Observer on Saturday - - Front Page - By Bodwa Mbingo

South Africa’s Na­tional Ed­u­ca­tion, Health and Al­lied Work­ers' Union (NEHAWU) wants the Nko­mazi Mu­nic­i­pal­ity to kick its Swazi coun­ter­parts from the Mu­nic­i­pal Coun­cil of Mba­bane out of the Umsebe Ac­cord.

The bone of con­tention is that the union feels that Swazi­land does not ad­here to hu­man and work­ers rights’ codes, hence the need to force Mba­bane out of the Umsebe Ac­cord.

Mba­bane, there­fore, waits with bated breath to find out if the prayers by NEHAWU will even­tu­ally see the light of day.

Should this even­tu­ally hap­pen the lo­cal mu­nic­i­pal coun­cil stands to lose out on the gains ac­crued from the Ac­cord.

A spokesper­son from the Nko­mazi Mu­nic­i­pal­ity con­firmed on Lig­walag­wala FM this week that they have been pe­ti­tioned by the union per­tain­ing to the mat­ter.

Nko­mazi Mu­nic­i­pal­ity spokesman said their full coun­cil will dis­cuss the pe­ti­tion by NEHAWU.

NEHAWU, is a trade union in South Africa, with a mem­ber­ship of 235 000 and is the largest pub­lic sec­tor union in that coun­try.

It or­gan­ises state, health, ed­u­ca­tion and wel­fare work­ers.

NEHAWU is af­fil­i­ated to the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), and Pub­lic Ser­vices In­ter­na­tional and the Trade Union In­ter­na­tional of Pub­lic and Al­lied Em­ploy­ees.

Umsebe Ac­cord, on the other hand, is a tourism pact be­tween the cities of Mbombela, Nko­mazi in South Africa, Ma­tola in Mozam­bique and Mba­bane in Swazi­land.

A 2014 re­port re­flected that the pact was taken to an­other level when one of the ini­tia­tives to de­velop and bring re­lief to lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties was put into gear.

Through the Ac­cord, the four mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties look into ac­cel­er­ated growth for all four mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties as they look into grow­ing tourism, busi­ness ex­change and many oth­ers in­clud­ing cul­tural ex­change.

In 2014 they had plans to re­vive the eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity within the three coun­tries, one of which em­anated from the 2010 World Cup when the 3-In-1 tour was in­tro­duced hereby one could eat break­fast in Mba­bane, shop around, eat lunch in Mbombela and even­tu­ally en­joy your din­ner and nightlife in Mozam­bique all on the same day.

The Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Ma­tola, the Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Mba­bane, the Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Mbombela and the Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Nko­mazi have es­tab­lished a Mul­ti­lat­eral Co­op­er­a­tion Pro­to­col.

These mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, fur­ther thereto on: have de­vel­oped and pro­mote co­op­er­a­tion and un­der­stand­ing be­tween the cit­i­zens of their mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties in­clud­ing their re­spec­tive three coun­tries; are com­mit­ted with to the ob­jec­tives of SADC Treaty; Ar­eas of Good Prac­tice as part of the African Peer Re­view Mech­a­nism (APRM).

They also con­sider the ben­e­fit of friend­ship and co­op­er­a­tive re­la­tions to be es­tab­lished be­tween the King­dom of Swazi­land, the Repub­lic of Mozam­bique and the Repub­lic of South Africa; are aware of the need of the en­gage­ment of all in the fight against any man­i­fes­ta­tion of Xeno­pho­bia;

They also ac­knowl­edge that in a world where in­ter­de­pen­dence is in­creas­ingly grow­ing, mu­tual un­der­stand­ing and good neigh­bour­hood and strong de­cen­tralised co­op­er­a­tion are cru­cial for achiev­ing the goals of the four cities; hereby es­tab­lished an ac­cord of al­liance to pur­sue the fol­low­ing goals:

To pro­mote mu­tual re­spect and un­der­stand­ing of the cul­ture and tra­di­tions of cit­i­zens of each mu­nic­i­pal­ity, in­clud­ing cul­tural ex­change pro­grammes;

Pro­mote and safe­guard good health of the cit­i­zens;

To es­tab­lish youth and women em­pow­er­ment pro­grammes on mat­ters of gov­er­nance and de­vel­op­ment;

To pro­mote busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties and lo­cal eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment among the four cities;

To pro­mote tech­ni­cal, ad­min­is­tra­tive and man­age­ment skills ex­change, with more fo­cus on the fol­low­ing ar­eas: En­vi­ron­men­tal Health Plan­ning Is­sues In­vest­ment pro­mo­tion/ Lo­cal Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Cul­ture and Tourism Fi­nance pro­gramme Youth and Recre­ation To es­tab­lish ex­change pro­grammes for Coun­cilors on mat­ters of com­mon in­ter­est in mu­nic­i­pal gov­er­nance

“The goals or pil­lars of this ac­cord are im­ple­mented through fes­tiv­i­ties that take place either at a mu­nic­i­pal­ity to mu­nic­i­pal­ity level or dur­ing a struc­tured com­mu­nal fes­tiv­ity for each cal­en­dar year that will in­volve the sig­na­to­ries ac­cord­ing to ap­proved plans.

“A for­mi­da­ble task team called the Cen­tral Or­gan­is­ing Com­mit­tee (COC) among the Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties that over­sees the im­ple­men­ta­tion of these plans. This team re­ports to the tech­ni­cal team com­pris­ing of the mu­nic­i­pal man­agers, who in turn el­e­vate mat­ters to the po­lit­i­cal team of the ex­ec­u­tive may­ors.

“The cities have also agreed that there will be re­vi­sion of the terms of the Pro­to­col and the ori­en­ta­tion of the pro­grammes af­ter five years of im­ple­men­ta­tion, not­with­stand­ing that, within that pe­riod of five years, the four cities may agree on new ap­proaches that can be im­ple­mented through ad­denda to this Pro­to­col.

“The present Pro­to­col is a com­mit­ment by the four cities and a duty lies on them to en­sure, by all means, its com­plete, full and timely ap­pli­ca­tion,” he ended.

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