State of the Municipality 2017-2018

Honourable Speaker, Cllr T. Njobe, Honourable Chief Whip, Cllr A. W. Ntsangani, Members of the Executive Committee, Chairperson of Municipal Public Accounts Committee, Chairperson of Women’s Caucus, Honourable Councillors, Traditional Leaders represented in our Council; 

As a way of reminding ourselves on why we are here, it is perhaps imperative to start from the beginning, so let me begin. The Raymond Mhlaba area is site of the Wars of Resistance against the colonial domination. It is through the military strategist of the guerilla warfare of King Jongumsobomvu Maqoma that our people waged relentless fights during the Frontier Wars. Our area is the bedrock upon which resistance of the colonial conquest was severely consolidated and affected.

 

We reflect on this historical epoch in order to intensify our political appetite as we strive to effect fundamental changes in the socio-economic structure of our society. The previous regimes before the democratic government in 1994 consolidated unequal economic distribution and ownership with race as the determining factor. It is within this context that there is an urgency to prioritize fundamental changes of our economic constitution. The skewed economic ownership which at the core reflects the historical racial patterns of our society cannot be left unattended.

 

The clarion call within our ranks as the ruling party to radically transform our economy is an urgent task we should champion with rigour and intensity. Our blueprint which envisaged the democratization of our society, the Freedom Charter asserts that “the people shall share in the country’s wealth”. The Freedom Charter mandates our government to ensure for equal participation of the masses of our people in the mainstream economy. The pursuit and realization of the inclusive economic set-up wherein our people are participants should dominate our modus operandi.

 

The resolve to radically transform our economic set-up should translate into Blacks in general and Africans in particular being central role players in the economic overhaul process. As a ruling party, it is incumbent upon us to generate a fertile economic environment for our people and vulnerable groups in particular. At the core of the radical economic transformation agenda is to effect meaningful material changes in the livelihood of the masses of our people. Thus, we affirm that political power without economic power cannot be celebrated as it negates social transformation.

 

Programmed Director  

 

The National Executive Committee of the ANC affirmed 2017 as the year of President OR Tambo. President OR Tambo would have celebrated 100 years of age had he lived until today. The ANC has dedicated 2017 as the year of OR Tambo Centenary in honour of this colossal revolutionary. President OR Tambo presided over our glorious Movement as its President from 1967-1991 and he was the glue that held the ANC together during its challenging years in exile.

 

President OR Tambo permanently adhered to the core values of the ANC with incomparable diligence. The resolute leadership of OR Tambo positioned the ANC as the true parliament of the people. Largely due to President OR Tambo’s astute leadership, the ANC remained the beacon of hope for the masse of our people over a century.  As an incisive leader, President Tambo possessed a sound integrity and served our people with utmost zeal and dedication. It is through his sober leadership that the ANC strongly mastered the importance of uniting the people of this country.

 

By declaring 2017 as the year of OR Tambo, the ANC is mandating us to return back to basics. The ANC is directing us to follow in the footsteps of OR Tambo by respecting the principles and values of the ANC. The ANC is directing us to be selfless servants and to never betray the trust, hopes and aspirations of the masses of our people as OR Tambo did during his entire political life.

 

We are equally urged to strive for unity of purpose in order to work together so as to pursue the strategic objectives of the ANC which includes the creation of a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous society. Our collective unity will unite our people against the triple challenges facing our people in the form of poverty, unemployment and social inequality. It is our utmost responsibility that we serve our people with humility and diligence as OR Tambo would want us to do.

 

As agents of social change, our responsibility lies in being servants of the people, a task we should execute without fail. Our people recently refreshed our mandate by giving the ANC the political power to preside over the local sphere of governance. As deployees of the ANC in these levers of power, our preoccupation should center on the provision of quality service to the people. The masses of our people have given the ANC the political power in order to improve the quality of their lives. This is a noble gesture we should cherish at all material times.

 

Furthermore, on behalf of the collective leadership the Raymond Mhlaba Municipality named after our revolutionary icon (Oom Ray), we take pride for being entrusted with the responsibility of leading this institution. The ANC has placed upon our collective a mammoth task of safeguarding the well-being of our municipality. 

 

Programme Director, in 2016, as this Council we entered into a contractual agreement with the people of Raymond Mhlaba. This was a contract to transform the lived reality of our people. Not merely to provide basic services, but to actively lead the transformation of the economy and society at large and to [also] build a self-sufficient municipality that is responsive to the needs of its inhabitants.

 

Moreover, we undertook to advance this contract through the formulation of our vision.

Our vision: A municipality championing radical socio economic growth and service excellence.

Our vision: To be catalyst for service excellence underpinned by transformed spaces for economic development, efficiency, accountability and be responsible to the needs of all communities.

