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.
Dean writes: I am absolutely thrilled to announce that after reconciling all the hard copy petitions that we have already received (with many more to still come in), that the Save Our Metro petition has not only passed the 10 000 mark, it has shattered it.
As of today, the petition total is standing on just over 11 000 signatures.
We have already laid criminal charges against the Mayor and his deputy for illegal interference in the administration. We intend to follow this up with additional criminal charges being considered in respect of the Pikoli Report and for additional breaches of law that have been uncovered.
The governing party steadfastly continue their attempts to force through the illegitimate and corrupted ward committee process and we have indicated, with the support of the party, that we will seek relief via the courts if they insist on pursuing their current course in this respect. To demonstrate the contempt with which some in the mayoral committee view our objection to the process, a colleague was confronted outside City Hall by a mayoral committee member who said that they will force through the ward committees regardless and that they would defend any DA court action using “public money”.
Cllr Retief Odendaal, one of our attorneys on caucus, has again corresponded directly with the MEC for Local Government with yet again no response received. Our Provincial leader, Athol Trollip will however be taking all of these matters up directly with the Premier of the province.
It has been a nervy time for me as the first signatory of the petition having been threatened at my home by an unknown individual, warning me off the petition. Of course, the petition cannot be stopped as there are so many of my colleagues involved and who have been equally involved and committed to the cause.
In closing, we have already established an events committee under the guidance of Cllr Francois Greyling and our Provincial Director who have already started planning what we hope will be the biggest protest outside City Hall since the advent of democracy in our country. With your help, I know that this can be achieved.
Thanks again for your continued support and encouragement. We will not stop until we have been successful in bringing accountable, transparent, corruption-free, stable city government to our metro.
If you have not yet taken the opportunity to sign the Save Our Metro petition, please click on the following link and sign – www.change.org/petitions/save-our-metro
Save Our Metro !!!
DIRECTORATE SPELLS OUT PLANS TO MEET WATER DEMAND UNTIL 2019
The Infrastructure and Engineering Directorate requires R230 million over the next three years to complete the Nooitgedagt/Coega Low Level Scheme, according to a report to be submitted to the Infrastructure, Engineering and Energy Committee.
With no grant finding available – the Department of Water Affairs has not included any allocation for the scheme in its estimates of expenditure for the next three years – funding will have to be provided from the capital budget. However, while the directorate was hoping to secure R70 million for the next financial year, only R30 million has been allocated.
And, for the 2014/15 financial year, only R40 million has been included in the capital budget, when the directorate was targeting an allocation of R90 million. The report to the committee points out that completion of the scheme will allow the municipality “to meet its potable water demand up to 2019”.
Looking at other options to augment the current water supply, the report says the Algoa Water Resources Reconciliation Study had confirmed that ground-water development was “the most economical, both in terms of initial capital and operational costs”. Further, it had agreed that the Coega Kop and Uitenhage area aquifers be developed first.
The report says that to date preliminary work has been completed including: all geophysical investigations; target bore-holes being sited and pegged; water use license applied for, and an environ-mental management plan for drilling operations approved.
It adds that groundwater development is now awaiting the appointment of a drilling company, adding that the aim is to complete the drilling programme and yield testing by June next year and completing of design, rendering procedures, construction and commissioning of borehole equipment and “inter-connecting infra-structure” by July 2015.
The report says it is anticipated that the present yield of 5.9 megalitres a day from the Uitenhage Springs will be supplemented by a further 20Ml/day from boreholes.
ELECTRICITY MAIN SOURCE OF REVENUE FOR NELSON MANDELA BAY
Service charges for electricity will account for 41.51% of total revenue accruing to the municipality in the next financial year, according to the 2013/14 Budget presented to Council.
The Budget shows that R3.07 billion of total revenue of just under R7.4 billion will come from service charges for electricity.
Documentation presented with the Budget states that the growth of revenue from service charges generally can be attributed mainly “to increased electricity revenue as a result of significant increases in the Eskom bulk electricity tariffs”.
The second largest revenue source for the 2013/14 financial year is property rates, which will contribute R1.2 billion or 16.4%.
The third largest source of revenue is operating grants and transfers from national and provincial government which accounts for R1.1 billion or 15.13% in 2013/14.
The largest contributor remains the equitable share distribution of national revenue received by the municipality which amounts to R743.3 million, the R206.9 million it will get from the Provincial Department of Human Settlements for housing top structures, and R100 million as a Public Transport Network Operations Grant.
The fourth highest revenue source is simply listed as “other revenue,” which consists of income from such diverse sources as fees for building plans and amounts payable for disconnections and reconnections.
Revenue from this source amounts to R690.9 million or 9.34% of total revenue..
