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Welcome to eThekwini Mayors Blog. Read all about what is on your Mayor's mind.
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eThekwini Municipality > City Government > Council > City Mayor > Blog
April 08
Displacement of foreign nationals not xenophobic

​WHEN news broke of “xenophobic” attacks in the City, I personally visited the area to gauge what transpired. I was distressed to see women and children homeless and temporarily accommodated in a shelter.

The briefing I received from officials and police was emphatic that it was not xenophobia. The violence was triggered by a criminal act by a Malawian national which incensed South Africans resulting in a confrontation. Fearful, the Malawians fled and sought refuge at a nearby police station. There was another incident where foreign shop owners were allegedly robbed at gunpoint at their shops, resulting in two South Africans sustaining gunshot injuries.

I am grateful that our efforts to reintegrate those displaced back into the communities from which they fled, have been successful. I would like to extend my gratitude to community leaders who came on board to assist. Working with the Malawian High Commissioner, we are closely monitoring the situation.

Sadly, while we were celebrating this reintegration, news broke that a young man was allegedly stabbed to death by foreign nationals in uMlazi. It is alleged that the enraged community started to attack foreign shop owners in the area in retaliation. The motive for the murder is unclear.

However, we must not forget that Africans paid a hefty price for our freedom and we are indebted to many African states who opened their countries to us during apartheid. There are numerous incidents where the South African Defence Force (SADF), Special Forces and the Security Branch raided neighboring countries in pursuit of freedom fighters. How can we forget the raid in Gabarone in Botswana on 14 June 1985 where the SADF illegally crossed into the country and attacked the offices of Umkhonto we Sizwe mowing down 12 people including women and children. Only five of the victims were members of the ANC.

On 9 December 1982, the SADF illegally entered Lesotho where they sprayed a cluster of houses on the outskirts of Maseru with bullets. By morning, 42 people were dead with only 30 of them believed to be members of the ANC. The remainder were Basotho nationals including women and children. These are just two of the horrific incidents that occurred in neighbouring countries. And despite the violence ravaged against them, they did not order us to leave their countries. Instead their support grew stronger.

There has to be continued dialogue until we reach an amicable solution that will enable us to maintain stability in our communities and coexist peacefully. I urge you all to join our crusade for peace.

March 25
Coming together during natural disasters

LET me take this opportunity to send my heartfelt condolences to the families that lost loved ones during the heavy rains experienced recently which triggered flooding in the northern parts of the City. Our hearts also go out to the families of the three school children who lost their lives while crossing the street in Newlands.

The City is looking into ways to ensure motorists reduce their speed on that stretch of road. We are a caring City and as such we have taken the decision to assist the bereaved families, who lost family members during the flooding, with the burial of their loved ones. We will also be providing them with food hampers. We believe in Ubuntu and have extended a helping hand to these families in need.

Severe flooding was experienced in many areas north of the City especially in KwaMashu where a number of houses were flooded. This resulted in furniture, food and many other household items being damaged. I would like to commend all our employees for the sterling work they have done to offer much needed relief aid to victims. We are certain that our relief efforts have provided much needed welfare to those affected.

We would also like to thank the MEC of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nomusa Dube-Ncube for the distinguished leadership she has provided in this regard during this trying time. It is important to note that the widespread flooding was a result of irresponsible behaviour by some who dispose of waste into the drainage system. This behaviour needs to stop as we are spending resources trying to rid our stormwater system of this waste.

I urge everyone to join the crusade against dumping solid waste into our drainage system. We must teach our children this from a young age so that they grow with this knowledge into responsible and civic-minded adults. In conclusion, I would like to reiterate the call made by national government to use electricity sparingly. The country is currently experiencing widespread load shedding and we all need to work together to confront this challenge.

I need to add that compounding our woes, is that amidst this challenge electricity is being stolen. We have many in our communities who can afford to pay for electricity but choose not to, instead opting to steal it and then abuse it as they know someone else will be footing the bill.