Our motto: Umanyano Kuphuhliso

 

This vision and mission is seeks to promote the municipality as an area seeks to promote economic development and also making or creating an enabling environment for business and investment to flourish.

 

The municipality prides itself for world-class tourist attraction centers namely; Hogsback, Katberg, Double Drift Game Reserve, Maqoma Heritage just to name a few. The University of Fort Hare which is house by the municipality is also another centre of attraction (with its tentative listing to UNESCO as a World Heritage site), as it recently celebrated its centenary not so long ago. The municipality over the next coming years will identify Tourism as one of the catalyst to drive economic growth and development. Furthermore, tourism alone cannot b exclusively looked without considering heritage given the historic endowment of the municipal area.

 

Programme Director, economic growth cannot be fully promoted without enterprise development, the municipality over the next 5 years of the current administration commits to support SMME’s and Cooperatives and thereby ensuring that they are supporting and trading with municipality. This will assist in alleviating poverty and ensure that the municipality bridges the unemployment gaps. During the Strategic Planning retreat of the municipality, we resolved that enterprise development is key in driving local economy within the municipality. As a result, we further resolved that over the next 5 years about 60% of the municipality’s procument must be directed to local SMME’s, Cooperatives, Vulnerable Groups (Youth, Women enterprise) and Military Veterans.

 

Programme Director, our area is heavily affected by unemployment, more especially young people that are supposed to be economically active but are languishing in the periphery of the economic sector. Census results 2011 reveal that the unemployment is at 48%. The municipality intends on creating over 500 employment opportunities directly from its own coffers through the implementation of LED initiatives, as well as, capital related projects. This target has been met in the past, nothing will stop the current council from making sure such employment opportunities are created and local people benefit. Other programmes such as Community Works Programme and Expanded Public Works Programme will also be implemented.

 

It is essential that we remind ourselves that in order to achieve all this, we need a capacitated, modernized and operational service delivery environment. This Integrated Development Plan and Budget, provides expression to the strategic thrust of local government, which among others seeks to promote good governance, ensure basic service delivery to all our communities, contribute towards job creation and accelerated economic development, and ensure financial sustainability and public participation.

 

The municipality’s total budget amounts to R407 036 355.00 (million). This is the total budget that we have to ensure that we respond to the needs of 172 523 (thousand) inhabitants. About R359 403 205.00 (million) is the total operating revenue and capital transfers amounts to R47 633 150.00 (million). This capital transfer was further boosted by the Department of Sports and Recreations commitment to transfer an amount of R5 000 000.00 (million) to the municipality for upgrading and development of sporting facilities. This is in line to the commitment of that department of intensifying sports development and also assists municipalities in constructing and or refurbishing sports facilities. As a result of this intervention a number of sports fields have been earmarked to be developed i.e. Wanderers, Goodwin Park and Nonzwakazi Sports fields (Adelaide and Bedford).

 

Other capital projects for the year are as follow:

 

 Sum of 2017/2018

Sum of 2018/2019

Sum of 2019/2020

CHICKEN ABATTOIR - MIG

1,000,000.00

 

 

COMMUNITY HALL - KHULILE

500,000.00

500,000.00

 

COMMUNITY HALL - MAZOTSHWENI

690,000.00

 

 

COMMUNITY HALL - SITYI

500,000.00

 

 

COMMUNITY HALL - THAFENI

690,000.00

 

 

COMMUNITY HALL - ZIBI

500,000.00

 

 

COMMUNITY HALL- QOMFO

690,000.00

 

 

CONSTRUCTION OF MUNICIPAL POUND

500,000.00

 

 

COUNCIL CHAMBERS

2,500,000.00

 

 

DAY CARE - QHOMFU

890,000.00

 

 

DAY CARE CENTRE- FORT BEAUFORT

500,000.00

 

 

DAYCARE CENTRE - LUGWIDINI

450,000.00

 

 

DAYCARE CENTRE - MEVA

440,000.00

 

 

DAYCARE CENTRE - XHUKWANA

500,000.00

 

 

DAYCARE CENTRE - ZIGODLO

500,000.00

 

 

FENCING OF CEMETERIES

560,000.00

 

 

HIGHMAST LIGHTS

1,000,000.00

4,000,000.00

4,000,000.00

INSTALLATION OF ELECTRICAL INFRASTRUCTRE

1,000,000.00

2,500,000.00

2,500,000.00

MAKHUZENI SPORT FIELD

1,500,000.00

 

 

MULTI-PURPOSE CENTRE - MIG

1,150,000.00

 

 

MULTIPURPOSE CENTRE- GOODWIN PARK

1,500,000.00

 

 

NGQOLOWA SPORT FIELD - MIG

1,500,000.00

 

 

PARK - MIG

 

