To see how hard working Ward Councillors go about their jobs, see Ward 6 councillor, Retief Odendaal’s newsletter below. Scroll down to see the contact Details for Ward 6.
HOSTING AFCON WILL COST MORE THAN R43 MILLION
The cost of being a host city for next year’s African Cup of Nations has risen from an estimated R34 million to “in excess of R43 million,” according to a report submitted to the Sport, Recreation and Cultural Services Committee.
The R43 million is the figure provided by National Treasury and the National Department of Sport and
Recreation. The Metro is scheduled to host four national teams for the duration of the group stages and fivematch days – the last two games will be a double-header – and a quarter final and possibly a semi-final.
In a report to the Committee, Executive Director Zolile Siswana said that apart from assistance from national and provincial government, the only other source of revenue available to the Metro is from ticket sales where it will pocket 25% of the takings.
An average attendance of 25 000 would result in total income of between R2.4 and R4.5 million depending on the price of the tickets. In addition, it has been agreed that private sector sponsorships can be obtained, although there is still no clarity on how this will operate.
The report says that National Government has committed to providing public liability insurance and the training and supplying of kit for volunteers, while province has committed R15.4 million for the tournament. It was further noted that R7 million is already included in the 2012/13 budget for the completing of the upgrading of the Wolfson Stadium with the Metro having to find an additional R11.7 million – no provision has been made in the budget for the event.
With regard to the economic spin-offs, the report states that based on SA Tourism indicators, it is expected that the tournament will contribute R152 million to the Gross Domestic Product of the Metro, in addition to which approximately R30 million will flow to low income households. The entertainment industry, especially local artists, will receive R3 million.
KABUSO – DA CALLS FOR URGENT ACTION
The Democratic Alliance notes with concern the delay in presenting this progress report to Council. Given the level of public interest in the report and the amount of negative publicity that the municipality received as a result; more importantly, given the fiduciary duty of council to ensure that the findings of the Kabuso report are thoroughly investigated and interrogated, Council has no choice but to deal with the report in a comprehensive, decisive and transparent manner.
The Democratic Alliance is appalled at the lack of information presented in the report to Council at its meeting of 7 August 2012. Council remains the ultimate decision making body of the institution and cannot be expected to take informed decisions on matters of public importance without being provided with adequate and complete information in order to make decisions on this vitally important matter.
We also wish to highlight that glaring discrepancies have now occurred between the Council resolutions taken on this matter on the 8th of December 2011 and the recommendations in respect of the status report tabled at Council last week.
The simple truth is that council resolves on matters such as Kabuso, and the administration is compelled to implement the resolutions of council. The information presented in the scant report to council on 7 August 2012 not only goes against the resolutions taken by a majority of the members of council, it flies in the face of the institution of council, a body constitutionally bound to act at all times in the best interests of the metro and its residents.
It cannot be in any way acceptable for the residents of this metro to be expected to accept a blatant distortion of the will of council as expressed in the original resolutions taken by council.
Yet another grave concern that must be raised is the fact that after a year and a half the Metro still has not been able to adequately assess the revenue loss incurred by the Metro due to non-compliance of any of the companies named in the Kabuso report. Further, the Metro has still not concluded the investigation into possible misconduct of some of the institutions’ staff members.
The question begs – why is this taking so long? Is the Metro genuinely committed and does it have the moral fortitude and will to properly deal with this report in the manner required by the council resolutions taken?
The Democratic Alliance demands that urgent action now be taken in properly finalizing all matters related to the Kabuso Report in a decisive manner and therefore proposes that the Acting Municipal Manager urgently arrange a formal briefing session to which all councillors be invited in order to discuss the proposals in the status report made to Council and that the council resolutions be instituted without further delay.
Failing this, the Democratic Alliance will be left with no option but to take the matter of the failure on the part of the metro to properly implement the council resolutions to the MEC for Local Government and Traditional Affairs as well as the office of the Public Protector.
This matter has been allowed to drag on for far too long with still no end in sight and the residents of this metro deserve better.
Letter to the Herald by Retief Odendaal, 16th of August 2012.
FAIRVIEW INFORMAL SHELTERS ERECTED BY SECURITY GUARDS
It has recently come to our attention that a number of informal shelters have been erected throughout Fairview.
Closer inspection revealed that these informal shelters have been erected by the security guards contracted by the Metro to protect the newly reinstated electrical infrastructure in Fairview.
Although one cannot expect these guards to be left out in the open with no protection against the elements, we simply cannot condone the erection of these types of shelters.
My office has requested the security company to provide their staff with suitable guard houses. The temporary shelters shall be broken down forthwith.
Arbor week will be celebrated from the 1st to the 7th of September. Please note that should you require a tree to be planted on your verge, the municipality will still do so free of charge.
A variety of trees are available from the Municipality and we encourage you to take part in this program in order to assist with the greening of our environment.
Application forms for said trees are available from the ward office.
SERVICE DELIVERY JOC (JOINT OPERATIONS CENTRE) REPORTING YOUR COMPLAINT
Kindly note that the following processes need to be followed when logging 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 Number (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).
As of the 1st of July 2012 the Metro has implemented the Inclining Block Tariffs system as a means of charging domestic electricity users. Below is a table indicating the increases according to usage:
|Usage in kwh||Increase||Value 2011/12||Value 2012/13||Monthly increase(R)|
SPOT FINES TO BE IMPOSED ON OWNERS OF OVERGROWN PROPERTIES
Environmental Health practitioners in the Public Health Directorate are currently being trained as Law
Enforcement Officers in order to allow them to issue spot fines to people who allow privately owned properties to become overgrown.
