KLCBT’s input into the City’s planning

Author: | Published by KLCBT on at 15:11:22 | Last Updated On: 1 November 2018

As we do this time every year, KLCBT has once again provided input into the City of Mbombela’s Integrated Development Plan. This time, the focus was on economic development and opportunities for all. This is to be achieved through large catalytic projects across the Lowveld region, which will uplift the entire region to a globally competitive destination.

Here is the complete submission:

 

Dear Sir

RE: SUBMISSION INTO IDP FOR 2019/20

Thank you once again for allowing us the opportunity to make a submission into the IDP for next year. We have, as always asked the public and our affiliate organisations to make submissions which we can put forward to the council.

Firstly, let me congratulate the management for doing the ONE thing we have asked for, that is to get your financial house in order and improve service delivery. The money allocated for the revenue enhancement strategy & improved financial control, was well spend and we would like to see the good work to continue.

From the current IDP I would like to comment as follows (for reference to decisions in terms of the supplementary budget for 2018/19:

  1. An allowance was made for R1 million for the Makhonjwa Mountains World Heritage Site. We request that the following funds be made available to KLCBT, before the end of the year, in terms of the WHS:

1.1       Funding to facilitate the information services, media enquiries and marketing in Barberton – office now at the civic centre in Barberton.

R20 000 per month to pay Astrid Christianson’s salary, as well as paying for the telephone and internet at the office. EDM has made office equipment available which is to be handed over shortly. We are happy to facilitate this until a permanent management authority is appointed who will have to take over this responsibility.  Let us presume we need funding for this until at least June 2019.  We request a total of R200 000.

1.2.      Also from this budget, we request R250 000 for a pre-feasibility study to arrive at a complete investment prospective for businesses who wish to invest in the area, particularly the Geotrail section.  This will include restaurants, informal trade, guides and adventure activities.  Please keep another R500 000 aside for early implementation of projects from your side, to deliver services to these sites and some training of community members to be absorbed in tourism opportunities.  We will appoint consultants and do community consultations to arrive at a framework of a plan – with your partnership of course.

  1. An allowance R1 million was made for infrastructure for the Lupihisi Tourism Route, we would also like to have this funding available to conclude this project – again with your partnership. This ties in directly with our proposal and request for the next IDP.  We ask again R250 000 for pre-feasibility funding, R250 000 for engagement with the communities and establishment of community tourism organisations, and R500 000 for early implementation.

In terms of the 2019/20 IDP, our proposals and requests are as follows:

  1. It is our opinion that increase poverty and inequality are already threatening the livelihood of the local community and will soon become critical if real opportunities for businesses and jobs are not forthcoming. For this reason, we believe the only way to uplift poverty and grow the local economy, is to uplift the entire Ehlanzenin region by means of meaningful, catalytic projects which will benefit everybody.  We have embarked on roadshows during the month of September to propose this idea and get input as to what these projects should be.  We would like to workshop it with your team as well during the next few days, but so far the catalytic project ideas for City of Mbombela are:
  2. Develop Mbombela into a safe, vibrant regional capital city (this includes township tourism)
  3. Develop the Makhonjwa Mountains World Heritage site into a world-class, vibrant route and attraction
  4. Create a little village culture in the small towns, Barberton, Hazyview, White River, Kaapsehoop, Kabokweni, etc which are pristine, clean, friendly and looks like a picture on a chocolate box!
  5. Meaningful experiential cultural tourism – interacting with real people in their real environment, not a cultural village, which is now being seen as a human zoo.
  6. Make obvious tourism sites available for development to private sector. One example for Mbombela is the Legogote Mountain.  This does not need to cost money for the city – just be open to proposals for development.   For these ideas to be explored, we would like to ask for an additional R250 000 for pre-feasibility funding and R1 million to be set aside for early implementation of these potential projects.
  7. We ask for funding for information centres in Nelspruit, White River and Barberton, each at R360 000 per year. The rest of the funding is contributed by the tourism members and fund raising activities.  Information centes are cost centres, not income generators – those days are over, yet they remain an essential part of service delivery to the visitors and now unfortunately need to be funded from somewhere.  Without assistance the offices in Barberton and White River will have to be closed in the next few months, and operations in Nelspruit will have to be scaled down considerably.
  8. Set aside R500 000 in total for project based assistance to chambers and Local Tourism Organisations. Only pay this out to properly presented and viable mini-projects.  One example is the development of the area around the large soccer ball and hosting regular events there.  Further to this, please provide basic assistance of R20 000 per year to each LTO to run their meetings and administration.
  9. We are very concerned over the rapidly growing number of adult illiteracy and the lack of opportunities for those people to be schooled and further their education. I would like to ask for adult education centres where working adults or unemployed adults can go to school at night and pass their matric or technical qualification.  This could be done in partnership with one of the educational institutions in our city.
  10. Focus strongly on safety issues, get cameras working, get traffic safer, particularly on the R40, get the animal pounds built to get the cattle off the roads, assist with the formation of more CIDs.
  11. Do not miss any opportunity to get the new dam built and to implement measures to improve our bulk water storage capacity – we are heading for a crisis!
  12. Get all necessary by-laws finalized and enforcement teams deployed to ensure illegal business are not compromising existing formal businesses who are complying and employing! An example is illegal Air B&Bs.

