WARM greetings to the Kokstad community and community at large. GKM MASKANDI PICNIC On December 1, the GKM and Maskandi artists will be hosting a Maskandi picnic at Riverview Sports Field. The picnic will start at 2 pm and continue until 6 am the next day. The national artists featured include Thokozani Langa, Buselaphi, Sgwebo Sentambo, Imithente Abafana Benkokhelo, Mroza and many more. Local artists include winners of the local artists’ competition such as Amaqhawe Group, Amankentshane Group, and Afro Soul Khanya and Meggan. This is done with the aim of exposing local artists. Tickets will be sold on Saturday, December 1, at the library in town, starting at 8 am. VIP tickets are R350 and general tickets cost R100. The MCs will be Zimdollar and Mdonso from Ukhozi FM. For more information contact 076 083 3956/ 063 701 5154. See you there. SERVICE DELIVERY OUR PRIORITY On November 28, his worship the mayor and the GKM councillors visited three wards with the purpose of introducing contractors. The contractor for the Shayamoya (ward 10) Community Hall was introduced to the community of Ward 10. The request of the community hall construction was made by the community during the 2017/2018 IDP priority roadshows in October, when the municipality was conducting the IDP roadshows in preparation for the 2019/2020 financial year. The mayor gave a report back to communities on progress made on their previous requests. Among those were the three contractors handed over to the community on Wednesday, November 28. The consultant for electrification designs of Kwa-Long Farm, in ward two, and the introduction of contractor for Extension 7 Road, phase two, were part of the contractors introduced. 16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM PROGRAMME FOR GKMAs part of raising awareness about the fight against gender-based violence, the Greater Kokstad Municipality has embarked on a three-day workshop in partnership with all government departments in Kokstad. This programme for 16 Days of Activism started on November 28 and ended on November 30. The purpose of the programme was to create awareness around the following topics: Gender Equality, Gender-based Violence, Sexual Offences, Gender Mainstreaming, Gender Terms, and Gender International Instruments. On November 28, the discussions focused around Gender Equality, Gender Based Violence, Sexual Offences, and Maintenance processes — this was assisted by the Department of Justice and SAPS presentation. On day three, the main discussion focused on stakeholder engagement on gender-based violence with a special focus on prevention and response. Part of the objectives of this engagement is to strengthen and enhance a multi-sectoral response to gender-based violence based on inter-institutional partnership and cooperation, and also to formulate a comprehensive, accessible, and responsive referral system. A gender forum was launched at the end of the programme as part of a commitment in the implementation of programmes on fight against GBV in Kokstad. Some of the programmes to be developed and implemented by the forum include the following: to raise gender-consciousness awareness in Kokstad; to find solutions for preventing, reducing, and responding to Gender Based Violence; to have constructive conversations regarding gender equality; and to launch a gender forum as part of the resolutions of the programme.DELAYS ON DELIVERY OF DRIVERS LICENCES I want to advise the community that we are still experiencing major delays in the delivery of driving licences from the DLCA. The situation is beyond our control as the DLCA, which is a subsidiary of the Department of Transport, is experiencing labour issues. The problem still persists despite commitments to have the matter resolved by the end of October. We urge the public to remain patient and also make use of the SMS system that has been put in place, aimed at providing feedback on the status of ones driving licence.Until next time.