A report to the Public Health Committee stated that newly promulgated by-laws allow the issuing of a fine, and upon non-compliance, to have the matter referred to the Municipal Court that can then instruct the transgressor to comply within a set period of time.
The Directorate says that it believed one advantage of this will be that “non-cooperative” property owners will
now be forced to comply by the court.
NEW PROPERTY VALUATIONS TO BE KNOWN IN FEBRUARY NEXT YEAR
Ratepayers will be advised on the new valuations on their properties in February next year, according to a report submitted to the Budget and Treasury Committee.
The tender for the next General Valuation was awarded in January to e-Valuations and the contract signed in March this year. The report says e-Valuation has now “moved on site” and started with the General Valuation.
The first phase, which will run until the end of September, involves the compilation of a market report and the conducting of sales reviews – the field review for non-residential sales is 70% complete and that for agricultural 85%.
Further, data collection of all non-residential properties is 50% complete and for single residential properties 33%. Verification of sectional title properties has also started.
The second phase will start in October and entails the submission of the Draft Valuation Roll; final calibration of Computer-Assisted Mass Appraisal models; value reviews and quality assurances. The Final Valuation Roll will be submitted on February 1.
ALL FIVE DAMS SERVING NMBM FULL
As a result of the second wettest Winter on record, all five dams serving Nelson Mandela Bay are now full.
The municipality said on 16 July 2012 that the two largest dams, the Impofu and Kouga, were at 106% and 104% full respectively, while the Churchill Dam was at 110% of capacity, Loerie at 104% and Groendal 102%. Collectively the five dams serving the Metro hold 281 573 megalitres.
The average daily consumption to date in July has been 235 megalitres a day. The municipality refuted the rumour circulating that the Kouga floodgates were being opened as false, with the Department of Water Affairs adding that the peak flow had passed over the dam spillway and “no further action is required”.
MPAC MAKES PROPOSALS ON CURBING IRREGULAR EXPENDITURE
The Municipal Public Accounts Committee (MPAC) has recommended a number of steps to curb irregular expenditure, including “better quality control” of the “irregular expenditure lists” sent to the Acting Municipal Manager.
The committee also wants “better and more thorough planning” by directorates with regard to the acquisition of goods and services and for the Supply Chain Management Contracts Section to review tenders timeously. In a report to the sub-committee, the Office of Acting Chief Financial Officer Selwyn Thys says an analysis of irregular expenditure reports sent to the Acting Municipal Manager has shown that the most common causes of this are:
- Failure to obtain a Supply Chain Management order prior to ordering goods from a supplier
- Obtaining a replacement order for goods/services supplied under a previous valid order, and
- Suppliers who backdate their invoices in order to receive early payment, which in some cases is before the order date, resulting in irregular expenditure if not identified by the directorate.
The report said the first category was the most common and “results from a lack of planning by officials”. The report notes that the acquisition categories R101 to R200 000 are where most incidences of irregular expenditure takes place, as above that figure a competitive tendering process is required.
In addition to the recommendations of the committee, Acting Municipal Manager Themba Hani plans to submit a report to the next MPAC meeting evaluating “the general culture and behavior in respect of Supply Chain Management matters”.
This report, Hani stresses, will include law-based recommendations which would be brought to the attention of key members of the municipality “in order to assist in establishing a better and more ethical service delivery
NEIGHBOURS PETS CONSTITUTING A NUISANCE?
My office has recently received a number of complaints regarding various fines issued by the Metro in respect of the by-law relating to the prevention of public nuisances arising from the keeping of animals. This interesting by-law which was promulgated on the 24th of March 2010, serves to regulate and control the keeping of pets and animals in order to prevent same from constituting a nuisance to close by residents. The by-law defines pet as “a tame animal which is kept in a household”.
In terms of the provisions of the by-law no person in the metro is allowed to keep more than 2 dogs or 2 cats without first obtaining the necessary consent from the metro. We very often see residents contravening this section which later lead to a lot of heartache when Metro Officials have to act and impound beloved animals and issue hefty fines. A few months ago my office acted on a complaint and found that one resident kept 16 cats! The neighbours ran a playschool and inevitably the cats became a huge health risk to the children.
The by-law specifically states that “no person may keep any dog which interferes with the comfort, peace or quiet of neighbours by barking, yelping, howling or whining.” Continuously barking dogs have been the kiss of death for many a good neighbour relationship. The rule of thumb is that if your pet effects the use and enjoyment that another person have over his or her property, such animal constitute a nuisance. This said neighbours should also not be unreasonable when lodging complaints with the Metro regarding barking dogs. Always first approach your neighbours and endeavor to resolve such problems amicably before reverting to more serious action.
Another section of the by-law worth noting is the fact that no person is allowed to keep any animal other than pets without the written permission from the municipality. Any person who applies for a permit to keep a wild animal must, when submitting such an application to Municipality, also furnish the Municipality with a captivity permit issued by the Department of Economic Affairs, Environment and Tourism. In order to consider such an application the municipality may request the input or comments of the owners or occupants of surrounding
Please do remember that municipal officials are authorized to inspect any premises in order to determine whether owners comply with said bylaw, provided that a private dwelling may not be entered for routine inspection purposes. Should you require a copy of this by-law please do not hesitate to contact the Ward 6 office at 041 367 1670.
NEWS IN BRIEF
- Just a reminder that the next Newton Park crime forum meeting will be held on the 5th of September at 18h30 at Elizabeth Place.
- The frequent power outages in the Mangold Park area will hopefully be a thing of the past as the supply cable has been replaced with a new one.
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