Mpofana now runs ‘like a well-oiled municipality’

2015-08-13 09:20
Mpofana mayor Maureen Magubane and municipal manager Max Moyo during a meeting with The Witness earlier this week.

Mpofana mayor Maureen Magubane and municipal manager Max Moyo during a meeting with The Witness earlier this week. (Amil Umraw)

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COMING out of administration and facing continuous problems, the ­Mpofana Municipality has buckled down with a long-term plan to address issues in their region.

The municipality, which presides over Mooi River and surrounding areas, has in recent years been associated with news, especially since its council was dissolved last year after service delivery protests flamed throughout its wards.

However, fresh out of its national intervention, Mpofana Mayor Maureen Magubane sat with The Witness earlier this week to discuss existing problems in the municipality as well as her plans to resolve their current issues.

Magubane, along with Mpofana municipal manager Max Moyo and Integrated Development Planning (IDP) manager Mtshezi Mkhize, all said the biggest problem the Mpofana Municipality faces is cash flow — a problem largely derived from the non-payment for services including rates and electricity. Magubane said the equitable share the municipality receives is barely enough to cover the staff salaries, but once the cash flow situation is sorted, service delivery will be normalised.

To do this, Moyo explained two strategies, the Strategic Revenue Enhancement Strategy and the Business Retention and Expansion Programme.

These initiatives seek to attract ­investors to Mooi River’s up-and-coming industrial hub as well as keeping the local business people in town. The ­programmes seek to create jobs in a municipality that Magubane said is ravaged by unemployment.

Others issues that were discussed ranged from the failure of the municipality to report back to communities on service delivery issues to the state of the Mooi River town, which lacks signage, abolition facilities and proper walk ways.

However, Magubane said that the relations between the municipality’s labourers, administration and council have since improved after the intervention last year, and that coupled with the help from Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) officials who implemented a Back to Basics Programme, have served as a beacon of hope for the transformation of the municipality. Moyo added to her comment, saying another major change is that their council is now “stable”.

Mooi River has in the past been plagued by political in-fighting, both in the communities and leadership structures.

“We have turned a corner now. The council functions like a well-oiled machine and relations between the councillors have improved dramatically,” Moyo said. Some of the municipality’s many long and short term goals are:

• The construction of a reservoir in Mooi River to help eradicate water shortages in the Bruntville area, also creating about 200 jobs for locals.

• An electrification project and a multi-purpose centre in Rosetta.

• A Small Town Rehabilitation Project valued at R5 million for the ­construction of sidewalks and ablution facilities as well as the beautification of the town.

“This coupled with our long term infrastructure and industry programmes will see a huge change in our equitable share which will now be distributed equally in all four wards,” Moyo said

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  service delivery

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