CDM DCC met on 11 August 2020 just after the Women’s Day celebration to look into progress made on issues of Covid19. In his opening remarks, the chairperson of DCC, Executive Mayor Cllr Mpe started by commemorating women’s day. “ It is sad that we celebrated Women’s Day at a time when women find themselves as victims of gender based violence. While most women are enjoying the gains of democracy and fruits of freedom, some are sadly in bruises of anguish at the hands of men who are supposed to protect, respect, cherish and love them. Let us therefore draw a strength from each other to isolate and expose abusers and killers who continue to disgrace the sacredness of manhood and therefore defend the goodwill of women as well as their right to equality.” Cllr Mpe said. He continued appreciating the role of women in the district within the political component and administration arm.
In the meeting, Eskom presented electricity challenges that it is not only about connectivity of power to water projects but the capacity to service entire district. Eskom is facing theft of cables and transformers.
The other area of concern was water supply. DCC deliberated on the matter and concluded that there’s a need to strengthen operations and maintenance of water supply infrastructure. “We need to move with speed in ensuring that our people do not experience shortages of water” Mpe said.
DCC called for urgent direction of covid19 awareness campaigns especially to schools. This came after a learner was reported to have committed suicide after being diagnosed with the coronavirus. “We need to intensify our awareness campaigns and counselling programmes so that people understand that one can recover from this virus. Stigmatisation must be discouraged by all means.
The DCC consists of a number of stakeholders who participate in weekly DCC meetings. However, the absence of the Department of Water and Sanitation in the DCC has raised a concerns. DCC has thus resolved to write a letter of complaint to the Department, COGHSTA MEC and Minister.
Some of the complaints raised during DCC include corruption related to the procurement of COVID related PPE, distribution of food parcels and siphoning funds fraudulently through supposed awareness campaigns and oveepricing. The chairperson warned that this is not acceptable. “Corruption during a national disaster is a heinous type of crime, and perpetrators should be dealt with decisively and harshly. If people know about the corrupt activities taking place in our municipalities, please report such to SAPS and to offices of Municipal Managers in our area”, Mpe said.
He also expressed a need to tighten supply chain systems, saying that attempting to profit from a disaster that is claiming the lives of people every day is an act of scavengers. He further quoted a statement by former president Thabo Mbeki where he mentioned that “am I watching comrades or am I watching ladies and gentleman. Comrades are liberators who see it as their task to effect the transformation of our country in all respects. Ladies and gentlemen are those who will say this is my thing and I want it for myself. Let us be liberators of transformation in our municipalities”, Mpe said.
Other issues which were discussed are on the management of transport facilities, waste management, continuous implementation of water, cleaning and decontamination of public areas and attending to disaster reported cases. The DCC also looked into intensifying the fight against Covid19 by doubling our efforts on awareness. The DCC also deliberated on the issue of available beds in the entire district for us to have a clue on our health facilities readiness. The DCC continues to urge people to follow protocols “we are at a high peak of this virus, we are losing a lot of people. Our district is now an epicenter of this virus. I urge people to stay safe, wash hands, wear masks, keep social distance and limit contact” he said.