Minister Lindiwe Sisulu visits Emfuleni to see progress of ERWAT’s rehabilitation of the Vaal.
Jan 20, 2020
“When I took office, the s*** landed on my desk.”
Minister of Human Settlements Water Affairs and Sanitation Lindiwe Sisulu, who spoke at a media and stakeholder briefing and feedback session in Vereeniging today, apologised for the dire state of affairs in the Vaal River area and promised that at the end of the meeting the people of the region would see that “the problem is behind us.”
The Minister among other things reiterated that the Sebokeng Waste Water Treatment Works would be declared a National Key Point, and said her Ministry was also considering declaring Emfuleni a disaster area.
She appealed to the community to “work with us and not vandalise property” and promised to visit the Vaal at the invitation of the Golden Triangle Chamber of Commerce to see how the pollution was affecting the river and its inhabitants, in particular the Rietspruit tributary which is currently pumping 100 megalitres of sewage daily into the river system.
The Minister instructed ERWAT (the SOE appointed to rehabilitate the sewage system) to provide a plan and final assessment of the work needed by June 26.
In answer to a question by SAVE (Save the Vaal Environment), she said that R1.1bn had been set aside to complete the first stages of the rehabilitation project.
Community members who wanted to work in security and areas related to management of the waste water treatment works and pump stations, would be trained at the State’s cost and thereafter employed if possible, provided they met the entry requirements.
The MD of ERWAT Tumelo Gopane, said that work had started on 2 December on community areas that were most in need of support, especially in Vereeniging.
The entity had so far appointed 10 contractors providing employment for 117 people. One hundred and thirty jobs had been completed. However, there was an urgent need to review Emfuleni’s bylaws and to ensure that these bye-laws were enforced, as many were being infringed and this was hampering the work. The population also needed education on the correct use of sewage-related infrastructure.
Sbu Mthembu of DWS Gauteng, said that community unrest was one of the biggest issues faced by Government. Over R187 million in fruitless and wasteful expenditure had been incurred in the last financial year through vandalism and other acts against property.
Mthembu reiterated that the SANDF which was appointed to assist the rehabilitation and was due to leave the area at the end of January, had been paid out in full.
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Phoenix Park News Update
'If you go down to the Park today your in for a big Surprise' No – Not a Teddy Bear's picnic although, on a Sunday, there will be many picnickers. The Big Surprise is how beautiful your park is looking. The grass is cut, the flowers are blooming and the water from the pond is trickling over the newly constructed weir. (Courtesy of Rex Anderson & Stonehaven).
This summer much work has gone into the maintenance of the lawns and gardens. The arrival of the tractor and mower, on loan from a local brick company, helped keep the grass under control during the growing season.
Our other big challenge is keeping the park clear of litter. We use a roll of black bags (donated by Riverview Spar) every week and the gardener's first hour each day is spent picking up litter, after which, if it has not rained recently the gardeners are watered. It takes two days of the gardeners' time just to water all the gardens. We are slowly reclaiming the overgrown parts, which could be seen as a security risk area and the park is being opened up and ready for visitors.
Saturday Morning Gym
The group is presented by each of the local gyms, (Virgin Active, Planet Fitness, Curves, Slaters and Ripped Studios) on successive Saturdays, starting at 08h00 near the parking area. Bring your towel and tekkies, park in the parking area and head for the music.
The Bruce Fordyce 'Park Fun Run'
This is a new addition to our fitness line up and is held every Saturday at 08h00. It starts from near the parking area, and if that is full, additional parking is available at Shaka's Trail, the park just north of Phoenix Trim Park. Come early as 'Sam Planet' has a range of warm-up exercises for you to get ready for your run. The run consists of two circuits of approximately 2.5km each making up the 5km Fun Run. (If you don't fancy the 5km's you can always just do one circuit.)
Register on www.parkrun.co.za to receive your personal Barcode which will give you your performance times each week and keep a record of your improvements. However, registration is not mandatory, and you can just 'walk the walk' and enjoy the scenery. Dogs welcome! They don't need to register. Volunteers needed. email@example.com.
