The month of May is known to be the month of workers, it is a good coincidence that it is preceded by the national celebration of Freedom Day.
The role of workers in a struggle against apartheid and colonialism is well recorded. Workers from all fronts, fought side by side in liberating our country. Together we have achieved the abolition of apartheid, colonialism and institutionalised racism and replaced it with a democratic country founded upon human rights, equality, justice, dignity, peace and stability.
Today workers need to redefine their strategic role in rebuilding South Africa into a prosperous country. We recognise their relentless struggle against unbecoming conditions which are counterproductive to our national vision, however, this should not be a barrier to building a prosperous country. It is critical that employers should recognise workers and their contribution in the output of their organisation. We urge employers to work with workers and truly recognise that they are an important part in driving the economy.
In our quest to fight triple challenges and deliver services, we recognise that this cannot be fulfilled if workers are demoralised. Our plea to workers is that they should continuously play a strategic role in the current dispensation. Workers should be social partners as we accelerate efforts in fighting crime, creating decent work opportunities, rural development, health and education.
These are some of the priorities that we have identified in building a prosperous country and by working together we can achieve these. Our Municipality which is the biggest employer in the Province has made strides in converting temporary workers into permanent employees. During workers month we will be tabling a budget that will beef up service delivery, create more employment opportunities and fight poverty. As we celebrated May Day on Wednesday, we were reminded that the worker`s commitment and their labour turns the wheel around which our world revolves in.
PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation address (SoNA) has clearly showed that our Government cares for its people and remains committed to improving their lives. Among the many highlights of the speech, the President emphasised the importance elevating education to its rightful place and urging society to regard education as an essential service, including the introduction of the presidential remuneration commission.
We welcome this because it means skilled teaches will be retained while at the same time attracting more skilled educators. In order for our country to prosper and have a bright future it is important for us as members of society to play our role in putting education back on track by creating conditions that are conducive to effective learning and teaching to take place. The President also came out very strongly on crime. He singled out the rape and murder of Anene Booysen in Bredasdorp, and called for a concerted effort to end violence against women. I agree with the President that the brutality and cruelty meted out on defense-less women is unacceptable and has no place in our country.
We also welcome all the measures that are being put in place to deal with this scourge, including the Bill on Gender Equality and Women Empowerment that has been approved by Cabinet for public comment. The Bill criminalises practices that have adverse effects on women and girls. It also legislates the 50/50 policy position with regard to the representation of women in decision making structures. Most importantly we welcome the infrastructure projects that have begun to gain traction, including the dig-out port and the transport infrastructure plan that will certainly benefit eThekwini’s economy and assist in job creation. As the City we will continue our efforts to facilitate the implementation of these projects. As the eThekwini Municipality, we are positive about the President’s reflection on the challenges faced by our beautiful country.
We remain committed in sharing these ideas and will be doing our part, as the level of government closest to the people, to ensure that they become reality. A remarkable stride has been achieved by our Municipality where we strive to make better the lives of those who live in informal settlements by making sure that they get electricity. In so doing, we hope that the level of illegal electricity connections will be reduced in our communities. We will ensure that the programmes announced by the President are also reflected in our plans. We want to make Durban the most livable City and the best place to be in the whole of Africa.
SPEECH BY MAYOR JAMES NXUMALO
AFCON Editors Breakfast
=Moses Mabhida stadium=
14 January 2013
Honourable MEC, Ntombikayise Sibhidla-Saphetha
Chairperson of the Local Organising Committee Board, Chief Mwelo Nonkonyane
Members of the executive committee
Editors and members of the media
Ladies and gentlemen,
Let me take this opportunity and welcome all of you to this breakfast and I’d like to wish everyone a happy new year.
We thank you for honouring us with your presence this morning, with only four days to go before the start of the Africa Cup of Nations Tournament.
The aim of today’s meeting is to engage with our media partners, as an important stakeholder in driving the message home that as the City of Durban we are ready to host a successful AFCON 2013 and to encourage our people to buy tickets so that we can fill the Moses Mabhida Stadium during all the matches.
The successful hosting of major events in the past week, including the 10 day AFCON Countdown Parade, the ANC’s January 8 Statement Rally and Volvo Golf Tournament, has given us an opportunity to test all our systems, from logistical arrangements, traffic control, public transport management, security, emergency services, etc, and we have passed the test with flying colours.
Ladies and gentlemen
Our team has worked tirelessly throughout the festive season to ensure that all plans are in place for the tournament. I am happy to report to you that the Moses Mabhida stadium is ready for the kickoff on the 23rd of January.
