KwaZulu-Natal Government on EXCO meeting of 3 August 2017

Statement of KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Executive Council meeting of 03 August 2017

The Provincial Executive Council (‘Executive Council’) held its sitting in Pietermaritzburg today – Thursday 03 August 2017. The media and public at large are informed of the decisions of the executive council.

Key Issues:

1. Former eThekwini Mayor James Nxumalo appointed to the KZN Provincial Planning Commission

The executive council has approved the appointment of former Mayor of eThekwini James Nxumalo to the KZN Planning Commission as the commissioner.

The council noted that the multiplicity of social and economic challenges faced by the country and the province requires astute and mature leadership within government. The council acknowledged that Nxumalo, with his experience, he will strengthen all efforts aimed at uniting different sectors of society behind key priorities of creating equal access to economic opportunities.

The council reiterated that the KZN Planning Commission will continue with all efforts aimed at stabilising the provincial economy and to seek new opportunities for inclusive economic growth.

In his state-of-the-province address, Premier Willies Mchunu announced that the Leader of Government Business and MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs will lead these efforts, assisted by the Provincial Planning Commission and other forums such as Human Resources Development Council and KZN Growth Coalition, to name but a few.

The council further approved the extension of the term of office of the following members of the KZN Provincial Planning Commission until 31sth March 2018:

1. Professor Bonke Dumisa as part-time Chairperson;

2. Dr M.C Phewa as part time Deputy Chairperson;

3. Dr L. Bhengu-Baloyi, Mr Glen Robbins, Mr M.Msiwa and Mr P.Miller as part-time commissioners.

2. KZN Turning the Tide Against Political Related Violence – 62 arrests

The Executive Council has attributed progress in dealing with political related violence to the latest technology and strong partnership involving a dedicated team representing different law enforcement agencies.

Since the beginning of 2016, 41 cases relating to political violence have been opened. About 62 arrests have been made out of the 41 cases. A total of 3 cases have been converted to an enquiry with 19 under investigation.

The council has congratulated a team of ballistic experts that was assigned to ensure the gathering of evidence and to carry spot examinations of all firearms, including licenced firearms in all crime scenes.

The council further committed more investment in sophisticated technology which is already being utilized to conduct touch DNA and fingerprinting on firearms/ ammunition, dangerous weapons and other exhibits found at crime scenes.

Details of cases

1. Murder of Cllr Thami Goodwill Nyembe in Nongoma – 2 arrests have been made.

2. Murder of Cllr Zandile Matonsi Mhlongo in Mbonambi – 2 arrests have been made.

3. Murder of Cllr Khanyisile Ngobese in Ladysmith � 1 arrest has been made.

4. Murder of Cllr Patrick Mbhekiseni Khumalo in Pongola � 1 arrest has been made.

5. Murder of Xolani Ngcobo in Inchanga � 2 arrests have been made.

6. Burning down of a house belonging to Thobeka Sweetness Ngcobo in Inchanga as a result of a conflict involving SACP and ANC members – 6 arrests have been made.

7. Burning down of a house belonging to Joyce Ngcobo as a result of a conflict involving SACP and ANC members (SACP) – 6 arrests have been made.

8. Murder of Mr Archie Duma, who was an internal auditor in Nongoma Municipality � 2 arrests have been made.

9. About 6 suspects have been arrested following a conflict involving EFF and ANC members. The members were fighting over a community hall in KwaDabeka. Sbusiso Mbhobo was fatally stabbed in that conflict.

Importantly, the council noted that murders emanating from political violence weighed heavily in KwaZulu-Natal than any other parts of South Africa, especially leading up to 1994 elections and thereafter.

The council has made a clarion call to members of political parties that they must learn to resolve their differences amicably without resorting to political violence. Notwithstanding this call, the council expressed its commitment to deal firmly with any politically related crime including lawlessness in general.

Moving forward, the council undertook to strengthen all efforts aimed at projecting a better image of the province among the family of nations.

The council further resolved to ensure that a highly level monthly meeting is held involving members of the provincial executive council and relevant national ministers. In the meantime, the MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison Mxolisi Kaunda will continue to monitor progress and the situation in various flashpoints across the province.

3. Reconstruction of the Houses of Traditional Leaders -24 and 31 August 2017

The Executive Council received a comprehensive presentation on processes undertaken to usher in a new term of office of the House of Traditional Leaders.

The term of the office of local and provincial houses started in 2012, in line with the provisions of the Traditional Leadership and Governance Act, 2005 (Act No.5 of 2005), read with the applicable national legislation, provides for the alignment of the terms of the houses of traditional leaders with that of the national house of traditional leaders, which its term of office comes to an end on the 16th August 2017.

In terms of the law, all 11 local houses of traditional leaders ceased to exist on the 10th July 2017 with the Provincial House of Traditional Leaders ceasing to exist on the 19th July 2017.

All Amakhosi have been informed of the expiry of the terms of houses of traditional leaders and reconstitution programme which must be finalized before the end of August. The council affirmed its support for the institution of traditional leadership and appreciates the positive feedback from Amakhosi and their commitment to finalize the re constitution programme.

The council endorsed processes, in terms of the law, that will enable the MEC for Co-Operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nomsa Dube-Ncube to proclaim in the provincial gazette, the 24th and 31st August 2017 as the dates of first meetings of the local houses as well as the provincial houses respectively.

