Editor's noteMunicipalNews

Mayor shares highlights of 2019

"I wish all our members and residents of Ekurhuleni a love-filled Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year."

The executive mayor of Ekurhuleni, Clr Mzwandile Masina, shared some of the metro’s highlights at the last council meeting of the year recently at the Germiston Council Chambers.

Masina said the meeting takes place during one of the most important periods in the nation’s calendar: the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence.

“Gender-based violence is a challenge to which our country must urgently intervene. Our social development in the City of Ekurhuleni has been centered on addressing this problem.”

He said they are constructing the second-stage women’s shelters in Thokoza and Tembisa.

These are centres where abused women can go to receive the shelter and support they require.

The metro has collaborated with the Thuthuzela Centres in Ekurhuleni in response to prevention, ensuring adequate care, support, and healing for victims of violence and strengthening the economic power of women.

The mayor said the metro will be launching local drug action committees within communities in March.

“These committees will be tasked with the responsibility of raising awareness on drugs and substance abuse in communities, as well as engaging in other forms of advocacy work.

“The metro has directed attention to vagrants – men and women without a settled home or regular work, who wander around, residing in public parks and buildings, getting through by begging.

Also read: DA petitions Ekurhuleni to take urgent action against illegal mining in Brakpan

“That this is a dehumanising existence is debatable.

“As the metro, we must ensure that we develop a mechanism to deal with this challenge as well as the societal and safety concerns raised by our communities concerning vagrants,” said Masina.

The metro is currently in the process of developing a strategy on how to deal with vagrants.

According to the mayor, this strategy will be finalised before the end of this financial year.

He said their quest to establish a world-class botanical gardens is well underway.

“In our preliminary design and consultation phase, we have earmarked Gillooly’s Farm for this project and we are continuing to look for suitable land for the development of a zoo,” he said.

“It is important to understand that the city is not pursuing a zoo and botanical gardens for the sake of just having them.”

“These will have significant benefits for the residents of our metro, as well as a positive impact on the environment.

The metro has procured 70 tuk-tuks to assist in enhancing economic development, eradicating pollution and minimising the amount of waste taken to landfills.

These tuk-tuks will be distributed to the cooperatives, SMMEs and community members in the waste sector to increase waste recycling.

Masina said the metro resolved to increase the number of local clinics piloting the 24-hour health care programmes.

Three clinics provide a 12-hour service and 19 operate on Saturdays.

The fire engines bought in the 2018/2019 financial year will be delivered in January 2020.

Additionally, the Olifantsfontein Fire Station will be operational before the end of this financial year.

Also read: Ekurhuleni wins Rand Water awards

There are 500 recruits in training for the Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department and 100 will be recruited in early 2020.

Swimming pools, especially in townships, will remain open during the festive season except for Christmas and New Year’s Day.

“It is important to stress that public swimming pools are not areas for alcohol consumption and picnicking as children use these facilities and we must, necessarily, protect them and keep them clean,” he said.

“I wish all our members and residents of Ekurhuleni a love-filled Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

“Be careful on the roads.”

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 or Miné Fourie (journalist) minev@caxton.co.za

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