If we do not work together to nip this illicit behaviour in the bud, our country will continue to be plagued by blackouts. Let us be good residents by saving electricity and paying for that which we use.

March 08
Durban featured prominently in SOPA

​THE recent State of the Province Address (SOPA) by Premier Willies Mchunu was empowering for the entire province as he gave an account of how KwaZulu-Natal has fared over the past five years while highlighting achievements made since 1994. We are proud that our City was positively mentioned on numerous occasions during the address.

Our City by virtue of being the economic hub of the province, continues to attract a large number of people from rural areas resulting in rapid urbanisation. We are elated that Premier Mchunu has commended eThekwini Municipality for the Cornubia Housing Project which comprises of 25 000 housing units. Through this project, we have restored the dignity of thousands of people who did not qualify for low cost housing but also were unable to secure home loans. We have committed to move with speed to build 4 000 houses and have already spent millions purchasing land in this regard.

It was thrilling to hear Macingwane touching on the international tourism arrival figures that have sky rocketed. This is largely thanks to our efforts of expanding direct air access to Durban’s King Shaka International Airport. In the past, direct access to our City was only through Emirates and Air Mauritius.

Today we have more than five international airlines flying directly to us including Air Namibia, Turkish Airlines, Qatar and British Airways. According to the Premier, the London to Durban route saw arrivals at King Shaka growing by an incredible 42 percent in just two months.

SOPA also brought to our attention that the latest Transnet freight projections indicate that despite its expansion projects of docking and handling facilities in the harbour, there is a likelihood that it could reach its saturation point in 2035. The Cato Ridge Intermodal Freight and Logistics Hub appears to be the only solution available. The private sector, government and other stakeholders have already commenced engagements in this regard. This will definitely improve the movement of goods and promote industrial development along the Durban – Free State – Gauteng corridor.

Once this project has taken off, it will result in thousands of job opportunities. We are also thrilled at the significant milestone in health infrastructure in the form of Dr Pixley ka Isaka Seme Memorial Hospital. The construction of this world-class facility is at an advanced stage. Situated near the Bridge City
Mall, it is the first Regional Hospital to be built in the province post 1994.

In conclusion, I would like to wish Macingwane good health and a happy retirement. He has been a fountain of wisdom that has nurtured many leaders in the province. It is therefore incumbent on all leadership to emulate him as we continue to grow South Africa.

February 22
Family planning key to prevent abandoned babies

THIS past week has been quite unpleasant for the City as numerous incidents have left us reeling. We are still shocked by the death of six people on board a fishing vessel docked at our port. Throughout the night, rescuers braved the raging inferno that engulfed the fishing boat and made the gruesome discovery of the bodies at around 2am on 15 February.

Three young men also lost their lives recently when a boundary wall collapsed on them at Isiphingo Beach. They were doing construction work when the tragedy occurred. The City is still awaiting a full report of the incident. I would like to take this opportunity to send my heartfelt condolences to their families. An incident that left the City reeling was the dramatic three hour rescue of a baby girl trapped in a stormwater drain. I thank the man who heard the baby’s cry and took it upon himself to investigate and later sound the alarm that resulted in the baby being saved.

Thankfully she is doing well. We are amazed at her resilience and fighting spirit. Our emergency services deserve a pat on the back for their efforts to painstakingly retrieve the baby from the pipe unhurt. A few days after that incident, nurses at King Edward VIII Hospital made the discovery of a six-day old premature baby inside a potentially hazardous medical waste bin. Nurses said used needles, blood and human tissue are disposed of in the bin which was due to be collected the following day. As a leader, mother and grandmother, I make a passionate plea to everyone to talk to their children on how to prevent unplanned pregnancies. Clearly as parents and government, we have not done enough to educate and inform the public about family planning. These incidents should be a wake-up call to all of us to continue to spread the word that contraceptives are available free-of-charge at our healthcare facilities.

