Operation Sukuma Sakhe relaunched

2016-11-02 06:00

POLITICAL champion of uMgungundlovu District, Belinda Scott, also KZN MEC for Finance, had stern words for councillors during the relaunch of Operation Sukuma Sakhe at district level.

Speaking at the Pietermaritzburg City Hall last Friday, Scott said it was time for councillors to revive war rooms in their respective wards to overcome issues destroying communities such as poverty, unemployment, crime and HIV.

Scott said continuous interaction between government and the community had to start at a municipal level and that is why the programme had to be re-launched.

She said it is proving difficult for the provincial team to reach all seven municipalities within uMgungundlovu District in a year.

Scott urged councillors to start taking responsibility for their respective wards.

“Being a councillor is not a privilege, it is a responsibility and each one of you has to take that responsibility seriously.

“If war rooms do not operate, you need to look to yourself first as councillor because it means you are not communicating correctly to ensure that provincial representatives know what is wrong in your communities.

“As a councillor you need to be available and accessible to the community. Your community must know who you are, you need to work - if you don’t work you are going to be replaced.

“Respect your deployment or be replaced so we can get service delivery going.”

She said it was alarming that uMgungundlovu District had the highest number of HIV/Aids infections in the province.

“The statistics are not acceptable. Why are we not supporting people with HIV? These numbers mean we are not getting to people and addressing issues we need to. We need a turnaround to make this the best district,” she added.

She said the envisaged plan is to have Operation Sukuma Sakhe functional at municipal level, and through the district mayor every month provincial representatives will focus on one municipality per district.

“This will require every mayor to ensure that councillors are deployed in each war room so that municipalities can understand challenges facing each community and give comprehensive reports.

“It will also ensure that communities don’t wait for provincial representatives, but matters raised on the ground can be dealt with at municipal level and relevant departments can directly attend to them.”

She said the involvement of councillors in this programme is key especially with the current state of the economy.

“The economy is really down at the moment, so we have to start optimising our money well, not just at municipal level,l but also at provincial level. We need to hear from you what the biggest challenges in your area are so money can be allocated accordingly.”

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