MUNICIPALITY CONDEMNS LATEST ATTACK ON FIREFIGHTERS

MUNICIPALITY CONDEMNS LATEST ATTACK ON FIREFIGHTERS

Saldanha Bay Municipality has noted with disappointment the latest incident of firefighters being attacked in the line of duty.

The Municipality’s Fire and Rescue Services were attacked early this morning while attending to a reported fire in Witteklip, Vredenburg.

Attacks on municipal essential workers and/or emergency personnel (including firefighters) are becoming a regular occurrence. Municipal vehicles and trucks are either stoned, or the personnel are attacked, harassed or threatened.

This type of behaviour could rob the community of a potential lifesaving service and result in serious consequences.

Saldanha Bay Municipality urges the community to cooperate and report any incidents of harassment and intimidation of municipal employees to the 24-hour control room on 022 701 6834.

SALDANHA BAY MUNICIPALITY LAUNCHES PARTNERSHIP WITH UNISA

SALDANHA BAY MUNICIPALITY LAUNCHES PARTNERSHIP WITH UNISA

Dignitaries were welcomed at the Vredenburg Public Library on Tuesday, 27 February 2024 to officially launch a partnership between the municipality’s Library Services and the University of South Africa (Unisa).

Driven by a common vision, the collaboration between Saldanha Bay Municipality and Unisa is a multiple-library initiative that, at its core, aims to create an environment for local students, prospective students and the public at large to access information and available technology that will support and equip users in the process of further learning and development.  The vision is to ultimately contribute to an informed, skilled and learned society.  A strong emphasis is placed on promoting the concept of “life-long learning” in the community and to unlock the potential of local human capital.

Saldanha Bay Municipality currently manages nine public libraries that lend books and provide access to electronic resources such as the Internet.  It also serves as a gathering point for certain community-based events.  The newly launched service, in collaboration with Unisa, will benefit enrolled and prospective students of the institution, across libraries, where, for example, an E-mail can be sent to Unisa to request a specific prescribed book or literature.  This item will subsequently be despatched via a dedicated courier to the library closest to the student.  Once the student has completed the borrowing period and returns the book or educational material to the library, the library will inform Unisa accordingly and Unisa will arrange for the item or items to be collected.  Students can benefit through this process by saving on time and expenses to obtain prescribed material.

It can be said that “libraries offer a voyage of discovery.”  Through this collaboration between the municipality and Unisa, it is envisioned that the partnership will indeed “open doors” for many and further encourage a culture of learning in a developing society.

The ceremonial signing of the partnership agreement was performed by Saldanha Bay Municipality’s Phumzile Mbaliswana, Director of Corporate and Public Safety Services and Michelle Frauendorf, Unisa Cape Town Campus Acting Regional Director.

For more information and assistance, visit or contact your nearest Saldanha Bay Municipality public library.  Visit the municipal Website at https://sbm.gov.za/libraries/ for contact details and library times.

SALDANHA BAY MUNICIPALITY OPENS STATE OF THE ART, CENTRAL FIRE STATION

SALDANHA BAY MUNICIPALITY OPENS STATE OF THE ART, CENTRAL FIRE STATION

The new Fire and Rescue Services facility adjacent to the Saldanha Bay Airport, was opened by Executive Mayor, André Truter on 3 August 2023 during a special unveiling ceremony.  The event marks the achievement of a significant milestone in the history of Saldanha Bay Municipality.

The R12 million building was designed and is strategically positioned to allow an even faster and more efficient response to fire and rescue emergencies that occur in the municipal area.   The world-class facility accommodates 15 operational fire fighters, four reservist fire fighters, management and administrative support personnel, as well as a fleet of 11 dedicated vehicles, that include, amongst others, two fire engine major pumpers. Provision is also made for the necessary office space, a well-equipped control room, board room and customised storerooms.

