South Africa: KwaZulu-Natal Holds Provincial Executive Council Meeting

press release

The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Executive Council held its ordinary sitting in Durban on 09 June 2021 and took the following decisions:

KZN Executive Council vows to take the war to criminals and to bring the crime rate down

The Provincial Executive Council of KwaZulu-Natal has vowed to take the war to the criminals and promised to bring the crime rate down in the province.

The Provincial Executive Council received a report on the Quarter 4 crime statistics from the Justice and Crime Prevention Cluster covering the period between 1 January 2021 till March 2021.

The report of the Crime Statistics for the 4th Quarter of the 2020/21 Financial Year

indicates the following:

(i) Contact crime: murder, attempted murder and robbery aggravated recorded high percentage increases;

(ii) Sexual Offences: there was an increase on 0.3% in sexual assault while there a decrease in rape;

(iii) Robberies of all categories of robbery recorded an increase.

Provincial Executive Council noted the disappointing spike in crimes such as murder with the top murders areas in the country being in the Province of KwaZulu-Natal especially in Plessislaer, Inanda, uMlazi, Mpumalanga, KwaMashu and Esikhaleni.

While admitting that crime is fast evolving and is a serious threat to the social and economic prospects of the province. The Provincial Executive Council believes that these trends can be interrupted through aggressive operations that instil fear among criminals before it spirals out of control.

The Provincial Government of KwaZulu-Natal has committed not to allow this level of violence and mayhem to continue anywhere in the province of KwaZulu-Natal and will work tirelessly to protect the citizens.

In the face of these disappointing statistics, the Provincial Executive Council will soon be introducing a recalibrated comprehensive intervention plan which will see both law enforcement agencies combine in disrupting gangs and criminal networks, intercept drugs, seize illegal guns, apprehend criminals and bring them to justice.

Abuse and attacks directed at the Police

The Provincial Executive Council has condemned acts of abuse and attacks directed at the police and appealed to society in general to play their part in protecting the police who stand on the frontline in our defence against criminal elements.

The Executive Council calls on communities to assist the police to prevent crime by sharing information with the police and not to support criminal elements by shielding them or protecting their identities.

Youth Development Strategy approved to bring a moment of hope to many young people

The Provincial Executive Council approved the KZN Youth Development Strategy which will usher hope for many young people.

The Executive Council views this as an important step intended to address the plight of many young people who constitute the majority of the people of KwaZulu-Natal.

Young people are the hardest hit by the unemployment situation in the province and there is recognition that many young people support and require assistance in various small business ventures, incubator programmes with industry, education and skilling. Among the key objectives of the Youth Development Strategy is to attend to the plight of unemployed graduates, support youth entrepreneurship and the coordination of youth development interventions for impact.

The Youth Development Strategy provides concrete steps for young people to drive initiatives that are committed to changing lives. The Provincial Integrated Youth Development Strategy (PIYDS) is a road map for engaging the youth of the Province to take their rightful place in the strategic developmental initiatives which seek to transform the Province into a prosperous one.

The Strategy targets the following youth groups as categorized in the National Youth Policy, Unemployed Youth, Young Women, Youth with Disabilities, School-aged-out of school youth, Youth in Rural Areas, Youth at Risk, Youth heading households, Youth in conflict with the law, and Youth characterised by substance abuse.

The Strategic Framework is organised around five (5) Pillars. Each pillar has programmes/interventions that are relevant to the specific Outcome. The pillars are:

(i)Quality Education, Skills and Second Chances

(ii)Economic Transformation, Entrepreneurship and Job Creation

(iii)Physical and Mental Health Promotion including other pandemics

(iv)Social Cohesion and Nation building

(v)Effective and Responsive Youth Development Machinery.

The Provincial Government hopes to use the approved youth strategy to fight the scourge of unemployment, poverty and other social ills ravaging society and young people in particular.

KZN hosts the National Youth Day

The Provincial Executive Council expressed its appreciation to the national government and the Presidency for choosing KwaZulu-Natal as the 2021 hosts of the National Youth Day which is held every year on June 16.

Welcoming the decision, the Provincial Executive Council said it will be the 45th anniversary since the youth of Soweto and other townships in the country rose against the use of Afrikaans as the medium of instruction. This year's event will be held under the theme: "The Year of Charlotte Mannya Maxeke: Growing youth employment for an inclusive and transformed society".

The national event will be held at the Harry Gwala Stadium in Umsunduzi Local Municipality on 16 June 2021. His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver the keynote address.

KZN Executive Council issues a directive on vacant posts in municipalities

The Provincial Executive Council has expressed its misgivings on the status of vacant senior management posts in municipalities. The Exco has in terms of section 139(1)(a) of the Constitution issued a directive to the municipalities of Edumbe, Ugu and King Cetshwayo for not filling senior vacant management posts.

These include the posts of Municipal Managers and Chief Financial Officers which have been vacant for a long time. The municipalities have been directed to fill these critical posts urgently and within the ambit of the law.

