Newcastle Municipality Commemorates Human Rights Day

Newcastle Municipality Commemorates Human Rights Day

Newcastle Municipality Commemorates Human Rights Day

“The year of OR Tambo: Unity in Action in Advancing Human Rights”

The 21st of March, Human Rights Day South Africa commemorates the fallen heroes of the Sharpeville Massacre. Our Country can will always remember the 69 men, women and children killed and another 180 injured for standing up against the unjust “Pass Laws” of the brutal apartheid system.

As we reflect on South Africa’s journey as a free and democratic country which honours and promotes basic human rights for all its citizens, regardless of race, gender or culture, this year 2017 we also honour the life of Oliver Reginald Tambo who dedicated his life to the emancipation of black people that were oppressed by the apartheid government.

Oliver Tambo once said “It is our responsibility to break down barriers of division and create a country where there will be neither Whites nor Blacks, just South Africans, free and united in diversity.” In 1994 we moved from an oppressive South Africa to a liberating country that values the human rights of all, let us build a cohesive Newcastle Municipality that condemns racial discrimination‚ xenophobia and violence against women and children and all its prejudices against its cultures.

New councillor sworn in

New councillor sworn in

Councillor Sombu Bellinah Buthelezi was sworn into office during a council meeting held on Wednesday, 09 March 2017.

Cllr Buthelezi replaces Alphinah Angel Coka; as a PR councillor in ward 23.
Magistrate Gurlal officiated the induction, where Buthelezi swore under oath to serve the community without fear or favour. She promised to carry forward the mandate given to her by council which is in line with the vision and mission of the Newcastle Municipality.

Council welcomed the newly appointed councillor.

URGENT APPEAL TO THE COMMUNITY

To all media

Kindly receive the information below for your attention

The Special Joints Operations Committee, at its special meeting held on 23 February 2017, resolved that the community and the businesses be advised of the following :
· That the clinic situated at the taxi rank in Terminus Street, Newcastle has been closed due to floods and it reopen once the situation has improved.
· That in the interim, arrangements have been made that patients that are receiving medication from this Clinic are advised to collect their medication at the Newcastle Primary Health Clinic in Murchison Street.
· That food donations and clothes are welcome to assist the affected families. Businesses wishing to assist are requested to contact the Red Cross Society, Annamarie Scheepers at (034) 312 1736.

Regards,
T. Maphanga
Communications

Report on heavy rainfall in Newcastle

Newcastle Mayor Cllr EM Nkosi with SED for Community Services; Mr Mandla Sithole and Protection Services Chief Traffic Officer; Mr Ashok Anandhaw

Newcastle Mayor Cllr EM Nkosi with SED for Community Services; Mr Mandla Sithole and Protection Services Chief Traffic Officer; Mr Ashok Anandhaw

Report on heavy rainfall in Newcastle
This morning, 23 February 2017, the Mayor together with the SED for Community Services: Mr Mandla Sithole and Protection Services Chief Traffic Officer: Mr Ashok Anandhaw held a media briefing to report on the heavy rainfall.

During the briefing the following was reported;

Housing
Approximately fifty-five (55) households with two hundred and twenty (220) people were affected.
• No injuries or fatalities has been reported;
• Vulnerable communities have been evacuated as follows:
– Lennoxton, Paradise and Siyahlala-la to Fairleigh Community Hall, where mattresses and blankets has been distributed to 26 people.
– H39: it was critical to assist with the relocation of one (1) to Section 4, Madadeni Hostel and 16 informal dwellings were found to have flooding due to spring water from the ground.
– 7 families from Khanana, Section 3 and 1 elderly woman, who was allowed to spend the previous night at Osizweni Fire Station has been taken to Madadeni Community Hall; K24 and 994 were found to have sewerage flowing in the yard and children playing on this heavily contaminated water; nothing has been done with regards to clearing the stream that flows next to houses especially all the K666, 667 and 669; council has begun to raise all three critical houses recently identified as most vulnerable and of which its occupants are still housed at the Madadeni Community Hall; 2 Donkeys were found trapped in the stream and it is impossible to rescue without proper equipment;
– Ward 1 on the Memel Road the Brink’s farm – 11 houses were assessed in one area and 8 more on the other side. Total assessed was found to be 19 houses of which only black roof covering sheets were distributed. There is nothing more council can be due to spring water and the farm being a private property;
– Bosworth Farm, 21 houses has been assessed though not complete due to inaccessibility to other areas. Teams have been instructed to carry out Field Operations Guides (FOG’s) which could drag the assessment for longer than expected;
– Blaaubosch especially ward 12 has been assessed. Monitoring is on-going.