In addition, the main building houses comfortable sleeping quarters for the firefighting and rescue personnel who rotates on a 24-hour, three shifts basis. Facilities include a well-equipped, modern kitchen, laundry room, bathrooms and a fitness room to ensure that personnel stay refreshed and prepared to respond to emergencies.

At the heart of the relocation of the Fire and Rescue Services, lies the Municipality’s desire to continue to deliver on the objective to promote innovation and modern technology that will enhance service delivery as well as maintaining its Community First approach, throughout.

To report a fire in the Saldanha Bay Municipal area, contact the 24-hour Fire and Rescue Service on tel. (022) 713 1815.

UNCONSTITUTIONAL NEWLY ENACTED EMPLOYMENT EQUITY LEGISLATION PROFOUNDLY DAMAGING TO SOUTH AFRICANS

UNCONSTITUTIONAL NEWLY ENACTED EMPLOYMENT EQUITY LEGISLATION PROFOUNDLY DAMAGING TO SOUTH AFRICANS

Over the past 29 years, the ruling party put in place a web of racial requirements through, inter alia, constitutional provisions, legislation and white papers that dismally failed the intended beneficiaries.  Just like race-based empowerment and affirmative action policies failed to work in the past, it is undeniable that the enforcement of the Employment Equity Amendment Act [EEAA] will also not solve poverty and inequality – instead, it will cause more harm than good.

This piece of legislation, described by the Minister of Employment and Labour, Thulas Nxesi, as a ‘more aggressive strategy’, unashamedly imposes race quotas on businesses. No matter the circumstances or availability of qualified employees, the Minister is allowed to “set numerical targets for any national economic sector”, including “targets for different occupational levels, sub-sectors or regions within a sector” to achieve “equitable representationat “all occupational levels in the workforce”. Companies, sectors and regions will be forced to adopt and achieve the affirmative action ‘targets’ set by the Minister of Employment and Labour, who also has the prerogative to differentiate the quotas per region and profession as he deems fit.

The EEAA and regulations will drastically change the procurement rules applicable to state entities.  Businesses who fail to meet the racial targets set by the Minister, or successfully justify the grounds for failing to do so, will not be allowed to provide goods or services to any organs of state. In addition, companies who have existing contracts with state entities, run the risk of having these agreements cancelled if the racial targets are not met. In essence, this legislation will prevent businesses from participating in tender processes from the start and allow a limitless race premium over value-for-money.

Non-compliant businesses face fines of up to R1,5m, or 2% of their annual turn-over, whichever is greater, for a first ‘offence’. For a second or repeat offence, a fine of up to R2,7m, or 10% of their annual turnover, whichever is greater. These hefty fines will undoubtedly bankrupt most businesses which in turn will increase unemployment.

Sadly, this legislation will prohibit the employment of specific racial groups in certain provinces and sectors, which is expected to result in as much as 600 000 people losing their jobs simply because they reside and work in the “wrong” areas.

Racialisation of labour, procurement and government legislation has already crippled the SA economy. Therefore, any legislation or practice implying the superiority of one race over another cannot be tolerated in a country who will be celebrating 30 years of democracy next year.

As a community and citizens of this beautiful country, we need to stand together and reject the implementation of more aggressive race-based legislation, just like we did in the dark days of apartheid. Let us not forget that the government of this country has a constitutional obligation towards all its citizens to right the wrongs of the past.

More than 30 organisations and political parties have decided to unite and stand up against this new race law.

As the Executive Mayor of Saldanha Bay Municipality, I call on all residents who believe in a non-racial South Africa with fair access to jobs and opportunities to stand in solidarity and unite against this unconstitutional legislation.

Let us be reminded of the powerful words of the late President, Nelson Mandela: “As long as poverty, injustice, and gross inequality persist in our world, none of us can truly rest.”

I thank you.

EXECUTIVE MAYOR: SALDANHA BAY MUNICIPALITY

COUNCILLOR ANDRé B. TRUTER

Baobab FIBRE Project Progress

Baobab FIBRE Project Progress

THE FUTURE IS NOW!