Poor family planning does not only result in unwanted pregnancies, it also breeds grinding poverty, bearing in mind that the country’s economy continues to stagnate. Research has shown that a number of young people living on the streets have been driven away from their homes by structural reasons such as poverty. The latter could be minimised by subscribing to the concept of family planning. Following these incidents, I have instructed City Health officials to ensure that nurses are not judgemental when young people come to them seeking help.

They must unwaveringly educate and inform the public, including the youth, about family planning and options available for unwanted pregnancies. Education and information, I believe will help us mitigate incidents of babies being dumped in bins or left in parks.

February 12
​Great strides made in refuse collection backlog
LET me take this opportunity to sincerely apologise to all residents who have been affected by the disruption of refuse collection. The welfare and health of all residents is a priority and we endeavour to meet this need constantly. It is important for me to inform the public that we are currently in discussions with the main contractor responsible for refuse removal in areas that have been affected.

We hope to resolve issues that have impeded this service. We have mobilised internal resources to collect refuse in all affected areas. We are extremely happy with the progress made to date and we thank residents for bearing with us during this process. We are however, disappointed with the intimidation of our employees who were collecting refuse in uMlazi. The lives of employees working at Sizakala Centres in the same area were also threatened resulting in these facilities being closed. This left the City with no choice but to deploy the Metro Police to escort refuse removal trucks as no amount of intimidation will be a deterrent in our endeavour to serve our people.

I am very concerned about the bad habit of destroying Municipal property during protests. A water tanker worth over R1 million was petrol bombed recently with the driver narrowly escaping. As if that was not enough, a Durban Transport bus was also set a light in Sydenham allegedly by members of the community who were demanding to be employed at King Dinuzulu Hospital.

This type of behaviour must come to an end as it impacts severely on service delivery and is tantamount to treason. We are working hard to attract much needed investment to our City and it is very disheartening to have our communities working against us. Following this undesirable situation, we have resolved that there has to be a paradigm shift with our law enforcement agencies to maintain law and order.

The stance that we have taken has resulted to close to 60 people being arrested recently for public violence and damage to property. We are sending a clear message to all would-be violent protesters that dire consequences are awaiting them in the event of any irresponsible behaviour. I need to stress that we are not infringing the inalienable constitutional right of the public to protest when they are unhappy. We are simply advocating for peaceful protests devoid of damage to property. It is our responsibility as government to guard against lawlessness and protect law abiding citizens.

Furthermore, we urge leaders of different political formations to refrain from inciting desperate people to embark on land grabs. It is unlawful and it damages the image of our City.
January 24
Tourists inject R4.5 billion in eThekwini

LET me express my heartfelt gratitude to eThekwini residents for their unwavering hospitality exhibited during the recent summer holidays. This past festive season, we indeed exceeded all expectations and I am grateful scores of our people benefi ted directly and indirectly.

The City has raked in almost 5 billion which is a considerable amount in contrast with last year. It would be amiss of me not to thank the leadership of the African National Congress (ANC) for choosing our City to celebrate its 107th birthday. Had it not been for the warmth of our people, this would not have happened.

At the beginning of the year, we worked very hard to market the Durban. We also ensured that our infrastructure in December was in a position to meet the needs of holiday makers unceasingly. Like in every year, team eThekwini Municipality did not disappoint. Indeed, they have done an astronomical job. Plans are now afoot to ensure that we permanently cement our place as Mzansi’s mecca of tourism.

Our approach moving forward is going to be aggressive. Working together, we will definitely clear any hurdle that could impede tourists to visit our City. We deserve a pat in the back in that we took what most people consider to be one of our country’s failings, and turned it into something that has become a money spinner for our economy and that is township tourism. Our visitors are no longer confined to hotels, malls, beaches and game parks. They now have a choice to visit our townships and our ordinary people are making huge financial gains. It has become a norm that most visitors do not to go back without visiting hangout spots like Max’s Lifestyle and Eyadini Lounge. Families neighbouring these establishments also make a living by charging visitors for parking in their yard. It is therefore of paramount importance that we continue to be hospitable and protect our tourists because tourism is indeed our gold.

