To see how hard working Ward Councillors go about their jobs, see Ward 2 councillor, Dean Biddulph’s newsletter below.
You may contact Ward 2 using the contact form at the bottom of this report.
The unanimous decision taken by council recently to appoint a well qualified, capable candidate with a good track record as the new city manager will hopefully begin to usher in a period of increasing stability. It will hopefully also bring relief to a once well run metro that has been allowed to descend into a shambles since the politically motivated and cynical removal of Adv Graham Richards, our previous Municipal Manager. The newly appointed MM had been the candidate identified by a Guateng based ‘head hunting” agency who specialises in senior level government employee appointments.
What is an essential non-negotiable for the new incumbent to succeed will be the unwavering support of the senior structures within the ruling party in allowing her to be able to carry out her responsibilities in an unfettered manner and without any interference from the combatting local factions within the ANC.
It is furthermore becoming painfully apparent that without intervention at a national level which would see strong action taken in bringing about an end to the chaos that has been brought about as a direct result of the continued bitter feud. between the Faku and Wayile factions.
As residents of our wonderful city, we need to bring increasing pressure to bear on the ruling party to deal with their internal squabbling although I fear that the party is reaching a tipping point where self interest and progression has taken preference over what is in the best interests of us a residents and taxpayers. There are without a doubt still individuals within the ruling party who really do want to stem the rot but it may now all be a case of too little, too late and the party will continue to implode whilst cannibalising itself from within.
Thank you for your continued support and encouragement, without which a difficult job would be made an impossible job.
NEW MUNICIPAL MANAGER FINALLY APPOINTED FOR METRO
The Nelson Mandela Bay Council met behind closed doors last week to consider the nomination of Dr Lindiwe Msengana-Ndlela as the Metro’s new municipal manager.
It is understood the ANC caucus was informed that Msengana-Ndlela was the preferred candidate. The item concerning the appointment of a municipal manager was placed on Green Paper, and therefore not for public consumption, as it contained details of the CVs of the various candidates head-hunted for the position.
Msengana-Ndlela is understood to have scored the highest points in the adjudication process that took place at the end of last week. She fills a position that has been vacant since July 2009 when Adv Graham Richards took special leave, and is expected to take up her position on 01 March
She served as Permanent Secretary in the Eastern Cape Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture post-1994 when Nosimo Balindlela was the MEC, before becoming Director-General in the National Department of Provincial Government when Sydney Mufamadi was Minister.
She resigned from the department in June 2009 after a fall out with the new minister Sicelo Shiceka amid reports that she was planning to lay criminal charges in connection with allegations of irregularities in the department.
Wayile told Council this morning that a candidate had been agreed upon following consultation with Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Richard Baloyi and his provincial counterpart Mlibo Qoboshiyane who have been closely involved with the process.
LACK OF PROGRESS ON AUDITOR GENERAL’S REPORT A MATTER OF CONCERN
Internal Audit says that while Nelson Mandela Bay has “made progress in certain instances,” the lack of progress in other areas is cause for concern.
In a report on matters of emphasis raised by the Auditor-General in his report for the 2010/11 financial year, Internal Audit said that areas of concern include procurement, financial management, misconduct, non-compliance and corruption and the resulting fruitless and wasteful and irregular expenditure.
The report will be discussed at the next meeting of the Municipal Public Accounts Committee. Internal Audit added that management’s responses to queries remained a challenge with regard to its efforts to monitor progress on the A-G’s findings.
It recommended that the Acting Municipal Manager, Acting Chief Financial Officer and Acting Chief Operating Officer should “play leading roles in timeously addressing the matters raised in the A-G’s audit and management report to avoid further qualifications and increased risk to NMNM”.
In addition, it recommended that directorates report progress made in implementing actions taken to address matters raised by the A-G on a monthly basis. Further, it said that Internal Audit should only test whether implementation has taken place once directorates confirm that this is the case.
Among matters of emphasis raised by the A-G in the 2010/11 audit re-port were “significant uncertainties” caused by the municipality’s involvement in law suits to the tune of R165.2 million. In addition, the A-G pointed in his report to significant unauthorised, irregular and fruitless and wasteful expenditure.