2,610,200.00

5,000,000.00

PAVING & GREENING - CHRIS HANI

2,120,000.00

 

 

PAVING AND GREENING - GOLF COURSE

1,500,000.00

 

 

PAVING AND GREENING - NTSELAMANZI

1,000,000.00

1,600,000.00

4,220,000.00

PAVING AND GREENING- HILLSIDE TO NTOLENI

2,376,150.00

3,500,000.00

4,000,000.00

PAVING DEBE-NEK - MIG

1,500,000.00

3,500,000.00

4,000,000.00

PAVING GUGULETHU - MIDDLEDRIFT

1,000,000.00

 

 

PAVING OF STREETS- JAKARANDA

1,500,000.00

3,500,000.00

 

RECREATIONAL FACILITIES - HORSE RACING

2,000,000.00

 

 

REGRAVELLING OF ADELAIDE

973,150.00

 

 

REHABILITATION OF WANDERES SPORTFIELD

1,000,000.00

 

 

RESURFACING OF ADELAIDE

2,500,000.00

4,500,000.00

4,500,000.00

RESURFACING OF BEDFORD

2,000,000.00

6,126,850.00

5,000,000.00

SPORT COMPLEX FORT BEAUFORT PHASE 1

2,500,000.00

1,000,000.00

1,634,950.00

UPGRADING OF NONZAKWAZI SPORTSFIELD

300,000.00

 

 

VIC-DEBE NEK

560,000.00

 

 

 

These projects will be implemented by the municipality, some of them will be insourced, others will be co-sourced and others will be outsourced. Local contractors stand to benefit in to co-sourcing and outsourcing. This co-sourcing and outsourcing has proved to be beneficial to the municipality as we are due to complete about 13 projects before the end of this current financial year. These projects are Community Halls and Day Care facilities such as Benfield, Massdorp, Bizana, Dyamala, Chwaru, Mdeni etc.

 

Apart from these projects enunciated above, the President of the Country in his state of the Nation Address of 2017, committed on resolving the energy challenges as one of the government programmes in this financial year. As a result the municipality has set aside about 5 000 000.00 (million) for electrification of rural households in an endeavour to reduce the backlog on areas that are currently supplied by ESKOM. This intervention is a result of the municipality’s application to Department of Energy on their Integrated National Energy Programme (INEP). On areas where its municipal supply for electricity the backlog is zero.

 

Programme Director, in our quest to develop our towns, the municipality adopted a revitalization programme, this programme was as a result of the intervention programme for the town of Alice, spearheaded by ASPIRE, Provincial Government, University of Fort Hare and other key stakeholders. This programme is starting with bear fruition, as there are a number projects that are currently taking pace in taking place, there is a further commitment by the Office of the Premier to address the bulk infrastructure, storm water drainage systems and road networks. As a result of this sterling progress, the municipal council took a conscious decision of cascading this programme to other towns of the municipality. The municipal entity Raymond Mhlaba Economic Development Agency has been tasked with this programme.

 

Programme Director, we express our sincere gratitude to residents and businesses that consistently pay their municipal accounts. Their contributions go a long way towards expanding and sustaining service delivery and will assist in ensuring that we realize our vision. Moreover, we are quite aware of many households who cannot pay, we will continue to assist them in our indigent programme. The provision of free basic services and indigent subsidy has increased in our budget in comparison to the previous years. However, our message is unambiguous: “abantu abakwaziyo ukubhatala inkonzo zika masipala, bayacelwa ukaba bazibhatale”.

 

Consultation on tariffs was done throughout the municipal area with all the rate payers, the institution will ensure that over a period of three years it does standardise tariffs to accommodate former Nxuba residents. Such disparities are inevitable for now, and 100% increase for residents will cripple the ordinary households hence the three year period for staggering them in to be at the same standard.

 

Programme Director, earlier in this speech we referred to a Contract, now that we have tabled this contract, wherein key priority programmes were identified in an effort to confront the challenges that are continuously faced by the people we serve. It is with confidence that today we can inform the people of Raymond Mhlaba that, as we enter 2016, that contract remains very much in force. The administration continues to manage the implementation of the IDP and Budget programmes that were agreed upon, as well as the set key performance targets. The contract has certain baseline conditions must be met. Raymond Mhlaba remains largely the heritage hub of the Eastern Cape. It is for this reason that it is non-negotiable for us to continuously strive for excellence in our delivery of basic services.

 

As I conclude, I wish to thank the Municipal Council, Traditional Leaders and all the rate payers, further urge and encourage every resident, every business, every community and non-governmental organisation to take this opportunity to read and engage with and provide feedback to us on our IDP. For it is only with your commitment to work together with us that we can achieve our Municipal Vision.

 

Thank you!

 

May 2019
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