Focus On
 Water  quality control

 Water quality control

DWA and WISA improving water quality management

One of the most important conferences on the municipal calendar, the Municipal Water Quality Conference, taking place in July in Gauteng, will address water sustainability issues for future generations.

The Department of Water Affairs (DWA) in partnership with the Water Institute of Southern Africa (WISA) have come a long way in the quest to improve water quality management, particularly in the local government sector, as well as acknowledge those organisations and individuals who have excelled in the execution of their function. The Municipal Water Quality Conference continues its proud tradition to reaffirm government’s earnestness to ensure that all Water Services Institutions are responsive, accountable, effective, efficient, consultative and achieve the desired Water Services outcomes.

The fourth Municipal Water Quality Conference from 7 to 11 July at Sun City will provide a platform for knowledge sharing, lesson distribution and partnership opportunities between the public and private sectors to upscale efforts to improve wastewater services and drinking water management in South Africa. 

Themed ‘Together committed to excellent Water Quality for the future’, the conference will focus on four disciplines: wastewater management, drinking water quality management, sustainable economic municipal environment, and opportunities for partnerships across the sectors in pursuit of good stewardship and cross-pollination beneficiation.

The organisers will endeavour to answer the question: “What does it take to achieve improved water quality management performance, distinctive impact and lasting endurance in a municipal environment?” 

This entails reshaping the South African Municipal Water Quality Landscape.

Who should attend?

  • Wastewater Services Managers and Practitioners;
  • Drinking Water Quality Managers and Practitioners;
  • Scientific and Laboratory Managers and Technicians;
  • Municipal Management;
  • Councillors and Strategic Decision-takers;
  • Researchers;
  • Civil Society Organisations;
  • Water and wastewater consultants;
  • Tertiary Institutions (lecturers and students);
  • Chief Financial Officers, Asset Managers and Economists;
  • Environmental Health Practitioners; and
  • Industry players with specific mandates in the water agenda.

Overview

  • Previous conferences provided opportunities to discuss innovative approaches and technologies for water and wastewater services management.
  • The fourth Municipal Water Quality Conference provides the opportunity to reflect and evaluate the successes or shortcomings of the previously implemented initiatives. 
  • The conference intends to give a forthright review of whether ‘solutions’ have found their mark in the management and operation of wastewater services. The focus of this important conference will be to ensure continuous improvement in drinking water quality management and supply of safe water, while interactive workshops will ensure that participants have a similar understanding of the requirements of the updated drinking water quality (SANS) standard. 
  • The National Water Services Regulation Strategy (NWSRS 2012) sets clear objectives in terms of economic regulation in ensuring that services provided to customers by water services providers are appropriate, effective, efficient and sustainable, noting that in South Africa water services are provided in a monopolistic environment.

 For more information, contact Zanele Mupariwa (DWA) on 012 336 6938 or email her on mupariwam@dwa.gov.za. Alternatively call Jaco Seaman (WISA) on 011 805 3537 or  083 765 9073, or send an email to events@wisa.org.za.

 

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Stats SA report analysis

Unemployment levels drop, skills still a concern

Statistics South Africa’s (Stats SA) employment report for the last quarter of 2012, released last week, shows a 0.3% rise in employment numbers, with some 22,000 positions added to the formal, non-agricultural sector.

This took the total employment figure for the sector to 8.46m, with the rise continuing a trend over the preceding three quarters, creating around 82,000 jobs.

The increased pace of hiring did not make a significant impact on the unemployment rate, however, which edged down to 24.9% at the end of 2012 from the 25% recorded in the third quarter. Youth unemployment (jobless people between the ages 15 to 24) remains far higher, accounting for around one-half of this age bracket, and it is estimated that up to 4.5m people are actively seeking work.

There were also concerns that the increase in employment in the final quarter of 2012 could be reversed. Many of the new jobs added in service sectors, such as hospitality and tourism, are traditionally more active in the late spring and summer months, but are prone to shedding jobs as the weather cools.

Merina Willemse, an economist with the Efficient Group, a local financial services firm, says the way to ease unemployment is to address another of the economy’s concerns, the skills deficit. “Jobs growth has not been sustainable thus far and there is not much guarantee that it will be sustainable,” Willemse told Business Times after the employment figures were released. “The focus should really be on skills development. This is the only way to create jobs, given that our economy is not growing strongly.”

