Ward committee election rescheduled

2016-11-23 06:00

THE ward committee elections for Ward 97, scheduled for Sunday 20 November, had to be postponed to Sunday 27 November and will take place at the Amanzimtoti Library activities room at 8.30am.

The reschedule is due to the meeting not reaching quorum of 100 people to conclude the process.

Ward councillor André Beetge said: “We have, however, realised that there is still uncertainty regarding the composition and functions of a ward committee. The objective of a ward committee is to enhance participatory democracy in local government where it acts as an independent, representative, non political and impartial advisory body without executive powers.”

The ward committee may make recommendations on any matters affecting the ward to the ward councillor or through the ward councillor to council.

The committee will encapsulate representation of all civil structures, within its ranks, making it the statutory structure and consultative body on municipal matters.

As part of its functions, the committee serves as a mobilising agent for service delivery payment campaigns, budgetary processes, provision of municipal services, decisions about by-laws and other functions assigned to it by council.

“In an ideal world, one person from each suburb of the ward should be nominated who in turn, should also be someone who is active or participative in some or other civil structure or organisation, which however does not exclude individuals from being nominated.

“For example where it concerns Ward 97 specifically, one would hope to see a nomination from Illovo Beach-Panorama park, Winkle-spruit, Warner beach, St Winifreds-Astra Park, Illovo Glen, Doonheights-Shulton park, Doonside, Amanzim-toti central (Isundu road west), Amanzimtoti Berea-Ezimangweni and Amanzimtoti lower highway.

“As people take more interest in the immediate area where they stay, it puts them in a much better position to identify the needs of the particular area and to make recommendations thereon,” said Beetge.

People in the committee will also be assigned a specific portfolio that aligns with the council’s standing committees like - job creation and skills development, solid waste, roads and stormwater, land reform and food security, safety and security, water and sanitation, sport and recreation, health, housing, youth and vulnerable groups.

“Thus, in addition to availing themselves to be representative of an area, people who have a particular interest within the community should also be considered – a person who takes a keen interest in litter management and recycling would be an ideal candidate for the solid waste portfolio­, or a qualified and/or retired medical practitioner would align with the health portfolio, or an athlete or administrator would be comfortable in the sport and recreation portfolio.”

Once demographics and portfolios have been established, another 10 people would be identified within each portfolio and from each of the suburbs to assist the ward committee member with information and recommendations from their respective areas.

The ward committee member would then collate that information and bring it as a collective discussion point to the ward committee meeting where it could be formulated as a recommendation to the ward councillor or through the ward councillor to council.

“It is strongly recommended that civil or interest groups identify someone from within their ranks to be nominated and seconded at the ward committee elections. The elected ward committee members will receive a monthly stipend of R1 000 to cover out-of-pocket expenses.”

The actual nomination and election process could however become a long and tedious process with registration (ID or Smart card only) starting from 8.30am on Sunday 27 November until such time as a quorum of 100 is reached.

"It is thus essential that those who want to participate, nominate or be nominated register early so that the process can unfold.

“If a quorum of 100 cannot be reached by 1pm on the day, the process will continue with those in attendance and the committee will stand elected until 2021." - Supplied.

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For more information, call ward councillor Beetge on 082 718 8137.

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