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ETHEKWINI WEEKLY BULLETIN - issue 55

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EFFECTIVELY TACKLING FRAUD AND
CORRUPTION IN ETHEKWINI. ETHEKWINI Mayor
Zandile Gumede is serious about rooting out corruption in the City, as is evident by the dismissal of staff members found to be flouting the law.

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ETHEKWINI WEEKLY BULLETIN - issue 55

  1. 1. ETHEKWINI WEEKLY BULLETIN www.durban.gov.za By 2030 eThekwini will be Africa’s most caring and liveable city “KEEPING YOU IN THE KNOW” EFFECTIVELY TACKLING FRAUD AND CORRUPTION IN ETHEKWINI E THEKWINI Mayor Zandile Gumede is serious about rooting out corruption in the City, as is evident by the dismissal of staff members found to be flouting the law. All suspected cases of fraud or corruption reported to the City are also thoroughly investigated. Gumede reiterated her commitment to rooting out corruption and ensuring good governance in eThekwini during her weekly report back to the Executive Committee on, 19 October. She urged Municipal officials and the public to report any suspicions they may have of corrupt behaviour immediately to the City’s Integrity and Investigations Unit to be thoroughly investigated. “As I said in my inaugural speech, I am serious about tackling corruption in the City. This cannot be done overnight as processes have to be followed. I will report back to this committee on progress made in this regard,” she said. Her commitment that the City means business and can be trusted to efficiently manage the public purse is evident in the Back to Basics Report for August 2016. The report states that 219 fraud and corruption instances were reported in August, with forensic investigations initiated for all the cases. There were 45 disciplinary cases instituted on fraud and corruption during August with seven dismissals for fraud and corruption during the same month. Furthermore, sanctions have been made against perpetrators of fraud, corruption and maladministration. Meanwhile, since her election to office, Gumede has led a number of initiatives to empower residents in the City to show that eThekwini was indeed a caring City. This includes the Essence Festival Durban to showcase local talent. Gumede said to further promote the festival, which will be taking place in the City from 8 to 13 November 2016 at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre and Moses Mabhida Stadium, a social media campaign was launched outside the Durban City Hall during the Rhythm of the City “lunch hour” Concert. “These lunch hour concerts provide a platform for youth to showcase their talent to a wider audience. There is also a lot of hype surrounding the Essence Festival being hosted in eThekwini next month,” she said. The festival will include music, concerts, business seminars, craft and arts, a technology village, fashion as well as youth and women empowerment conferences. Another initiative was the White Cane Safety Day walk to raise awareness about blindness and visual impairment. Gumede said the walk, through the City centre, was a resounding success. Municipal leadership and City officials joined blind and visually impaired people from all walks of life during the walk from King Dinuzulu Park to the Durban City Hall holding banners and placards which carried educational messages on the role and use of white canes. Gumede also held the first of a series of Mayoral stakeholder engagements on 13 October at the Durban City Hall. “Over 2 000 delegates attended the meeting where I shared my vision for the City and what I wanted to achieve during my tenure. It was also an opportunity to let the delegates know about the various interventions we are implementing to ensure efficient service delivery,” she said. 21 October 2016 [Issue 55] In staying true to her oath of office, eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede has reiterated her commitment to tackling corruption to ensure residents that the City leadership can be trusted to prudently handle the public purse.
  2. 2. www.durban.gov.za 2 ETHEKWINI WEEKLY BULLETIN ISSUE 55 THROUGH the successful implementation of eThekwini’s Problem Buildings By-law, a derelict building on Umngeni Road, that had been illegally occupied by squatters and vagrants will soon be renovated by the owner. The City’s persistent efforts, with the assistance of the property owner and the court of law, led to the successful removal of the illegal squatters. The building is now vacant and ready for rehabilitation. The privately owned building was one of the top 20 buildings that the City’s iTrump Unit, with the assistance of Metro Police had identified during a profiling exercise of rundown buildings. One of the successes from the profiling exercise of the derelict buildings includes court action taken against owners or illegal occupants of buildings that pose a health, safety and security risk. The multi-disciplinary task teams which regularly conduct building raids include various City Units and other agencies such as the South African Police Services and Home Affairs Department. ITrump Senior Manager Hoosen Moolla said the Umn geni Road building had been turned into an informal settlement. “The owner reported the matter to the City, however we could not just remove the occupants, as there are laws and processes to be followed. A decision was then taken to approach the court for intervention,” he said. Moolla said after a long and daunting court battle the High Court ruled in favour of the property owner and the illegal occupants were evicted and they all evacuated the building this week. “EThekwini Municipality being the respondent had a big role to play in winning the case. The advocate who handled the case even commended eThekwini for the information provided which played an instrumental role in the court victory,” he said. The Problem Buildings By-law became operational in March 2016 and outlines steps to identify and label a building as a problem building. This includes buildings that are derelict or showing signs of becoming unhealthy, unsanitary or unsightly. The building may also be, or appear, to have been abandoned by the owner regardless of whether or not rates are being paid. A problem building is also one that is overcrowded or illegally occupied. The By-law further stipulates steps to be taken to rehabilitate the building and ensure compliance by owners. This includes issuing a notice of intention to it as a problem building to the owner and specifying what aspects of the building are in contravention of the By-law and pose safety risks to occupants. CITY HELPS HOME OWNER TAKE BACK INVADED BUILDING The City will continue enforcing the Problem Building By-law and fighting the scourge of illegally occupied buildings through vigorous multi-disciplinary law enforcement raids.