THE BOARDWALK HOTEL AND ICC NOW OPEN FOR BUSINESS
The magnificent new five-star hotel and international convention centre at The Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment World on the Port Elizabeth beach-front has opened for business on schedule, as part of a R1 billion investment by Emfuleni Resorts, the Eastern Cape’s biggest leisure empowerment company.
“This is the largest single entertainment and tourism investment in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, and is a vote of confidence in the region,” Emfuleni Resorts chairman Bongi Siwisa said in a statement. Emfuleni, which also owns the Fish River Sun, has an effective BBBEE shareholding of 52.1%, with an Eastern Cape-based BBBEE share-holding of some 35%.
Sun International South Africa owns the remainder of the shares in the company, and manages both properties.
The Boardwalk Casino was opened in October 2001, and in September 2009 Emfuleni Resorts was granted the rights by the Eastern Cape Gambling and Betting Board to continue operating the casino for another 15 years.
According to Siwisa, the construction of the new hotel, convention centre and other facilities “has delivered substantial benefits to the Eastern Cape, and created hundreds of jobs during the post-World Cup slump in construction. “The intention right from the beginning of the R1-billion upgrade was that The Boardwalk should be a fully inclusive project, and it has delivered substantial benefits to the Eastern Cape.”
The combined average of the tender BBBEE percentage at the Boardwalk was approximately 83%. Siwisa says in addition to the hundreds of construction jobs it has supported, the investment into The Boardwalk has created an estimated 480 new jobs.
FITCH DOWNGRADE WILL NOT AFFECT MANDELA BAY
The downgrading of South Africa’s sovereign credit rating will not affect Nelson Mandela Bay in the immediate future. While the rating of sub-sovereign entities such as metros automatically follows the sovereign rating, Acting Chief Financial Officer Selwyn Thys has confirmed that the Metro does not intend to borrow in the immediate future.
As a result, the downgrading will not have an immediate effect. Fitch downgraded the sovereign rating by one notch to BBB in early January, saying that the country’s economic performance and prospects had “deteriorated, affecting the public finances and exacerbating social and political tensions”.
National Treasury said it was aware of the challenges the country faced.
PORT OF NGQURA HANDLED 51 067 CONTAINERS IN DECEMBER
The Port of Ngqura handled 51 067 containers last month, close to 7 000 more than the 43 204 handled in 2011 and almost double the figure of 26 208 for the same month in 2010.
December’s figures show that Ngqura handled the third highest number of containers after Durban (189 998) and Cape Town (60 536) and the gap between Ngqura and Cape Town is rapidly narrowing. The port is being positioned as the premier transhipment hub for South Africa. Transnet National Ports Authority figures show that in December last year 41 ships called at Ngqura, compared with 28 in 2011 and 29 the year before.
In terms of volumes, Ngqura handled 689 000 tonnes, compared with 383 000 in 2011 and 354 000 the year before. Port Elizabeth handled 11 270 containers last month, down from the 21 424 recorded in the same month in 2011. In December last year 74 ships called at Port Elizabeth, compared to 86 in 2011 and 111 in 2010.
Port Elizabeth handled 764 000 tonnes of cargo in December last year which was approximately the same as the 753 000 handled in 2010, but down on the 2011 figures of 961 000 tonnes.
The Port of East London handled 3 523 containers in December last year, down from the 4 078 in the same month of 2011 and the 3 650 in 2010. The total volume of cargo, however, increased from 178 000 tonnes in December 2011 to 249 000 in the same month last year. Some 25 ships called at the port, four more than in December 2011.
PROPOSED ESKOM HIKES WILL DOUBLE DOMESTIC POWER BILLS – NMB BUSINESS CHAMBER
Domestic users currently paying R900 a month for domestic electricity use, will see their bills double to just under R2 000 by 2018, the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber said recently.
In a statement, the Chamber said the bill of medium-sized business using 42 MWh a month and currently paying just under R50 000 would increase to just over R100 000 by 2018.
