A Municipality at Work: Highlight of Recent Service Delivery Activities
In this week’s article the Municipal Council of Manzini highlights some of the service delivery activities that were carried out in the Hub of Eswatini; precisely during the month of December 2020. Please read on…
- VALUATION COURT IN PROGRESS
The sitting of the Valuation Court commenced during the month of December 2020. This follows completion of a general valuation exercise; which exercise takes place every five years. The Rating Act, 1995, permits the Minister of Housing and Urban Development to establish a Valuation Court for purposes of presiding over objections to new property values. About 103 valuation objections had been adjudicated by the end of December 2020. The Valuation Court is still in progress and objectors are invited to appear before court as and when the appointed time thereof comes; in line with a developed schedule.
- CITY RAIDS CLAMP DOWN ON 471 ILLEGAL TRADERS
- A joint operation between the Municipality and Royal Eswatini Police Service resulted in a clamp down of 471 illegal trading activities. Illegal trading is trading in the city without a permit from the Municipality. The Municipality wishes to remind citizens that before conducting informal trade in the city, it is a requirement that one obtains a Council permit. The highest number of offences recorded in December 2020 related to illegal sale of fruit and vegetables (38%), followed by the sale of accessories (36%), illegal sale of clothes and cosmetics (8% respectively), illegal sale of food (7%), illegal mechanics (2%) and the sale of cellular phones (1%). It is worth-mentioning that illegal traders cause a number of inconveniences in the city. They occupy spaces that are undesignated for trading such as walkways; thereby blocking the free movement of pedestrians. Illegal trading also promotes the sale of illegal goods in the city as there is no control over their activity; and that exacerbates criminal activity. On the contrary, permitting of informal traders ensures that there is control in terms of an orderly and well planned trading activity. It also ensures that traders only sell goods that are permitted by the Municipality and that it is easy to trace the trader in the event a customer has a complaint to raise.
- 13 NABBED FOR URINATING IN PUBLIC
Urinating in public remains a prosecutable offence in the City of Manzini. Members of the public are expected to use the available public toilets. Working in collaboration with the Royal Eswatini Police Service, the Municipality managed to take action against 13 people who were found urinating in public. Surprisingly, most of the offenders were found urinating in close proximity with public toilets. These were made to pay the applicable fines. The Municipal Council of Manzini appeals to citizens to change their behaviour and desist from urinating in public. This illegal practice pollutes the environment. On another note, nine people were caught and fined for littering. Again, the Municipality implores citizens to desist from this illegal practice and, instead, use the available waste receptacles.
- 91 SKIPS EMPTIED
The Municipal Council of Manzini has in place a skip service. Some of the skips are placed in strategic areas citywide whilst others are used for private rentals by citizens who require the service for disposal of special waste. The rental fee for a skip is E100 per load. A total of 91 skips were emptied in the month of December 2020 and 17 of those were private rentals. The Municipality encourages residents and the business sector to make use of the skip service and refrain from disposing waste on undeveloped plots and other open spaces.
- 20 STRAY ANIMALS IMPOUNDED
Keeping or grazing of livestock within the Manzini urban boundary is forbidden. When found, stray livestock is driven to and impounded at the municipal pound. The release fee is E119 per cow per night spent at the pound. A total of 20 livestock were impounded after being found within the urban boundaries. Out of these, 12 had not been collected by their owners by the end of December 2020. The Pound Act, 1969, permits the Municipality to sell impounded animals that remain uncollected after 42 days. A herd of seven cattle was sold by public auction on the 9th December 2020. It is worth-noting that the Municipality, in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture, does make it a point to contact owners of impounded livestock; with the view to have them collect the animals. However, some remain uncollected for a long period of time and end up being sold by public auction.
- 28 FOOD ESTABLISHMENTS INSPECTED, 8 UNHYGIENIC
As part of a routine activity, the Municipality conducted health and hygiene inspections on a total of 28 food establishments during the month of December 2020. Eight of these were found wanting in terms of hygiene and served with notices instructing them to make good or face the consequences. Continued failure to comply can result in the establishment being ordered to shut down. The Public Health Act, 1969, permits the Municipality to take such action. Inspections on non-food establishments were also carried out.
- MUNICIPAL LABORATORY ANALYSES 25 FOOD SWABS
A total of 25 food swab samples were collected from four food establishments, tested and analysed at the Municipal laboratory. These were tested against bacterial count in order to determine the level of hygiene. One food outlet had unacceptable results and appropriate action was taken. The Municipal Council of Manzini appeals to the business sector to always prioritise health and hygiene in their establishments.
- 221 TESTED FOR HIV
A total of 221 people were tested for HIV at the LaMvelase Help Centre. A total of 127 were males and 94 were female. Of the total, only 25 tested HIV positive. The facility, through its partners, also continued to render Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) services and over 16,000 clients were covered. The ART services include treatment of opportunistic infections, CD4 count monitoring, viral load testing, sexual and reproductive health services, Tuberculosis testing and treatment and management of non-communicable diseases. These services are rendered free of charge.
- 12 BUILDING APPLICATIONS APPROVED
The Municipality continued to process building applications. Out of all the building plans that were scrutinised during the month of December 2020, a total of 12 were approved. Half of these were from Ngwane Park and included construction of dwelling houses, boundary wall, an outbuilding and ablution facilities for a school. The total construction cost of these plans was approximately E27 million and they were all approved. The Municipality takes this opportunity to remind property owners of the requirement to submit building plans before developing or altering their properties. It is a prosecutable offence to carryout construction work in the urban area without approval from the Municipality.