Kouga is best municipality

2016-03-03 06:00

KOUGA is tops . . .

Despite wide speculation at ground level and protests by the community alleging maladministration, a myriad of potholes and countless sewage spills, the Kouga Municipality was recognised as the best-performing municipality in the Eastern Cape by Good Governance Africa, beating its neighbours to the top spot.

Furthermore, the Government Performance Index, compiled by research and advocacy group Good Governance Africa (GGA), found that Kouga is the 26th best-run municipality out of 234 municipalities countrywide.

Local and metropolitan municipalities were ranked according to 15 different criteria across three spheres of performance: administration, economic development and service delivery. The information used was sourced from the 2011 Census, as well as other data from Statistics SA, National Treasury, Gaffney’s Local Government Yearbook (2013 - 2015), Auditor-General reports and the extended public works programme.

Service delivery was most heavily weighted, with eight indicators including access to piped water, electricity, sanitation, regular refuse removal, formal housing, health facilities, police coverage and access to quality education measured by how many residents had completed their matric.

Municipal capacity, financial soundness and compliance were included in the ranking, as were economic development indicators such as poverty, income, work opportunities and the area’s unemployment rate.

According to Kouga Municipal Manager Sidney Fadi, staying focused on their ultimate objective contributed to the success of the municipality being named the best in the Eastern Cape.

“In 2010/2011 Kouga received a disclaimer from the Office of the Auditor-General. The report indicated what we needed to do to turn Kouga around. The following year the Auditor General himself visited Kouga and also made recommendations, specifically about the role of leadership. We took these recommendations to heart and focused on implementing them. This definitely played a large part in our success,” says Fadi.

“The political and administrative leadership were able to work together well, spurred on by a common vision. We also proactively involved other spheres of government involved to help us strengthen Kouga.

“We furthermore engaged our communities and got them on board as well, so that we were free to move in communities to do what needed to be done.”

According to Fadi they might be the best in the Eastern Cape, but they are 26th of the 234 municipalities countrywide that were scrutinised as part of the survey. “Our aim now would be to get to the top spot in the country by continuing on the road we started in 2011.

According to Fadi, the award, on the one hand, is encouraging because it gives them the assurance that they are on the right track.

“At the same time it puts more pressure on us to perform, because we do not want to disappoint our communities. At the end of the day it is all about them and bringing basic services to all who live in Kouga.”

  • Swellendam, led by a DA-African Christian Democratic Party coalition, was named the top-performing municipality in the country, while the worst-performing municipality is Mbizana in the Eastern Cape.

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