MOSSEL BAY NEWS - "I thank my fellow councillors, particularly the members of my mayoral committee, the municipal manager, Advocate Thys Giliomee, the management team and all municipal officials for keeping the municipality aligned to its vision of being one of South Africa's trend-setting municipalities."
Mossel Bay's executive mayor, Alderman Harry Levendal, introduced the 2017/18 municipal annual report at a special council meeting on Wednesday. It was unanimously accepted.
Alderman Levendal said the annual report is a highly reputable tool in terms of accountability, to assess the efficacy of the municipality and its impact on the community. It gives an overview of the state of financial affairs, and the administrative and governance maturity levels of the institution.
"This annual report is the second of my term as executive mayor of Mossel Bay," he said and added his had not been an easy task. "The municipality again had to cope with the frustrations and ever changing needs and demands of communities, which at times we had no control over. Unrealistic expectations and demands, frustration and limited resources negatively impact on the standard of municipal service delivery."
"The municipality realises that basic services cannot be rendered sustainably, nor can infrastructure be maintained unless rates and taxes are paid consistently.
"The municipality acknowledges that its successes and achievements are not only a testimony of our efforts, but also the selfless contributions through funding support by local businesses and the residents, through their participation in municipal processes and meeting their municipal obligations despite the difficult economic climate."
The municipality has managed to adequately meet the demand for basic services to all residents and has performed well with the acceleration of its infrastructure development programme. It has managed to successfully execute its capital programme with a total expenditure of R 137 836 428, which constitutes 90.1% of the total capital budget, which is on par with the 90% expenditure target.
The municipality collected 98.4% of all revenue budgeted for the 2017/2018 financial year. "I thank the ratepayers in Mossel Bay for their good payment culture despite the difficult economic times.
"The efficiency and transparency of our finance department and administration surely contributed to Mossel Bay being awarded the Most Financially Sustainable Municipality in South Africa by Ratings Afrika, an independent monitoring agency," Mayor Levendal said.
Basic service delivery standards and levels have been sustained with all formal and informal households having access to clean water, sanitation services and refuse removal. The backlogs for electricity connections are only prevalent in informal settlements. These backlogs are gradually phased out through the municipality's Human Settlement Delivery Plan, as well as through special electrification projects funded by the Department of Energy.
We continue with our efforts to successfully relocate the Powertown community to Sonskynvallei. Although it seems challenging, I remain positive that the project will be successful and ultimately to the benefit of both communities.
Some of the main Human Settlements Projects to be highlighted in the 2017/2018 financial year include:
- The completion of 154 top structures of the Herbertsdale Housing Project.
- The infill top structures on the KwaNonqaba Public Housing Process Project.
- The continuation of the planning of the upgrading of 18 informal settlements and the establishment of Beneficiary Liaison Committees for all the informal settlement areas.
- The ongoing planning of the mixed housing development in the Louis Fourie Road Corridor area, comprising approximately 1 200 housing opportunities.
The biggest challenge remains the vandalism of public property and infrastructure needed for service delivery.
Vandalism of engineering services and equipment, new houses, sports facilities, ablution facilities and municipal halls, as well as theft of municipal assets, results in unnecessary spending of large proportions of municipal funds on infrastructure that once existed. Another concern is the illegal electricity connections, which not only poses great danger to the culprits and community, it negatively impacts the standard of service delivery.
In 2017 Mossel Bay became the first local authority to adopt the Premier's Advancement of Youth Project and introduce the Mayoral Advancement of Youth Programme.
Council prioritised the rural communities through the Municipal Rural Development Strategy that identified possible economic and social projects to uplift and empower the youth especially and ensure sustainable service delivery to these areas.
In an effort to ensure the safety of all residents, the municipality encourages residents' involvement in local neighbourhood watches and community policing fora and logistically supports these bodies to enhance security measures in the various neighbourhoods in and around town.
In addition to this, council approved for the first time ever, a Community Safety Plan to enhance community safety.
The next step is to build on the working relationship with all the stakeholders in this regard to effectively implement the safety measures as stated in the plan.
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