Traffic & Roads
The following roads remain closed:
• Newcastle Taxi & Bus Rank
• Terminus Street
• Sutherland Street
• Finnemore Street
• Kirkland Street by Factory Plaza and between Bird & Sutherland
• Ayliff by construction & cutting
• Umfolozi (Amcor Dam)
• Vezubuhle access road at Roypoint
• Drive carefully between Drakensburg between John Parks & Impala

Schools affected
• SE Vawda – Paradise
• St Oswalds – CBD
• Thembinkosi – Osizweni
• Siyalungelwa – Ingogo
• Collateral
– Lincoln Heights
– Suryaville
– Lennoxton

Relief Mechanisms
• Newcastle is providing tapolins, plastic sheeting and blankets. District is providing blankets, plastic sheeting, mattresses, gel stoves and pots.
• Red Cross, SASSA and 911 Newcastle (Business Community) is providing non-perishable food items.
• Department of Human Settlements and Newcastle Housing ill support temporal accommodation where some of these families will be housed in Siyahlala Housing Project which is currently under construction.
• Department of Social Development will support with temporal care centre should need arise.
• The PDMC is on standby to provide and coordinate support that will be required through the District JOC.

Financial Implications
The estimated cost to replace the transformer is approximately R4 million. At the moment, the Department is continuing with the assessment of a number of municipal roads and storm water infrastructure to determine the damages and costs of repairing.

In conclusion, the municipalities in partnership with PDMC, sector departments are conducting damage assessment and relevant relief material is being issued to the affected and needy households. Based on the assessments and verifications conducted, a comprehensive beneficiary list will be compiled and submitted to the Department of Human Settlements and/or relevant sector Departments to ensure that affected families get the necessary assistance to normalize their lives.

Floods in Newcastle – Media Release

MEDIA RELEASE
Date: 22 February 2017

Floods in Newcastle
In response to the current flooding disaster currently taking place in Newcastle and surrounding areas, the Municipal Manager; Mr B.E Mswane articulated that the Disaster Management team has been on the ground to assist the community during these times. “Our traffic and disaster management team were immediately on the ground. Last night the Mayor, myself as the Municipal Manager together with the ward 3 Councillor Shunmugam visited the areas of Paradise and Lennoxton where some families experienced severe flooding into their homes. We have contacted the office of the MEC to assist in the relief of the disaster, in response the MEC has deployed a team which this morning, the 22 February 2017, met together with the District and Newcastle, the team has proceeded to conduct an assessment to the damage done and solutions will be communicated shortly”, said Mswane.

Furthermore, The Ncandu, Ingagane and Buffalo Rivers were closed since they had picked up. Areas affected mostly in Newcastle is Lennoxton, Paradise and Siyahlala Informal Settlement, D96 as well as Madadeni Section 3 and Osizweni where two houses were completely destroyed.

The displaced communities that were evacuated in Newcastle are accommodated at the Fairleigh Community Hall. Madadeni displaced community that were evacuated are housed at the Madadeni Community Hall and the people from Blaauwbosch will be accommodated at Osizweni Community Hall as well as Mzamo High School.

A soup kitchen was activated this morning. A local special Joints Operations Committee meeting with officials from the COGTA was arranged for today at 09h00 in the Protection Services Lecture Room. Fortunately no fatalities and injuries have been reported thus far. Our Disaster Management Teams are out doing assessment and evacuation at this stage. Relief materials distributed to the affected communities are sandbags, mattrasses, blankets, tents and plastic sheets.
As of today approximately twenty one (21) houses have collapsed in Bosworth Farm, assessment and distribution of relief is ongoing at this stage.