According to a report prepared by international consultancy firm Grant Thornton, the skills deficit in South Africa is widening, with the gap likely to impact economic growth in the future. The study said 83% of South African businesses reported a shortage of technical skills when it came to recruitment. This was well above the 61% average of the other Brics member countries, Brazil, Russia, India and China, or the global average of 64%.

Ian Scott, CEO and managing partner at Grant Thornton says some of the largest sectors were among those struggling to bridge the skills gap. “When the data is split according to sector‚ we note that South Africa’s mining industry is finding the shortage of technical skills the most challenging. South Africa urgently needs to address the enormous dichotomy between the skills shortage and unemployment,” says Scott.

The lack of skilled personnel is also hurting the construction industry, according to Werner Franck, managing director of Vertias, a construction management and property services firm.

“With an increasing number of small and medium-sized enterprises emerging in the construction sector, it becomes increasingly challenging for authorities to regulate the level of skills and training of the country’s construction workforce,” Franck says,” Added to this is a lack of skills at management level, where a shortage of skilled project managers often has significant consequences for building projects.”

Eddie Majadibodu, chairperson of the National Skills Authority (NSA), an agency of the Department of Labour tasked with helping to develop strategies to boost skills levels in the workforce, said more emphasis had to be put on providing skills that were in demand by the labour market.

“We should now be able to identify the new labour trends in the information technology, finance or agriculture industries. We will then have enough time to develop the people.

 “We need career guidance for youth on several scales to identify what the economic shift will be. We have to guide the youth where the scarcity in the labour market is in order for them to find jobs,” according to Majadibodu

South Africa is making headway in this regard and is working to identify new avenues for training up skilled staff, according to Hlengiwe Mkhize, the Deputy Minister of Economic Development.

Speaking on the sidelines of the 5th Brics (Brazil-India-China-South Africa) Summit in Durban in March, Mkhize said South Africa would borrow from Brazil’s model to help bridge the skills gap, citing that country’s network of state-funded technical institutes, a contributing factor in the Brazilian economy’s recent growth and rapid industrialisation.

While growth is expected to remain sluggish in 2013, the South African economy is forecast to gain momentum in 2014, with GDP tipped to increase by 3.4%. However, this rate of growth may not be enough to lower unemployment figures; many estimates say the country needs to see at least 6% growth for that to happen. Nevertheless, if the country is to shorten the jobless queues, some skilful bridging of the talent gap will be needed.

(Oxford Business Goup)

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Focus on leadership

Traditional leaders recognised

Traditional leaders who are within the boundaries of the eThekwini Municipality will now fully participate in the affairs and activities of the Municipality to fast-track service delivery.
The Municipality recently held a workshop with Amakhosi to discuss their role in the Municipality in accordance with the country’s constitution and relevant legislation.
Council Speaker, Councillor Logie Naidoo said the aim of the workshop was to create a healthy relationship between Amakhosi and the Municipality, as well as to ensure that Amakhosi understood their roles and responsibilities. He said there was a need for elected Councillors and traditional leaders to cooperate and complement each other in order to ensure that communities get the best service.
“Traditional leaders are an important component in bringing service delivery to the community. This is the best model is South Africa as traditional leaders are part and parcel of the Municipality. There should be a mutual cooperation between Councillors, traditional leaders and ward committees in order to ensure service delivery in every part of the Municipality,” said Naidoo.
He said traditional leaders should support the Municipality in the identification of community needs, facilitate the involvement of traditional communities in development and review of Integrated Development Plan (IDP) and promote indigenous knowledge system for sustainable development.
All the 17 traditional leaders in eThekwini will be divided accordingly so that they are able to participate in the Municipality’s portfolio committees. City Manager, Sibusiso Sithole said: “Traditional leaders should feel at home as there will be collaboration in all the activities of Council.”
The Chairperson of eThekwini Local House of Traditional Leaders, Inkosi Bhekisisa Felix Bhengu said traditional leaders were happy to participate in the Municipality. “This initiative will be a success if there is mutual relationship with all the parties involved,” he said.
 
training

Training for municipal staff

Sail offers valuable courses

The Southern African Institute of Learning (Sail) focuses on training local government employees in the country under the tutelage of the National Treasury and the Development Bank of South Africa.

