WELCOME BOOST FOR UTHUKELA DISASTER MANAGEMENT AS KZN COGTA MEC HLOMUKA HANDS OVER MULTI-MILLION RAND DISASTER RESPONSE VEHICLE

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The capacity of the uThukela district to respond to disaster incidents has just received a welcome boost when KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka handed over to the municipality a state-of-the-art disaster response vehicle.

The handover, which took place at the district offices in Ladysmith today, marked an important turning point in the department’s efforts to improve capacity in the province’s municipalities in terms of disaster response. When handing over the vehicle, Hlomuka emphasised the value his department places on the proper functioning of disaster management centres across the province since they are the first respondents to disasters.

The handover of the disaster response vehicle follows a similar handover by Hlomuka in the Ndwendwe local municipality where the department recently invested R2-million to procure a disaster response vehicle. The Mayor of the uThukela district, Cllr Mazibuko, officially received the vehicle from MEC Hlomuka in a small ceremony attended by fire and rescue personnel based in the uThukela district.

Mayor Mazibuko believes that this investment by the department will go a long way towards assisting the municipality since the district is facing severe constraints when it comes to resources. The handover of the disaster response vehicle was part of the Integrated Service Delivery Programme undertaken by Hlomuka in the district where he first visited two schools: Gcizela and Tholulwazi Primary Schools. There he handed over school uniforms to pupils that were donated by a social partner, Icebolethu Foundation.

The MEC then proceeded to the town of Ladysmith where he conducted a cleanup campaign. The campaign aims to encourage residents to keep their communities clean.

KZN COGTA MEC HLOMUKA TO EMBARK ON INTEGRATED SERVICEDELIVERY VISIT TO UTHUKELA DISTRICT

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KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka will, in an effort to capacitate disaster management response in the uThukela district, be handing over a state-of-the-art disaster response vehicle when he visits the district on Tuesday, 13 April, as part of his Integrated Service Delivery programme.

The district has recently experienced a tragedy, in which four people died when the taxi they were travelling in got swept away while trying to cross a flooded low-lying bridge. During this visit, Hlomuka will be joined by the Mayor of uThukela, Cllr Mazibuko, and Mayor of Alfred Duma municipality, Cllr Madlala.

As part of the visit, Hlomuka and the two Mayors will hand over school uniforms to pupils at local schools and conduct a clean-up campaign near the Ladysmith CBD.

Members of the media are invited to report and attend to this visit whose details are:

Date: 13 April 2021

Part 1: Schools Visit

07:30 AM: Gcizela Primary School, Watersmeet, Ladysmith

08:30 AM: Tholulwazi Primary School, Watersmeet, Ladysmith

Part 2: Clean Up Campaign

10:00 AM: Maxim Complex, Ladysmith CBD

Part 3: Disaster Truck Handover

11:00 AM: uThukela District Municipality Offices, Ladysmith

KZN COGTA MEC HLOMUKA HANDS OVER LIGHTNING CONDUCTORS TO EMMAUS HOSPITAL DURING BERGVILLE CONSTITUENCY VISIT

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The risk of lightning strikes damaging critical infrastructure at the Emmaus Hospital in Bergville is now a thing of the past. This follows the intervention by the KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka who has just facilitated the installation of seven lightning conductors at the hospital.
On Friday, 9 April, Hlomuka – as part of his constituency work – visited the hospital where he inspected the installation and officially handed over the conductors that will protect critical equipment and patients utilising the hospital going forward.
On the same day, Hlomuka also visited Vuma Secondary School in the rural area of eMabhulesini where he handed over learner support material and school uniforms. The MEC also announced the commencement of a process to drill boreholes on the school premises for the benefit of the local community and pupils.
In his address to pupils during the visit, Hlomuka urged all present to focus on their education and to avoid all distractions from their studies. The school has seen significant improvements as a result of Hlomuka’s interventions since he adopted the school in 2019. Since then the school has had electricity installed in addition to water tankers and electronic equipment, all of which has greatly benefited its learners.
In the visit MEC Hlomuka was accompanied by the Mayor of Uthukela District Cllr Mazibuko and the Mayor of Okhahlamba Cllr Ndlangisa.

KZN COGTA AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT MEC’S INSPECT WATER TANKERS IN UGU DISTRICT

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KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka and KZN MEC for Social Development Nonhlanhla Khoza, who is also the political champion of the Ugu District under Operation Sukuma Sakhe, this morning jointly inspected the water tankers utilised by the district as part of its water delivery fleet.

The inspection comes following several engagements the MEC’s had with the local communities whose members have expressed their dissatisfaction with the frequency of the rollout of water tankers and the quality of water they provide. During the inspection, the MEC’s were accompanied by water technicians from the district who took samples of water carried by the trucks in order to inspect its quality.

