GREATER Kokstad Municipal Mayor Bheki Mtolo has announced plans for the development of Kokstad.
Addressing media at the Council chambers on Tuesday afternoon, Mtolo said he is pleased about the development taking place in Kokstad to improve the lives of communities.
He outlined a number of infrastructure projects that are taking place in Kokstad, as well as the employment of qualified and skilled municipal managers.
“I wish to inform the community of Kokstad that our municipality is financially stable and it is in a much better position than it was last year,” said Mtolo.
He said the municipality has a surplus of R57 million.
He said in the 2016/2017 financial year, they received a qualified audit opinion but in the 2017/2018 financial year they managed to get an unqualified audit report.
Municipal manager Lulamile Mapholoba echoed Mtolo’s words, saying that they decided to set up an audit task team to ensure that all impediments that may cause them to not receive a clean audit opinion from the auditor-general are removed.
“Our mandate is to ensure we gradually graduate to improve our audit outcomes and our aim is to make sure our municipality is being counted among the best in the country,” said Mapholoba.
He said they are also fighting fraud and corruption, warning employers involved in such activities that the municipality is preparing to launch an ethics code where municipal officials will be required to declare all their business interests.
“We have created a consumer portal where you can log in on your cellphone to pay municipal accounts, get statements on your phone and buy electricity as well,” said the mayor.
He informed the communities of Kokstad that debt collection has been stepped up as they have adopted a new strategy for collecting revenue. He admitted that there is still a challenge because there are people who can afford to pay rates but are applying to be classified as indigent.
He also said they have filled most of the vacant positions.
At the media briefing, the mayor introduced two newly employed managers. Nthabeleng Matshoba is assistant manager communications and IGR, while Nonjabulo Ndlovu is assistant manager IDP and Organisational Performance Management.