NMB AND BUFFALO CITY LAG BEHIND OTHER METROS WITH SPENDING
Nelson Mandela Bay and Buffalo City had the worst spending records at the end of the third quarter of the 2012/13 financial year, according to a report released by the National Treasury. The report shows that at the end of the third quarter, Nelson Mandela Bay had spent 59.8% of its total capital and operating budget of just over R9 billion.
This is the second lowest spending rate of the eight metros after Buffalo City that had spent 52.3% of its capital and operating budget by the end of the third quarter.
The highest spend rate was recorded by Johannesburg (64.6%) while the average for the eight metros was 62.7%. The National Treasury figures also reveal that as at March 31, the eight metros were owed nearly R48.1 billion in overdue rates and service charges, of which R61.8 billion was owed to the City of Johannesburg.
The amount owed to the eight metros in overdue rates and service charges has increased by more than R3 billion since the end of the third quarter of2012.
Nelson Mandela Bay was owed R2.2 billion at the end of March, an increase of R312.4 million when compared with March 31, 2012. The increase of 17% in the amount overdue is the third highest after Mangaung (25.2%) and Johannesburg (17.1%). Buffalo City’s overdue debtors have increased by 16.8% over the 12 month period from March to R142.7 million.
2013 IRONMAN PUMPED AN ESTIMATED R61 MILLION INTO NMB
The 2013 Ironman pumped an estimated R61 million into the Port Elizabeth economy, according to a report submitted to the Sport, Recreation, Arts and Cultural Services Committee. Council has approved a new three year agreement on hosting the event at the end of last year and Nelson Mandela Bay will now be the venue until 2016.
In a report to the committee, the organisers state that the figure of R61 million is based on the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism daily spend figure of R1 300 a day.
The 2013 event saw a total of 1 786 athletes competing of whom 430 were international competitors, the highest number ever, while some 90% of participants came from outside Nelson Mandela Bay. The report says that hotels, bed and breakfast establishments and guest houses were “nearly fully booked” for the event while restaurants and entertainment facilities reported an increase in revenue of up to 30%.
Some 6 251 participants and supporters spent an average of 7.5 days in Port Elizabeth while an estimated 75 000 spectators watched the event. It says that over 90% of service providers involved with Ironman South Africa were local. With regard to skills transfer, the report says that over 1 700 volunteers and 50 team directors from Nelson Mandela Bay and surrounds assisted in hosting the 2013 event with institutions, schools and the community at large playing “a crucial support role”.
In addition, 20 unemployed community members were employed for 11 days for the construction of the event infrastructure and service providers employed an additional 20 unemployed community members for the duration of the event. The report says that the estimated value of local media coverage was R11.9 million of which just over R6 million came from television coverage and R3.3 million from the print media. The value of radio coverage was R1.5 million.
Internationally, there was exposure with television coverage in over 71 countries in the USA, Europe, Asia and Africa, with the event having “the highest national and international TV exposure to date”.
In addition, there were articles in 10 national and international magazines directly after the event.
4 539 OBJECTIONS RECEIVED TO 2013 GENERAL VALUATION
A total of 4 539 objections have been lodged against the 2013 General Valuation compared to the 10 985 received in 2008, according to a report to be submitted to the Budget and Treasury Committee.
Of the total, 2 319 were from the owners of single residential properties, 1 074 from sectional title property owners, 949 regarding the valuation for non-residential properties and 197 from the owners of agricultural properties. The new valuations came into effect from July 1 this year.
The report says that during the next phase of the “objection process” all objections received will be reviewed on an individual basis by the municipal valuer. The owner of the property will then be sent an “objection outcome” letter advising of the decision taken and of the right to appeal within the specified period, should they not be in agreement with the “objection outcome”.
The report states that it is estimated that the “objection process” will be completed by the end of August this year., whereafter, the Appeal process will start, if any appeals have been received against the “objection out-come”.
CABINET MEMORANDUM PREPARED ON FUTURE OF BAYWORLD
Notwithstanding the recent re-opening of Bayworld in a smaller format, a memorandum has been drawn up for presentation to the provincial cabinet that makes provision for the Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture to appoint the Mandela Bay Development Agency as the project management agency for four critical areas in the redevelopment of Bayworld into a “world class tourist attraction and flagship heritage institution for Nelson Mandela Bay and the Eastern Cape”.
The four key areas are:
- Conceptualising with the department a redeveloped Bayworld Complex “which addresses the needs of the future – 20 years and beyond”
- Exploring and recommending a sustain-able operating model for Bayworld that “retains and supports the rights and obligations, both legal and ethical, of the facility within the department”.
- Seeking the total funding required for the redevelopment from both South African and international sources, and
- Overseeing and managing the design, construction and final technical and legal implementation of arrangement for the start of operations of both the non-commercial functions, such as the museum, research and education, and the commercial functions, including tourism, entertainment, retail around the oceanarium and snake park.
