GREETINGS to GKM residents.This week I wish to inform residents about some of the programmes the municipality is busy with in terms of improving the lives of the people of this municipality.SLUMS CLEARANCE PROGRAMMELast week the speaker, Cllr ZA Mhlongo, Cllr Tshazi of Ward 10, the municipal manager, Mr Mapholoba and staff from the housing section visited a slum area in Ward 10 - “Marikana” - to deal with issues affecting this community and to brief them about the programme to eliminate the slums in the municipality. We have identified more than 2 050 slums in Marikana, Bhambhayi and Horseshoe that will need to be removed, but in an orderly manner. Part of the plan is to build 700 houses in Shayamoya and 300 Community Residential Units where we will accommodate some of the people from Marikana and Bhambayi. Residents were warned about electricity theft and slumlords who are profiteering from the plight of people. Our observation is that they are people who have constituted themselves into slumlords and have invaded municipal land in order to build shacks and rent them out to needy people. These slumlords are doing business and the municipality cannot allow such a situation like this. We agreed with residents that no more shacks will be allowed in any area and all shacks will be demolished without mercy because the invaded land is one that is earmarked for an orderly development. We have also identified that most people who invade our land are those who are working for government, and who can afford and who can benefit from housing programmes that the government offers, and we will be less tolerant of such practices,We are putting a proposal to council for a unit that will monitor any erection of new shacks and we will demolish them immediately they are identified. We cannot allow a situation where people invade municipal land to take place.DEBT COLLECTION MONTHWe have identified October as being the month to collect outstanding debt from residents, business and government. The aim is to ensure that those who can afford to pay, are paying. The campaign will be led by the Mayor Cllr BM Mtolo, councillors and management. The theme of the campaign will be “Making revenue work for you”. We are owed a total of R47 million and we have to collect this money in order to make a difference in service delivery. Part of the programme will be to ensure that we “clean” our indigent register. We are also considering the blacklisting option for those who refuse to pay us. We are talking to credit bureaux to assist us in this regard. GENERAL VALUATION ROLL The process to compile a new valuation roll is proceeding and residents are co-operating. It is hoped the new draft valuation roll will be available for inspection at the beginning of November and we urge affected residents, businesses and government departments to assist in the processing by inspecting the valuation roll and comment or object where necessary.IDP CONSULTATION PROCESSAt the beginning of October we will be starting with the IDP consultation process. The IDP office, led by Nonjabulo Ndlovu, and the public participation office, led by Bongekile Mkulisi, will be visiting all wards to conduct ward-based planning. These sessions are targeting ward committees, CDWs and ward councillors. The session will be followed by a visit by the mayor to meet residents, business and government department in all wards to get their views on the issues affecting development in our municipality.CONCLUSIONIt is important the residents stay in constant contact with the municipality in order to ensure they are kept abreast of developments taking place in the municipality. We need the support of all stakeholders.I thank you.