The elections of the leadership of both local and provincial houses of traditional leaders will be conducted by the Independent Electoral Commission. These will be through the secret ballot in line with the previous elections.

4. Ezemvelo Wildlife

The Executive Council received a report and endorsed all measures that have been put in place to ensure adherence to good governance and solid service delivery at Ezemvelo Wild Life.

At the beginning of this term of office, the executive council announced the reconfiguration of government departments with Ezemvelo Wildlife moving to the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs.

The council reiterates its position that this public entity has a critical role to play in terms of driving economic development � becoming a catalyst for tourism in the process. The council has singled out eco-tourism as one of the sectors that will assist in creating job opportunities especially for the previously disadvantaged communities.

Ezemvelo KZN Widlife manages the largest eco-tourism operations which gives this province a competitive edge. Ezemvelo manages more than 114 protected areas and close to 40 facilities that provide accommodation to 6500 people per night. These include camp sites, Didima, Giant’s Castle and Hilltop in the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park and Ntshondwe in Ithala Game Reserve.

The council is proud that this province has the capacity to provide tourists an unparalleled experience of the provinces’ wildlife and eco-tourism. The council is committed to aggressively market all these strategic facilities in order to grow tourism and generate more revenue for the provincial economy.

The council resolved that MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs and Leader of Government Sihle Zikalala should continue to lead all efforts to ensure that good governance at Ezemvelo Wild Life.

5. National School Nutrition Programme � 24 July 2017 to 31 March 2020

The executive council was appraised about progress in the implementation of the three-year National School Nutrition Programme contract for the period of three years beginning on the 24th July 2017 until the 31st March 2020.

The council expressed its confidence that the ruling by the Pietermaritzburg High Court Judge Mokgere Masipa has paved the way for this programme to go ahead for the benefit of learners who are the major priority.

The council reiterated that the major focus for the province is the provision of quality education and that without ‘one healthy meal a day’ this would be impossible. The council noted that education is the engine of the economy and that without quality education, there can be no socio-economic development in this province.

The council further resolved that the MEC for Education Mthandeni Dlungwana should continue with efforts aimed at strengthening this nutrition programme across the province. The council singled out schools where there have been glitches, including one school on the South Coast, as deserving special attention. This province provide nutritious meals to more than 2.2 million learners in more than 5000 schools.

6. Legislature activities

7. The Leader of Government Business, MEC Sihle Zikalala, presented a memorandum to appraise the Executive Council of the following:

15-16 August: Honourable Members of the Legislature will embark on a programme to asses the provision of quality healthcare in various public health institutions across the province. This is in line with a resolution taken during visits in 2014. Importantly, honourable members will monitor the state of readiness in pilot sites that were identified for the rollout of the National Health Insurance. Members of the Executive Council, Heads of Departments and other senior government officials will be part of the visits.

9-11 August 2017: Under the theme Women Actively United in Pursuit of Radical Economic Transformation, both Women’s Day and Women’s Parliament will take place in Abaqulusi Local Municipality. Activities will include a Peace Walk in celebration of the 20 Years of the establishment of the National Council of Provinces; and 20th commemoration of the anniversary of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. The venue for women’s parliament is Cecil Emmet Hall and for the Women’s Day celebrations is Mondlo Sports Ground.

8. Nelson Mandela Day Marathon – 27 August 2017

The Executive Council has expressed its satisfaction with progress of preparations ahead of the Nelson Mandela Marathon. The marathon which has been running since 2012 has attracted more than 15 000 participants from all over the world.

The marathon starts from Arya Samaj Hall (Manayi Hall) in Mbali Township (Pietermaritzburg) where the international icon Nelson Mandela made his last public speech on the 25th March 1961. This was during the All-in-Africa Conference. Importantly, the marathon will finish at Nelson Mandela Capture Site in Howick where Mandela was arrested and went on to spend 27 years in prison.

The council reiterated that Mandela Marathon is not only about running but is also aimed at mobilizing society to preserve the legacy of our former President Nelson Mandela. A towering giant that inspired the whole world by mounting a fight for equality and social justice, Madiba is known for his endurance, determination and perseverance. It was these characteristics that propelled him to lead millions of our people across all racial lines to vote in the first ever democratic elections in 1994.

The presence of international participants and international media offers excellent marketing opportunities for the province and local municipalities. In this regard, the council has endorsed the participation of the KZN Tourism Authority as International Tourism Destination Marketing Partner. To date more than 29 countries were represented in the 2016 edition of the marathon and more are expected this year. The tourism authority will conduct an economic impact analysis of the marathon.

9. Upcoming events

1. 04-07 September 2017: KwaZulu-Natal Province will host the ICT SADC Ministerial Forum. This is a forum of Ministers responsible for Communications, ICTs and Postal Services in the SADC. The conference will take place at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre and is hosted by the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services.

2. 15 August 2017: The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development will host the Female Entrepreneur Awards Ceremony at UKZN Edgewood Campus.

3. 24-26 August 2017: KwaZulu-Natal Province will host the 10th International Forum on Elite Sport Conference. This events will be attended by high performance sports federations, sports administrators, sports directors, coaches and athletes from all over the world. The Department of Sports and Recreation and eThekwini Municipality are co-hosting this event with the National Department of Sports and Recreation, SASCOC and PRIME High Performance Centre.

Source: Government of South Africa

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