Saldanha Bay Municipality and SBM Smart City (Pty) Ltd are pleased to report that all major network-build milestones have been reached in terms of its Baobab fibre project.  All seven towns in the municipal area are now provided with world class Open Access Fibre Network services. This extensive network provides every citizen in the area with an opportunity to access the Internet and all its associated services. The fibre installation work in gated estates are on-going and is progressing well. To date almost 6,000 residences in gated estate have access to the Baobab fibre network and its services.

The Baobab end user community has reported that they appreciated the freedom to select from different Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and that they enjoyed the increased telecommunication speed and reliability of the new network.

Local labour and SMME companies were involved and significantly contributed during the building and completion of the network installations in the various towns of Saldanha Bay Municipality.

The five local Internet Service Providers (ISPs) suppliers have also been successful in attracting and signing up an impressive number of new clients on the Baobab fibre network. Currently more than 10,000 subscribers are connected to the network with more than 1,000 contracted end users who are in the pipeline for services to be installed.

Information about the project is regularly distributed via various media outlets, local radio stations, social media and the Saldanha Bay Municipality’s official website. Promotion of the project will continue throughout 2023.

Residents and visitors to the area will also notice the increased activity around the display of SBM Smart City outdoor billboards and some co-branded outdoor billboards.  There are on-going activations in shopping malls, where individuals can enquire about and learn more of the project, the services and products available to them on this network.

The SBM Citizen Application (App) with its Smart City functionality is also gaining traction with end users; almost 2,000 individuals have already downloaded the application to their mobile devices and started to use the App functionality. The project team is making another appeal to SBM employees ánd residents to download the application and use the functionality not only to engage with each other but also to engage with Saldanha Bay Municipality.

The project team is happy to report that 11 local schools have already joined the Baobab project and signed up for their free Internet service.  We would like to encourage those schools who have not yet made use of this opportunity, to follow suit.

Various new projects are being executed, leveraging the now installed fibre network. Should any party require more information about any aspect associated with the Baobab fibre project please contact: Baobab@sbm.gov.za for information and assistance.

Contributed by Micaela Williams-Van Wyk

SALDANHA BAY MUNICIPALITY ENABLES THE DIGITAL CITIZEN IN SOUTH AFRICA

SALDANHA BAY MUNICIPALITY ENABLES THE DIGITAL CITIZEN IN SOUTH AFRICA

SALDANHA BAY MUNICIPALITY ENABLES THE DIGITAL CITIZEN IN SOUTH AFRICA

The Saldanha Bay Municipality has accepted the challenge to prepare its municipality for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and, in so doing, to enable its residents to benefit from opportunities and improvements.

The municipality has commenced with the process of establishing an optical fibre network that will provide all its residents with open access to data networks. At this stage, the Saldanha Bay Municipality is the only municipality in South Africa addressing the problem of accessibility to a data network in the community.

The Boabab Fibre project has now formally started and substantial progress has been made with the establishment of the open access fibre infrastructure (already installed in Langebaan, Saldanha, Vredenburg, Jacobsbaai, Hopefield and Paternoster).

In July 2022, the Saldanha Bay Municipality introduced its Digital Citizen app, which is integrated with the open access network in order to digitally provide its utility services to prospective users and residents. The app has received a lot of attention to date and is used by more than 1 071 residents.

The SBM Digital Citizen was conceptualised by Amoeba TSC to integrate seamlessly with Saldanha Bay’s municipal systems, with the focus on connecting every household in the municipal area.

The app is a comprehensive platform for liaison between residents, the municipality and service providers and includes the following functions: communication between residents and the municipality, a helpdesk, an emergency button, service purchases, repository for documents, facility management, utility management and a digital wallet. Homeowners can also connect their properties to the app. Furthermore, the app contains many more functions to make the lives of our residents hassle-free.

The SBM Digital Citizen can be downloaded from Google Play Store, Apple App Store and Huawei App Gallery. Residents are welcome to visit www.sbmsmartcity.co.za or www.sbm.gov.za for further information.