To see how hard working Ward Councillors go about their jobs, see Ward 2 councillor, Dean Biddulph’s newsletter below. Scroll down to see the contact Details for Ward 2.
Safety & Security – Light at the end of the tunnel for Hobie parking area
Good news at last appears to be on the horizon for the residents an patrons of the Hobie Beach parking area which has been plagued for a number of years by an increase in the number of vagrants, illegal car guards and undesirables frequenting the area.
A meeting was convened by Ward 2 Cllr Dean Biddulph with all affected role players in the area, including the Barneys Complex tenants, representatives from BMI and their security contractor, Brigadier Koll from Humewood SAPS, the Humewood CPF and metro Safety & Security.
Out of this meeting it was decided to approach a formal car guarding company to request the deployment of registered car guards to oversee the area, with backup being promised by both metro Safety & Security and also the Humewood SAPS. The latter agencies are going to assist with the regular clearing out of illegal guards.
Service provider has been identified who also provide car guards to the Walmer Park and Greenacres malls and permission has been granted by the metro for the programme to commence. It is hope that by the time you read this, that the pilot programme will be finalized and underway.
Service Delivery JOC (Joint Operations Centre) – How to report your complaint
Kindly note that the following processes that need to be followed to log complaints with the Service Delivery Call Centre (JOC).
There are two options to log 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).
Kings Beach Upgrade – Commencement of Phase 2
With the recent completion of Phase 1 of the Kings Beach Environmental upgrade (looking absolutely beautiful) and the commissioning of the recirculation fountain, this area has truly been given a new lease of life.
Phase two, will start shortly after the annual budget has been approved. This phase is expected to include the extension and upgrade of children’s play facilities, expanding the existing skate boarding facility and a number of tourist related projects. A call for Requests For Proposals to be advertised to allow for the upgrading of the King’s Beach Lifesaving complex is also still on the cards which will hopefully be re-developed to include a restaurant and deck etc. whilst still accommodating the lifesaving club and its activities.
I have also been in discussion with both the Beach Manager and the Beachfront Traders Association to try and incorporate all trading stalls within the newly upgraded area which will draw visitors through the newly upgraded area whilst also providing a great day out for families to enjoy the fun, food and trade in this precinct.
MBDA proposes Kings Beach as preferred site for Mandela Freedom Statue
The Mandela Bay Development Agency has been given the go ahead to draft plans for the erection of the Freedom Statue at King’s Beach and for it to be included in the second phase of the King’s Beach upgrading project.
In an item presented to the Economic Development, Tourism and Agriculture Committee (EDTA), the MBDA notes that the project was initially planned for the pier next to the oil tank farm in the Port Elizabeth Harbour and was “a specific design for a specific site”.
With the relocation of the manganese and oil tank farm firmly scheduled to take place between 2014 and 2017, the project was placed on hold. Recently however, the MBDA said, the idea of a statue of freedom had re-surfaced as it was “felt that such a facility will add to the tourism product of Nelson Mandela Bay”.
The Agency said it believed that the planning of the statue should be included in the second phase of the King’s Beach project once this had been sanctioned by Council, which would also need to give the go ahead for the design process.
The MBDA said it was unlikely that the original design could be used as it was site specific, while there was also an issue of intellectual rights. It proposed that a design competition should be held “to get sufficient public input”.
Transnet begins Environmental Impact Assessment for Coega Manganese facility
Transnet has finally started the environmental impact assessment process for the development of the new manganese export facility in the Coega Industrial Development Zone. This facility will replace the contentious Port Elizabeth Harbour facility which will be decommissioned in favour of the newly developed facility at Coega.
The Coega facility will consist of a manganese stockyard and handling facility in Zones 8 and 9 of the IDZ, which includes the Port of Ngqura, as well as a rail compilation yard in Zone 11 and an adjacent property.
The Basic Information Document on the project states that the proposed facility will be designed for a throughput capacity of 1.6 million tons a year which will be railed on the existing line from Hotazhel.
This line is also expected to be upgraded to increase its capacity and a separate EIA will be required for this.
