With just three days left before Buffalo City Metro (BCM) Executive Mayor, Xola Pakati, delivers his State of the City Address (SOCA), a sizeable chunk of his speech was “written by residents”. The Executive Mayor used his official Facebook page to invite residents to give inputs towards the speech and the people responded with some really valuable submissions.
BCM took a trend that is usually seen applied by the State President ahead of the State of the Nation Address and the Minister of Finance before delivering the Budget Speech. It is a public engagement mechanism that residents told HotNews made them feel the adage of “government for the people, by the people”.
HotNews selected a few submissions from the Executive Mayor’s Facebook page to see what sort of issues people were raising.
FACEBOOK SUBMISSIONS (published as posted)
Bonga Mahlathi: “Dear Mr Mayor, the existing small business support centers need serious intervention. When you go and ask for assistance, they send you to online sites for information. However, I would like to congratulate the BCMM for the initiative. If Mr Mayor, we can be assisted as Small Business Owners with rent free office space or work stations with full wifi and printing materials, perhaps interventions in terms of funding will decrease. All we are looking for as SMMEs space to work. Guidance in a form business development, properly done will ensure sustainability for businesses. We need business incubators in our area more than the actual funding itself….Please Mr MAyor I appeal to you, get us business incubators even if its 1 incubator”.
Sharlayne Forster: “Educate people on the effects of littering (it is not job creation), teach them to keep their communities neat and tidy. Thereafter BCMM must enforce the bylaws and fine offenders, in so doing you are creating a better, cleaner environment for everyone and we will feel proud to welcome tourists to our city.”
Denzel Fuller: “Honourable Mayor, we seem to forget that we have a generation which comes after us and that we need to invest in them sothat our future can be secure and better. There are no longer play parks for children in our various communities, a place whereby our children can play safely and have fun as children. Much of the learning of children comes from playing. We deal with solid waste issues, drug dealers who are known but left to destroy our communities. A better environment impacts on the positive outlook of people. We need to tap into this. Electricity fees are growing at an alarming rate, is illegal connections the way to go? Surely the answer would be no, but where is the law enforcement? SMME’s are welcomed at various forums, but it’s a fact that we also being drained by late payments from local government. How can one encourage you to be proactive uvukuzenzele and then the same one is the one that drags you to the gutters? Service delivery and good customer care is like a needle in a haystack. These are but a few things which we wish to bring under your attention, but then again, I’m sure you are aware of all these challenges. It’s time for the DOERS to do! And not only dream or talk. Let’s Do!”
Nopinki Mnyanda: “Mr Mayor could you please have a space for small business area abantu abavuka bazenzele bayasokola ngemali ye rent where as they are boosting the economy of the city with hand made clothes and also a place for retired nice building with affordable rent and secured place because the rent in King Williams Town is so expensive”.
Sivuyile Ngcanga: “Firstly I would like to thank you and your team for the great work you have done in & around our city. My suggestion is pretty simple and maybe might have already been addressed or solved but as one of the entrepreneurs in your city who has business plans and ideas which could edify our city, has seen the short fall in funding availability or a platform for us to put in our proposal to access those funds if they are available. I have noticed that there is funding available for events and a efficient system for them to access this funding by putting in they proposals for consideration for the upcoming year. All I really want to know is there funding for innovative ideas which are for our city and it’s people, and if there is, how do we access this funding so we can start the fruitful journey of putting our city on the map by “solving our problems ourselves”
Mandlenkosi Somtha: “Give equal opportunities to grade 1 & 2 smme’s (cidb) so that we may be able to grow and compete with big boys. Roll out incubator programs for the smme’s and by so doing you’ll be creating job opportunities for our communities. Payments to be processed within 30 days”.
Mamali Ndondela GX: “Honorable Mayor Township and Rural economy should not only feature from national government but we need the City to invest its efforts and emphasis on Rural economy especially that of Rural Tourism. Let’s here wht are the plans to stimulate entrepreneurism and encourage Rural inhabitants to participate and change their lives for better”.
Phumza Zozo Stuurman: “Good day Honourable Mayor, entrepreneurs are motivated to stimulate the Economies of Rural and Township areas however the policies are not aligned to support us in doing so. I am saying this out of a frustration that I submitted an application to purchase land in my community (a rural area), following up on the progress an official informed me that the land will be on public tender for everyone to bid and that my idea will also be advertised with the tender”.
Popular socialite and owner of Oh! Brigado Wine Bar, Olwethu Hoyana, also made a valuable submission to the Mayor: “Ncibane, our city is blessed with fantastic facilities that are owned by the metro. These recreational facilities though are rented out at a very low cost to private individuals or groupings who use them as their own leisure facilities. They are boat clubs and bowling clubs which can only be accessed by a few. With entertainment tourism on the rise throughout the country, EL is losing out on huge economic opportunities and creation of jobs by not rethinking the leasing strategy of these key facilities. Establishments like Shimmy Beach Club, Grand Beach Cafe are massive tourist attractions for Cape Town through PPPs which would ensure proper maintenance of these facilities and provide much needed jobs. Please could you and the metro’s leadership look into this as rental from private property owners is extremely high and is a hindrance to growth of the tourism/hospitality sector in the metro”.
As the Executive Mayor puts the final touches to his speech HotNews readers can still make their last minute submissions via his official Facebook page. Click on the photo to open the relevant Facebook post where you can submit your comment.
When HotNews spoke to a number of residents randomly on the streets of the city, the majority were happy with progress made thus far but raised various urgent matters that they wished the Executive Mayor could touch on.
WATCH: You can watch all the footage of what the people said on HotNews TV by clicking on the link below: