Sibanye Stillwater and RLM Engage to Repurpose Unused Company Assets 

Today the leadership collective of the Rustenburg Local Municipality led by the Executive Mayor Councillor Mpho Khunou, Speaker of Council – Councillor Sheila Mabale-Huma, Municipal Manager Mr. Victor Makona, Members of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Public Safety, Corporate Support Services and Intergovernmental Relations and Special Projects – Councillor Victoria Makhaula, Councillor Joyce Mashishi-Ntsime and Councillor Nosipho Babe met with the leadership of Sibanye Stillwater to take a tour of infrastructure no longer in use by the mining giant.

The tour of the facilities as led by the mining company’s representatives – Fritz Jooste, Group Manager HRTS & Property, Henry Ricks, Vice President Engineering and Morgan Motswana, Acting HOD Community Engagement & Development comes in the wake of the mining giant’s move to dispose its assets which are not in active use. The assets including mining houses and hostels which were housed mine employees. In addition, some of the infrastructure include offices, used for administration, halls and portions of undeveloped land.

The Executive Mayor said, the discussions around the possible donation of all the properties to the Municipality, emanates from the back existing good working relationship “our association with Sibanye, has benefitted many of our communities in the past. Given the housing demands in the City, the acquisition of the land will accelerate our program for housing which will deal with people residing informal dwellings. It is a known fact that we are the most populous City in the province, with the highest number of informal settlements as well as rural-to-urban migration. Therefore, any access to additional land, lessens the burden as we roll out developments in the City, particularly those targeted at infrastructure development” Mayor Khunou said.

Sibanye Stillwater’s move is part of its plans to ensure that its assets are repurposed for the benefit of the company as well as the host communities. The tour included visiting facilities in near Zakhele informal settlement, an inspection at the mine’s operations near Nkaneng as well a portion of land in Marikana, which the mining company intends on disposing with the intention building houses.

Present also was the Director for Local Economic Development and officials from the Planning and Human Settlements Directorate whose role was to get a sense of the state of the assets.  This was to get insight into how the envisaged receipt to the RLM can fit into the City’s long term plans which includes accelerated economic intensive activities. These activities can create new opportunities for job creation, while implementing key programmes for skills transfer using the location of the assets to serve the door-step communities.

In recent years the Municipality has worked hard to address the housing question, to the extent that one of its successful housing projects has seen Bokamoso residents, receiving proper housing with supplementary Municipal amenities, as the City continues to ensure that informal settlements are reduced in order to deliver key services within a spatial and organized approach.

 

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DoE Optimistic After Resumption of Classes in Time for Year End Examinations for Rustenburg Schools

The Department of Education has successfully reintegrated Grade 4 and 8 back into the schooling system after weeks of suspended teaching and learning due to Covid-19. To date, all grades are back school and all grades are attending from Grader to Grade 12 making use of rotational attending schedule to ensure that teaching and learning continues in compliance with Covid-19 regulations, while observing social distancing. PPE’s have been supplied to all schools, while over 7000 masks have been donated by mining company – Anglo American Platinum.

This came out of the weekly virtual engagement between the Executive Mayor of Rustenburg, Councillor Mpho Khunou, sector departments as well as stakeholders from the mining sector, forming the City’s IGR forum on Covid-19. The Mayor said it was impressive to witness the progress that Rustenburg has registered to date across all sectors, since the announcement of lockdown level 2, “We are grateful for the efforts, from all of our stakeholders, who made sure that this does not become a talk-shop, but all of the commitments made are met for the benefit of the City” he remarked.

Boitekong II Secondary School has been officially handed over by the MEC of the Education in the Province accompanied by the Executive Mayor. 1 positive case has been recorded within the Rustenburg jurisdiction across all schools with no fatalities due to Covid-19 related complications. Schooling has resumed in Marikana, where there had been disruptions to the teaching and learning which further compounded the delays in ensuring that learners can catch-up ahead of the year-end examinations.