Courses

  • National Certificate: Municipal Finance Management NQF (level 6)
  • National Certificate: Local Economic Development NQF (level 4, 5 and 6)
  • Certificate: Municipal Governance NQF (level 5)
  • National Diploma: Public Finance Management Act NQF (level 5)
  • National Diploma: Local Government NQF (level 5)
  • National Certificate: Leadership Development NQF (level 5)
  • National Certificate: Finance and Administration NQF (level 4)
  • National Certificate: Adult Basic Education and Training NQF (level 1, band 4)

 Skills programmes

  • Diversity Management within Local Government NQF (level 5)
  • Information Management within Local Government NQF (level 5)
  • Leadership Development within Local Government NQF (level 5)
  • Municipal Finance Management NQF (level 6)
  • Performance Management within Local Government NQF (level 6)

Sail is currently in the process of extending its reach within the municipal and local government domain by, among others, utilising social media. 

Stay abreast of the latest happenings on Facebook by visiting www.facebook.com/pages/Southern-African-Institute-of-Learning/516739851691439 or get chatting on Twitter by visiting https://twitter.com/SAIL_EDU.

For more info about the courses and programmes on offer, go to www.sail-edu.net.

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Boom time for Saldanha Bay IDZ

Benefits for national economy

The Saldanha Bay IDZ could bring unprecedented wealth to the area, and prove economically beneficial for the country, according to a recent panel discussion held at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business (UCT-GSB).

Contrary to widespread belief, the proposed Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) will create almost 6 000 jobs in its first year, according to UCT-GSB economist, Barry Standish.

Standish revealed the findings of his team’s economic analysis of the Saldanha Bay IDZ business plan at a panel discussion held recently at the UCT-GSB. 

According to Standish’s analysis of the business plan, the Saldanha Bay IDZ will have created 2 600 direct jobs by the end of its first year, and 14 702 total (direct and indirect) jobs will be created within 18 years of business.

The results of the cost to benefit analysis for South Africa showed a total benefit with a present value of R42 807 700, versus only R4 503 300 in present value costs.  

“The real benefit comes from the benefit cost ratio – for every R1 that society spends, it will equate to R9.50 return,” said Standish.

The proposed development had been met with criticism from academics and media as far back as 2010, who felt expectations given to the development were optimistic.

Standish said that in conducting the analysis, his team took efforts to show the unfeasibility of the project, but were instead surprised at encountering the second highest cost-benefit to society in South Africa of any analysis his team has ever managed. 

Standish’s team then performed a more extreme analysis, known as a sensitivity analysis.

“A sensitivity analysis tightens assumptions made in a basic cost benefit analysis – it pushes up costs such as infrastructure setup costs and private business setup costs, essentially looking at a worse case scenario.  After analysing the business proposal with these extremes in place, the proposed project remained economically efficient.

“The conclusion of our analysis was that the IDZ will create jobs, have significant economic impact, and prove economically robust,” said Standish. 

The application for the IDZ was proposed by the Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone Licensing Company (SBIDZ LiCo), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Western Cape Investment Promotion Agency (WESGRO).

The purpose of the proposed IDZ is to encourage the creation of an engineering and logistics services complex, serving the needs of the upstream exploration and production service companies operating in oil and gas fields in sub-Saharan Africa.

Herman Jonker of the Department of  Economic Development and Tourism in the Western Cape said the biggest concern in the development of the Saldanha Bay IDZ to date, and part of the reason for the MBD’s initial skepticism, has been the history of enterprise and development in the area: “Many different projects have been taken at the Saldanha Bay site before, with little ‘trickle-down’ benefit and sustained economic development coming from these; some of the projects have themselves proved profitable, but with little benefit to wider society,” said Jonker.  

Speaking at the panel discussion, Kaashifa Beukes of SBIDZ LiCo, said that “in compiling the business plan, SBIDZ LiCo looked at the history of projects in the sector, and undertook various studies to determine the best project for the region in order to meet job creation, economic development, and regional and local imperatives,” said Beukes.

As a result of this, Beukes said that the IDZ will primarily operate in three spheres: renewable energy production and manufacturing; as an oil supply base; and in steel and mineral manufacturing.

