Index Executive Mayor addresses Council
Date Added: 10 October 2013

Honourable Speaker, Chief Whip, Mayoral Committee Members, Councillors, Municipal Manager, Directors, Officials, the Media and members of the public, it is my pleasure to welcome you to this Council meeting.

PREMIER'S EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OUTREACH

At the last Council meeting, I reported that the Executive Committee of the Province, which comprises the Premier and the 10 MECs, would conduct an Outreach to Cacadu District in September 2013.

This Outreach took place from 25 - 27 September 2013 with Makana Municipality as the anchor municipality for the main events. A political briefing in preparation for the Outreach was held on 16 September 2013. The Outreach programme differed from previous years as it took place over three days instead of two. On Day 1 there was an extended IGR session in the morning, to which all mayors, speakers and executive committee members of municipalities were invited, as well as the PR councillors of the District Municipality. This session was held in Makana City Hall, Grahamstown. Attendance by the District PR Councillors and Mayors at this session was very poor. Notwithstanding this, critical issues of the District were raised and responded to by the relevant MECs. A parallel session for public servants was held on the same day.

On Day 2 a very successful stakeholder engagement session was held. The District was very well represented at this session where lively discussions took place. Parallel visits to service delivery sites relevant to Education, Health and Social Development took place in the morning of Day 2. A closed IGR session took place in the afternoon of Day 2.

Day 3 was devoted to community engagements and project launches. The mass community engagement took place in the Joza Indoor Sports Centre in Grahamstown. This event was very well attended by community members. All Makana Ward committee members were given an opportunity to address the meeting.

A report on the Outreach will be included in the next Mayoral Committee agenda. The Office of the Premier will also produce a report on the outcome of the visit in due course.

DISTRICT NAME CHANGE ENGAGEMENTS

Public hearings regarding the proposed name change for the District to Sarah Baartman District have been taking place in all local municipalities during the past month as follows:

Baviaans

4 Sept 2013

18:00

Willowmore Town Hall

Camdeboo

10 Sept 2013

18:00

Graaff-Reinet Town Hall

Sundays River Valley

18 Sept 2013

18:00

Nomathamsanqa Community Hall, Addo

Ikwezi

19 Sept 2013

18:00

Popoyi Memorial Hall, Draai Location

Ndlambe

23 Sept 2013

14:00

Jauka Hall, Port Alfred

Koukamma

26 Sept 2013

18:00

Kasigo Heights Hall, Kareedouw

Makana

30 Sept 2013

18:00

Noluthando Hall

Blue Crane Route

4 Oct 2013

14:00

Somerset East Youth Centre

The hearings in Kouga Municipality have been postponed until the end of October 2013 due to the memorial service for the late Cr Ntshiza.

We have so far engaged with communities in eight of the nine municipalities in the District. In all areas visited, the response to the proposed name change has been enthusiastic and positive. The reaction can most be appropriately summed up in the words of the communities themselves: VIVA, VIVA SARAH BAARTMAN!

MOHAIR SUMMIT

Ikhwezi Local Municipality and Cacadu District Municipality will be hosting the 2nd International Mohair Summit from 30 October to 02 November 2013 in Jansenville. The purpose of the Summit is to increase interest in International trade in the Mohair industry, whilst creating a local interest in Mohair as a fibre product. The Summit also aims to create sustainable jobs and business opportunities for local residents of the area. Council resolved to provide funding to support Ikhwezi Local Municipality in partnership with Mohair industry and other stakeholders to host the 2nd International Mohair Summit in our District and the Eastern Cape.

Preparations for and organisation of the event are advanced and the District can confidently confirm that Ikhwezi Local Municipality is ready to host international and local guests to our shores. Additional support will be deployed to support the municipality to ensure another successful Partnership between the government and Private sector towards sustainable Local Economic Development in our Region.

WATER PROBLEMS IN THE DISTRICT

Sundays River Valley Municipality has been experiencing a water related crisis over the past six months. This has resulted in mass protests from affected communities, and the situation has deteriorated considerably over the past two months.

We are trying to assist Sundays River Municipality to deal with this crisis. Our officials have visited the area and held discussions with the relevant officials of Sundays River Municipality. The outcome of these discussions is that we will allocate an amount of R50 000 to repair a water pump. This will provide some relief in the short term. A long term solution to the problem is currently being investigated by the Department of Water Affairs in consultation with the Amatole Water Board and the local municipality.

