at the municipality saw smoke coming from the parking bays which house municipal vehicles when they went to investigate they found four municipal vehicles burning. In this incident, two of the vehicles were destroyed while two others were partially damaged.

Hlomuka has expressed his concern at this incident and has called for a speedy investigation into the cause of this fire. “We are very concerned by this incident, the destruction of municipal assets which are meant to bring services to our communities is very unfortunate. While the circumstances around the cause of this fire may not be clear, we have therefore directed the municipality to ensure that this incident is properly investigated and that appropriate actions are taken should it be found that it was arson” said Hlomuka.

Disaster Management teams responding to Hail Storm in Estcourt

Hlomuka has also deployed disaster management teams to the Inkosi Langalibalele Local municipality where a hail storm struck the area of Phumleni, Kwaganguve, yesterday damaging over 100 houses.

Reports received by the department indicate that in this incident four people were treated for minor injuries by emergency services.

“We have deployed our teams to assist the local authority in dealing with this incident. Currently, assessments of the extent of the damage are being done by our teams and the roll-out of disaster relief has commenced. This includes the provision of plastic sheeting, food and blankets” said Hlomuka.

For more information contact: Cogta spokesperson Senzelwe Mzila, 082 474 1882

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Website: www.kzncogta.gov.za

 

Ends.

 

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MEDIA STATEMENT: HLOMUKA LEADS MOP UP OPERATIONS IN HARRY GWALA FOLLOWING SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS THAT LEFT A TRAIL OF DESTRUCTION ON CHRISTMAS EVE

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Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC, Sipho Hlomuka today visited the areas of Ibisi, KwaMeyi and KwaJames in the Mzimkhulu local municipality to lead mop-up operations following the severe thunderstorms that hit the District on Christmas Eve which severely damaged the Mlozana Primary School and 308 houses leaving 32 families homeless.

Tragic scenes of houses with roofs blown off, collapsed walls greeted Hlomuka as he visited the school and the affected households together with Mayor of Harry Gwala Cllr Nxumalo, the Mayor of uMzimkhulu Cllr Mpabanga, KZN Legislature Deputy Speaker Honourable M Ndobe.

Disaster relief packages specifically put together for the affected families were distributed which include roof sheeting, food and blankets. “We are heartbroken about what we have seen here. We are thankful to the All-Mighty that there were no fatalities and those that were injured were quickly rushed to a hospital and have received proper medical care. We have identified community halls which are being utilised to assist those that have been left homeless while they rebuild their lives” said Hlomuka.

Hlomuka has vowed to ensure that all the victims of the storm receive adequate support in rebuilding their lives. “It is very sad that instead of celebrating Christmas, 308 families now have to rebuild their lives following these heavy storms. Since the area where the storm hit is spans across three municipalities (Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, uMzimkhulu and uBuhlebezwe local municipalities) our disaster management teams will continue to work with these local municipalities and the district to ensure that adequate support is provided to all the victims of this severe storm” added Hlomuka.

The department has also received a weather warning from the South African Weather Service which indicates that dangerously hot and humid conditions are expected to continue in the North-Eastern parts of the province, today. Hlomuka has urged residents to stay hydrated as these conditions are expected to be extremely uncomfortable.

Hlomuka has also directed the department to convene a Disaster Management workshop in the new year to mitigate the impact of weather-related incidents across the province. Since January the province lost over 200 lives as a result of weather-related incidents.

End

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