The necessary renovations have been completed and the world-class desso system has been installed. This is particularly aimed at accommodating some of the games that will be double-headers.
The planned rehabilitation work on the training venues has also been completed.
From the transportation point of view, we will not be having the park and ride system like we had during the world cup. But we have made all the necessary arrangements in terms of logistics and to allow the public to have easy access to the venue.
Members of the public can park their vehicles at various sites, including the Drive-inn, Natal Command site, Mustering fields, Suncoast Casino, Kings Park stadium and the swimming pool.
We also want to encourage the public to utilise public transport, and as such we are arranging parking and security at several train stations so that people can park their cars safely and jump on to the train to the stadium.
Spectators are also encouraged to park on the beachfront and in the CBD and to use the People Mover bus service to easily access the stadium.
As expected, there will be several road closures and details of these will be publicised in different newspapers in the next few days.
Thanks to the intense mobilisation and marketing strategy that has been undertaken, there has been a drastic increase in ticket sales at various ticketing outlets around the province. As the host city we have also put in extra measures to identify challenges experienced with the sale of tickets and try to resolve them, including visiting the different participating Super Spar outlets to ensure that tickets are available.
Over the past few weeks we have intensified our mobilisation drive, including the very successful 10 day countdown celebration last week. There are several activations that have been lined up and will be rolled out before and after kick-off. For an example, tomorrow (Wednesday) and Thursday, we will be having early morning train activations whereby some of us will be interacting with commuters on trains. Tomorrow we will be in the northern areas, boarding the train in Tongaat to KwaMashu and Moses Mabhida Stadium. And on Thursday we will visit the south, Chatsworth station, Umlazi and end up at Moses Mabhida Stadium. You are invited to send photographers to these events.
There will be other activities, of which you will be advised, including motorcades as well as public viewing areas which have been set up for some games in Richardsbay, Pietermaritzburg, Ugu District and Durban’s New Beach.
Some of this information is provided in the media packs that have been distributed to you this morning.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are informed that the four teams that will be based in Durban, South Africa, Angola, Cape Verde and Morocco, will be arriving in our City on Sunday, after playing their first group matches in Johannesburg. We are ready to roll out the red carpet for them and all the logistics are in place to ensure that they have a comfortable stay. These include the hotels, training venues as well as security.
In conclusion, I wish to urge you as our media stakeholders to really assist us in drumming up support for this tournament. We have done everything in our power, with limited resources, to market this tournament and to raise awareness.
I thank you.
As we officially launch the 16 Days of Activism campaign for no-violence against women and children on Sunday (25 November 2012) I would like to urge all citizens of eThekwini and South Africa to heed our call and take action to end violence against women and children. Let’s protect women, children and the vulnerable during and beyond this period.
The recent events that have been widely reported in the media where the aged have been raped shows that there is still a long way to go in relation to the issues of gender based violence. During the 16 Days Campaign period there are other significant dates that are commemorated.
They include December 1, World AIDS Day, and the International Day for Persons with Disabilities on 3 December. The commemoration of these days also plays an important role in creating awareness about violence on women, children, the vulnerable and society at large.
During this time a major focus is also put on raising awareness on the challenges faced by the disabled. This is done through various campaigns aimed at sensitising citizens about the many processes that aim to improve the quality of life of persons with disabilities.
In commemorating the 16 Days of activism campaigns and other significant dates, let’s make sure that we all get involved. Let’s be good role models in society and ensure that this campaign is not about raising awareness in the short term but it becomes an everyday practice. Let’s work together to create a safer society for all.
The recent killing of two Ward Councillors in eThekwini is of concern to us. On Saturday we attended the funeral service for Ward 72 Councillor Msizeni Ximba (Mthembeni Shezi) at Nkandla, who died during an attack at an ANC branch meeting a fortnight ago. And to our shock, the following day on Sunday we learnt of the death of Cllr Thembokwakhe Xulu, who was Ward 39 Councillor for the IFP.
Losing two councillors in this fashion in a period of two weeks is indeed worrisome to all of us and it is a trend that needs to be stopped. We are still astounded by these appalling criminal events which have robbed us of public representatives who were in the forefront of service delivery in their respective wards. Over the years we as people have been able to end the violence and bloodshed that once engulfed our province and country.
Working together as a nation we were able to triumph over the murderous apartheid regime to a new dispensation. We cannot allow anyone or any evil force of darkness to take this peace loving nation back to the days of political violence that has caused many social problems. These killings must stop now. No amount of political contestation or rivalry can be used as justification for assassinations. The killing of community leaders affects service delivery and robs the community of prospects of a better life for all. We appreciate the swift actions by law enforcement agencies for bringing perpetrators to book and deploying extra teams to ensure stability.