Through the inspection, the MEC’s noted several issues of concern when it came to the state of some of the water tankers, their roadworthiness and being fit for purpose. The MEC’s then directed the District through the Mayor Cllr Ngcobo to tighten its control measures in order to ensure that only roadworthy and compliant tankers form part of its fleet.

As part of the engagement, the MEC’s visited eZingolweni where residents protested last month calling for improved provision of basic services, such as water. During the protest, criminal elements caused the destruction of municipal property which runs into millions of rand. When addressing the residents, amakhosi and business people, MEC Hlomuka condemned the destruction of public property perpetrated by criminals who infiltrated these community protests.

The issues of concern to residents include the improvement in the provision of water and other basic services. Residents also expressed their dismay at the level of destruction that happened in their community.

In his response, MEC Hlomuka explained to residents the steps that are being taken by the Provincial Government in its support to the district and the family of municipalities in the rollout of services, such as water.

“Some of the concerns have already been addressed while others are currently receiving attention. One of the issues is the expansion of the volume of water extracted from the Umthavuna River for purification and distribution to Ezingolweni, KwaXolo and Southbroom. This project is fully funded by Cogta to the tune of R14-million and is being implemented by Eskom,” said MEC Hlomuka.

KZN COGTA MEC HLOMUKA NOTES STATS SA REPORT SHOWING IMPROVEMENT IN THE PROVISION OF SERVICES IN KZN

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KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka has noted the 2019 Non-Financial Census of Municipalities report released by StatsSA last week. The report details significant improvements in the provision of services to residents in the province for the said period.
According to the report, which measures service delivery, including water, electricity and sanitation, meaningful progress is being made in KZN. The province recorded an increase in the number of residents who benefit from the free basic services provided by municipalities, such as water, electricity and refuse removal.
In this period, a 31% increase was recorded in the proportion of consumers who benefit from free basic water. More than 32 000 consumers were connected to the electricity grid during this period, which brought the number of electricity consumers in the province to 1.9 million, with free electricity benefitiaries increasing by 2700 to 306 000.
Similarly during this time, 1.7 million consumers received solid waste management services, while the number of free service beneficiaries increased by over 200 000.
Hlomuka has noted this report which is a clear indication that the programmes being implemented by the department are bearing fruit, especially those aimed at capacitating municipalities with responsive indigent policies that ensure provision of free services for qualifying households.
Hlomuka has also commended municipalities for ensuring that significant strides are made in providing communities from the most vulnerable areas with better services. He also noted that the province did not record any provision of the bucket system by municipalities. This, according to Hlomuka, is a testament to the Provincial Government’s commitment to eradicating this degrading system.
Going forward, Hlomuka has vowed to strengthen his department’s oversight of and support to municipalities to ensure that the gains that have been made by local government are expanded in future.
Ends.

KZN COGTA ACHIEVES CLEAN AUDIT FOR 2019/2020 FINANCIAL YEAR

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KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka has welcomed the Auditor-General’s findings which indicate that the department has received an unqualified audit with no findings or a ‘clean audit’ for the 2019/2020 financial year.

This Audit outcome, according to Hlomuka, is a big boost for the department as it promotes good and clean governance in the sphere of local government in KZN. The department is tasked with the general oversight over municipalities and the institution of traditional leadership in the province.

The achievement of the clean audit is a reflection of the commitment officials within the department have towards the safeguarding of public funds and ensuring that these are utilised in a manner that is efficient and effective.

Hlomuka has congratulated the management and staff of the department who, under the leadership of Head of Department Thando Tubane, have set the department on a course to be a hub of excellence.

The latest clean audit is also an exemplary step as the department continues to implement its Operation Clean Audit which is aimed at improving the management of finances within the province’s municipalities.

Ends

 