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STATE OF THE ROADS
The Newcastle Taxi and Bus Rank has been completely closed off. Top of Kirkland Street is currently used as a temporary taxi rank. The entire Murchison Street is currently used as a temporary bus rank.

Most of the town intersections are closed off and all our traffic officials are effectively manning all the intersections. Currently, a high congestion of traffic is noted on all our roads.

Moreover, massive potholes are reported on the provincial road P483 as well as the Albert Wessels Drive. Road Traffic Inspectorate (RTI) has been requested to assist with traffic control on the P483.

Department of Transport (Roads) has been requested to fill in potholes and they have confirmed that their teams are sent out to fill in the potholes on the P483.

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For further information, kindly contact Divisional Commander : Fire Safety and Disaster Management, Mr MN Mpeko on 0724218939 or 061 424 6464.

Mayoral School uniform distribution

Ward 23 Cllr Nonhlanhla Ngcobo , Mayor E.M Nkosi with school Principle Ntshangase

Ward 23 Cllr Nonhlanhla Ngcobo , Mayor E.M Nkosi with school Principle Ntshangase

Today, 17 February 2017. The Mayor of Newcastle Cllr E.M Nkosi started off his day by visiting three schools in the area of Newcastle and Madadeni, with the objective of handing over school uniform to disadvantaged children.

The following schools were visited Ncandu Combined School, Phikelela Higher Primary and lastly Sekusile High School.

During the visit to the above mentioned schools Honourable Nkosi had the following sentiments to share.

As a municipality our mandate is to provide basic services, but we strongly believe that it takes a village to raise a child.

Speaking about Mayoral Bursaries the Cllr Nkosi, continued, “Previously school children were funded with R3000 towards university registration. Firstly the municipality could not monitor the programme and do follow up whether or not a child was registered into an institution of higher learning.

The second challenge was of accommodation, students where registered but could not afford accommodation as a result twelve (12) FULL bursaries in the field of Finances, Engineering were awarded.

Upon graduating the students are expected to return to the municipality in order to give back though their qualifications.

It’s important that children are confident when they come to school, this will ensure that they produce the best results possible and make Newcastle proud.“ concluded the Mayor.

Principal Philane Ntshangase of Sekusile High School had a few words to say.

We have children who have many challenges in the school and Mayor Nkosi’s presence has certainly made a difference. We also acknowledge that he cares for the community. Our school is poor with infrastructure challenges and water problems. The school will certainly not be the same with the partnership with the Municipality. We appreciate the kind gesture by the municipality.

Uniform beneficiaries of Sekusile High school with Mayor Nkosi

Uniform beneficiaries of Sekusile High school with Mayor Nkosi

Land Use Rights certificates handed over to two Labour Tenants

Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Mr Gugile Nkwinti with Mayor of the Newcastle Municipality, Cllr Makhosini Nkosi

Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Mr Gugile Nkwinti with Mayor of the Newcastle Municipality, Cllr Makhosini Nkosi

Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Mr Gugile Nkwinti accompanied by the Mayor of the Newcastle Local Municipality, Cllr Makhosini Nkosi handed over Land Use Rights certificates to two Labour Tenants communities who applied for ownership of the Up & Down and Clontarf farms in Newcastle on Saturday.

The Land Use Rights Certificates in the form of title deeds grants the labour tenants ownerships rights in the land that they once worked as farm workers/dwellers and it enables them to grow crops and demarcate some portions of the land for grazing. The acquisition of land for labour tenants is also part of efforts to ensure security of tenure as farm dwellers often face eviction from the farms, which then leaves them homeless in many instances.

In terms of the Labour Tenants Act, Labour tenants are permitted to apply for portions of the farms on which they reside. Beside empowering labour tenants by allocating land to them, it enables them to get access to municipal services such as clean water, sanitation and electricity which have proved difficult to access on privately owned land.