SBIDZ LiCo submitted the business plan to the Manufacturing Development Board (MDB) in October 2012, and despite initial skepticism from the MDB, Beukes said that following review of the business plan, the board showed enthusiastic support.

In February, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said: “Saldanha Bay has been recognised as an area with great economic potential both for the quality of its port facilities, and for the entrepreneurial quality of its residents.

As such, it is strategically placed in the Presidential development node and thus the national, provincial and municipal authorities have explored ways of unlocking this potential.

It is equally important that local industry participate and be involved in the economic upliftment of the area.”

Beukes said that they have managed stakeholders in the local community to ensure full participation and approval.

“We met with each of the 13 different area wards to ensure that the different values and interests were taken into account,” she said.

Oil and gas rigs operating offshore of Namibia and Angola and as far north as Gabon on the west coast and in Mozambique and Tanzania on the east coast could be serviced in the proposed IDZ, which would exist alongside those at Coega and Richards Bay.

If granted IDZ status, Saldanha Bay will join Coega, East London, Richards Bay and OR Tambo International Airport as existing IDZs. 

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Municipalities owe Eskom more than R1 billion

Salga hopes to resolve Eskom issue

Following Eskom's scare to cut the bulk electricity to the Matlosana Municipality in the North West, Eskom says at least 20 municipalities owe the company more than R1 billion in outstanding electricity fees.

The country's electricity suppier says municipal arrears have risen sharply over the past year, and reached R1.3-billion last month. 

Mpumalanga, Free State, North West and Gauteng are the provinces with the most municipalities in arrears – and include the municipalities of Nala, Moqhaka, Ventersdorp, Westonaria, Kannaland, Lekwa, Thaba Chweu, Govan Mbeki, Ngwathe, Maluti-Phofung, Teemane, Gariep, Naledi and Thabazimbi.

Last week, shock waves swept through the communities of Matlosana (R91.8-million in arrears) and Matjhabeng (R145m in arrears) when the parastatal issued notices of disconnection to the municipalities.

Eskom said in a statement that it issued disconnection notices only as a last resort, and it was required to follow processes, including giving affected customers the opportunity to make submissions before disconnections for non-payment.

The South African Local Government Association (Salga) executive director of municipal infrastructure services, Mthobeli Kolisa, said the huge amounts owed by municipalities were of huge concern.

He said in an interview with The Star that this affected the ability of Eskom to continue providing bulk electricity to municipalities, which then supply communities.

Kolisa said Salga had raised concerns that, as electricity prices rose, more consumers and middle-income households would default on paying their bills.

“It’s not the case of only municipalities struggling with this. Eskom is also struggling. Eskom was owed millions by the customers it was directly supplying with electricity," according to The Star. 

The exact figure of how much each of the municipalities owes Eskom, has not been made public as this was "confidential". Salga is currently looking to find a way to resolve the issue of municipal Eskom arrears, as it has huge implications for consumers if Eskom were to disconnect municipalities, according to Kolisa.

pylons eskom

Matlosana Municipality won't be left in the dark

Millions yet to be paid to settle Eskom bill

Eskom says it will not cut off power to the Matlosana Municipality in the North West (which includes the towns of Klerksdorp and Jouberton), following news reports that the municipality owes the electricity supplier more than R91 million  some of which had been outstanding for more than 90 days.

Newscasts last week, that Eskom planned to cut the electricity supply to the municipality (and a number of others that were millions of rands in arrears) if it did not pay its bill, caused panic among residents, in fear that they would be left in the dark if the bill was not paid.

According to municipal spokesperson Ntswaki Makgetha, talks between Eskom and the municipality resulted in a favourable outcome. "An agreement was reached with Eskom, and the public should not stress. There won't be any switching off of electricity."

The municipality's mayor Michael Khauoe said it had made a payment on its electricity bill. "We have honoured the first part of the agreement by paying R47m. We will be paying the balance of the amount at the end of this month," he said.

Cutting the power was a last resort, Eskom spokesperson Hilary Joffe was quoted as telling Beeld newspaper. 

Khauoe said the municipality would give priority to the Eskom account.

Earlier, Afriforum said it would bring an application in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria to compel the municipality to honour its commitments to Eskom and to maintain electricity supply in the municipality.