Tharisa Mine will continue to support the department in respect of the grade 12 learners who have been adversely affected by the disruptions at the school. Further to that Glencore’s programme for e-learning is continuing at the adopted school, within their host community to ensure that learners are sufficiently prepared ahead of the year-end examinations.

The Social Development Department, been involved in a multi-stakeholder process to assist the homeless with the application of Identity Documents, to be able to register and qualify for other forms of government aid beyond the on-going national lockdown.

Anglo American Platinum’s programme for training the health workers is continuing across the 22 schools, within the Rustenburg locality. While also providing support to the department of education on e-learning programmes for learners at targeted local schools. AAP has already begun engagements with Social Development in supporting the department with its anti-GBV campaign with the envisaged establishment of a safe house for victims of gender-based violence. Plans are afoot to furnish the house, which will be used to support distressed victims and is to be managed by the DSD.

While the Rustenburg Local Municipality has made significant progress in respect of Covid-19 recoveries, the City through its various directorates, has been conducting awareness campaigns across the various wards, to educate and share information with residents as well as motorists while handing out information leaflets. The awareness campaigns were conducted in areas that also had been identified as hotspots, to ensure that residents are well armed with information.

 

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Rustenburg Receives Two Completed New RRT Stations Ahead of Delivery of New Buses for the Rapid System

Barely a month after the first Yarona bus was handed over to the City’s Executive Mayor, today the leadership collective of the Rustenburg Local Municipality and taxi industry partners witnessed the handing of two completed kerb side stations in the Rustenburg CBD. This critical milestone is part of the on-going delivery project plan of the first of its kind integrated public transport system in the North West Province. The City hopes to be receiving six more completed RRT stations in the coming months, with the intention of the system becoming operational in the first half of 2021.

To date construction work has commenced on the system’s central station located on corner of Oliver Tambo and President Mbeki Drive, in the City center. Furthermore, plans are afoot to procure more buses to be used in implementing the system and the first batch of ten buses should have been delivered before year end. The implementation of the RRT was marred by numerous challenges, including community unrests, which the Municipality had to resolve in the interest of the continuation of the project and subsequent operationalization of the system.

In receiving the two completed RRT stations today, Rustenburg Executive Mayor, Councillor Mpho Khunou said, the process that led to this monumental achievement was never easy “we have to start by thanking our communities as well as the business sector for their patience and inconvenience that the construction phase of the project caused. There had been too many naysayers who actually did not believe that Rustenburg will realize an integrated public transport system, the first of its kind in our province. Having spent over 3 billion rands already on the project, there was no way we were going to give up. Rustenburg’s development and transformation depends on its people working hand-in-hand with the Municipality. We would alsolike to thank all the SMME’s that have participated and who today have benefitted from critical skills transfers. It has been a long 8 years, but the difficult times that we faced, were worth it as they prepared us for this day.

We will be also signing a memorandum of understanding with bus manufacture – Bus Mark, the BOC (bus operating company) which will further confirm that the realization of the project is on course and will be taking off the ground soon. The delivery of the new buses will assist us in training of drivers and thorough testing of the system ahead of the operation. We need to encourage our communities, to rally behind the City as we can no longer afford any further delays, if indeed we are to have the system operational and open to the public within the set time-lines” Mayor Khunou remarked.

Councillor Sheila Mabale-Huma, the City’s Speaker of Council said, indeed Rustenburg had come from far in realizing the RRT “I remember at the initial stage of conceptualization I was the Member of the Mayoral Committee responsible for Roads and Transport, today I am here on a different portfolio. I would like to encourage our residents to desist from the destruction of public assets as and when there are service delivery issues, if we allow for the RRT infrastructure to be destroyed, we would have destroyed the very legacy we have worked hard for” Speaker Mabale-Huma concluded.

