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• By: Adre’ Bartis | BKCOB Komani Administrator

The BKCOB office in Queenstown had their AGM on 19 June 2019 and it was hosted by the Queenstown Golf Club. The event was also sponsored by The Queenstown Express and all members in attendance were spoiled rotten with a beautiful coffee hamper from the company as well.

At the meeting 10 members were chosen to stand as part of the committee for 2019/2020. The chairman was chosen by the committee at their first meeting on 15 July 2019. The sub committees the committee were going to concentrate on for the term was also chosen at this meeting along with the Champion for each of the sub committees.

Our Chairman for 2019/2020 is Mr Mark Wilson. He is no stranger in this seat as he was the Chairman for 2008-2010. Mark is also very familiar with the municipal environment that affects business directly and is keen to get Queenstown back on track.

The following sub committees were chosen:

Municipal Sub committee:
The Champion for this subcommittee is Mr Ken Clark. His support members are Mark Wilson, Lubabalo Nontsele and Julian Thompson.

Finance Sub committee:
The Champion for this subcommittee is Nice de Jager. His support members are Ian van der Merwe and Shakeel-aSajid

Membership Sub committee:
The Champion for this subcommittee is Zodwa Gqwaka. Her support member is Moira Pappas.

Project Sub committee:
The Champion for this subcommittee is Sandy Boy. Her support members are Zodwa Gqwaka and Ian van der Merwe

We are very positive that our committee will be able to assist Komani to get back on track. Lihai Berovich and Mark Sahd from Komani have been co-opted to assist on the Project Sub committee.

Queenstown had the unfortunate incidence of a 42-day strike by municipal workers. This included staff and management of the municipality who decided that they will stand against the Administrator and force the MEC to change the face of the administrator. The MEC and his team arrived on day 38 to try and intervene and hosted a meeting with the stakeholders. However the staff and management heard about the meeting and bombarded the meeting. The meeting was cancelled and the MEC apologised to all stakeholders. Stakeholders will however be able to arrange a meeting with the MEC at a later stage.

The strike was finally called to an abrupt stop the day the acting administrator was introduced at a council meeting, this due to the current administrator being on sick leave. The administrator is appointed until 14 September. Komani can only hope that the current hostile environment that has been the detriment of businesses will soon turn to a more fruitful one that will allow for economic growth in the town and surrounding areas of Enoch Mgijima. Thousands of residents, however, later this month took to the streets of Komani demanding the Premier to assist as he has been very quiet during this entire period. They however never got the ear of the Premier but got an official from the Premier’s office to receive the memorandum on the day.

Enoch Mgijima has a new mayor. This will be the 5th mayor for the municipality in 3 years. Chris Hani Municipality is also boasting with a new mayor and deputy mayor. Both municipalities are still struggling to provide services to the community. Constant electrical issues plague Enoch with the business community and residents having to sit without electricity for up to 7 days at a time. The Xonxa dam has become the proverbial Loch Ness monster as there are constant promises of when the water will be released from the dam, but still 3 years later no sighting of it. The latest promise of release was 19 August 2019. Most communities are only receiving water for 2 days at a time and this is not helping businesses who need water for manufacturing purposes. Private hospitals and clinics were without water for 5 days. The Premier needs to intervene to ensure that the economy of this town does not plunge deeper than it already has.

All in all the community of Queenstown still have faith that if they work together and take a stand for the interest of this town, it will grow to the business hub we all know it can be.