A similar crisis has also arisen in Makana Municipality. The situation in Makana in regard to lack of water has been widely reported in the media. The latest report from the Municipality itself indicates that a new pump has been delivered, and we can only pray that this will improve the situation.

Councillors, access to clean water is a basic human right. Communities have every right to expect this service and to protest on a daily basis if their needs are not met. The people are no longer prepared to accept excuses and explanations. Lack of clean water is a life challenging matter and a health risk to the communities.

The crises that have arisen in the two municipalities should not have been allowed to develop. The situation is a direct result of poor planning, lack of maintenance of infrastructure and inadequate budgeting for repairs and maintenance by the respective local municipalities. Whilst we as a District must do what we can to assist the affected communities, our local municipalities need to take cognizance of what results from failure to pay adequate attention to repairs and maintenance of infrastructure, and failure to fulfill their responsibilities as water services authorities and water services providers.

FUNDING FOR DISASTER REPAIRS

In an effort to solve the dispute between the Cacadu District and the National Disaster Management Centre regarding the amount of the allocation for repairs to flood damage incurred in October 2012, the Superintendent General of the Department of Local Government and Traditional Affairs convened a meeting on 1 October 2013.

Officials from National and Provincial Disaster Management Centres, sector departments and the District and Local Municipalities attended the meeting, where the District and its Locals presented their concerns regarding the low allocations being made by the NDMC and the vast difference between the amount estimated by the consultants appointed by the District to assess the damage (R211m) and the amount estimated by the NDMC's consultants. Kouga Local Municipality pointed out that the NDMC's consultants failed to visit all the roads affected, and only spent one day instead of three days in the area.

After the municipalities presented their case, the NDMC gave reasons for not accepting the methodology used by the consultants appointed by the District.

The Superintendent General expressed concern that the NDMC's report would be found wanting if indeed the statement is true from Kouga regarding failure to visit all sites. He also expressed concern that the rates used by NDMC's consultant vary so widely from those of the District-appointed consultant, whereas they are both in the same profession.

NDMC and the SG confirmed that the allocation to the District of R48m has been signed off for cabinet approval. However, the SG undertook to :

Notwithstanding the discussions at the meeting, the allocation of R48 m still stands. NDMC did not undertake to review the process despite valid arguments from the District and its Locals. The SG undertook to take the matter further, but it is not yet clear what the outcome will be.

On the positive side, it has been confirmed that the Department of Public Works in the province will be rehabilitating the Sand River Bridge.

A full report giving details of the submissions made during the meeting with the Superintendent General, is expected in the next Mayoral Committee meeting.

LAUNCH OF THE DISTRICT WOMENS FORUM

As part of the celebration of the women’s month the District Municipality launched two very important structures, namely the District Women's Forum and the District Women's Caucus. The Speaker has already mentioned in his speech the District Women's Caucus and its importance. The District Women's Forum will oversee all the programmes of women empowerment in the District and will also support local forums to ensure that they deliver on their mandate.

Maybe it will be important Mr Speaker that Cr Vanda brings to Council all these newly established structures so that they can be properly introduced. and most importantly induct them on their roles and responsibilities to ensure that they perform.

I am looking forward to their programme of action and I trust that they will get all the support they need to ensure that women in Cacadu are empower and their live are made better.

ESTABLISHMENT OF DISTRICT YOUTH COUNCIL

The Council's Youth Policy requires it to establish a Youth Forum which will serve as a broad consultative structure and monitor the implementation of the Youth Strategy.

We partnered with Blue Crane Route Municipality to host build-up programmes for Youth Month that culminated in the establishment of the District Youth Council on 4 July 2013 in Cookhouse. Ten members were elected to serve on the Council. All LMs in the District are represented on the District Youth Council. I am pleased to welcome the members of the Youth Council here to this meeting today to introduce them to the Council.

On 6 July 2013 we hosted a Youth Celebration Day in Pearston. All nine local municipalities were invited to participate in the celebrations and we assisted five local teams in Pearston with sporting kits. We also donated a container for use by an SMME in Somerset East.

THANK YOU