Friday 29th July, Helenvale in Port Elizabeth, The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM) owned Mandela Bay Development Agency today launched the first batch of community development programmes worth an estimated R20m. The projects under the banner of Safety and Peace through Urban Upgrading (SPUU) are part of a finance agreement between KfW, a German Development Bank and the NMBM.
The finance agreement for 5 million euros over a five year period is implemented by the MBDA through a separate agreement with the bank. The MBDA as the implementing agent is responsible for the planning and implementation of all aspects of the programme on behalf of both the KfW and NMBM. The launch event initially planned to take place at one of the project sites was moved to the Helenvale Resource Centre, another successful project of the MBDA.
Outlining the project and progress made so far, MBDA Chief Executive Officer Dr Pierre Voges said” Officially, the SPUU commenced on 3rdof February 2014. Prior to the official commencement, the Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA) had already put into place a number of interventions, programmes and a community participation structure.
We developed a different concept of a community participation structure to maximize on citizen participation by devolving leadership to the grassroots. In pursuit of this objective, the MBDA proposed that citizen participation be organized around the four voting districts (VD) of Helenvale, with communities electing 5 leaders from each VD, to the leadership structure- the Programme Advisory Committee (PAC) was born”.
“From February 2014 to July 2014, with support of the Implementation Consultants we conducted a Baseline Survey, and prepared a draft Master Plan for the SPUU.
The draft Master Plan was presented to a Stakeholder review, and approved in a Workshop help on 30 June 2014, attended by 76 representatives from 16 different community organizations.
The Master Plan was then submitted to KfW and approved in January 2015. This was a major milestone as it meant the project had a vision and plan that all stakeholders could rally around. It is out of that Masterplan that we have developed a suite of projects for implementation” concluded Voges.
First off the blocks were Social Services, whereby the Department of Social Development (DSD) and two NGOs- PE Mental Health and FAMSA commenced services at the Helenvale Resource. A third NGO – SANCA joined the services provision team in 2015. MBDA provides offices at HRC as a base for provision of services, and facilitates meetings, discussion and coordination of services as well and monitoring and reporting.
Also present at the launch event, Mr Phillip Godukathe recently appointed MBDA board Chairperson. Goduka in his official opening said “The projects launched today will comprise of 3 pedestrian walkways forming home-to-school routes, improvement of the sports field at the end of old Stanford road and improvements in physical and sports facilities in the four schools, a Community Development Fund (CDF) and parallel to the technical planning, a Strategy for a Pilot Housing Project”.
The main speech of the morning was by the Nelson Mandela Bay Executive Mayor, Cllr Danny Jordaan. Speaking to the local non-governmental organisations, community leaders, religious leaders and various sports and culture formations Jordaan said “The Municipality is the sole shareholder of the MBDA; it is the Municipality which informs the MBDA’s mandate. We are delighted to see the fruits of those engagements. With an entity like this, we can change our neighbourhoods’ one street at time”.
“We want to make sure that the developments here benefit you the community. We want to make sure that you get quality services because you deserve them just like any other community in Nelson Mandela” concluded Jordaan.
The executive mayor later led a delegation to the Helenvale Primary School site where he got on the controls of the digger to dig the first trench in what is to become a job creating construction site for many in that community. The R20m projects have nearly 11 Small Medium Micro Enterprises from the community involved. The MBDA is busy finalizing a job allocation model working with the three local Schools, PAC, Ward Committee and consultants to deliver a model that will be acceptable to all stakeholders.