All indications from the documentation are that the construction and commissioning phase of the proposed project will take approximately three years in line with the relocation timeframes of 2015/16.
Ward Committee Elections still on hold
The status quo in respect of the non-functional ward committee system has not changed. However National Treasury in their brief to the Mayoral Budget Task Team strongly criticized the continuing delays as well as the fact hat a functional ward committee system is not yet in place.
We will continue to fight for a fair process that will ensure that your community representation on these committees is not unfairly diluted in any way and to ensure that the elections, when held, are done in a fair and transparent manner.
Little interest shown in Summerstrand Ext 14 plots
There have been only eight responses received to advertisements for the sale of 10 erven put on the market by the municipality in Summerstrand Extension 14.
The 10 erven and the same number in KwaDwesi were advertised late last year “to test the market”. A report to the Budget and Treasury Committee stated that the sale of the eight erven have been concluded apart from the financial guarantees that were awaited from the potential purchasers.
The upset prices that had been tendered for the serviced plots were in the region of R350 000 even though the erven in question had previously been valued at R500 000 each. The response has been disappointing to say the least as it is clear that, had the properties been sold during the property boom, that the metro would have achieved a far better result.
Short-term lease signed for Macarthur Baths complex
In spite of the Requests for Proposal having closed on 8 March already for the appointment of a suitable operator for the Macarthur Baths complex, the metro has concluded a short-term lease with Cuban Latino Caffe, who will be operating from the erstwhile Caprice premises until a suitable operator is appointed.
The reason for the short-term lease as given by the metro is because the new operator will, in terms of the agreement, have the right to nominate the lessees of the two shops in the complex which means a long-term agreement with Cubana Latino Caffe CC is not possible.
Other reasons given for the decision include the fact that the image of the city is negatively affected because of a vacant or vandalized building “in such an up market suburb, Tourism is negatively affected by prime facilities that are vacant and non-operational.
The revenue from the shop it is hoped will help to offset the cost of repairs and maintenance for which there is no current budget allocation, and additional costs will be saved in not having to secure the facility on a 24-hours-a-day basis for which there is also no current budget provision.
DA Retains Kirkwood ward
The Democratic Alliance retained Ward 7 in Sunday’s River in a local government by-election in Kirkwood on Wednesday 25 April 2012.
The DA won 52.2% of the vote to the 47.8% harvested by the ANC in a 39.5% poll. The DA won the ward in the 2011 Local Government elections when the vote was split by an independent candidate.
The win helps keep the forward momentum gained during the 2011 Municipal Elections.
MBDA doubts current market appetite for Telkom Park proposals
The Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA) doubts whether the “market appetite” currently exists among developers with regard to Telkom Park and still only plans to only issue a request for proposals for the area towards the end of the year.
Originally, the intention was to establish an international conference centre on the site but this has fallen away following the inclusion of a conference centre in the upgrading of the Boardwalk complex that is currently underway.
MBDA CEO Pierre Voges stated in a report to the Economic Development, Tourism and Agriculture Committee that it was “doubtful whether there would be any market appetite for this land in the near future”.
The MBDA was handed responsibility for facilitating the redevelopment of Telkom Park precinct by Council in March last year. Voges said the MBDA had completed the precinct engineering report and the Happy Valley Local Spatial Development Framework was “in the final stages of completion”.
These documents, he added, would serve as a basis for a request for development proposals on a long lease basis. “The urban planning and EIA have been completed. A significant portion of the land will be retained as a green belt and development will have to be done around this green belt.”
Mandela Bay population put at 1 176 082
The population of Nelson Mandela Bay was 1 176 082 in 2010, according to a fact sheet on the Metro compiled by the Eastern Cape Socio-Economic Consultative Council (ECSECC).
Of the close to 1.2 million people, 839 241 were of a working age, while the official unemployment rate was put at 30%. The fact sheet says that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2010 was 2.1% and GDP per capita R52 147.
