Addressing the state of the city

2015-08-05 06:00
PHOTO: Ian carbutt

Msunduzi Mayor Chris Ndlela inspects the guard of honour at the State of the City Address at the Royal Showgrounds.

PHOTO: Ian carbutt Msunduzi Mayor Chris Ndlela inspects the guard of honour at the State of the City Address at the Royal Showgrounds.

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MAYOR Chris Ndlela used his State of the City address last Friday to assure Pietermaritzburg residents that no effort would be spared to ensure that this city becomes one that everyone­ can be proud of.

He stood by the fact that he believes residents need to “remove the culture of lawlessness” and understand that they need to pay for the services they use.

Ndlela said when the current council took over there was little to no accountability and that there was no municipal manager, nor a deputy municipal manager.

“As the newly elected council we moved with speed to ensure that there is senior management to provide strategic leadership.”

He said the leadership had inherited various issues, including outstanding investigations and poor and unmaintained infrastructure, which have been given the most attention over the past five years with numerous plans in place to turn the state of the city around.

“We are honest enough to acknowledge that there had been a lack of proper oversight on the part of councillors, which in turn led to an inefficient and dysfunctional administration that did not have sufficient controls, and which affected the delivery of services to our people. We committed that this will not happen under our watch,” said Ndlela.

To this end last year an anti-fraud and corruption strategy and the anti-fraud hotline was launched.

“We are encouraged by the fact that we have received a positive response from our residents who have reported instances. Again, we commit that no effort will be spared in punishing anyone who is hell bent on taking any rand and cent that is meant for the delivery of services to the residents of this municipality,” said Ndlela.

He said money has been set aside for the upgrade of various­ forms of infrastructure in the city.

“For this reason we have set aside R250 million to address repairs and the maintenance backlog.”

Ndela also referred to the various electrification programmes taking place throughout the municipality.

Although the initial roll-out did not address all needy areas­, the 2015/15 financial year includes other areas in need of this project including Swapo phase 2, Triumph Road in Copesville, Zuma’s extension in Sweetwaters and Jika Joe in Fitzsimmonds Road and Masukwana Street.

In terms of water saving, R15 million has been set aside to attend to the challenge and R650 million over the next five years towards the replacement of the water infrastructure.

“We believe that our firm stance on good governance principals has laid a crucial foundation in ensuring the successes that have been recorded during this term,” said Ndlela

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