Strong decisions the key to our success, says KwaDukuza mayor

2015-07-29 10:25
KwaDukuza mayor Ricardo Mthembu. (Ricardo Mthembu, Facebook)

KwaDukuza mayor Ricardo Mthembu. (Ricardo Mthembu, Facebook)

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Durban - For KwaDukuza Mayor Richardo Mthembu, the secret to running the best performing municipality is simply working together, while at the same time leading a group of councillors who aren't afraid to make decisions.

The municipality was recently recognised as the best performing municipality in KwaZulu-Natal by the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).

They looked at institutional capacity, financial viability, delivery of basic services, local economic development and spending on Municipal Infrastructure Grants.

Mthembu said the municipality - with a budget of R1.4bn and a population of about 500 000 people - derived most of their income from a large rates base but also depended on grants from provincial and national government.

“Our secret is working together with the administrative staff. The award doesn’t mean that we do not have challenges. We were smart and converted our challenges into strengths,” said Mthembu.

He said he leads a team of councillors that are not afraid of making decisions.

Economic powerhouse

“KwaDukuza is regarded as the economic powerhouse of iLembe District Municipality. The municipality is where investments and growth take place.

"We have also participated in the development of major projects which includes the Ballito Interchange, P445 in the northern corridor and plays a huge role in mobilising for investments,” said Mthembu, who has been a mayor since 2011.

He said KwaDukuza was well-located in between the eThekwini Metro and the City of Umhlathuze.

“KwaDukuza Municipality has been receiving clean audits for the past nine years, this means that taxpayers’ money is being well accounted for and being used the way it should.

"The municipality is active in pursuit of outstanding debts owed by its customers, with incentive schemes in place to ensure its continued fiscal sustainability,” said Mthembu.

He said housing was the municipality’s biggest challenge.

“We told the NCOP we are moving speedily on housing, but our efforts have been hampered because of a lack of funding. There are projects that have passed the planning phase and are ready to be built, but we can’t carry on because we do not have money,” said Mthembu.

“We are strategically located between Mandeni, Ndwedwe and KwaMaphumulo and people are always moving into our municipality to seek employment,” he said.

Read more on:    durban  |  local government  |  service delivery

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