We hope and believe that justice will prevail. We call on communities to remain calm and vigilant, and allow the police space to conduct their investigations into these incidents. We will soldier on as councillors and serve communities in the memory of our fallen colleagues. Service delivery and the fight for a better life for all will not die. Hamba kahle Cllr Themba Xulu. Hamba kahle Cllr Msizeni Ximba. Nilale ngoxolo.
On the 19th August eThekwini citizens responded positively to our call for them to participate in the Ward Committee elections at different Wards. We were very excited to see you in your respective voting districts converging to execute your democratic tasks of electing these committees. We want to thank you for voting and also for the patience that was displayed on that day. Elections in 70 Wards were successful while the other 17 elections were postponed due to a number of reasons. The remaining 16 Wards were given permission to reschedule their elections because of Eid celebrations.
The new election date for the remaining 34 Wards is the 9th of September and we urge communities to use this opportunity to elect their representatives.
Council values community participation because it strengthens participatory democracy. Our Municipality is committed to strengthening relations with its citizen. We believe that our success lies with constant consultation with everyone on the ground hence starting from the month of September we will be criss-crossing different areas of eThekwini Metro to engage with you. We will be having Mayoral Izimbizo which are part of our outreach programme aimed at encouraging public participation, strengthen partnerships and engage citizens on issues that are affecting them.
We will be going to your areas to meet with you. We have a mandate to improve your lives and we believe that our constant contact with you is important. We will not wait for elections to meet with you. In order for us to effectively deliver services to you, communications with our citizens remains relevant.
We have a task to provide leadership, implement and monitor service delivery and to be accountable to communities. We were elected by people for people and our success in office lies with the people on the ground.
We urge our citizens to make use of all these available platforms in order to drive their own development. The people shall govern.
I wish you all a joyful heritage month. We have numerous activities designed for you and we want to encourage everyone to use this month as a season to learn more about each other. Let us celebrate unity in diversity of Durban our warmest palace.
Honourable MEC, Ntombikayise Sibhidla-Saphetha
Leadership of Turquoise Harmony Institute
Ladies and Gentleman I greet you all.
Once again I would like to take this opportunity and thank you for inviting us to this most important occasion of Friendship and Dialogue Iftaar Dinner.
We really appreciate that after an important month of Ramadan, we have been offered an opportunity to partake in breaking of fast dinner. Members of the Muslims faith all over the world have been abstaining from food, drink, and other physical needs during Ramadan. Ramadan is a time that is dedicated to purity of the soul, refocus attention on God, and practice self-sacrifice.
Ladies and Gentlemen
This dinner is about us engaging on a social dialogue and contributing to the well being of humanity and social cohesion. The subject for tonight dinner is about "tolerance to cohesion." Tolerance is about willingness to extend basic rights and civil liberties to persons and groups whose viewpoints differ from yours. It is a central principle of a democratic society.
President Nelson Mandela in his biography, Long Walk to Freedom said, “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
It is important that we should remind each other that the Constitution of the Republic South Africa, adopted in 1996; state that "South Africa belongs to all who live in it, both black and white, united in our diversity." Our past was based on racial and ethnic divisions devised to systematically exclude the majority of South Africans from full and unconstrained participation in all aspects of national life and left deep and persistent social, cultural and economic divisions and inequalities in society.
Social cohesion must be a broad, democratic and progressive movement and it is indeed achievable. Social Cohesion must include the principles of unity, non-racialism, and non-sexism that have been the cornerstone of the national liberation struggle and that are now central to the Constitution that is world renowned.
Apart from the progressive Constitution, there are positive aspects that are the foundations of our society, such as the resilience of families, networks, peer groups and various ethnic, linguistic identities and religious formations.
The Turquiose Harmony Institute has provided us with this important platform that can strengthen these foundations of our society through dialogue and friendship.
In the recent Social Cohesion Summit held in Kliptown, delegates unanimously agreed that in order to achieve Social Cohesion we need to deal with the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequalities. These challenges are critical and need urgent attention from all of us.
As set out in the 1994 Reconstruction and Development Programme: “No political democracy can survive and flourish if the mass of our people remain in poverty, without land, without tangible prospects for a better life. Attacking poverty and deprivation must therefore be the first priority of a democratic government.”
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We need to attack poverty and deprivation together as a Nation. Religious groups and other civil society formations have an important role to play in achieving a just and equal society. I call upon you to strengthen partnerships with government at all levels in order to drive socio-economic transformation of society. We want to assure you of our continued support as eThekwini Municipality and we appreciate the work that you do to assist our communities.
