Pietermaritzburg: KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka has condemned the attack on the Provincial Disaster Management Centre in Mkondeni, Pietermaritzburg.
This evening unknown assailants torched two vehicles at the centre which is home to the department’s disaster management officials. The attack is believed to be related to the unrest that occurred today in the Mkondeni area when residents in the Sacca informal settlement participated in a protest.
Hlomuka has condemned this blatant attack on the department and called for the speedy arrest of the culprits. “We are concerned about this act of cowardice where thousands of rand worth of government assets were destroyed by criminals. Acts such as this constitute treason and those responsible need to be held accountable. It is unacceptable that criminals can use service delivery protests as an excuse to damage state resources which are meant to assist the most vulnerable in our communities,” said Hlomuka.
As a result of this incident, the department has had to remove its vehicles from the centre to an undisclosed location to avert any further damages. “We are concerned about such incidents and are appealing to anyone that has information that could lead to the arrest of the culprits to come forward,” added Hlomuka.
As the province heads into the summer season which is a busy period for the Disaster Management Centre, the department will not allow the torching of the two vehicles to impact on its ability to respond to incidents.
In an unrelated incident in March last year, a section of the department’s offices in Mayville were burnt to the ground when unknown assailants petrol-bombed the premises.
Hlomuka has appealed to the law enforcement agencies to leave no stone unturned in their efforts to apprehend the people responsible for this shameful act.
KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka has sent condolences to the Langa family in Nquthu following the tragic incident that occurred on Tuesday where an 18-year-old member of the family was killed during a lightning strike at their residence in Ndindindi (Ward 13).
Reports received by the department indicate that Musawenkosi Langa died as a result of lightning strike that occurred in the evening while he was at his home. In the incident, there were no injuries to other members of the family.
Hlomuka has dispatched disaster management teams from the uMzinyathi district to provide support to the family. Hlomuka has also warned residents across KZN of the danger posed by inclement weather conditions in the province.
“We are saddened that we continue to lose innocent lives due to inclement weather conditions. As we head into the summer season, we are expecting an increase in weather-related incidents. It is for this reason that we plead with residents to take seriously all weather warnings from the department and the South African Weather Service,” said Hlomuka.
KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka has congratulated Hon. Zinhle Lindeka Immaculate Cele MPL on her appointment to the position of chairperson of the Cogta Portfolio Committee in the Provincial Legislature.
The position became vacant with the passing of Hon. Ricardo Mthembu MPL in July. Speaking about the appointment, Hlomuka said Cele was an activist in her own right who had championed the cause of community development across the province.
“The wealth of experience she brings to the portfolio will ensure that the department continues to excel in its service delivery efforts. We are looking forward to working together with the portfolio committee under the new leadership of Hon Cele,” said Hlomuka.
To augment the KZN Provincial Government’s crime prevention efforts and crime-fighting interventions in rural areas, KZN MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison Bheki Ntuli together with KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka signed a protocol agreement with the KZN Provincial House of Traditional Leaders under the leadership of Inkosi Phathisizwe Chiliza at the Old Legislature Building in Ulundi today.
The protocol agreement seeks to promote efficient and effective police service delivery and crime prevention in the province. Extensive consultations with all relevant stakeholders on the content of the protocol agreement have been undertaken prior to today’s ceremony. This has resulted in the consensus that cooperation and collaboration be formalised through the signing of the protocol agreement.
MEC Ntuli said that the safety of rural communities and the need to grow the agricultural economy remain key priorities for the Provincial Government. In recent months, several high-profile murders of amakhosi and izinduna have been reported in addition to numerous incidents of abuse of farm workers and high levels of stock and crop theft throughout KZN.
“Over and above the loss of life and immediate human suffering, the lack of security and stability in our rural and farming community causes serious disruption to our economy. Through the implementation of the National Rural Safety Strategy, we remain committed to ending the violent killings of amakhosi and izinduna in our province. The rural crime prevention initiatives also include stock theft, farm killings, initiation schools, rhino poaching and uKuthwala (human trafficking),” said Ntuli.