The manufacturing sector was the largest contributor to the city GDP with 25%, followed by community services and finance, both weighing in with 23%. Trade and Transport both contributed 13%, the construction sector 2% and electricity 1%.
Metro’s supply dams at 87% of capacity
The dams supplying Nelson Mandela Bay are currently 87% full. Figures released by the Water and Sanitation Directorate show that the Kouga Dam is at 84%, the Churchill at 74.5%, Impofu 93%, Loerie 83% and Groendal 100%.
The Kouga and Impofu are the two largest dams supplying Nelson Mandela Bay. At the end of March, the dams were 89% full, according to a report submitted to the Infrastructure, Engineering and Energy Portfolio Committee.
Whilst this was a drop of 2.6 per cent compared with the end of February, it is nearly 55% higher than the end of March last year before was the drought was broken. The report stated further that the average rainfall at the dam sites during March this year was higher than the average rainfall for the month over the past 20 years.
The average daily consumption, including bulk consumers in the region was 261.1Ml in March compared with the average daily consumption of 266.8Ml in February and 243 Ml in March last year. The damns supplying the Metro were last full in September last year since which the volume of water stored has been slowly decreasing.
Acting Municipal Manager’s Contract Extended – again
Acting Municipal Manager Themba Hani’s contract was extended for a further three months until the end of July 2012. It is hoped that by this time that the appointment of a permanent Municipal Manager will be finalized.
The process of narrowing down the list of applicants as well as the final interviews it is hoped will be finalized in this time so that some stability can be returned to the institution. This is particularly so bearing in mind that the last permanent Municipal Manager, Graham Richards was placed on suspension some three years ago.
In the interim the province will continue paying Hani’s salary during his secondment with the municipality only making up the difference between this and the amount earned by a municipal manager.
In terms of the agreement, Hani is required to continue submitting written monthly reports to the Mayor and once he is satisfied with the contents thereof, these are forwarded to the MEC.
Work on old Tramways building finally gets underway.
Construction work on the old Tramways Building has finally started. Certain sections of the building not protected by the Heritage Act have already been demolished.
Pierre Voges, CEO of the MBDA said the construction work was expected to take 18 months after which the building would be occupied by the MBDA with any office space not required let.
Initially, a developer had planned to house a nightclub, restaurant and other facilities in the building but as a result defaulting on the requirements of the lease, it was cancelled. Voges said the MBDA Board had subsequently approved the building being used to house the Agency’s headquarters.
By occupying the refurbished building, the Tramways building will be restored to its former glory and also contribute to substantial cost savings in rental currently being paid by the MBDA. Voges said the renovation of the building would not only remove an eye-sore from the area but would in future also attract investment.
He said the Baakens River Valley had always been mooted as an area for redevelopment, adding that there was already a shift away from industrial with the redevelopment of an old warehouse. The area, he said, had potential for tourism, retail, offices, residential, leisure and entertainment.
Nelson Mandela Bay gets 90.4% Blue Drop score
The metro achieved a Blue Drop rating of 90.4% for the past year, below the 95% target but still good enough to fall into the 90-100% category which is described as an “excellent situation”.
The Blue Drop awards and scorecards were announced by Water Affairs Minister Edna Molewa. Nelson Mandela Bay’s score was the second highest in the Eastern Cape after Buffalo City which recorded 92.55%.
The Blue Drop Certification programme is described as “an innovative means to regulation which was designed and implemented with the core objective of safeguarding the tap water management. The programme provides the general public with transparent reporting on the ability of the responsible authority to manage the drinking water quality according to the risk management principles endorsed by the World Health Organisation.
Municipal officials are provided with a target of 95% towards which they should aspire. Among the criteria in terms of which scores were allocated were maintenance expenditure, which should be more than 5% of the Operations Expenditure in total in the preceding financial year.
Municipality gets tough over shoddy fibre-optic installation work
The Municipality has warned the various telecommunications companies currently installing fibre optic cables throughout the Metro that unless they address issues relating to poor workmanship and non-compliance with policy, stand-ards and legislation, it will request the Department of Labour to take action.