Afriforum lawyer Willie Spies said the court action would go ahead, despite the "alleged settlement".

"We will still be in court. We now want the court to endorse this alleged agreement that has been reached, so there is some officiality (sic) in it. I am a bit concerned. What if there is no payment, then what?" he said.

Spies said the initial notice of the power cut was not fair to taxpayers who had paid their bills on time. It was not the residents' fault that the municipality had failed to pay its account, he said.

Khauoe said the municipality had no dealings with Afriforum and that an agreement was reached with Eskom alone.

"We have not spoken to Afriforum. We have no business with them."

Eskom says on its website it has become increasingly concerned about the rapid growth in municipal arrear debt, which stood at R1.3-billion in February 2013. Eskom urges all defaulting municipalities to honour their commitment to pay for the electricity they use.

"Disconnection is a last resort, when payment agreements have not been honoured, and Eskom complies with the provisions of the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, which requires it to publish notices and give affected customers a chance to make submissions before it can resort to disconnecting supply," Eskom says.

Eskom says it had, on 26 February, issued the Matjhabeng Municipality in the Free State province with a notice of disconnection, alerting the municipality to inform its customers that electricity supply to the municipality will be disconnected on 10 April 2013 if it does not settle its outstanding account by 31 March 2013. Matjhabeng includes several towns, the largest of which is Welkom, and has R145m in arrear debt to Eskom. The public are invited to make submissions by 10am on Thursday, 28 March 2013.

Approximately 40% of Eskom’s total sales go to municipalities, which Eskom supplies in bulk, while they in turn supply electricity to households and businesses in their areas of supply.

SAPA

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Knysna businesses get municipal boost

Small, medium and micro enterprises incubator project helps entrepreneurs

Twenty-four entrepreneurs from the greater Knysna area received a boost to their fledgling businesses following training and a donation of equipment worth R250 000, which formed part of a small, medium and micro enterprises (SMME) incubator project initiated by the Knysna Municipality and supported by Nedbank.

Designed by the municipality’s Economic Development Unit to develop entrepreneurs, the incubator project is in its third cycle and has assisted 51 SMMEs over the past three years.

Municipal manager Lauren Waring said the municipality initiated the SMME incubator programme in the 2010/2011 financial year to address the specific needs of local entrepreneurs, and to assist in their development and survival. “Research has shown that successful completion of a SMME incubator programme dramatically increased the long-term survival rates of SMMEs compared to those who did not. The reasons for better survival rates included established support networks and resources in the crucial start-up phase of a business.

“The municipality’s incubator programme not only supplies continued support and guidance, but also assists in the facilitation of access to seed funding through its relationship with Nedbank. We are immensely grateful toward Nedbank for their willingness to provide continued financial assistance to our entrepreneurs.

"In addition to getting 51 SMMEs up and running since 2010, the businesses themselves have been enabled to employ 200 others, which in turn feed at least 800 individuals in the greater Knysna area.

"Projects such as these are excellent examples of how local government and business can work together to the benefit of the community and the town. The municipality looks forward to numerous such relationships and to see the results thereof benefit our citizens,” said Waring.

The SMME incubator project each year invites local entrepreneurs to apply to participate in the programme. Qualifying applicants are interviewed and carefully selected based on their business model and strategy and its potential to succeed.

As part of extensive business skills training, participants develop business plans in which equipment specific to the needs of their business are identified. Seed equipment, funded this year by a grant contribution of R25 000 by Nedbank to the Knysna Municipality SMME Incubator Programme, is being installed in the successful applicants’ places of business. The municipality’s economic development department continues to provide support, guidance and access to a client network to ensure long-term sustainability and growth.

 

 

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Literacy for all

City of Tshwane raises literacy among residents

The City of Tshwane Library Services and the Gauteng Provincial Library Services jointly launched the Born to Read Programme at the Zithobeni Library as part of the City's plan to raise the level of literacy within the municipality.

The Member of the Mayoral Committee for Sport and Recreational Services, Cllr Nosipho Makeke, said the Born to Read Programme involves the baby and its mother. She said the programme will reduce illiteracy and build a better educated community in Tshwane, which is one of the mandates of the City of Tshwane. She added that she was proud the best matric results were from the Tshwane region. She encouraged everyone to read, saying literacy is the only weapon against low self-esteem.

