On Wednesday 25 August, the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Sihle Zikalala convened an Ordinary Sitting of the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Executive Council, which was followed by the Command Council. The Executive Council took the following decisions:
1. RETENTION OF CONTRACT STAFF TO FIGHT THE COVID 19 THIRD WAVE AND POTENTIAL FOURTH WAVE
The Provincial Executive Council reflected on the Covid-19 situation in the province and resolved to approve as part of the KZN Covid-19 battle plan, the extension of contracts for staff appointed in COVID-19 sites for a further six months, from 01 September 2021 to 31 March 2022.
More than 15000 staff members inclusive of nurses, administrative clerks, data capturers, and general orderlies, among others, will be retained to lead the provincial efforts to defeat COVID-19 and achieve population immunity.
The Executive Council noted that the advent of COVID-19 has placed additional pressure on service delivery and has resolved to intensify the implementation of the vaccination roll-out programme to achieve population immunity. To this end, the Executive Council will add impetus in the acceleration of the vaccination drive across the province.
2. UPDATE ON THE ZULU ROYAL FAMILY MATTERS
The Provincial Executive Council received an update on the progress with regard to the dispute over the kingship of the Zulu Royal Family.
The Executive Council supports all efforts of government to resolve the matter as soon as possible. The matter of the Zulu Royal family is now being handled in line with the provisions of the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Act No. 3 of 2019.
In terms of this Act, matters related to disputes in the case of a King, Queen, Kingship or Queenship, must be dealt with by the President of the Republic of South Africa.
The President has duly delegated this function to the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
The Provincial Government has submitted a report to His Excellency the President on all efforts that that have been undertaken by the Provincial Government to resolve the matter. All reports have thus far been handed over to the Presidency as per the requirement of the Act.
The Executive Council will continue to play its supporting role and action all its responsibilities as and when it becomes necessary.
3. HERITAGE MONTH 2021 – “WE ARE ONE NATION” FESTIVAL
The Executive Council notes that in few days’ time, the country will celebrate Heritage Month. The Executive Council observed that Heritage Month this year assumes greater significance in our province in the light of the recent civil unrest, which led to deaths and the disruption of businesses. The Executive Council resolved to use the occasion of Heritage Month to heal and unite the province.
The Executive Council has called on the people of KwaZulu-Natal to use Heritage Month to contribute to the rebuilding of the province’s moral core and to help grow a society that is united in its diversity. In this regard, the Executive Council has resolved to host a #WEAREONEFESTIVAL. This occasion will be utilised to unite and promote cohesion across the different cultures. Government hereby invites the people of KwaZulu-Natal to also use Heritage Month to engage in dialogues and programmes to focus on Youth and Women Empowerment, Teenage Pregnancy and HIV, Drug and substance abuse and GBV.
4. MOU BETWEEN PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT AND SANRAL
The Executive Council approved the finalisation of the Memorandum of Understanding between the government of KwaZulu-Natal represented by the Department of Economic Development Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA), and the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL).
The MoU is intended to ensure that the two parties co-operate and collaborate at both strategic and operational levels to:
(i)Create transparent opportunities for participation of SMMEs and Cooperatives in SANRAL infrastructure projects;
(ii)Ensure the involvement of local communities;
(iii)Ensure the seamless execution of road projects; and,
(iv)Ensure the transfer of skills through incubation and road maintenance projects.
The Executive Council noted that there are projects worth over R70 billion that are to be implemented by SANRAL over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (3years).
The scale and magnitude of these projects presents opportunities for development and job opportunities.
5. RENAMING OF GOVERNMENT GARAGE BUILDING AFTER THE STRUGGLE ICON: MS CHARLOTTE MANNYA-MAXEKE
In line with the theme of this year that is centred on the values and lessons of 150years of Charlotte Mannya Maxeke, the Executive Council approved the honour to be bestowed on the stalwart by renaming the government garage building after her. This building, which is under the care of the Department of Social Development based in Durban, has been renovated and its renaming occasion will take place on the 21st of September 2021.
6. WORK AND PLAY INTER-DEPARTMENTAL GAMES
The Executive Council approved the hosting of the Regional Indigenous games to be held in Okhahlamba Municipality, as well as the 2021 Work and Play Interdepartmental Games to be held at uMhlathuze Local Municipality, King Cetshwayo District from 27-29 August 2021.
The Executive Council noted that these games promote healthy lifestyles, unity and cohesion; and also emphasised strong adherence to COVID-19 regulations, which may never be compromised upon.