WARM greetings to you the reader of our column. September marks new beginnings, and this is definitely the case for me as I take on the role to administer operations of Matatiele Local Municipality for another five years. Tourism Month is about developmentAs part of celebrating Heritage and Tourism Month, Matatiele Local Municipality and Mehloding Community Tourism Trust will hold a heritage event on September 23 at Mpharane sports ground in Ward 13.This event is one that give us an opportunity to reflect on the abundance of talent and natural resources, and develop ways and means to take care of. Everyone is invited to celebrate this day with us. Mayor’s engagement with Matatiele Business ChamberThis week, the mayor and executive committee members and MLM management engaged the leadership of Matatiele Business Chamber. The aim of the session was to strengthen relations between the municipality and the local business sector. Deliberations included the development of a strategic implementation plan outlining activities the municipality and local economic development stakeholders can employ to improve the quality of life in Matatiele. Some of the topics covered included the creation of an enabling framework for private and public sector investment, promotion of economic development and growth and provision of an overall economic assessment of the municipality. This in order to identify sectors or areas of high economic potential and to highlight those that require intervention. The municipality has noted the concerns and recommendations presented by the business chamber on behalf of local business people. “It is through these engagements that as this collective we can improve Matatiele economy,” said the mayor. Ward-based plan workshopIn reference to the 2018/19 IDP/budget process plan, which was adopted by council on July 28, the municipality has begun phase one of the IDP review process, i.e the situational analysis phase. As part of this phase the municipality will be embarking on a review of ward-based plans on September 18. In preparation for this a workshop has been organised for councillors to outline the CBP ward- based planning programme to be followed in this review process. The workshop will cover, objectives of the programme, CBP outline, process schedule, timeline, team allocation and envisaged roles and responsibilities and presentation of data questionnaire.Happy spring/We are a destination of choice and excellence.