The Contarf farm is situated about 15 kilometres outside Newcastle towards Utrecht and it is about 280.0924 hectares in extent. It was purchased by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform and allocated to 44 beneficiaries of the Hallowheel Communal Property Association.

The Up and Down farm is situated in Normadien area about 40 kilometres from Newcastle towards Ladysmith. The size of the farm is 8701.313.600 hectares and it is currently used for cropping and livestock farming. The department allocated the farm to the Mzanywa Family Trust which is made up of 18 family members. The farm was purchased to the sum of over R1.7 million.

Both farms were purchased by the department through the Pro-active Land Acquisition Strategy (PLAS) and the hand over is in line with Section 11 of the Provision of Land Assistance Act which provides for beneficiaries to receive post settlement support in order that the farms become sustainable.

Handing over the farms, Minister Nkwinti told the community that the Department will allocate a budget for farms acquired for labour tenants to ensure they receive the necessary support to remain productive. Minister also mentioned that he will appoint local mayors and ward councillors to be the champions of the farming community by helping the department in its endeavours to uplift labour tenants turned farmers.

“I will give them direct authority to monitor state acquired farms under the control of labour tenants. I want them to also align government land reform programmes with their Integrated Development Plans”, he said.

Mayor Nkosi said government is changing the lives of people particularly those who live on farms.

“We are aware of the triple challenge of poverty, hunger and unemployment in our country and people living in rural communities are most affected by this. Farm dwellers do not have adequate services like water supply and in most cases they drink the same water with cattle. We must work harder to ensure the lives of rural communities improve”.

The mayor also added that people are given land and become the laughing stock because they are unable to use land after it is allocated to them.

“As Africans we need to acknowledge that poverty and hunger will be eradicated through agriculture,” he added.

The beneficiaries said they were grateful for the support of government in acquiring the farms adding that they had been waiting a long time for the day when they will own the farm on which generations of the families had worked and lived.

Minister Gugile signing a Land Use Rights certificates

Minister Gugile signing a Land Use Rights certificates

Beneficiary Gogo Shabalala from Normandien and her family with Newcastle Mayor Makhosini Nkosi

Beneficiary Gogo Shabalala from Normandien and her family with Newcastle Mayor Makhosini Nkosi

2017 STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS (SoNA) DRAFT KEY MESSAGES

President Jacob Zuma will deliver his State of the Nation Address to Parliament on Thursday, 9 February 2017. This will be President Zuma’s fourth State of the Nation Address (SoNA) to the joint sitting of the two houses of Parliament since he was re-elected in May 2014.

The State of the Nation Address will be delivered at 19:00. It will be broadcast live on a number of television and radio stations and streamed live on the Parliament’s website and at public viewing centres.

The president will provide an update on the implementation of the Programme of Action based on the National Development Plan (NDP). The 2017 SoNA will also be delivered within the context of the current strides made by government to respond to the various challenges that our country is facing

These include among others a challenging local economic environment, continued drought conditions in certain parts of the country, the #FeesMustFall student protest, continued acts of racism and state capture investigations.

The 2017 SoNA will be followed by a debate in the National Assembly and the President’s reply to the debate.

Debt Collection Awareness

Newcastle Municipal Manager Mr. B.E Mswane, together with Acting Chief Financial Officer Mr. Sisho Nkosi, Acting Strategic Executive Director; Technical Services  Mr. Lindile Zincume and Acting Strategic Executive; Corporate Services Ms. Nto Vinkhumbo held a Media briefing today, 31 January 2017, to discuss issues relating to the  importance of Debt collection.

A financial analysis was conducted and the TABLE below will list the category and total amount owed as at the 31st of December 2016.

