METRO

14

e z a s e g a g a s i n i

July - 27 July 2017 Your FREE Newspaper www.durban.gov.za

IMPROVED WATER SUPPLY PROJECT BOOSTS JOB CREATION

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CITY PROMOTES LOCAL ARTISTS

Leadership engages with residents

THEMBA KHUMALO The uMlazi township, south of Durban, was a hive of activities when high-profile dignitaries, including members of the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Executive Council and the City?s Executive Committee, visited war rooms to assess the impact of government programmes on 12 July. The visit was also meant to ensure the participation of residents in the improvement and delivery of services to communities. Mayor Zandile Gumede called on residents to make use of war rooms, saying this was a platform for communities to raise their concerns so that they can be resolved. ?Through Operation Sukuma Sakhe (which means stand up and build), we are bringing an integrated service by ensuring that government departments across all spheres participate in war rooms.? Mayor Gumede started the day by visiting the Centralised Chronic Medication Dispensing and Distribution Clinic in uMlazi?s Q-Section while MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Sihle Zikalala who was representing Premier Willies Mchunu visited Maskey Health Services in Ward 85. During the visit to the clinic, Mayor Gumede said challenges that had been raised were receiving attention. ?The clinic will now be open seven days a week. People will no longer wait outside the clinic; security guards will open the gates so that they can wait inside the clinic?s premises.? Addressing the community at Ward 89?s T-Section Community Hall, MEC Zikalala applauded the City for having active war rooms. ?I visited Ward 85 before coming here and I saw that they had a soup kitchen. The Municipality has done a wonderful job with its soup kitchen programme.? He also echoed Mayor Gumede?s sentiments: ?This programme was designed to bring government closer to where people reside. We urge all sectors of society to be represented in war rooms,? he added. MEC Zikalala said if everybody participated in war rooms it would be easy to deal with the many challenges that communities face. ?If there is crime, let?s build a link with Community Policing Forums and the police so that those who are found to be on the wrong side of the law are arrested and face the long arm of the law.? He said if war rooms were fully functional there would be no protests because ward councillors would be aware of the various challenges in their wards. MEC Zikalala added MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Sihle Zikalala and Mayor Zandile Gumede were highly impressed by the manner in which the Centralised Chronic Medication Dispensing and Distribution Clinic is being run at uMlazi?s Q-Section clinic. The visit was part of government?s programme to assess the effectiveness of services rendered to communities. Picture: THEMBA KHUMALO that Non-Government Organisations were pillars of war rooms and commended the role they played in helping government connect with people. Mayor Gumede said the visit by the Provincial and Municipal leadership demonstrates that government cares for its people. ?This was unheard of during the apartheid government. We are here to listen to your concerns and we do take them seriously.? She said all concerns raised, including those about housing, electricity and roads were going to be taken up by relevant departments. ?We have all these departments with us today led by our City Manager and they are going to ensure that your concerns are attended to,? added Mayor Gumede.

Firefighter learnership opportunity for youth and women

CHARMEL PAYET THE City?s Fire Department recruitment process is currently underway to fill 30 learnerships within the Unit. About 1 600 people have been shortlisted of which 520 are female. Chief Fire Officer Enock Mchunu said at the end of training the department may have more vacancies to fill and further decisions will be taken at that time. Shortlisted candidates will be assessed in six disciplines during the physical assessment process. Speaking on the inclusion of women in the department, Mchunu said there was no longer a difference of gender in the profession as many women have proved critics wrong. ?It is a profession for any person who is well disciplined as an individual and is capable of working in a team environment. The fire brigade is very strict in terms of discipline because we deal with people?s lives and there is no room for behaving in a manner that will compromise this,? he said. He said firefighting is a physically demanding profession and aspiring youth must associate themselves with hard physical training regimes. ?They must refrain from substances with a potential to affect their health and mental capacity. Youth must associate themselves with their local fire stations and can request to visit and spend time with firefighters to observe their routines,? Mchunu added. Explaining the important role firefighters play, he said they ?save lives, property and render humanitarian services.? ?Their daily work ensures a healthy and safe natural environment by controlling hazardous materials incidents like chemical spillages, toxins and other dangerous substances where members of the public would be exposed to, injured or even die. They also rescue people trapped in motor vehicle accidents and animals trapped in trenches and on cliffs.? Mchunu said when fires break out they respond with confidence and at speed, enabling the adverse effects of fires to be minimised, thus saving lives and property. ?To reduce incidents of fire and rescue, strict enforcement of building regulations and fire by-law enforcement is the order of the day. Firefighters conduct scheduled routine fire inspections. Regulation of the erection and operation of major hazard installations is part of the work done to protect human life and prevention of property damage.? Mchunu said this was achieved after extensive technical training was conducted under extreme but controlled conditions on an ongoing basis. charmel.payet@durban.gov.za

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