Ntuli also said that specific roles and responsibilities have been outlined in the protocol agreement, which includes an implementation plan. “We believe that the protocol agreement between the two departments and the Provincial House of Traditional Leaders will foster cooperation and collaboration with amakhosi, recognising them as key stakeholders in the pursuit of building a united front against crime and the provincial imperative of “Growing KwaZulu-Natal Together,” added Ntuli.
MEC Hlomuka has hailed the signing of the protocol agreement as a turning point in the government’s efforts to fight the scourge of crime in rural communities. Chairperson of the Provincial House, Inkosi Chiliza, has similarly committed the House to working together with all stakeholders through the protocol agreement to ensure safety in rural communities. “As amakhosi, we will be working closely with our communities to promote active citizenry in the fight against crime,” said Chiliza.
KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison Bheki Ntuli together with the MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Sipho Hlomuka will tomorrow, 26 November 2020, preside over the signing of the Protocol Agreement with the KZN Provincial House of Traditional Leaders which is under the leadership of Inkosi Chiliza, in order to promote efficient and effective police service delivery and crime prevention in the province.
The protocol agreement is based on Chapter 3 of the Intergovernmental Relations Framework Act on 2005, which provides for organs of state to enter into an implementation protocol where appropriate, and the KwaZulu-Natal Traditional Leadership and Governance Act of 2005, which provides, among others for specific functions of Amakhosi relating to the safety and security of their subjects and the maintenance of the rule of law.
The overall objective of the Protocol Agreement is to foster cooperation and collaboration with Amakhosi, as they are key stakeholders in the fight against crime and the Provincial imperative of “Growing KwaZulu-Natal Together.”
The ceremony will be attended by the Executive Committee of the Provincial House of Traditional Leaders.
Members of the media are invited to cover the Protocol Agreement Ceremony.
Details of the programme are as follows:
Date: Thursday, 26 November 2020
Time: 08h00 AM
Venue: Old Legislature Building, Ulundi
Port Shepstone: KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka this morning officially opened the state-of-the-art, R14-million Ugu Fire and Rescue Centre in Port Shepstone.
The newly built centre houses fire and rescue teams that will be supporting all municipalities under the Ugu district. According to Hlomuka, today’s launch is a key milestone in the province’s efforts to mitigate the impact of disasters by assisting municipalities in their disaster management function.
“What we have witnessed today is a clear sign that the safety and protection of our communities is a top priority for this government. The state-of-the-art fire and rescue centre will be manned 24/7 by competent teams that will be serving our communities here on the South Coast throughout the festive season,” said Hlomuka.
After opening the centre, Hlomuka, together with the Ugu district Mayor Cllr Ngcobo and Mayor of the Ray Nkonyeni local municipality Cllr Mqwebu, visited the Nzimakwe household in Gamalakhe, Ward 5, where they handed over a newly built house to Smangele Nzimakwe (49) whose original house was severely damaged during the floods in April 2019.
The construction of the house was made possible through the intervention of ABSA which donated R800 000 for 8 houses in the Ugu district following the 2019 floods. Hlomuka hailed the leadership and compassion displayed by ABSA in partnering with the government to assist victims of disasters within our province.
Hlomuka has also appealed to residents across KZN to be on their guard as inclement weather conditions that are synonymous with the summer season pose a serious risk to human life. Speaking to the community in Bhobhoyi, Hlomuka announced the official commencement of the department’s Summer Season Disaster Awareness Campaign which will be reaching out to communities with warnings about the dangers posed by inclement weather conditions.
Durban: KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka has learned with shock and sadness of the assassination of Induna Prince Hlabisa of the Matshamnyama Hlabisa Traditional Council in the uMkhanyakude district.
He was murdered last night at his home by unknown gunmen. The loss of Induna Hlabisa is yet another attack on the institution of traditional leadership in KZN by forces that are hell-bent on undermining this important institution within our province.
Hlomuka has roundly condemned this senseless murder and called for the law enforcement agencies to leave no stone unturned in their search for the culprits who killed Induna Hlabisa.
Hlomuka has also called upon members of the Hlabisa Community to come forward with any information that might assist the law enforcement agencies in apprehending those responsible for this act of cowardice.