The memorandum notes that the Bayworld facility has been “in gradual decline over more than a decade” and has lost its key attraction, the oceanarium with its dolphins, while the museum and snake part are “very outdated and no longer appealing to visitor interests of the 21st Century”.
It points out that the department recently gave Bayworld R10 million for improvements and it is “envisaged but not guaranteed” that further funding will be made available “to address the remaining infrastructure needs of the institution”.
The department’s cabinet memorandum adds, however, that “it has become clear that small pockets of funding such as the R10 million can only address crisis management and cannot respond to the real need of overhauling, modernising and re-developing of the total infrastructure to meet the demands of current and future tourists and the present and future educational and scientific service requirements of such a facility”.
CONSTRUCTION ON NGQURA EXPANSION AND FUEL STORAGE PLANNED FOR AUGUST 2014
Construction of a general cargo berth and liquid bulk berths at the Port of Ngqura is planned for August 2014 “in order for the berths and associated infrastructure to become operational in April 2016”.
At that point the process of transferring the operations of the existing tank farm in the Port Elizabeth Harbour will get underway.
The relocation of the manganese facility will start at the same time.
The Final Scoping Report for the project, which has been submitted to the National Department of Environmental Affairs for decision-making, states that the work also involves the provision of a navigation channel between the proposed liquid bulk berths and general cargo berth as well as the relocation of the Cerebos seawater intake pipe-line.
In addition, the existing Klub Road causeway will need to be relocated or diverted further up the Coega River. Other general services will also need to be relocated. The proposed liquid bulk berths will be designed to handle liquid bulk vessels that are 100 000 DWT in size as well as Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) vessels of a typical size of 8 400 DWT.
The report says that based on the pre-feasibility investigations, it is proposed that the liquid bulk berths should be designed as island berths. The general cargo berth will be constructed towards the west of the Coega River and will be designed to handle bulk product vessels of 100 000 DWT in size.
The report notes that construction of the general cargo berth will require a substantial excavation of material that lies inshore of the existing Berth B100, adding that at this stage it is proposed that “suitable” excavated material could be transported by truck to the eastern beach to supplement the existing sand bypass system.
An alternative, the report states, could be to stockpile the excavated material “for subsequent backfilling material.”
METRO’S MAINTENANCE BACKLOG STANDS AT R5.7BILLION
Nelson Mandela Bay’s total operational maintenance backlog now stands at close to R5.7 billion, according to the Built Environment Performance Plan (BEPP) presented to Council.
The BEPP says the reason for the backlog is that “accelerated infrastructure growth has outpaced available funding”. The operational maintenance backlog for water is put at R880.3 million of which R510.3 million is for water reticulation and R265.3 million for bulk water supply mains.
The BEPP says the annual requirement to eliminate the backlog is just over R176 million while last year’s operating budget for water was R132.2 million. It says the operational maintenance backlog for sanitation now stands at R4.2 billion of which R2.1 billion is for the sewerage network and just under R2 billion for wastewater treatment works. An additional R120.7 million is needed for sewerage pump stations.
The BEPP says that R841.5 million is required annually to eliminate the backlog while the operating budget for the current financial year was just R128.9 million As far as roads and storm water is concerned, the current operational maintenance backlog is put at R484.2 million of which R248.6 mil-lion is required for non-subsidised roads and R197 million for the rehabilitation of storm water facilities.
The annual requirement to eliminate the backlog is R96.8 million, while the operating budgeted for the cur-rent financial year is R81.2 million.
The backlog for Recreational and Cultural Services is R77.4 million of which R42.6 million is needed for sports facilities and R19.8 million for the upgrading of facilities and beaches. The annual requirement to eliminate the backlog is R25.3 million but only R13.8 million was made available as an operating budget for the 2012/3 financial year.
MUNICIPALITIES GET R275 A MONTH SUBSIDY FOR FREE BASIC SERVICES
The new formula used to allocate the local government equitable share being phased in during the current financial year provides each municipality with a subsidy of R275 a month for the provision of free basic services to indigent households, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has told the National Assembly.
Replying to a written question, the Minister said this covered free basic water, sanitation, electricity and refuse removal for each household whose income was less than the equivalent of two social grants.
Gordhan said the formula also provided funding for administration and community services in municipalities that “have less ability to raise own revenue to fund these services”. He said that to ensure these municipalities used the funds “appropriately” to provide basic services National Treasury published “a detailed breakdown of how the formula is calculated and what funds are available within each municipality”.
Gordhan said this “increased transparency” allowed councillors, communities and other stakeholders “to make sure that equitable share funds are budgeted for appropriately, adding that measures had been put in place “for municipalities to be monitored and held accountable” in terms of achieving value for money from the equitable share.
