Index Executive Mayor's speech to Council on 8 July 2015
Date Added: 14 July 2015

STATEMENT BY THE EXECUTIVE MAYOR TO THE SARAH BAARTMAN DISTRICT MUNICIPALITY COUNCIL MEETING ON 8 JULY 2015

Honourable Speaker, Chief Whips, Mayoral Committee Members, Councillors, Municipal Manager, Directors, Officials, invited guests and the Media, good morning and welcome to this Council meeting, the first of our new financial year.

IMPLEMENTATION OF 2015/2016 IDP AND BUDGET

Now that we have an approved IDP and Budget, and I have ratified the SDBIP for the new financial year, the Municipal Manager, Department Heads and Portfolio Councillors will be required to implement the projects on our SDBIP without delay. The performance contracts are currently being developed and will be finalized in the next week.

Department Heads and officials have been urged to plan better, and implement their projects sooner. Where procurement has not already been done, it must be commenced during this first month of the new financial year. Portfolio councilors need to monitor the activities of their Departments closely and effectively in order to achieve a positive result this year.

I am looking forward to seeing this year’s project budget being spent well before the end of the financial year.

THE NATIONAL ARTS FESTIVAL

The National Arts Festival is an important event on the South African cultural calendar, and the biggest annual celebration of the arts on the African continent. The Festival in Grahamstown, Makana Municipality, is taking place at present, having commenced on 2 July 2015, and will be ending this weekend on 12 July. It is Africa's largest and most colourful arts and culture festival and attracts people from all over the world to the Cacadu District.

This year the Sarah Baartman District Municipality arranged for a cultural group from Jincheng City, China, to participate in the festival in line with one of the areas for co-operation in terms of our partnership agreement with that Municipality, i.e. cultural exchange. The group, known as Ba Yinhui, is a musical group who play traditional Chinese music. They gave three performances during the Festival, one at the Opening Ceremony on 1 July 2015 and two performances on the Village Green on 2 July 2015.

VISIT TO SARAH BAARTMAN DISTRICT BY MAYOR OF JINCHENG CITY, CHINA

From 30 June to 2 July 2015, I hosted a delegation from Jincheng City, Shanxi Province, in China. The delegation, led by Jincheng City Municipality Mayor Lui Runmin, was here to further the partnership between our two municipalities, which has been ongoing since 2008.

As part of the programme, we held a formal meeting with the Jincheng delegation on 1 July 2015. During the meeting Mayor Lui referred to the development of the economy of the District, including tourism and investment from Jincheng City, and made the following suggestions which he undertook to facilitate:

Mayor Lui also stressed the importance for both cities to promote each other’s local products through exhibitions in order to expand the markets.

We also arranged for the delegates from Jincheng to be escorted to Mohair SA and a tour of a mohair brokerage where they were exposed to the various aspects of the industry.

As mentioned previously, arrangements were made for a group of musicians from Jincheng Mass Art Centre, to perform at the National Arts Festival.

YOUTH MONTH CELEBRATIONS

Our Youth Month programme was held in Ndlambe Municipality on 27 June 2015. Honourable MEC for Rural Development, Mlibo Qoboshiyane, was the keynote speaker at the event. Attendance at the event was somewhat disappointing.

A full report on the event as well as the issues raised during the dialogues will be presented to the Mayoral Committee shortly.

LAUNCH OF DISTRICT BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT FORUM

The District Business Development Forum was launched in June 2015 in St Francis Bay, Kouga Municipality.

Eight local municipalities have established their local business development forums. The only municipality that has not yet done so is Sundays River Valley Municipality. The Municipal Manager and Department of Economic Development met with business leaders from the area last week and clarified the purpose, the role, and various aspects of why a local business development forum is necessary. The business sector was supportive of that and the launch is expected to occur in the next two weeks.

CHICORY INDUSTRY

Trade and Industry Minister, Dr Rob Davies, says a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Eastern Cape provincial government and dairy products manufacturer Nestlé South Africa on Thursday would create 800 permanent and seasonal jobs by 2019. The MoU formed part of a public–private sector collaboration between industry and government for the chicory sector – a programme aimed at encouraging local farmers to grow chicory and supply it to Nestlé for use in its coffee product Ricoffy.

Speaking at the signing ceremony in Alexandria in Ndlambe on Thursday last week, Minister Davies said the agreement was aligned with the nine-point agro-processing programme announced by President Jacob Zuma during his State of the Nation Address earlier this year, which had set a target of creating one-million jobs for the agriculture and the agro-processing sector.

He further stated that the agro-processing sector, particularly chicory farming, has the potential to generate an industrial impetus that can create jobs and answer some of the economic challenges that the country is currently facing. The agreement would also see Nestlé provide technical support to ensure optimal quality and specification of chicory in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.

PUBLIC AWARENESS, LAUNCH AND ANNOUNCEMENT OF SARAH BAARTMAN DISTRICT MUNICIPALITY

I am pleased to report that we are making progress with many of the aspects relating to our name change to Sarah Baartman District Municipality

1. The decals on the municipal fleet have been replaced to reflect the new name of the Municipality

2. The entrance to our building has been rebranded with the name Sarah Baartman District Municipality

3. Billboards in the District are in the process of being replaced

4. In September (heritage month) the name will be officially launched to the public in partnership with the Provincial Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture and the Kouga Municipality.

RETURN OF REMAINS OF FORMER KHOI-SAN CHIEF TO THE EASTERN CAPE

A meeting is scheduled for today at 11:00 in Peddie where discussions and planning will take place for the return from Australia to South Africa of the remains of former Khoi-San Chief, Mr Dawid Stuurman. Province is engaging Sarah Baartman and Peddie municipalities as per request of the family.

Thank you

K E KEKANA
EXECUTIVE MAYOR