CATEGORY TOTAL AMOUNT
1.Domestic R782 000 000
2.Business R67 409 290
3. Government R23 780 745

 

“The biggest category owed to the Municipality are individuals with R782 000 000 unsettled rates. This amount excludes the indigents, as council has made provision to take care of indigent residents.  Furthermore an indigent audit will take place which to investigate the legitimacy of indigent accounts.  Eleven thousands letters will be sent out to households that will indicate as to how much is owed by a resident”. said Mr. Mswane 

The Municipality will embark on a process of installing water restrictors in the areas where it does not supply electricity i.e. in Madadeni and Osisweni. This process will begin on Monday, 6 February 2017 businesses in Madadeni.

Residence are requested to note the following process once the water restrictors have been installed:

  • In order for a restrictor to be removed the consumer has to make the following payment:
  • The whole amount due from July 2016 until December 2016 and 50% (discretions may be applied but not lower than 20%) of the amount owing from January 2016 until June 2016.
  • It must be emphasized that the current account must be up to date at all times.
  • Only once the payment in respect of the above is received then the water restrictor will be removed.
  • Consumers must then make arrangements in respect of the amounts outstanding prior to January 2016.
  • The above payment arrangements are applicable to all business and individual consumers.

 

Residences are encouraged to use the following number regarding issues around debt collection

034 9400 040

Newcastle Municipality Ward Committee Members Inaugurated

Ward 11, Cllr NK Majozi with some of her ward committee members.

Ward 11, Cllr NK Majozi with some of her ward committee members.

Newcastle Municipality ward committee members inaugurated
Following the Ward Committee Elections that took place from the 19th of November 2016 to the 20th of January 2017, an inauguration ceremony was held for the 340 elected ward committee members at Richview Hall on the 26th of January 2017.

The election process, facilitated and conducted by the service provider; One of Five Collections, visited all 34 wards with the aim to provide sustainable municipal services to the Newcastle communities and introduce a system of a structured community participation in the activities of the municipality.

The inauguration ceremony led by the Office of the Speaker together with the Public Participation unit was chaired by Programme Director, Strategic Executive Director for Development Planning & Human Settlements; Ms Nokuthula Thusi, and comprised of two sessions. The elected ward committee members swore under oath under the leadership of Speaker; Cllr JCN Mam Mkhwanazi.

During his observations, Newcastle Mayor Cllr EM Nkosi accentuated the importance of being a ward committee. “We as the municipality inaugurate you today as leaders that have been elected by your communities, it is therefore your duty to put the communities that elected you first. Being a leader is not about being in power, it is about the responsibilities given unto you to represent and be leading examples in your wards”, said Nkosi.
I understand that all the elected ward committee members derive from different political spheres, however, being a ward committee is not a platform to contest ideas of politics but you are viewed as vehicles for a movement towards a better community”, alluded the Mayor.

In her address, the Speaker congratulated the elected ward committee members and highlighted the main functions of a ward committee. “The primary function of a ward committee member is that you are elected to serve your ward. As the voices of your community you need to encourage and facilitate dialogue between council and local people within your wards, with the view of maximising influence over the way the municipality functions”, she emphasised.
You need to also engage and ensure that our communities participate in IDP and budget processes in maintaining a smooth co-ordination through a structured engagement within the municipal council to provide feedback to our communities”.

“Lastly, as a ward committee member you need to support and respect the position of a councillor. A councillor is the integral part of the election process of ward committees thus they are recognised as the chairperson”, concluded the Speaker.

The second session of the event, chaired by the Department of Co-operative Governance inducted the ward committee members on the Code of Conduct and the Roles and Responsibilities of Ward Committee Functionality.

Ward 3, Cllr M Shunmugam with his ward committee members.

Ward 3, Cllr M Shunmugam with his ward committee members.

Mayor Cllr EM Nkosi, Deputy Mayor Cllr Dudu Sibiya, Chief Whip Cllr NG Mnguni and SED Ms Nokuthula Thusi during the signing of the oath under the leadership of Speaker Cllr JCN MamMkhwanazi.

Mayor Cllr EM Nkosi, Deputy Mayor Cllr Dudu Sibiya, Chief Whip Cllr NG Mnguni and SED Ms Nokuthula Thusi during the signing of the oath under the leadership of Speaker Cllr JCN MamMkhwanazi.