In a letter dated December 15 to the MTN Contracts Manager for the installation, the Infrastructure and Engineering Directorate states that “very little progress” has been made in addressing the concerns ex-pressed by the Metro.
Stating that the company will be held responsible for all costs associated with the rectification of work which “does not meet the municipality’s standards, even if such work is identified after the completion of the contract”, the Directorate singles out:
- Fibre optic services not being laid within the 1 metre to 1.5 metre standard offset from the property boundary – this may have an impact on future road widening and installation of municipal services.
- Indiscriminate damage to existing services, and
- Deviation from wayleave conditions and route allocation.
The Directorate has warned that service providers “will be held responsible for the future relocation costs of the fibre optic services found to be in the wrong position”.
Metro councillors once again without e-mail
It is with sincere regret that I must once again report that all metro councillors have been cut off by MTN due to non-payment of the MTN account. This cut-off is made even more frustrating due to the fact that we currently pay the metro R299 per month to have this access.
The mail has been cut off since around the 15th of May and I sincerely regret any inconvenience caused. In the interim, you are kindly requested to contact me via my cell or the office. Should you wish to e-mail me, I have set up a temporary mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Strandfontein/La Roche intersection flooding
I am please to report that after receiving numerous complaints of flooding at this intersection and also along Allister Miller Drive that the metro have assisted greatly by clearing all the blocked storm water drains in the affected areas. In addition, they have cleared overgrown vegetation which was causing problems and also done a number of structural changes to the storm water drainage at the Strandfontein/La Roche intersection which will prevent further inundation in this area.
Street lighting task team tackles Ward 2
Due to the sheer volume of faulty lights throughout the metro, a task team has been established to work through as much of the backlog as possible in the area of defective street lighting. I am please to report that the team has already been through Ward 2 and have made a significant difference.
Although they may not have fixed absolutely 1005 of all lights, things are definitely looking a lot better and they will continue with this task on a rotational basis moving through the entire metro.
Strandfontein transfer station/tip
I have been on the receiving end of a number of concerned calls and e-mails regarding the current state of the Strandfontein tip site. I can confirm that the matter is receiving attention at the highest level and that the Municipal Public Accounts Committee (of which I am a member), recently did a tour of all the metro’s sites to see first hand what the challenges are.
Out of this site inspection, a number of interventions have already been implemented, ranging from termination of contracts in some cases, to the upgrading of certain sites. I am pleased to announce that the Summerstrand site is one of the sites earmarked for improvements and that new concrete fencing is due to be erected which will assist tremendously with containing wind-blown litter and keeping vagrants out. In addition, Waste Management have agreed to facilitate much more stringent monitoring of these sites on a daily basis.
Ward 2 Integrated Development Plan (IDP Submissions)
The following submissions have been made on behalf of the Ward 2 community and have been included in the 2012/13 Integrated Development. The IDP regrettably remains very much a wish list but I can confirm that this is the first time that we have ever been successful in getting all of the priorities identified onto the IDP.
The priorities were identified throughout the course of the past year though interaction with Ward 2 residents, metro officials, the members of the ward committee and personal observation. The challenge now remains to see how much budget we are successfully able to procure towards these goals.
Please peruse the identified priorities and let me know if there are any particular areas where you believe we should be placing more emphasis or may have neglected to include.
Herewith then the IDP priorities as identified:
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.
Water – Stepped Tariffs Remain
Residents are allowed to use hose-pipes and sprinklers to water their gardens only between 16:00 and 10:00 daily. In addition, the washing of driveways, cars, roofs and buildings may be undertaken but only with a high pressure cleaner.
The metro has taken a decision that stepped tariffs will remain in place to encourage users to remain frugal with their consumption as we are in a water stressed region. I have included the latest tariffs for your information at the back of this report.
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.
Ward inspections are still undertaken on a six weekly cycle between myself and representatives from metro parks, traffic, electricity, beach office, metro environmental. During these inspections various problem areas are 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 for your interaction and for bringing ward matters to my attention.
I must extend a special thank you to 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: email@example.com
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