Kim's 'Wednesday morning stroll in the Park'
A popular addition to the Phoenix Park activities is the 'Stroll in the Park' every Wednesday morning @ 08h00. Kim and friends (two foots & four foots) take a leisurely stroll around the park.
They choose a different route each week to highlight the diverse beauty of the park as the seasons change. No need to book, just pitch up.
And now some negatives
· To the 'people' who dump their black bags and rubbish at the park. The Municipality does not remove the refuse at the Park, some kind people pay out of their own pocket for someone to collect it and don't ask for recompense or recognition. Please don't be one of those …… 'people'.
· To the 'people' who dump their garden refuse on the sidewalks of the Park. a Local Brick company kindly sponsors the removal of the garden refuse of the park.
Please don't abuse their kindness by dumping your own garden refuse at the Park.
· To the man who is digging up blocks of grass to take home – Please Stop!
We have to bring in soil to fill up the holes at our own costs.
If, however, you are re-designing your garden and have some unwanted shrubs or plants (Cannas would be welcome) we will do our best to 'Re-Home' them and beautify our Park.
Easter festivities were subdued this year due to the weather and celebrations that did get out of hand were swiftly dealt with by quick response from the police.
Thank you, Brigadier and Team!
The days are getting shorter and the temperatures are falling. The grass is growing at a slower pace and we will cut with the tractor once more this season ready for winter.
The leaves have changed colour and are already falling (another challenge to keeping the Park clean).
Our winter jobs are tree trimming and cleaning the stream area.
If there is anybody who could help with the reconstruction of the weir at the outflow of the dam, please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org Over time the water has found its own route under and around the weir and this has lowered the dam level considerably. a Low dam is detrimental to the fish and wildlife that live in and around the dam.
Thanks to a sponsor, we are also cutting the grass and maintaining the gardens of the middle island in Frikkie Meyer Blvd from Melt Brink Street down to the Sullivan Street robots. Another step forward in the upgrading of Ward Five to the 'Upmarket Housing Estate' of Vanderbijlpark it should be.
Appeal for support
If you appreciate our efforts, please make a monthly donation to:
Ward Five Emfuleni Committee
Branch Code: 051001
Account No: 27829278
Reference: Phoenix Park
We would appreciate your support.
Ward Five Committee
Ward 5 is apolitical and its purpose is to serve the whole inclusive Ward 5 community
SAPS Sector 4 Updated
Below please find all current SAPS Sector Vehicle numbers. Please delete the old Sector 4 numbers that you have, as it is no longer the correct numbers.
Afriforum Vanderbijlpark 14 /10 / 2018
Police Station Client Service Centre
016 910 9046
016 910 9047
016 910 9024
SAPS Sector 4 SW & A/H South R42
071 675 7245
SAPS Vanderbijlpark Relief Commander
071 675 7246
Vaal River Water Quality
The criteria is that anything lower than 130 has a “low risk of gastrointestinal disorder” as per Rand Water’s website,
so this would be considered acceptable with the figure being way lower than the 130 criteria set.
Dispute Form for Non-Delivery of Municipal Services.
Should you wish to lodge a dispute, please complete the relevant information as stated on the form and submit it to the Office of the Municipal Manager.
Please read attached letter from Outa ‘Local Emfuleni’ to the CEO of Eskom with regard to power supply.
Outa’s Legal Team is in the Vaal today to discuss urgent proceedings to interdict Eskom from disrupting the electricity supply to Emfuleni with prominent parties.
The result of these talks will help determine the future of the Vaal as an economic hub.
Further updates will be circulated as and when they happen.
Visit 'OUTA LOCAL' on facebook and www.local.outa.co.za.
Ward 5 Committee’s purpose is to positively foster two-way communication between Emfuleni Local Municipality and the Ward Residents, by keeping them informed of everything that might impact positively or negatively on Ward 5 and protect Ward 5’s interests when necessary.
