GREETINGS to allHUMAN RIGHTS As South Africa commemorates Human Rights Month this month,under the theme: “The Year of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela: Promoting and Deepening a Human Rights Culture across society”, we would like to encourage our communities to also observe the stalwarts in their villages. As this theme is in line with the celebration of the centenary of former president Nelson Rholihlahla Mandela, we also would like to urge our communities to embark on programmes of good deeds. As a municipality, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to the families of those stalwarts who played critical roles in the progress towards this democracy. Those families never spent ideal quality time with their love ones as they were part of the bigger agenda at that time. The centenary, which will be held under the theme “Be the legacy”, is an opportunity to honour Madiba’s memory by striving to ensure his vision of human rights and dignity for all South Africans is realised. We remember his selfless role in fighting for equal rights for all South Africans, and it is on that note that we call upon all stakeholders of Umzimkhulu to be mindful of each other’s human rights and further embrace the diversity that defines this rural-based municipality. Mandela advocated for human rights for all and believed that to deny “people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity”. This year’s Human Right Month will be used to pay tribute to him and many others who sacrificed in our struggle for freedom to ensure that we may enjoy human rights. We will also reflect on the advances we have made in human rights and restoring human dignity. DISABILITY SPORTS DAYUmzimkhulu Local Municipality commemorated this day with a Disability Sports Day held on the Escort School grounds with the Umtshezi Local Municipality, with both netball and soccer being played. We would like to express our sincere gratitude for the performance of our teams, which won in both categories. As a municipality, we invested a lot of time and resources into ensuring that our teams were both physically and psychologically ready to face their opponents fruitfully. We furthermore would like to express our gratitude towards the municipal officials who remained vigilant while supporting these teams by being wholeheartedly part of this prestigious event. Our hosts’ hospitality has not gone unnoticed and their spirit of ubuntu was felt throughout the day. We commend them for such maturity. HOUSING SCHEME The reality is that Umzimkhulu has endured a huge backlog in the housing scheme for decades. It is a pleasure to divulge the fact that, in partnership with the provincial government ,we have recently appointed a service provider to undertake both the rehabilitation of existing houses and embark on the process to build new houses. We are at an advanced stage to execute the actual building, hence we needed to follow all the necessary processes. We commit to sharing a detailed progress report in due course. Until we meet again,Zweliphantsi Sikhosana, Municipal Manager.