The Minister explained that the budget-reporting templates prescribed by National Treasury for municipalities required reporting on both planned and actual delivery of free basic services to households. “This enables oversight bodies, including national and provincial legislatures, to hold municipalities to account for the delivery of services.”
Gordhan stressed that national transfers to local government were not a substitute for a municipality’s own revenue, adding that households with an adequate income and businesses “are expected to pay rates and the full cost of the services they receive”.
DIRECTORATE WANTS TO SOURCE R250 MILLION FOR BAYWORLD REDEVELOPMENT
Nelson Mandela Bay’s Economic Development, Tourism and Agriculture (EDTA) Directorate wants to source a total of R250 million for the redevelopment of Bayworld.
In a report to be discussed when the EDTA Committee meets, the directorate says the facility has “collapsed and has been facing funding challenges, especially after the closing of the oceanarium”. It says because of the importance of the facility “a special intervention needs to be made” to resurrect Bayworld, adding that the plan is that it should once again include an aquarium, sea-water features, dolphinarium and other tourist facilities.
The report notes that all the “vested rights” to Bayworld sit with the Eastern Cape Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture. It says a proposal was put to the department that the operations and maintenance of the facility should be transferred to the municipality.
“The plan is that the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality will enter into an agreement with the Department and later hand over the facility to the Mandela Bay Development Agency for project management purposes. “The MBDA will thereafter be responsible for the final design, sourcing the funding, which be around R250 million, overseeing construction and the appointment of an operator as is the case with the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.”
The report says that a Provincial Cabinet Memorandum has been prepared and submitted to the head of department for approval, adding that there are “on-going discussions with the department to fast-track the handover process”.
It adds that both the head of department Martin Matutu and MEC Xoliswa Tom “have expressed the wish that the project be handed over to the MBDA with the department remaining the owner”.
The report recommends that the Acting Executive Director of Economic Development and Recreational Services Anele Qaba should continue to engage with department in order to fast-track the handover process.
DECISION NEEDED ON WHETHER MADIBA BAY DEVELOPMENT SHOULD GO AHEAD
The Economic Development, Tour-ism and Agriculture Directorate (EDTA) says a decision must be made on whether the Madiba Bay Development should go ahead or not.
The development is one of the matters raised in the Kabuso Report and is currently in limbo as a result while legal issues are resolved.
In a report to the EDTA Committee, the directorate says that a decision is required because the current situation has “stifled the development of the land… that will potentially unlock the economic development of the city”.
The report notes that the project envisaged the creation of a range of facilities including wildlife, indigenous culture and adventure.
It says that because of challenges around the issuing of a Record of Decision on the Environmental Impact Assessment and matters around the lease of the land “the development of the project has not started in spite of planning and specialist reports being done”.
It says the status quo is that a proposal by the company behind the project, East Cape Showcase, that Council should consider “concluding an addendum to the initial lease agreement”.
It adds that a session has now been arranged with Legal Services “to get the status of the legal proceedings”.
The report says that the development of the Embizweni/Bluewater Bay/St George’s Strand node that would have included a hotel and tourism cultural centre is also locked in legal challenges connected to the Kabuso Report.
It says it is of critical importance that the legal matter surrounding the project are resolved as soon as possible “in order to unlock this important development,” adding that on receipt of legal advice Council needs to take a decision on the way forward with the project.
METRO MAJOR STORAGE DAMS NOW AT 87.2%
The major storage dams supplying Nelson Mandela Bay were at 87.2% of combined capacity at the beginning of this week compared to 86.4% two weeks ago.
Figures released by the municipality show that the two largest dams, the Impofu and Kouga, were at 85.2% and 93.1% of capacity respectively, while the Churchill Dam was at 75.2%, the Loerie at 30.2% and Groendal at 92.6%. The average daily consumption for August to date stands at 273 megalitres a day with the municipality wanting this cut by 10%.
In a report to the Infrastructure, Engineering and Energy Committee, Water and Sanitation Director Barry Martin said the metro was being restricted to 90% of its allocated use from the Kouga and Kromme river supply systems. All consumers, he said, were being asked to cut consumption by 10%.
DEPUTY DIRECTOR-GENERAL APPOINTED ACTING CITY MANAGER
Council met behind closed doors to ratify the appointment of Local Government and Traditional Affairs Deputy Director-General Mpilo Mbambisa as Acting City Manager for the next three months or until a permanent appointment is made.
Mbambisa, a former municipal manager of the Chris Hani District Municipality is DDG in the department responsible for traditional affairs. He is also a qualified civil engineer.
He is the seventh acting city or municipal manager to have filled the position since Graham Richards took special leave in July 2009.
He has taken over from Acting Public Health Executive Director Mamisa Chabula-Nxiweni who has been filling the position since Lindiwe Msengana-Ndlela resigned due to reported political interference.
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).
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
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