Ten children of the Thembalethu crèche received certificates for the excellent reading skills they demonstrated in 2012. Cllr Makeke and the chairperson of the Oversight Committee, Thandi Maseko, handed over the certificates.

The main purpose of the Born to Read Programme is to promote reading at any age. Pregnant women attending the event were encouraged to read while still pregnant so that they could convey the reading spirit to their unborn children. Ms T. Rasebote of the Department of Education said it is crucial for parents to teach their children to read. She said reading at an early age gives children personal freedom. She advised parents to buy kids’ books written in their home language.

The Zithobeni event was to be followed up by similar programmes in other Tshwane regions. One local clinic and one early childhood development centre have been identified as primary stakeholders in the implementation of the programme in 2013. The Born to Read Programme will be monitored throughout the year in order to increase the number of participating centres in the coming years.

Through this reading development programme, the City hopes to increase residents’ participation in reading and raise literacy levels in Tshwane and, ultimately, contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the Tshwane 2055 strategy.

(Credit: City of Tshwane)

freecall

Free Call Line to bring customer care closer to the poor

Cape Town takes the lead

The City of Cape Town has launched a Free Call Line at the Luyolo Multipurpose Centre in Gugulethu as it takes another step in bringing customer care closer to disadvantaged communities.

"The City has installed 64 Free Call Lines in outlying areas and disadvantaged communities in Cape Town and a further 20 are set to be connected by the end of July 2013. Many informal settlements, including some without Telkom infrastructure, will benefit from these new lines," the City announced in a meida release. 

“The purpose of the Free Call Lines is to improve service delivery by increasing access to the City’s call centre. We are extending the network of Free Call telephones to areas where low volumes of service complaints and requests are currently being registered – usually because of a lack of cellphone airtime on the part of the customer or a lack of available telephone lines,” says the City’s Member of the Mayoral Committee for Corporate Services, Alderman Demetri Qually.

The Free Call Lines can be used to contact the City for various enquiries and service requests such as accounts enquiries, refuse collection, illegal dumping, water leaks, sewer blockages, faulty street lights, potholes and damaged roads.

A call centre agent will respond to queries from customers using the Free Call Lines and, where further action is required by a particular service department, the complaint or request will be logged by means of a service request. The customer will be provided with a reference number for follow-up purposes.

The pilot phase of this project was launched in July 2009 when four Free Call Lines were installed in City facilities.

"The lines connect directly with the City’s call centre number, and residents are encouraged to report faults, register complaints and make enquiries at no cost. They will also now receive an acknowledgement SMS with reference number for follow-up,” says Alderman Qually.

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Jozi growth trends slump

City gets fewer building applications

Building applications have slowed over the past few years, it was reported at a discussion on the Growth Management Strategy, which looks at development trends.

Growth and development trends in Johannesburg were discussed at a presentation of the city’s Growth Management Strategy (GMS), which details where it is prepared to invest in infrastructure, in terms of medium and long-term priorities, to various stakeholders.

On the table were comprehensive issues that were the lifeblood of growth and development.

Discussions covered a spectrum of developmental challenges and considered development applications submitted to the city, property and economic indicators and projected capital investment.

The City of Johannesburg said in a statement on its website that the purpose of the GMS is to establish where development is taking place, at what rate and to check if it supports Johannesburg’s policies.

Present at the gathering to peruse and analyse the findings were academics, town planners, property developers, and officials from the National Treasury and the Presidency.

Presenting the GMS, Peter Ahmad, the assistant director in Johannesburg’s development planning department, said the strategy sought to support the values and principles entailed in the city’s Growth and Development Strategy, Joburg 2040.

These principles included ensuring social inclusivity in market-driven growth areas; aligning development to emerging public transport networks and infrastructure; and stimulating a diversity of development and economic opportunities in marginalised areas, those areas located far from job centres, social services and public transportation links.

Speaking about development applications received between 2007 and 2011, Ahmad indicated that the peak of activity in terms of numbers of applications submitted for town planning and building related permissions was in 2008.

Since then, there had been a steady decline in activity that only stabilised between 2010 and 2011.

He spoke about a worrying trend of office vacancies, particularly in the central business district, using information from the South Africa Property Owners Association's (Sapoa) reports.