In conclusion, I came across this writing from an unknown author that says: “One cannot think well, love well, and sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
It was very exciting to see thousands of our people gathered at Moses Mabhida stadium to watch the game between AmaZulu and Manchester United and became part of activities to commemorate the life of the great humanitarian, Dr Nelson Mandela.
We know that the month of July is dedicated to the celebration of the life well lived that encourages us to do good for others, especially those less fortunate that us. Scores of our people also participated in different activities to do good and to make a difference to other people. The message around the celebration of this world celebrated statesman is "make every day a Mandela Day. "Now that we have been able to accomplish numerous humanitarian activities in honour of Madiba we should ask ourselves if we are doing enough to make every day a Mandela Day? We must make an impact and begin to change the lives of those around us especial the youth and women.
It was a good coincident that Mandela Day takes place during the Men's Month where we remind men of their role in society which is beyond being just male. Men have a role to mentor other men and youth. They need to be at the forefront of fighting against social ills. Men must be role models at home and community by caring for their wives, families, neighbours and communities. Men must talk about issues that affect them as men and share ideas that will take society forward. Men should learn from one another and bridge the gap by applying an intergenerational mix concept in their mentorship. Men's Month aims to produce confident and skilled providers to fight poverty, as well as deal with human rights, relationships and social ills.
Let me take this opportunity and thank those who have dedicated their 67 minutes into doing humanitarian services. We must remember Mandela's words as we continue with celebrations and activities dedicated to him, when he said; “While poverty persists, there is no true freedom.” Lets us be a caring and liveable city by making every day a Mandela Day.
Mayor James Nxumalo has called upon the citizens of eThekwini, to observe Nelson Mandela International Day by giving to those who are less fortunate than them. “We urge people of eThekwini to follow in Mandela’s footsteps by doing well in their respective communities in honour of this icon of the world,” said Nxumalo.
Mandela Day is an international campaign that was initiated by the Nelson Mandela Foundation and related organisations. Declaring 18 July as Mandela Day a few years ago South African President Jacob Zuma said: “Madiba was politically active for 67 years, and on Mandela Day people all over the world, in the workplace, at home and in schools, will be called upon to spend at least 67 minutes of their time doing something useful within their communities, especially among the less fortunate.”
According to the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Mandela Day is not meant to be a public holiday but an annual event celebrated on his birthday, where people around the world are asked to spend 67 minutes of their time to do something, which makes a difference to the world around them.
Nxumalo said: “We support this day and I’m confident that our Councillors and citizens of eThekwini will at their respective wards and areas be doing charitable deeds in support of this day. We urge people to support them and lend a hand for at-least 67 minutes to honour Mandela.
The overarching objective of Mandela Day is to inspire individuals to take action to help change the world for the better, and in doing so build a global movement for good. Ultimately it seeks to empower communities everywhere to“Take Action; Inspire Change; Make Every Day a Mandela Day.” A series of events will be staged around the City to celebrate the day.
On the 6th of June we completed our first year in office in the current Council term. This is the year when we have managed to achieve many things despite facing numerous challenges. When we started off we had set ourselves the target of ensuring that there is stability, continuity and improvement in the way things are done in the Municipality.
Some of the highlights of our first year included, among many others, the hosting of the 123rd IOC Session, the COP 17 Climate change conference and SALGA KZN Games. We have intervened in many instances to assist communities in distress under the Mayoral Outreach and Sukuma Sakhe Programmes. In January this year we were joined by new City Manager, Sibusiso Sithole, who will assist us in taking this Municipality to the next level.
We have also put in place measures to deal with some of the shortcomings in our supply chain management policy and we have drastically cut back on the utilisation of Section 36. Stern action has been taken against those implicated in the Manase report, including senior officials and councillors to demonstrate our commitment to fighting maladministration and corruption. In addition the Whistle Blowing and Blacklisting policies have been put in place and the Ethics Committee has started its work effectively. On service delivery, in October last year the Municipality hosted the Jobs Summit whereby Municipal Departments together with our stakeholders, drew up plans to fast track service delivery and facilitate economic growth.
Some of these plans have begun to reflect in the budget that was passed by Council last month and will inform our Integrated Development Plan and the Municipality’s 2030 Vision. We are confident that we have laid a solid foundation to regain the confidence of our citizens. We will be buoyed by the fact that National Treasury rates us as the best run Metro, our financial liquidity still ranks among the best in the country and we continue to maintain the best credit rating. EThekwini also outperformed all the Metros when we won the Govan Mbeki Human Settlement Award for being the Best Metropolitan in terms of housing delivery.