Hlomuka has also conveyed his condolences to the family of Induna Hlabisa, the Traditional Council which he served and to Inkosi Hlabisa to whom the Induna was accountable.
Durban: As part of strengthening the province’s ability to manage and respond to natural disasters, KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka will be launching the state-of-the-art Ugu Fire and Rescue Centre tomorrow Tuesday, 24 November, in Port Shepstone.
The launch comes at a time when KZN continues to experience inclement weather conditions that have wreaked havoc in communities across the province. Just this past week, three lives were lost in KZN as a result of weather-related incidents.
Speaking in advance of the launch, Hlomuka believes that the beefing up of municipal capacity is crucial to arresting the carnage caused by inclement weather conditions on the province’s population.
During the launch Hlomuka will also hand over houses built for victims of the April 2019 floods which claimed over 70 lives across the province. The houses to be handed over by Hlomuka have been built in conjunction with various social partners.
Furthermore, the MEC will hold a public engagement with the community of Gamalakhe, where he will official launch the province’s Summer Season Disaster Awareness Campaign.
Members of the media are invited to attend this event, the details of which are as follows:
Date: Tuesday, 24 November 2020
Time: 08:45 am
Venue: Ugu Disaster Management Centre, Port Shepstone.
KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka has sent condolences to the Mcilikazi family following the recovery of the body of their daughter Ziyanda who had gone missing on Wednesday evening when she has swept away while crossing the river in Umlazi F Section (eThekwini metro).
The recovery of the body means that the province has now lost three lives as a result of the inclement weather conditions that struck KZN this week. In the other two incidents, two persons were killed by lightning in uMlalazi and Ulundi municipalities on Wednesday when severe thunderstorms hit large parts of the province. In the incidents Sinothile Biyela (27) from Dlomodlomo area in Ward 10 of Mlalazi and Ntombi Zakwa (60) in uLundi, Ward 14, KwaNyoni area lost their lives having succumbs to their injuries when they were struck by lightning.
“We empathise with the families who have lost their loved ones in these tragedies. Every year during the summer season we experience inclement weather conditions that leave a trail of death and destruction in their wake. We express our condolences to the grieving families and vow to continue working with all municipalities to strengthen the outreach to warn them of the dangers posed by inclement weather conditions which can result in hail, severe thunderstorms and localised flooding,” said Hlomuka.
Hlomuka has repeatedly appealed to residents across the province to continue to be vigilant as inclement weather conditions continue to pose a danger to communities.
Disaster management teams have commenced with mop-up operations following the severe storms that struck the province last night and left large-scale destruction in their wake. The provincial Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), under the leadership of MEC Sipho Hlomuka, has received reports of incidents that are currently being responded to by the teams.
Yesterday the department issued a warning in which it referred to reports from the South African Weather Service that inclement weather conditions could strike large parts of the province. The weather forecast indicated the possibility of hail, severe thunderstorms, strong winds and heavy rains.
The department can now confirm that in the late afternoon yesterday a hail storm hit parts of Msunduzi and the Midlands where several houses were damaged. The storm also caused blackouts in a number of suburbs and technicians from the municipality are now working on the ground to restore the grid.
In Umlazi F Section, a woman is missing and is believed to have been swept away when crossing the local river. She was apparently part of a group of three people who were crossing the Umlazi River when they lost their footing and were overcome by the gushing water. Two of them were able to make their way to safety while the woman still remains unaccounted for.
In Umuziwabantu municipality (Ward 9, Bhudlu area), a 10-year-old was rushed to hospital after he was struck by lightning. In a separate incident, strong winds and heavy rains damaged several households in the area. Disaster management teams are still assessing the extent of the damages and an update will be issued to the media soon.
Hlomuka has appealed to residents to continue to be vigilant as inclement weather conditions continue to pose a risk to communities in the province. The latest warning from the South African Weather Service indicates that severe thunderstorms are expected to hit the Abaqulusi, Danhausser, eDumbe, eMadlangeni, eNdumeni, Newcastle, Nongoma, Nquthu, uLundi and uPhongolo this afternoon going into the evening. This inclement weather is expected to cause localised flooding, hail, and lightning strikes. Residents in areas that could be affected are urged to exercise caution.