Bright hopes for our city’s future

2012-12-12 00:00

A SAFE, vibrant city in which to live, learn, raise a family, work, play and do business.

That’s the vision statement for Msunduzi Municipality, which was recently presented to council in a report on the council’s new communication strategy.

The strategy’s environmental analysis details why a new way of communicating with staff and the public is necessary and gives a frank account of the level of unhappiness among staff working there.

It lists reasons like low staff morale, anxiety and uncertainty as a result of the organogram not being finalised, budget shortcomings affecting service delivery, ageing infrastructure, anger about strict controls on overtime, vacant critical posts, uncertainty about positions by staff now and in the future and distrust among staff members.

There is also resistance to conforming with new developments in some quarters within the municipality.

The report shows that there is concern about the image the public has of the municipality, and says the image of the municipality has been “discredited”.

The report also makes reference to the “robust negative media coverage”, the lack of confidence in the municipality by the public, ratepayers’ unhappiness about rates and tariffs and service delivery challenges, especially electricity, and about potholes. The strategy also addresses financial concerns, saying that there was a reluctance to pay for services, the stealing of water and electricity, and late payments to service providers.

There are, however, many positives that are highlighted in the report, including the new developments like the Chota Motala interchange, a strong political leadership, vital appointments and “unanimous and credible budget processes”.

The urban renewal programme and airport improvements were also added to their list of positives.

Municipal spokesperson Brian Zuma said the communication strategy process is currently under review, after the council approved it in the previous financial year.

Zuma said senior management and the leadership are working to finalise the new organogram for the municipality — setting out the job and reporting structure — which will hopefully address the issues of staff shortages and vacancies.

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