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According to a recent meeting, the Province’s Mayors have committed to mobilising resources in response to the immediate needs faced by communities, following the attacks on economic hubs and small towns.
This was a focal point during the special meeting convened by the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) MEC Sipho Hlomuka alongside the Minister for Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Thoko Didiza, where they met with the Provinces Mayors and Speakers to consolidate the sphere of local government’s response.
In the meeting, Mayors provided updates on the extent of the devastation suffered by their municipalities, with many small towns reported as having been completely damaged. As a result thereof, the various leaders committed to working closely with the civil society, businesses and residents, marking a turning point in the Province’s response to the impact caused, estimated to cost billions of Rands. Not considering the countless job losses coupled with business owners now choosing to cash out and leave the country.
During the meeting, the MEC and Minister received updates on the mop-up operations and municipal response plans. Millions of rands worth of municipal infrastructure suffered severe damage during the unrest, with municipalities having to halt services such as water tankers, municipal busses and front-line services in order to limit the risk.
In her address to the Mayors, Minister Didiza called for municipalities to avail their Community Halls and Multi-purpose centres to any arm of the state, business, and civil society in efforts to ensure food security and provide aid to millions of residents who no longer have access to a place to buy food because of the unrest.
As the Province’s mayors look at addressing the destruction, Durban (eThekwini) Municipality explained that all its services units are expected to return to regular operation as of Monday, 19 July 2021.
These services include the following:
Refuse Collection Services
Refuse collection and street sweeping services will resume. Residents are requested to take out their refuse bags on their scheduled collection days. Landfill and garden sites will also re-open. Details of categories of waste that are accepted in the different sites are outlined on the Municipal Website.
The Municipality’s Communications Unit added, “The City would like to thank all the stakeholders who are participating in the clean-up operations that are taking place.”
Sizakala Customer Service Centres
All Sizakala Customer Centres will be in operation except for centres at Umlazi Mega City, KwaMnyandu, Ntuzuma and KwaMashu. These centres were destroyed during the unrest.
All centres will operate with a full staff compliment except for the Craigieburn Centre with limited services.
Centres will be open from 7.30 am until 4 pm.
The municipal bus service will be operational, but the Durban Transport service will be operating a “B timetable, ” a school holiday schedule due to schools being closed. Bus operations will start at 4 am.
All areas will be operational except for routes operating via Phoenix, e.g. Mount Edgecombe, Mahatma Gandhi Hospital. The Umhlanga service will be diverted not to run via Phoenix.
The Dial-a-Ride service is not operational yet. It is expected to resume later in the week.
Water and Sanitation
All Water and Sanitation services will resume as of 19 July 2021, and the Call Centre will be fully operational. Residents are advised to contact the Call Centre number: 080 131 3013 or EWS WhatsApp number 073 1483 477 for more information on water supply and sanitation-related enquiries or services.
Parks, Recreation and Culture
All PRC Municipal facilities will remain closed for public use until further notice as per level 4 lockdown regulations.
eThekwini Central and Southern Beaches are closed to the public until further notice. This is because the shark nets are not being serviced due to the unrest.
The beaches north of the Umgeni estuary up to the Tongaat River are also closed due to the contamination of the uMhlanga estuary. The public will be advised when it is safe to use the beaches.
Development and Planning
All Development and Planning offices, including those in Sizakala Centres, will be operational.
All public-facing offices of the Human Settlements Unit are expected to open in the CBD, regional offices and Sizakala Centres.
eThekwini Primary Healthcare Facilities (Clinics)
The City’s Primary Healthcare facilities (clinics), including mobile services, will be operational. Community vaccination sites will also be opened. Residents who are eligible to receive the vaccine are encouraged to register.
The public is urged to be patient as there may be queues at the various service centres given the backlog built up over the past week.
Residents are also reminded to observe all COVID 19 protocols when visiting the various service centres. In addition, The KwaDukuza Municipality also issued an operational report for the Northern and Southern areas.
The government entity states, “The area of KwaDukuza is currently stable with a strong police presence.
Public transport is currently operating, although not at total capacity. Vehicle checkpoints are active at all major intersections. The N2, R102, and R74 are currently open with no obstruction.
The municipality also noted that fuel stations are open, and food outlets plan to follow suit and re-open their doors.
What are your thoughts on municipalities resuming their services while being encouraged to rebuild after the mass destruction?
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