Bus Mark Chief Executive Officer Mr. Patuxolo Nododa said he was proud that the Rustenburg Local Municipality and the BOC deemed it fit to work with Bus Mark, who have strong ties with German motor giant Mercedes Benz “we are grateful for the opportunity we have been granted by the Rustenburg Local Municipality to come on board as the transport solution provider. We are glad to announce that, though we have strategic international links, our buses contain over 95 percent of local content. That means we are able to sustain the over 1400 jobs that we have created by building the buses that will be operated on the RRT” he said.

In attendance at the hand-over were members of the Taxi Negotiating Forum (TNF) who have been engaging the Municipality on numerous issues, which included compensation of taxi operators who had been identified as being affected by the implementation of the RRT as well as the interface of how the Municipality and the taxi industry co-exist to ensure the successful implementation of the RRT. While the Executive Mayor was accompanied by the Members of the Mayoral Committee on

Roads and Transport – Councillor Lucky Kgaladi, Corporate Support Services – Councillor Joyce Mashishi-Ntsime and Public Safety – Councillor Victoria Makhaula and Municipal Manager Mr. Victor Makona.

Once the system becomes operational, it will accommodate over 100-thousand daily commuters on the phase 1 and 2 of the road network.

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Handover of Boitekong Two Secondary Schools

Handover of Boitekong Two Secondary School at Boitekong.

The Executive Mayor of Rustenburg Cllr Mpho Khunou welcomes the MEC for Education, Honorable Wendy Matsemela, at the handover of a new school in Boitekong township, Boitekong Two Secondary this morning.

The Mayor is accompanied by Members of Mayoral Committee (MMCs) and a Ward Councilor.

As he addresses stakeholders mainly from the education fraternity at the event, the Executive Mayor shared some interesting words of wisdom relating to the importance of education: “It is through education that a son of a mineworker can end up being a head of mines”, “A child of a peasant can end up being a president”.

 

Launch of the #Itshireletse tuu program

Cllr Mpho Khunou, the Executive Mayor of Rustenburg, has this morning launched the #Itshireletse tuu program whose intend is to support learners and encourage them to protect themselves against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The municipality has since the advent of the pandemic mobilized and work together with business and other stakeholders to supply PPEs (Personal Protective Equipments) to needy schools and communities, to reduce the infection rate of COVID-19 and safe lives.

The schools visited today included De-hy Primary, Monato Primary, Kloof Waters Primary, and Retief Primary, all in impoverished farming communities.

Virtual Special Council

At its sitting this morning, the Virtual Special Council of the Rustenburg Local Municipality had deliberated on the following items:
1. Tabling of the Time Schedule for the review of the Integrated Development Plan (IDP), Budget and Performance Management System (PMS) for 2021/2022 financial year.
2. Determination of the date of Valuation of the New General Valuation Roll.
3. Proposed rules of Virtual Meetings and Sittings.
4. Progress Report on the Review of the Rules of Order By-Law.
5. Draft Ward Committee Policy Review

 

Mfidikwe Dam Site Inspection

Delegation from the Rustenburg Local Municipality comprised of MMCs, Speaker of Council, Ward Councillor, Municipal Manager, and municipal officials led by the Executive Mayor,had this morning convened at the dam near Mfidikwe village where the two children from the nearby community drowned on 14th July 2020.

The municipality jointly with Anglo American Platinum Mine that owns part of the land at which the dam is located, is currently investigating ways to deal with the safety of the communities around the dam including the possibility of demolishing the dam.

 

Over 5000 Cigarettes Seized In Crime Prevention Operations, as Rustenburg’s Efforts to Curb Covid-19 Reveal Improved Recovery Rates