The Executive Council has taken a resolution that municipalities which fail to fill priority posts crucial for the functioning and performance of the municipality should be considered for Constitutional intervention.

The Executive Council has issued a directive that the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs to engage the non-complying municipalities to facilitate this directive.

In the event that no progress is realised within the stipulated time frame, CoGTA will submit a progress report for the Executive Council to consider whether it is not necessary to invoke section 139 (1)(b) of the Constitution.

Operation Vula Fund roll-out - SMME'S and Cooperatives set to benefit

Small businesses and cooperatives are set to receive a major shot in the arm when the KZN Provincial Executive Council rolls out over R300million worth of funding to projects run by SMME's and Cooperatives across the province.

Operation Vula Fund will target the furniture, manufacture of detergents, bakery and clothing and textile, farming sectors among others. The Operation Vula Fund is part of the government's radical economic transformation projects that seek to increase the number of entrepreneurs from underprivileged communities so that they can participate in the mainstream economic sector.

Operation Vula Fund District rollout is a key cog in government's Economic Recovery and Transformation Plan as articulated in the State of the Province Address in February.

Provincial EXCO heard that the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs received a total of 4229 applications. So far a total of 1018 applications with a monetary value of R296 808 786.06 million have been approved to date.

The Premier of KwaZulu-Natal Sihle Zikalala will unveil more details on the programme in the coming weeks and handover support to beneficiaries.

KwaZulu-Natal Land Reform and Agrarian Transformation Committee Established

In order to respond adequately to land related questions and transformation of the agricultural sector. The Provincial Executive Council resolves to establish a Cabinet Subcommittee that will consistently and continuously address the land reform and implement vigorously its Radical Agrarian Socio-Economic Transformation.

The Committee will coordinate, monitor and oversee tangible implementation of policies and programmes which have a bearing on land reform, restitution and agrarian transformation (agriculture and rural development) in the Province of KwaZulu-Natal.

Cabinet issues warning on foot and mouth disease in KZN

The Provincial Executive Council received a briefing on the outbreak of the foot and mouth disease in the districts of uMkhanyakude, King Cetshwayo and Zululand. The Exco has called on all communities particularly in the uMkhanyakude, Zululand to adhere to the safety protocols as part of measures to curb the spread of the foot and mouth disease detected in these two regions.

In an effort to prevent further spread of the disease, an immediate temporary standstill of all cloven-hoofed animals including livestock and game has been imposed in the King Cetshwayo, uMkhanyakude as well as Ulundi, Nongoma and Pongola areas.

Communities are requested to avoid transportation, gathering livestock for auctions, shows or other activities as part of measures to contain the foot and mouth disease. The restriction of movement of animals will be reviewed after a week or two.

New Learner Transport Policy approved

The Provincial Cabinet approved the new Learner Transport policy which provides mobility for all leaners travelling to school if they live at least three kilometres away. The new policy provides for the first time support to leaners with living with disability.

The policy also provides clarity by providing for justification should learners or their parents choose to attend a school that is further from home when a school already exists in their neighbourhood.

This is to avoid the policy being abused and that it should not be used to destroy local schools.

Provincial Cabinet welcomes judgement in matter between the KZN Director General and the Public Protector

Cabinet noted and welcomed the report in the matter between the Director General Dr Nonhlanhla Mkhize and the Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.

The case emanated from the time that Dr Mkhize was DG in Mpumalanga and was found by the Public Protector to have committed wasteful expenditure in the purchase of cars for executives of the Mpumalanga government as well as the memorial service for the late former President Nelson Mandela.

The matter was heard by the North Gauteng High Court which set aside the Public Protector's decision, and by so doing lifts any cloud that may have been hanging over the DG's head concerning this issue.

KZN to be proud hosts of COSAFA Cup till 2023

The Provincial Cabinet welcomed the news that KwaZulu-Natal will become the home of the Confederation of Southern African Football, the annual regional showpiece (COSAFA Cup) from 2021 to 2023.

The Provincial Government which will host this event jointly with the Ethekwini Municipality believes that this event is the strategic platform that will propel and enhance its economic standing in the region.

The event will create much-needed focus and exposure for the province which will benefit our destination post-Covid-19. Hotels, guesthouses, restaurants and other small, micro and medium businesses will host some of the players and participants.

The hosting of the 14-member COSAFA tournament in KwaZulu-Natal will contribute to social cohesion and provide much-needed media and international exposure for young players in the province.

Provincial Cabinet also welcomed the fact that the legacy programme from the COSAFA games includes the training of D-Licence football coaches and that in 2022, the competition will include the zonal qualifications for the Women's CAF Champions League.

New Board Members approved for KZN public entities

The Provincial Executive Council also approved Board Members for most of its entities. A full statement in this regard will be issued and a full list will be published. Board members were approved for the following entities:

(i) Moses Kotane Institute;

(ii) The KZN Sharks Board;

(iii) The KZN Tourism Authority;

(iv) KwaZulu-Natal Gaming and Betting Board;

(v) Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone;

(vi) Trade and Investment KwaZulu-Natal; and

(vii) The KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission.

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