The statement came ahead of the recent hearings held in Port Elizabeth by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) on Eskom’s request for an average annual increase of 16% a year for the next five years.
Business, labour and agriculture have all expressed strong objection to the proposed increases saying they will inevitably lead to job losses. All three sectors made presentations to NERSA.
APPLE EXPRESS NARROW GAUGE LINE WILL BE CONCESSIONED
Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) intends to concession the narrow gauge Apple Express railway line, Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba has told the National Assembly. In addition, Gigaba said in reply to a written question to Parliament by NMB Cllr Dean Biddulph, TFR had earmarked a number of other lines in the Eastern Cape for concessioning.
The lines were: Mthatha-Amabele; Sterkstroom-Maclear; Stormberg-Rosmead; Dreunberg-Aliwal North-Barkley East; Rosmead-Klipplaat; Alicedale-Grahamstown-Port Alfred, and Barkley Bridge-Alexandria.
The Minister said the timelines for the concessions “will be an outcome of the engagement process with stakeholders”. A feasibility study is yet to be conducted by the MBDA, looking at options for the Apple Express
NMB TARRIFF DEMAND CHARGE 548% HIGHER THAN ESKOM MEGAFLEX
Nelson Mandela Bay’s aggregate demand charge for electricity was a staggering 541% above the Eskom Megaflex figure in the 2010/11 financial year and 548% in 2011/12, the Department of Trade and Industry has revealed in a presentation to Parliament.
The figures show that in 2011/12 only City Power in Johannesburg (702%) and Tshwane (692%) had a higher demand charge above the Eskom Megaflex.
The department warned in its presentation that some municipalities “appear to be using electricity tariffs to generate revenue and cost recovery inefficiencies. “This may lead to a closing down of companies and an ultimate reduction of the municipal revenue base.
“Some companies report employing a range of measures already – off-peak hours usage and shutting down plans for part of the week/month.” It adds that “sharply escalating and ‘bunched up’ electricity prices constitute a serious danger to the viability of the manufacturing sector”.
The department says while direct Eskom customers are only exposed to the electricity utility’s multi-year price determination increase, those supplied indirectly by municipalities experience a “double impact” through the tariff loading on Eskom’s Megaflex rate and non-tariff surcharges and levies.
“This amounts in many cases to triple digit increases on top of Eskom prices”. The department points out that there is no single tariff and municipalities distinguish between commercial, industrial and domestic users.
2013 GENERAL PROPERTY RATES VALUATION OPEN FOR INSPECTION
The General Valuation Roll for the period July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2017, is now open for public inspection at the office of the Chief Financial Officer on the ground floor of the Mfanasekhaya Gqobose Building in Govan Mbeki Avenue.
The valuation roll will be open for inspection from today until April 19 and is also available on the municipality’s website. Property owners are entitled to lodge objections to the valuation with the Municipal Manager.
The municipality points out that an objection can only be lodged with respect to a specific individual property and not against the General Valuation Roll as such.
(Click here for: GV2013 Municipal Rates Objection Forms)
SERVICE DELIVERY JOC (Joint Operations Centre) – HOW TO REPORT YOUR COMPLAINT
The NNMB Service Delivery Joint Operations Centre is equipped to handle all municipal queries and is manned 24/7 throughout the year. To facilitate a quick and easy experience, kindly note that the following processes should preferably be followed when logging complaints with the Service Delivery Call Centre (JOC).
There are two options when reporting a complaint:
- Phoning the Service Delivery Call Centre (0800 20 50 50)
- Emailing the Service Delivery Call Centre (email@example.com).
NB: When phoning please ask for the name of the person you are speaking to (the Call Centre Agent) and insist on being given a reference number for your complaint.
The following information is needed:
- Problem Address:
- Complainant (the name and surname of the person logging the complaint):
- Phone (very important, as the relevant NMBM Official needs this number to make contact with the complainant):
A reference number will be provided by the Service Delivery Call Centre, once the complaint has been logged on the EDAMS System.