KZN COGTA MEC HLOMUKA UPDATES UGU RESIDENTS ABOUT STEPS TO END SERVICE DELIVERY CHALLENGES

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KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka today led a delegation consisting of municipal and provincial government officials to address Ugu residents on the steps that are being taken to resolve service delivery challenges within the district.
Ugu communities had protested over inadequate access to basic services which culminated in the intervention by MEC Hlomuka who met with them last week. Today’s visit provided an opportunity for the MEC to give feedback on the steps being taken to address service delivery challenges. Chief amongst their grievances has been the unavailability of water and the poor state of the roads.
Hlomuka met with the communities of KwaMadlala – Ward 14, Maygog – Wards 13, and 15 and Ezinqoleni Ward 32 under the Ray Nkonyeni local municipality. In this engagement, Hlomuka with the support of the Ugu District Mayor Cllr Ngcobo and the Mayor of the Ray Nkonyeni municipality Cllr Mqwebu set out steps that are being taken by the municipalities with the support of the provincial government to address service delivery issues in the district.
Currently, the district is implementing a number of interventions that are both short and long term. These include:
·       Connecting to the Eastern Cape’s power supply which will allow for more water to be extracted from the Umthavuna River for purification and distribution to Ezingolweni, KwaXolo and Southbroom. This project is fully funded by Cogta to the tune of R14-million and is being implemented with Eskom.
·       Upgrade of the KwaXolo Bulk water supply scheme which is being implemented to increase supply to KwaXolo and Izingolweni network.
·       Exploration of ground water systems (boreholes and springs) to augment the inadequate bulk capacity of the Bhobhoyi Northern system
·       Supply of water on a rotational basis with the prior communication of schedules to ensure that communities are kept abreast consistently.
·       Bulk Water Supply to be augmented through the Mhlabashane Supply Scheme based on agreement with Umgeni Water to increase production capacity to 7.0 Ml/day in Louisiana and Maygong areas and the KwaMadlala Pump station upgrade.
In the long term, the national Department of Water and Sanitation has commissioned the construction of Cwabeni Dam which will further alleviate the pressure. That project is due for completion in 2023.
In the meantime, the delivery of water through tankering is being enhanced to maximise the efficiency thereof. In some of the areas, static tanks are being added at strategic points to ensure regular water provision. Hlomuka has pledged his department’s readiness to monitor the implementation of these measures.
On the roads matter, the provincial government will be appointing a contractor who will upgrade some of the roads.

KZN COGTA MEC HLOMUKA SADDENED BY WEENEN TAXI INCIDENT WHERE ONE PASSENGER DROWNED AND THREE MISSING

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KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka saddened by the fatal incident that took place last night in Weenen under the Inkosi Langalibalele Local Municipality, where one person, a 40-year-old female, drowned with three people missing after the taxi they were travelling in got swept away while crossing a low-lying bridge in Weenen.

 

In the incident, 13 people who were inside the taxi managed to get to safety.

 

Disaster Management teams are working non-stop to locate the missing people who are believed to be from one family.

 

According to teams that responded to the incident 2 teenagers (a male and a female) and an adult from the Mkhize household are unaccounted for and are believed to have been swept away by the raging waters.

 

Hlomuka has expressed his concern about the loss of life that the province continues to experience as a result of inclement weather conditions. “We are saddened by this latest incident. Our teams are working round the clock in conjunction with the police search and rescue teams to locate the missing” said Hlomuka.

 

MEC Hlomuka has appealed to drivers to continue to be vigilant and avoid crossing flooded bridges as this is dangerous.

 

Hlomuka has called for an investigation into the circumstances surrounding this incident to determine whether there was any negligence on the part of the driver in crossing the flooded river.

KZN COGTA MEC SADDENED WITH PASSING OF INKOSI NTANZI OF MSHWATHI MUNICIPALITY

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KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka has expressed his sadness at the news of the passing of Inkosi Bhekukwenza Ntanzi of the Ntanzi Traditional Council in the uMshwathi local municipality under the uMgungundlovu District.
Inkosi passed away on Friday following a short illness.
MEC Hlomuka has sent condolences to the family of Inkosi and Ntanzi Traditional Community.
MEC Hlomuka has dispatched senior officials from the departments to comfort and provide support to the grieving family.

KZN COGTA MEC HLOMUKA WELCOMES IMPROVEMENT IN ETHEKWINI’S FINANCES DURING SURPRISE VISIT TO METRO

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KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka has welcomed the recent improvements in the eThekwini Metro’s collection rates which now stand at pre-lockdown levels.

 

The municipality was one of the most affected in the province as a result of the outbreak of Covid-19 in 2020 which saw a sharp decline in its revenue and cash flows.

 

The municipality suffered a loss in revenue of about R3-billion and had an 88% collection rate during the 2019/2020 financial year. Most recently, the municipality’s overall revenue collection has improved to 95% which is at pre-lockdown levels.

 

This morning, MEC Hlomuka together with Senior Management from the Department met with the Executive Committee of the municipality and its senior management from whom he received a comprehensive report on the metro’s current status. As part of the robust engagement areas were identified by Cogta officials that the City still needs to improve on.

 

This engagement was preceded by an unannounced visit with eThekwini Mayor Cllr Kaunda to the Florence Mkhize frontline service delivery centre where the delegation inspected the level of services provided to residents. During this engagement, the MEC and Mayor interacted with residents who had come to make use of services rendered in this building.

 

This visit forms part of the assessment that is being conducted by the department which is looking into billing and other complaints from consumers and ratepayers with the aim to identify root causes and ensure that the municipality is able to respond to its communities and apply the Batho Pele principles.

 

Hlomuka and Kaunda also conducted a clean-up campaign earlier in the day when they visited Isipingo where they led efforts to clean the small town and to encourage residents to take care of their surroundings.

 

Speaking during the clean-up campaign, Hlomuka encouraged residents to be part of the solution by not littering as litter clogs drains which then leads to localised flooding during heavy rains. The delegation also visited Zuzumqhele High School where it handed over 56 full set uniforms to deserving learners. Hlomuka and Kaunda also planted trees on the school property as part of efforts to encourage learners to take care of the environment.