In May this year, our country will be having general elections. I would like to urge all of you to take advantage of this weekend as the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) will open all voting stations for registration. It will also be an opportunity to check if your details are still correct. Those who have relocated elsewhere in the City should visit a voting station near them to furnish the IEC with their addresses. If you are not registered and have no address, you will not be eligible to vote. On Election Day, I call upon everyone to go to the polls and exercise your inalienable democratic right of choosing a political formation of your choice to lead this country. We must not forget that the fruits of democracy that we are enjoying today did not come for free.

December 13
Happy holidays to our residents and visitors

CHRISTMAS is the most important day in our calendar. It makes available to many of us a rare opportunity of being at home with our families. During this period, after a busy year, we retreat and reflect on numerous events that happened in our lives during the course of the year. It is the time where we accumulate strength and recommit ourselves to face new challenges the following year may have in store for us.

At the same time while enjoying being with our loved ones, we must always remember that in certain parts of our City, some have no reason to celebrate these holidays because of being permanently condemned to grinding poverty. It is therefore important that in the spirit of Christmas we share with fellow brothers and show compassion, more especially to the most vulnerable in our society. I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to his majesty the King of the Zulu Nation and the entire institution of traditional leadership for being our light throughout the year.

To all eThekwini Municipality councillors, thank you for your continued dedication to your work. I thank our employees for their hard work and sacrifices they have made for the benefit of our City at the expense of their families. Special thanks to our men and women working in essential services, who have to work day and night to protect and care for us while missing the opportunity to be with their loved ones.

Above all, give yourselves a loving hug for being such good South Africans. To all our residents rest assured our Municipality has doubled its efforts to ensure that you enjoy your holidays without any interruptions to basic services. I would also like to assure throngs of our visitors that we are ready to welcome them and we appeal to all of you to respect our bylaws. We vow to make your stay in Durban memorable. Those who will be on the road, please obey the rules of the road.

November 29
Speak out against women and children abuse

EVERY year from the 25th of November which is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women to the 10th of December that marks the International Human Rights Day, is a period dubbed 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children, an awareness solely aimed at curbing this inhumane behaviour in society.

The big question is, for how long are women going to be treated as second class citizens in their communities? As we celebrate 100 years of Mama Albertina Sisulu, I am certain she is turning in her grave to see the ordeal women she fought so hard for are going through. I have lost count of the number of reported incidents in the City and country that have elements of violence against women and children.

It makes my blood to run cold to imagine a well-built man beating a woman until she is unconscious? How a grown up man even think of forcefully sleeping with a five year old child leaving her in a pool of blood? The unfortunate part is that some of us in the society happen to be fully aware of these incidents and decide to keep quiet. Let us ask ourselves what kind of a society are we trying to build and what are we going to leave behind for future generations?

I would like to send my condolences to family, friends and children of a woman that was recently killed violently allegedly by a man we are told she was in the process of divorcing. This happened in the belly of the Durban Magistrates Court and the perpetrator is alleged to have been the officer of the law that all of us should feel safe when they are around. This is a clear demonstration that we are living in an abnormal society and there is something seriously wrong with it.

As women we need to lobby our lawmakers to help us ensure that our laws are unmerciful to perpetrators to an extent that they fear to commit similar crimes in future. We also need to talk about the issue of bail as there are incidences where suspects are released and go back to the society to continue where they left off. We know of women who are no more after being killed by suspects on bail. What also breaks my heart the most is the fact that there are scores of women that have been infected with HIV because they fear to say no. Some of these women were faithful but paid the price of living in abusive relationships.

As we commemorate World Aids Day let us remember all of them and pray unceasingly for those who are living with the virus. We thank our government for it has made treatment available to millions who are now living a normal life. Let us support them. I would like to appeal to all of us to be die hard agents of no violence against the vulnerable in our society.

November 20
Together we can nip fraud and corruption in the bud

AS the world continue to celebrate 100 years of Nelson Mandela, what comes to my mind is describing him as a principled man who understood the significance of accountability and the rule of law. This is the real revolutionary who sacrificed both his and family welfare solely to free a black man.