The weekly virtual meeting, which is hosted by the City’s Executive Mayor with participation from sector departments, mining houses, and law enforcement agencies, lauded the substantial progress which has been done, to reduce the rapid spread of the novel Corona Virus. The Bojanala district, since the nationwide lockdown, experienced an exponential rise in new recorded Covid-19 cases, to the extent that the region and Rustenburg have cemented their place as the Province’s hot-spot as a district and Local Municipality.
To date 12341 cases in Bojanala, with the recovery rate up to 63% and actual 7827 recoveries. Rustenburg has recorded 9092 cases with 6219 recoveries as at 13th August 2020. Despite the progress which has been registered in both the District and City, Rustenburg remains the Province’s hot-spot. The Department of Health in its presentation, said despite that the region and City had recorded a high recovery rate, much work still lay ahead.
One of the departments, which had been adversely affected by Covid-19 cases which included recording Covid-19 related deaths – the Education Department, said the break which was necessitated by the rising infection rate, has greatly assisted the department within the Rustenburg jurisdiction. To date, the department has not recorded a single Covid-19 case affecting an educator or a leaner. This has allowed the catch-up program much-needed break from interruptions, where disinfection of buildings as and when new cases are recorded. The resumption of teaching and learning has commenced with no challenges in respect of the return of Grade 7’s.
13 Early Childhood Development Centres (ECD’s) have since reopened to continue with the remainder of the educational calendar for the year. The resumption of operations at the various ECD’s follows a lengthy compliance process led by the Department of Social Development, to ensure that ECD’s are Covid-19 compliant to welcome back the children of varying ages to attend. 40 residents are currently at the shelter for the homeless, this center houses people who also are being assisted with social reintegration.
Anglo American has supported the department by donating Covid-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as well as other resourced for the upkeep and daily operations of centres which have been identified to assist victims of GBV. To date, in the last week, 12 new cases of GBV have been recorded within the Rustenburg Jurisdiction. The centres, mainly assist with overnight accommodation, while reintegration is implemented by social workers. The MEC for Social Development in the North West; Boitumelo Moiloa has donated 1.6 Million rands to Bessie Mpelege Ngwana to cater for 56 children, which is a specialized centre for children with disabilities.
The South African Social Security Agency – SASSA has reported improved service, following the challenges that the Rustenburg centre has had to confront, such as long queues caused by applicants of the Covid-19 relief fund. The Post Office, has over the last couple of weeks been processing payment and this has significantly reduced the number of people visiting the offices. In addition to this, satellite operating centres out of the City’s CBD have been administering new registration, following a joint communication and awareness campaign by SASSA and the Rustenburg Local Municipality to decongest the main office in the City centre. The Grant in Aid, Care Dependency grant are being implemented as well.
Anglo American Platinum has been hard work, with the clinical support programme. The main objective of the program is to roll-out training of health workers across 22 clinics in Rustenburg for Covid-19 screening, testing and PPE usage. This will further assist far-flung communities in receiving health-related services and becoming more Covid-19 conscious; this is a joint programme between AAP and the department Health as part of the IGR forum on Covid-19
The South African Police Services, South African National Defence Force, and members of the City’s Public Safety Directorate have been involved in ongoing crime prevention operations. These operations also focus on Covid-19 regulations, and the compliance affecting businesses and residents, in promoting general law and order. About 3020 vehicles have been searched in joint operations, 1251 liquor premises were inspected, 688 informal traders checked for general compliance including that governing the Covid-19 regulations. The operations have led to the seizing of about 5082 cigarettes which are currently not permitted for sale and distribution. The people of Marikana, have received support from Tharisa Mine, where numerous schools have been fitted with social distancing apparatus, to ensure that the premises observe all the Covid-19 protocols.
The Rustenburg Local Municipality has not been spared from the effects of Covid-19, to date about 94 officials had been infected by the virus and the recovery rate stands at 92%, with about 8% of active cases. In line with resolutions of the previous meetings, the Municipality’s Directorate for Public Safety has been conducting public awareness campaigns in the various wards, as this had been a serious concern raised by the Department of Health and the Executive Mayor, on the back of the increasing number of new cases.
On concluding the meeting Mayor Khunou, said the formation of the IGR Forum on Covid-19 could have been seen as a compliance requirement at the beginning of the lockdown, but great strides have been to cushion the impact of Covid-19 in the provincial hot-spot “I am elated of the progress we have registered. One needs to commend all of our social partners, who have always been relentless in their effort to ensure that Rustenburg, does not become a health hazard for the province” Mayor Khunou concluded.
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