LET me welcome residents, business people and stakeholders to this viewpoint and say we, as a municipality, will be contributing to it regularly to ensure we give briefings on the happenings within and outside the municipality.In the past few weeks the municipality has been a hive of activity in terms of service delivery, institutional development and transformation and ensuring we are able to fulfill our constitutional and legal mandate.The municipality recently submitted the draft annual report, annual financial statements and the annual performance report for the 2016/17 financial year. These reports reflect the performance of the municipality for the period under review and now the Auditor General’s office is on site to verify the contents of those reports and issue an opinion that will be released in DecemberThe municipality held its strategic planning session from September 6 to 8. This was the second strategic planning session for council. Council reviewed its past performance, achievements and hiccups it encountered. The session appreciated filling the municipal manager and accounting officer positions and continues to fill all budgeted and existing positions with qualified, experienced personnel. The session sets a 30-year programme to ensure that GKM is not the same in terms of service delivery and sustainable development. The session reaffirmed the vision, mission and strategic objectives the new council adopted, but said this must be completed by 2047 - the new vision will look “like a people-centred city of economic possibilities by 2047”. Also the strategic planning session agreed to pursue a sustained programme on local economic development that will focus on SMMEs for the benefit of local service providers. In this instance GKM will work with other sector departments and Harry Gwala Development Agency to fulfill some of the strategic objectives set out in the planning session. We will be convening a growth and development summit in the third quarter of the financial year in 2018 to elaborate on some of the objectives council has set.Council also agreed to focus on basic service delivery and infrastructure development, but focusing more on the internal roads, storm-water drainage systems, energy substations and housing. A slums clearance programme will be pursued with vigour and the necessary business plans will be prepared and submitted to funding institutions. We will focus on the establishment of a forum on infrastructure development that will include the private sector because council believes the private sector is a strategic partner with which to build strong relations.Youth development cannot be left behind because the youth are the most affected in terms of poverty, unemployment and inequality that affect our country. The mayor will be launching the GKM chapter of the South African Youth Council that will include all youth formations. Council is also strengthening our youth development unit to deal with issues affecting young people. Council will continue to fight fraud and corruption wherever they raise their ugly head. Council has established a municipal disciplinary board to ensure we have a fully fledged risk management and internal audit unit, fully functional MPAC, portfolio committees, Executive committee and council are empowered to perform their responsibilities. The mayor will soon convene a press briefing to elaborate on the strategic planning session resolutions and areas of focus.I would like to welcome the following managers who have joined the municipality - Antionette Whyte - manager: LED, Mr Mtshengu - manager: Community Services, Nonjabulo Ndlovu - assistant manager: IDP and OPMS, Thembinkosi Shandu - manager: Civil Engineering. I also wish Sabelo Ncwane, assistant manager: Communications and IGR, who has left the municipality in pursuit of greener pastures, all the best - he served us very well.