While office supply increased by almost 900 000m2 in the years 2007 to 2011, almost 1 000 000m2 of space were vacant at the end of 2011.

There was also an urgent need to consider locations that were not monitored by Sapoa, for example Soweto and south of the CBD. Ahmad also illustrated the rise in residential property values in the years 2000 to 2011.

Areas where lower-end households could get a foot on the housing ladder were becoming increasingly scarce, he said, while showing the growth of formal and informal residential areas using aerial photographs. Included were Cosmo City, Blue Hills, Kaalfontein, Protea Glen and Poortijie.

There had also been significant growth of informal buildings in the last decade in the form of backyard rooms in formal housing, as well as new informal settlements being set up. Areas highlighted included Diepsloot, Msawana and Malatjie, between 2004 and 2011.

In conclusion, the gathering agreed that the presentation covered crucial areas, and said they would continue to work with the city on issues they thought were important.

The full Growth Management Strategy is available online at http://www.joburg.org.za/index.phpoption=com_content&view=article&id=8171&catid=61&Itemid=114 

Durban

eThekwini boss upbeat

2014 target for clean audits

“It has been an exciting phase in my life and a steep learning curve,” said eThekwini City Manager, Sibusiso Sithole, reflecting on his first year in office.

Sithole told eZasegagasini Metro (the official eThekwini Municipality publication), that the City is on “the right track”. This he attributed to the auditor-general’s recent report, which gave eThekwini an unqualified audit.

“The next steps for the upcoming twelve months will help us to get a clean audit by 2014 and we are in a realm of possibilities,” said Sithole.

 He said some of the highlights of his first year in office include dealing with supply chain management (SCM) issues, housing, the metro police and Durban transport.

“We have set out clear plans and systems that will assist eThekwini to deal with SCM irregularities. These include the reduction of the usage of Section 36 through SCM planning that has clear time frames and timelines,” Sithole says.

He has undertaken to restore order in the metro police unit in a few weeks from now.

“I have been working behind the scenes to find solutions at metro police and drastic actions will be taken to restore the dignity and status of the metro police.

 "We have concluded most labour related legalities which were holding us (back),” Sithole says.

“We have also expedited the R293 project, regularised housing contracts and also taken another major decision to prioritise delivery of housing by opting for an out of court settlement with Zikhulise.

“We have taken a decision to uproot transit camps and clear slums in eThekwini,” he added.

Sithole has also introduced a new organisational structure for the municipality, including the creation of the position of chief information officer.

“Our structure will provide a centre for strategy, policy and direction setting as well as operational mechanisms for co-ordinated and integrated implementation, and specialist support functions which are based on good governance precepts,” Sithole says.

Sithole will announce two people who will be joining his management team soon.

“The two new deputy city managers are women with solid records in their respective fields and this will help in creating stability in the organisation,” he added.

Sithole said one of the major challenges under his watch has been the controversy surrounding the Manase and Associates report.

He is hoping that the report will be released soon so that all the false perceptions surrounding its release could be proven wrong.

“I am optimistic that the report will be released after consultation with all relevant stakeholders,” he assured us.

In a nutshell Sithole has been able to achieve quite a number of things in a short space of time, these include formation of ward committees, creation of a platform for participation through the 'Mayoral Izimbizo', establishment of the Best Practice Commission that will create a positive environment for investment.

Durban has experienced a positive season, with events such as Top Gear, AFCON Draw and AFCON tournament creating positive spin-offs for our City.

“Our working relations with the province are healthy; in fact we are a model of how cities and provinces should co-operate. We have ceased to be competitors to being partners,” he said.

His focus for this year will be on delivery of services. He will prioritise delivery of housing and infrastructure which will have benefits, such as employment, skills transfer and economic opportunities. 

 

 

 





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TLConvention Be there before 9am tomorrow as we will need to start on time. We look forward to seeing you! #tlc2018 #afri #africrypto 10 months - reply - retweet - favorite

TLConvention We would also like the world to see what young South African leaders are all about, so please remember the event hashtags… 10 months - reply - retweet - favorite

Service_Mag The role of the MICT SETA in skills development https://t.co/C89o1tuHP8 https://t.co/OPFwqye5We 10 months - reply - retweet - favorite