PHUTHADITJHABA. Z Vusimusi Tshabalala, the executive mayor of the Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality, tabled his 2016-’17 budget at the Kestell Community Hall on Wednesday (29/06). The prime purpose was for the council to approve the budget through the Integrated Development Plan.This plan was facilitated earlier this year by engaging the community to ensure that the municipality continues to contribute towards building better economic growth by making local government responsive in advancing people’s power. It was also to form new paradigm values to build a nation with a strong foundation as a call upon all South Africans to have a shared vision for a better life for all.Prior to delivering the budget speech, Speaker Malewatle Nthedi gave opposition parties time to express their views and ideas. In his opening remarks, Tshabalala complemented the Steve Tshwete Municipality for achieving a clean audit.This was led by Mayor Mike Masina, under whom Maluti-A-Phofung has inaugurated a relationship of exchanging good practices for effective service delivery and acceleration of transformation. The budget rested on the idea of continuously improving education by providing bursaries to academically- deserving students and giving hope to the youth through various training programmes, such as internships, learnership, experiential training and other economic opportunities. This was testified to through the 100 students who were awarded with learnerships from the Local Government Sector Education and Training Authority (LGSETA), which will be beneficial for gaining skills for the Special Economic Zone operation. In re-igniting the confidence of the community and mitigating solutions to the current drought disaster, Maluti-A-Phofung Water proposed to merge the pipelines of the Sterkfontein Dam, the Metsimatsho Dam and the Fika-Patso Dam to increase the supply of water. Tshabalala, with a vision of a progressive and developed municipality, highlighted the prioritising of agriculture, the supporting of small, medium and micro-sized enterprises (SMME), sport, tourism, service delivery, public safety, transport and security to entice and consolidate investments for the community of Maluti-A-Phofung to prosper.In support of youth development, Chief Peete, a resident of Phuthaditjhaba, expressed that he felt enlightened that he had gained a better understanding of how the municipality functioned regarding service delivery.