STATEMENT BY THE EXECUTIVE MAYOR TO THE SARAH BAARTMAN DISTRICT MUNICIPALITY COUNCIL MEETING ON 25 JANUARY 2017
Honourable Speaker, Mayoral Committee Members, Councillors, Municipal Manager, Directors, Officials, the Media and guests, it is my pleasure to welcome you to the first Council meeting of 2017.
SALGA NATIONAL MEMBERS ASSEMBLY
We attended the SALGA National Members Assembly on 28 October to 3November2016. One of the key issues discussed at the assembly was the signing of a contract to take responsibility of HIV/Aids initiatives between all Mayors and the Deputy President of South Africa. Municipalities are therefore required to budget for HIV/AIDS related initiatives.
MEETING WITH BUSINESS SECTOR
On 5 December 2017, a meeting was held with representatives from financial institutions and the automotive and renewable energy sector within the Sarah Baartman District. The objective of the meeting was to seek support from industry for disadvantaged schools in the district in respect of e-learning and access to technology. The date for a follow-up meeting will be announced in due course.
The Political MUNIMEC, held on the 7th of December in East London, was attended by District and Local Mayors. Two key issues discussed were the challenges municipalities are facing in terms of electricity provision and financial constraints.
INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS FORUM
Through the Premier’s Office, we attended a Protocol and Foreign Policy Information Sharing session in King Williams Town on the 8th of December. Ambassador Mxolisi Nkosi delivered a presentation about the Framework of South Africa’s International Engagements. The Ambassador stated that since 1994, there has been an increase in the number of engagements between the international sphere and South Africa. In his presentation, he highlighted the fact that there are also wider bilateral interests in countries such as Asia, the Middle East, Europe, America and the Caribbean Islands.
MARIMBA AND STEEL BAND PEFORMING AT CHINESE NEW YEAR FESTIVAL 2017
A group of eight (8) boys from Sea Vista, in the Kouga Local Municipality, has been identified and selected by the Chinese city of Jincheng to perform at the Chinese New Year Festival. An invitation from the Minister of Jincheng’s Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs, Tourism and Cultural Relics Bureau, invited the group to perform at the festival. The group is departing from Port Elizabeth today and travelling to China. They are set to return home on the 15th of February 2017.
CHALLENGES FACED BY SARAH DISTRICT MUNICIPALITY DURING DECEMBER 2016
Some major challenges relating to water was experience during December in the Misgund and Louterwater areas, within the Kou-Kamma Local Municipality. I personally visited these areas during this time and was pleased to see that support was provided to communities by the local farmers in the area. We are awaiting feedback from the Department of Water Affairs to identify all the areas that is faced with serious water challenges in the district.
BACK TO SCHOOL CAMPAIGN
We had the pleasure of attending the Back to School campaign arranged by the Office of the Premier. Minister Qoboshiyane, together with the Provincial Speaker, visited McLachlan High School in Joubertina in the Kou-kamma Local Municipality. This school obtained a 100% pass rate for Grade 12 learners in 2016 and we are very proud of their achievement.
SBDM Councillors will soon be embarking on a programme to supply 126 schools in the District with computers, printers, monitors, projectors, televisions and DVD players. The relevant dates will be announced soon.
OFFICE OF THE PREMIER PRE AND POST SOPA STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT SESSION
On the 20th of January 2017, the Office of the Premier invited all Executive Mayors to a stakeholder engagement session, in the lead up to the State of the Province Address. The State of the Province Address is scheduled to take place on 17 February 2017. The main objective of the session was to have a session that is co-ordinated and held within the principles of Operation Masiphathisane. In addition, opportunities were granted to the business sector and youth to raise concerns and issues that needs to be addressed by the Premier during his speech.
CHINESE NEW YEAR RECEPTION
In conclusion, the Speaker, Councillor Stuurman and I had the honour of attending an event to celebrate the Chinese New Year on Wednesday, the 18th of January, at the invitation of Mr Kang Yong, Consul General of the People's Republic of China. It was very interesting to learn more about their culture as well as major investments into the local auto-motive industry.
I Thank you.
K E KEKANA