Once the complaint has been logged and a reference number has been assigned to it, we at the Joint Operations Centre (JOC) send the details of the complaint to the relevant Sub-Directorate for Service Delivery. This is Stage 2 (Sent to station)
The relevant official in the Sub-Directorate is asked to contact the complainant to confirm the complaint and arrange for the complaint to be seen to. The JOC representative is to be informed of the arrangements made, in order to update the EDAMS System by placing the complaint in Stage 3 (Problem Found / Under Investigation)
Once the official has seen to the complaint and confirms that the complainant is happy, the official is to send a written (email) confirmation to the JOC representative. The complaint then can be closed off by moving the complaint to Stage 6 (Job completed / No Further Processing Required).
METRO TO TABLE R664.8 MILLION ADJUSTMENTS BUDGET
Acting Chief Financing Officer Selwyn Thys will table a R664.8 million Adjustments Budget at a special meeting of Council on Thursday 28 February 2013. The increase in the Operating Budget is R190.3 million and that for the Capital Budget R474.5 million.
The Acting CFO reports that the major contributor to the increase in the capital budget (R409.7 million) is largely as a result of the roll-over of unspent grant funding at the end of the last financial year. Some R340 million of the unspent grant funding was for the Integrated Public Transport System (IPTS) and R58.7 mil-lion for Municipal Drought Relief.
The roll-over of the funds was approved by National Treasury, although the funds for the IPTS will be forfeited if not spent by the end of June this year. The other major item is R60.6 million which was internal funding that was committed but remained unspent at the end of the last financial year.
Thys reports that the major contributor to the rise in the Operating Budget is the increase of R157.7 million for depreciation “attributable to a review of assets’ useful lives”. In addition, provision is made for a R59 million increase in general expenses as a result of nearly R14.3 million more being required for housing top structures, just under R12.7 million extra for consultants fees associated with the IPTS and close to R23.7 million for the African Cup of Nations tournament.
The total allocated for bulk purchases has been decreased by R16.6 million mainly as a result of a reduced budget provision required for electricity bulk purchases which is “in line with current expenditure trends”.
Debt impairment is also reduced by R3.4 million “attributable to a reduction in ser-vice charges requiring a reduced budget provision for debt impairment”.
Revenue from service charges is projected to drop by just under R69.4 million of which R47.5 million is from the sale of electricity, R14.5 million the decrease in revenue from water and R7.4 million for revenue from sanitation services.
R5 MILLION ON ADJUSTMENTS BUDGET FOR PROMENADE UPGRADE
The Annual Adjustments Budget has provision for the funding to allow the upgrading of the Humewood Beachfront Promenade to begin.
It is envisaged that the construction phase will still begin before the middle of this year and will bring much needed maintenance and refurbishment to this historic beachfront icon.
MANDELA BAY SUPPLY DAMS NOW AT 94.7%
The major storage dams supplying Nelson Mandela Bay contained a combined capacity of 266 518 megalitres on February 4, according to figures released by the municipality. This represents 94.7% of total capacity and is nearly 2% lower than the 96.6% registered on January 28.
The two largest dams supplying the Metro, the Kouga and Impofu, were at 93.8% and 96.3% respectively com-pared to 96.1% and 97.4% registered on January 28. The Churchill Dam was at 93.5% (95.5%), the Groendal 98.4% (100%) and the Loerie 71.9% (87.4%).
The average daily consumption for January was 292Ml. A report to the Infrastructure, Engineering and Energy Committee records that the dams were at 98.8% of capacity at the end of December, a month in which the average rainfall over the dam sites was lower than the past 20 years.
DRAFT BASIC ASSESSMENT REPORT FOR COEGA TANK FARM INFRASTRUCTURE PUBLISHED
The long awaited re-location of the Kings Beach fuel “tank farm” took another step forward recently with the publishing of The Draft Basic Assessment for comment. Thus is just another step in finally ridding our premier beachfront area of this blight.
GREEN LIGHT FOR TAXI EMBAYMENT AT BOARDWALK ENTRANCE – UPDATE
By way of an update, I wish to confirm that the much awaited project will be shortly after the end of the AFCON Cup Tornament.