Herewith please receive inputs from Hazyview:

1)         Informal traders stalls and a municipal market required in the CBD to facilitate bylaw enforcement and health regulations

2)         A tourism market on the R40 approx 10km south of Hazyview, as a tourism attraction and to facilitate bylaw enforcement

3)         A livestock pound in Hazyview with a system for transporting stray livestock away from the busy roads and impounding them

4)         A fire station to service the town and surrounding areas

5)         Improved sewage treatment plant and attention to pipe infrastructure where damaged.

6)         A new network of stormwater drains to service the R40 through Hazyview town

7)         Speed humps (not rumble strips), permanent speed/security cameras, pavement repairs and roadside barriers on the R40 access to town between the De Rust T-junction (R40/R538) and the Sabie road junction (R40/R536). Road lane widening on the R40 all the way through the town.

8)         Widening of the R536 Kruger Gate Road and provision of a circle or robot at 4-ways (Albatross entrance to the ‘vakansiedorp’) and at the junction of Tarentaal and R538 Sanbonani access. Speed humps would also be desirable on the downhill sections leading over the Sanbonani Sand River Bridge coming both from the Hazyview and Shabalala directions.

9)         Speed humps outside all schools in the ‘vakansiedorp’, particularly in Tarentaal.

10)       A total overhaul of all directional road signage in the town.

11)       Street lights in all unlighted streets in the residential area known as the ‘vakansiedorp’ and tarring of untarred sections. Adequate provision of pavements.

12)       A dedicated bus terminus and expanded taxi rank facilities to accommodate vehicles currently sitting at satellite ranks outside the town

13)       Repair to or demolition of damaged public swimming pool and associated buildings in ‘vakansiedorp’.

14)       Repair of the Blue Mountain road, running across the Sabaan river from Kiepersol to the R536 Sabie road west of Tanamera Lodge.

Herewith please receive input from White River:

  1. Clinics open 24/7 relieve hospitals
  2. Fast track the P166 by pass relieve traffic R40
  3. Encourage proper law enforcement in the city
  4. Management and control -building ,noise, illegal dumping, illegal signage by- law.
  5. Prevent council hidden wasteful expenditure.
  6. More “independent” Audits in procurement and bidding council commissions.
  7. Increase infrastructure in rural areas. Encourage shopping malls (NAD) and amenities.
  8. Water and sanitation – pollution rivers needs urgent attention. Skills development in progressive maintenance water and waste water practices. Spend more money on training responsible individuals.
  9. Increase parking facility at council chamber
  10. Revamp council chamber to accommodate public participation. (Move mayors office to another area)
  11. Control bus grant/ subsidized allocation to a reasonable proportion.
  12. Rail Tourism and affordable public transport

Thank you once again for the opportunity.

Kind Regards

Linda Grimbeek

COO

30 October 2018