Operation Sukuma Sakhe launched

2016-10-26 06:00

IN an effort to improve the functioning of local municipalities in the district, Operation Sukuma Sakhe (OSS) was launched at the city hall last Friday by uMgungundlovu political champion and finance minister, Belinda Scott.

The idea behind the OSS initiative is to ensure that the management of the city, the district and the province as a whole, visits communities to understand their concerns and then takes this up with the necessary departments in order to address their needs.

While OSS has been operational provincially for the past two years, Scott decided to implement the initiative at local government level to speedily address issues facing various municipalities.

“OSS is brilliant, it has a hands-on approach. We can give attention to issues directly and mobilise solutions at a municipal level. For me it’s not good enough that we visit one or two municipalities. We need to reach out to every municipality and I want to be able to do this. I want to know what’s going on so that I can take up the issues to be addressed,” said Scott.

She appealed to community members, leaders, councillors and executive members of council to take the initiative and become a part of the programme.

“The whole purpose is to access what goes on in the municipality. If we can get the municipalities right then I am sure we will be able to get the country right. It works from the ground up.

“I want to know everything about the ward, the facilities it has, how many child-headed households there are, what the teenage pregnancy rate, what is the level of education, the list goes on.

“The only way the government is going to know what is going on is through you, the councillors. You need to tell us the challenges you are facing, the departments that are not working with you. There are a lot of issues, not just at a provincial level, but at a municipal level as well and we are going to work together to get you as many resources you need to address your concerns.”

She added that everyone involved in running each of the seven local municipalities needs to work together and take responsibility.

“I’m here to help you. I am here to serve. We are going to work. We are going to be accountable. If you don’t work you are going to be replaced so that we can get people, who want to work in those positions in order to make is work as a district.

“We are going to turn this around and make this the best district,” said Scott.

District municipal mayor Thobekile Ethel Maphumulo echoed the MEC’s sentiments and said that she and local municipal mayors, whips and deputy mayors, were committed to making OSS work.

“We are the face of government. We are going to interact and engage with them [communities], maybe by doing so we will not have strikes. My office is open to you so that we can go to these communities and work with you,” she said.

Addressing the community, Maphumulo said they are the ones who must make their voices heard and report any abnormalities.

“If they [councillors] are not doing the work you have the responsibility of reporting them.

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