Polokwane Observer


- Barry Viljoen

Polokwane Mayor John Mpe outlined the municipali­ty’s plans for the 2022/23 financial year and beyond when he delivered the keynote address at the local authority’s two-day strategic planning session that started at a venue in Waterberg district on Monday.

The session, which was aimed at enabling the municipali­ty to track progress toward its goals, set ambitions for the municipali­ty’s future and determine how best to achieve it, was attended by a delegation of councillor­s, municipal officials, officials from government parastatal­s and partners, as well as representa­tives of organised labour.

Mpe explained that he has worked closely with the acting municipal manager and consulted with a wide range of stakeholde­rs to be able to come up with a turnaround strategy and thus perform the political oversight that will steer the municipali­ty towards being self-sufficient and financiall­y resilient.

“Change comes with discomfort. We have made an assurance to the people of Polokwane that ours will be a change for the better,” Mpe assured his audience.

According to Mpe, Polokwane remains the only hope of attaining the vision of having a metropolit­an city in Limpopo.

“It remains the socio-economic and political nerve centre of our province and the destinatio­n of choice for many and the entire Sadec region for economic opportunit­ies and religious purposes.”

He stressed that much still needed to be done to ensure proper financial management and good governance, build better roads, deliver a clean and reliable water supply, provide proper sanitation and housing, create opportunit­ies for jobs and grow the

Water supply is a major challenge. No economy can flourish without a reliable supply of water.

city’s economy.

Mpe announced that the municipali­ty will be able to build its own RDP houses with effect from July 1.

“Once we receive the necessary budgets from the National Treasury, we will be able to build houses for our qualifying members of the community. It will no longer be like before when we had to wait for housing allocation.”

Mpe reiterated that water supply is a major challenge.

“No economy can flourish without a reliable supply of water and the municipali­ty must ensure that plans are

in place to ensure a reliable supply of water benefit the people of Polokwane.

Mpe cited the mushroomin­g of unplanned and uncontroll­ed settlement­s, primarily in the rural areas and privately owned farms, as a serious challenge with some of these settlement­s bringing more pain and suffering to those residing there as a result of no proper planning.

This, he said, is an issue that must be addressed with the proper authoritie­s.

Mpe added that there are a number of major programmes that the municipali­ty is going to drive in order to grow the economy. The projects include and eco-estate and creating of a special economic zone or industrial park around the airport.

“Transport and storm water remain the backbone of our economy. We have decided to change our strategy and prioritise tarring of prioritise­d roads within villages and townships through paving.”

He committed the municipali­ty to move from qualified audit opinions to unqualifie­d audit opinions, by stating that the only way in which this could be achieved, was when all hands are on deck to root out maladminis­tration and corruption.

Polokwane will soon implement the separation of power model.

“This is aimed at improving oversight and to ensure that the executive is held to account by the legislativ­e wing.

“We will continue to redefine participat­ory democracy through a massive stakeholde­r mobilisati­on and consultati­on to deal with rapid response service delivery on site,”

Mpe explained.

According to Mpe, the municipali­ty will also prioritise capacity building and its employees.

“It is the responsibi­lity of management to create a conducive environmen­t to develop and be equipped. There is urgent need to reposition the organisati­onal structure so that we can be able to respond to the challenges chall and needs of the commu communitie­s and the institutio­n.”

“Our interests as a municipali­ty cannot be separated from the interests int of the community and the interests of the residen residents of Polokwane, these i interests are to ensure tha that there is proper planning plann and implementa­tion implementa­tio and proper infrastruc­ture infrastr in place so th that the communitie­s could have better r roads, water, electricit­y elect and a growing grow economy i in their local area area,” Mpe

conclude concluded.

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