The long suffering motorists using the route that passes the front entrance of the Boardwalk Casino complex will be pleased to know that the many meetings, phone calls and e-mails have finally yielded results with the metro and The Boardwalk finally agreeing to the construction of a new taxi/bus embayment between the entrance and the Caltex garage on Marine Drive.
It is hoped that construction of this will still be completed this year or at the latest early in the New Year. Thereafter, much stricter law enforcement will be applied as taxi drivers will no longer have any excuse for the current practice of blocking half of Marine Drive by stopping on the pedestrian crossings.
Traffic matters are dealt with on an ongoing basis – should you have any specific areas of concern, please bring these to my attention so that I can assist. Problem areas currently receiving attention remain the entrance to The Boardwalk casino, taxis and speeding along Beach Rd and La Roche Drive.
I still undertake regular ward inspections with representatives from metro parks, traffic, electricity, beach office, metro environmental. During these inspections various problem areas continue to be raised and possible solutions and interventions considered for implementation.
Should you have anything that you wish to include into the ward tours, please let me know and I will include your concerns into my interactions with officials.
Thank you as always for your interaction and for bringing ward matters to my attention.
I must extend a special thank you to seasoned journalist Mr Patrick Cull for his excellent daily publication, Metro Minutes, from which much of the material for this newsletter was sourced.
METRO MINUTES is an electronic up-to date daily newsletter sent out between 12 noon and 2pm from Monday to Friday on decisions taken by the Nelson Mandela Bay Council and its committees, in addition to business developments within the Metro.
It is available on a paid subscription basis at R50 a month or R500 for the year. To receive this newsletter, send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please advise if I can assist with any Council or Ward matters.
Beachfront Upgrade Improvements
- Refurbish Southern Beachfront Walkways
- Upgrade of Golden Mile gateway to beachfront
- BAYWORLD upgrade refurbish
- Improve beachfront lighting and security
- Water Irrigation – Southern Beachfront
- Refurbish upgrade Octagon toilets
- Shelter for informal trader’s market Octagon
- Formalise entrances to King’s Beach
- Dune rehabilitation
- Rehabilitate promenade sea wall – in danger of collapse
- Improve beachfront children’s play areas playground equipment
- Re-do landscaping at Hobie Beach recreational areas.
- Cape Receife return effluent water pipe for servicing of beachfront non-potable water needs
- Rehabilitate Frames Dam – Happy Valley
- Finalise King’s Beach Happy Valley LSDF
- Calls for expressions of interest/request for proposals for Beachfront Development Nodes at Kings Beach Pollock Beach
- Stimulate local economic development via beachfront concessions
- Schools – Youth programmes to address drugs, sex education etc.
- South End Cemetery – replace palisade fence to ensure residents safety
- Forest Hill Cemetery – Upgrade ablution blocks and replace boundary fence to address frequent invasion by livestock
- Summerstrand Ext 14 – clear remaining illegal dumping and sell metro plots
- Removal of alien vegetation in Ward 2 – ongoing
- Ward based greening – planting of additional indigenous trees throughout ward
- Traffic circle at intersection of Strandfontein McArthur, Summerstrand
- Traffic circle 2nd Ave Marine Drive
- Traffic circle at intersection of Blackthorne Ave and Strandfontein Rd, Summerstrand
- Traffic light – intersection of Walmer Boulevard Mitchell Street, Southend
- Upgrade street lighting – priority route – La Roche Drive from Beach Rd/Marine Drive to Forest Hill
- Make provision for additional lifeguards and training up to peace officer level to improve beachfront safety security
- EDTA to enter negotiations with province/Transnet in respect of saving the Apple Express and investigate concession of the line
- Establish recycling facility at Strandfontein refuse Transfer Station
- Erosion revetments and upgrade of beach area between Happy Valley and Hobie Beach
- Refurbish and repair Hobie Pier
- Metro Human Settlements Department to urgently draft a formal Student Accommodation Policy to properly address the large influx of student numbers into areas close to NMMU.
- Summerstrand storm water upgrade.
Article source: http://mype.co.za/new/2013/02/ward-2-report-february-2013/