Our responsibility to you
- To create a formal unbiased communication channels and co-operative partnerships between the Municipality and the community within the Municipality.
- To create harmonious relationship among the community, Ward Councillor and the Municipality through the use and co-ordination of ward residents meetings and other communication forums.
- To facilitate public participation in the process of development, review, implementation and management of the Integrated Development Planning of the Municipality.
- To serve as an officially recognized and specialized participatory structure in the Municipality.
- To make sure that the Community participates fully in the decisions that affect them at the local level.
- To ensure that contact between the Municipality and the Community is open and free-flowing and of a constructive nature.
- To assist the Community in accessing information that shows them where their Council taxes are being spent, so they can see value and benefit in the payment of taxes and services.
- To receive and record complaints from the community within the ward and to provide feedback to the community on Council’s response.
- To execute other functions as delegated by the Municipality.
- Ward Committee Members shall participate in the stakeholder cluster forums.
Ward 5 Committee Members
Doep de Preez
ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT & PLANNING
SPORT, RECREATION, ARTS & CULTURE, INFORMATION SERVICES
Willem vd Westhuizen
Map of Ward 5, Emfuleni Local Municipality
Municipal Ward Committees: What you need to know
With most councils having been constituted following the 2016 Local Government Elections, the focus now shifts to another important aspect of the local government system in South Africa -- the formation of ward committees.
According to legislation, the first meeting of the newly elected council must take place within 14 days after the election results are gazetted.
Why are ward committees important?
Ward committees are crucial in the local government system as they are the link between the councillor and the community.
The ward committee system is also said to play a critical role in giving meaning to the notion of “the people shall govern”. This is so because local government is regarded as the level of government closest to the people and ward committees are just one way to ensure that citizens give input to the decisions that local councils make.
The South African Local Government Association, which is the sole representative of all municipalities, says ward committees are also important in fostering relations between ward councillors and key stakeholders at ward level, such as traditional councils and community development workers.
Terms of office for ward committees
The terms of office of ward committees are aligned to that of municipal councils and the municipality must, as soon as possible after the results of the elections have been declared, arrange ward meetings in order for the interest groups in the ward to be identified and subsequently for the ward committees to be elected, according to the system applicable in each respective municipality.
Election of ward committees
Salga has developed a Code of Conduct for ward committee members, which are available at all municipalities. However, municipal councils must make the rules regarding the election of ward committee members, including how often meetings take place and the dissolution of ward committees.
The Speaker shall call a meeting in the ward for the election of a ward committee.
Nominations shall be open for 10 but not more than 15 nominees.
Closure of nominations may be proposed when there are 10 nominations and, if carried, there shall be no voting if nominations exceed 10, then voting shall take place. The ward councillor and Community Participation and Action Support Unit must ensure that meetings are a fair representation of all recognised sectors identified by the municipality and a quorum of at least 100 qualifying community members are present to vote. An attendance register must also completed.
What are the functions of ward committees?
According to the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, a ward committee may make recommendations on any matter affecting its ward to the ward councillor, or through the ward councillor to the municipal council, the executive committee or support committee.
The ward committee will be regarded as the statutory structure recognised by the municipal council as its consultative body and communication channel on matters affecting the ward, including, but not limited to:
- representing the community on the compilation and implementation of the Integrated Development Plan;
- ensuring constructive and harmonious interaction between the municipality and the community;
- attending to all matters that affect and benefit the community;
- acting in the best interest of the community, and
- ensuring active participation of the community in the municipality’s budgetary process.
More facts on ward committees
- Ward committees are made up of representatives of a particular ward.
- They are made up of members who represent various interests within the ward.
- Ward committees are chaired by the ward councillor.
- They are meant to be an institutionalised channel of communication and interaction between communities and municipalities.
- Wards give community members the opportunity to express their needs, their opinions on issues that affect their lives and to have them heard at the municipal level via the ward councillor.
- Wards are advisory bodies created within the sphere of civil society to assist the ward councillor in carrying out his or her mandate in the most democratic manner possible. - SAnews.gov.za