After spending years in prison he never gave up the fight against injustice until we all got our political freedom. Madiba was a global icon that taught all of us that we are equal before the law irrespective of the positions we may hold in society. He walked the talk and we all remember him demonstrating the courage of his convictions by submitting himself before the courts when summoned to defend his decision to set up a commission to investigate alleged racism, corruption and nepotism in South African rugby.

So who are we not to emulate the father of our nation who not even once was implicated in corruption that has become so synonymous with our society? It is unrelenting and it is perpetrated against the existence of laws that governs how we should conduct ourselves as government officials and politicians. Between 11 and 17 November, we kick started activities to commemorate International Fraud Awareness Week. The latter is commemorated globally to among others draw the attention of the world to fraud and corruption that has condemned the poor to permanent state of grinding poverty.

Our Municipality has taken position to the effect that it will fight tooth and nail to remove any hurdles on its journey to develop scores of poor people that were neglected by the apartheid order. Fraud and Corruption is among such hurdles and our City is making tremendous progress, thanks to our City’s Integrity and Investigations Unit (CIIU). The CIIU’s mandate is to tackle fraud, corruption and maladministration.

I am very impressed with its outreach programmes that are aimed to creating awareness in our communities about dangers of this scourge. I am pleased to announce that we are the first Municipality to establish a Disciplinary Board which attends to cases of financial misconduct. By having these structures in place we are demonstrating to the world that we are determined to run a clean Municipality. Our City will forever detest fraud and corruption because it steals and deprives poor people of basic serves they desperately need.

In conclusion, I would like to draw the attention of our residents that our Municipality accounts for a substantial number of voters that have not yet visited the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to register their addresses. We must all remember that the IEC is not going to allow anyone to vote if their addresses are not available. Let us register our addresses and check our details at IEC offices.

November 01
Let’s celebrate our great transport strides

WITHOUT any fear of contradiction, I am of the conviction that eThekwini Municipality closed Transport Month with a bang. This follows the launch of the first direct flight from London to Durban and the official opening of the award winning Mt Edgecombe Interchange. We should pat ourselves on the back because our hard work has paid handsome dividends. With these milestones, our City will continue to be a force to be reckoned with, not only in the country, but in the world.

It has been a difficult five years driving on the N2 whether going to the airport or up north because of traffic congestion that was caused largely by construction of the interchange. Some of us use to reserve an hour for a 30 minutes trip to the airport when coming from the inner city during peak hours. It was not good news at all for among others the freight industry that unceasingly endured delays because of traffic congestion. Well, the truth is, it was worthwhile because from now onwards, there is going to be an incredible smooth flow of traffic.

There are many reasons that resulted to this massive construction. Two of them being the unprecedented expansion of Umhlanga and LA Lucia Ridge and the anticipated increase in the volume of traffic as a result of the Cornubia development. There are huge economic spin offs underway taking into cognisance that the N2 links among others the Durban Port and the Richards
Bay Industrial Development Zone. This is a clear indication that it is of cardinal importance for any country to develop infrastructure in order to stimulate economic growth.

Big business is definitely going to save a lot of money, which should be invested into the economy to create job opportunities our people so desperately need. I would like to thank SANRAL, national and provincial Departments of Transport, officials of our municipality and unsung heroes, the ordinary workers that have been working there. The interchange is one of the biggest ever built in the country, and has definitely changed the landscape of eThekwini.

Before the opening of the interchange, we welcomed the first direct aircraft from Heathrow Airport in London to King Shaka. British Airways will begin flying directly into Durban three times weekly. This is going to boost business and leisure.

Despite these good news, it would be amiss of me not to express my gratitude to two councillors that are no longer with us whom we laid to rest recently. They are Councillor Sibusiso Maphumulo Councillor Nkosiphendule Dlamini. May God be with their families in this time of grief and we wish their souls to rest in peace.

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