  3. 3. www.durban.gov.za ISSUE 55 ETHEKWINI WEEKLY BULLETIN 3 IMPROVING SERVICES TO THE PUBLIC THROUGH PUBLIC SERVICE WEEK A HIGH-level delegation comprising senior political leadership and officials will visit various service delivery sites in eThekwini to assess the working environment of staff and evaluate the level of service rendered to the public. These visits will be rolled out from October and are aimed at inculcating a culture of excellence in the public service, instilling and rebuilding good ethics, morale and professionalism. Public Service Month is a reminder of what it means to serve the community in rendering efficient service delivery to the public. It is an opportunity for public servants, through this national initiative, to unlock the bottlenecks and red-tape in the delivery of services and recommit themselves to serving the public with honour and dignity. A report tabled before the Executive Committee on, 19 October outlined the roll-out in eThekwini which has been divided into five regions that will be visited by teams during Public Service Week. Public Service Week forms part of Public Service Month which is an important national Batho Pele vehicle. The roll- out will be from October to December. Councillors from each sub-committee in the City will be assigned to the teams. Public Service Month is a service delivery mechanism aimed at strengthening visibility and access by taking quality services closer to where people live. It is an annual service delivery event embraced by all spheres of government. As part of the visits, there will be engagement sessions with ratepayers as well as exhibitions, educational campaigns and interventions. This is an opportunity to take services to the people and assess the progress of implemented programmes. Teams will visit service centres in five regions such as Sizakala Customer Service Centres, libraries and clinics to assess the service offered to the public and how it can be improved. A number of service delivery driven initiatives are planned by the City as part of Public Service Month. A teams comprising of high-level leadership and officials will visit five regions throughout eThekwini to evaluate the level of service offered to the public, including healthcare.
  4. 4. www.durban.gov.za Email: gugu.mbonambi@durban.gov.za If you would like to submit feedback or contribute to eThekwini Weekly Bulletin EDITORIAL TEAM EDITOR: Tozi Mthethwa, Head of Communications • CONTENT EDITOR: Gugu Sisilana SUB-EDITOR: Nondumiso Mathomane • WRITERS: Princess Nkabane, Charmel Payet, Romita Hanuman and Jessie Singh. DESIGN AND LAYOUT: Sandile Sokhela BRITISH DELEGATION VISIT DURBAN TO IMPART KNOWLEDGE YOUTH empowerment, education and skills development were among the key issues discussed when British High Commissioner Judith Macgregor met with eThekwini Deputy Mayor Fawzia Peer at the Durban City Hall on, 20 October. The visiting delegation also presented the “Prosperity Project” concept to Peer, which is a project linked to the 2022 Commonwealth Games being hosted in Durban. The project will include a toolkit that will provide valuable advice and lessons that the eThekwini team can incorporate in their future plans. A team from Britain will also work with Durban officials to discuss various aspects of the staging Games, including the City’s transport plan and other logistics. South Africa and the United Kingdom, have a long- standing trade and investment partnership, and the British delegation expressed keen interest to support investment THE MUNICIPAL Public Accounts Committee (MPAC) will continue to serve as a watchdog holding the City’s administration accountable for the implementation of Municipal policies and budget spending. This was the commitment made by the chairperson of the committee, Councillor Thabane Jacques Luthuli during the committee’s first meeting on, 20 October at the Durban City Hall. The independent body was set up in 2010 to scrutinise Municipal spending. After a brief round of introductions the multi-party committee, consisting of 11 members, got down to business and agreed to put their political differences aside and work together to ensure the proper use of public resources. The City Integrity and Investigations Unit (CIIU), the Legal Unit and the Audit Unit were in attendance to provide input and support to the newly elected councillors who serve on the committee. CIIU Deputy Head, Dumisani Cele assured the committee that thorough investigations are conducted relating to maladministration, fraud and corruption. He also said cases related to the procurement of goods and services were scrutinised if there were brought to their attention for investigation. Cele encouraged the public and Municipal staff to report any incidence of fraud, corruption and maladministration to the toll free hotline on 0800 202020 or email ombuds@durban.gov. za. All cases are treated with confidentiality. opportunities that would benefit eThekwini residents. Peer said the empowerment of youth is a great necessity especially in the field of maths and science. “Children with special needs must not be forgotten. There is a large number of children that require special care and we are looking at establishing partnerships to assist them so that they are not left out,” Peer added. Head of International and Governance Relations, Eric Apelgren informed the British High Commissioner about various projects and programmes that the City is looking at, including major infrastructure projects that will have long-term benefit. Some of the projects highlighted included the Northern and Western Aqueduct, dig out port and the developments around the Dube Tradeport. Macgregor said she would liaise with the relevant officials from eThekwini Municipality and will look at the possibility of partnering with the City to improve the lives of residents. Macgregor also extended an invitation to Peer to attend a host city conference in Glasgow, Scotland next month which will focus on how previous Commonwealth Games host cities used the event to revamp and improve their areas. British High Commissioner Judith Macgregor receives an appreciation gift from Deputy Mayor Fawzia Peer. Macgregor visited the City to discuss critical issues related to the economic growth and sustainability of the City. MUNICIPAL PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTE GETS DOWN TO BUSINESS

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