SDUDUZO Gumede was inaugurated as the iLembe District Municipality mayor last Thursday, 25 August at an inaugural district council sitting at Sayabuza Sports Field in KwaMaphumulo.
Dolly Shandu was re-elected deputy mayor and Lucky Makhathini was appointed speaker during the inauguration of 32 of the district’s councillors.
Makhathini urged councillors to treat each other as equals and shed their differing political viewpoints when serving on council with the purpose of working as a collective for the interest of the community.
He said working with the previous speaker, Thokozani Msweli, and outgoing KwaDukuza Municipality speaker, Thulani Khuluse offered him valuable lessons which he believes will help him perform his duties appropriately.
He wished the outgoing district mayor Welcome Mdabe well and commended him for the maturity he displayed when accepting that his term of office had come to an end, adding that other leaders can learn from this.
Gumede vowed to deliver on promises made by the ANC Greater KwaDukuza Region during campaigning ahead of this year’s local government elections.
“We, here today, are recommitting ourselves to the priorities we [spoke about] during the election campaign,” he said.
He said these priorities had been gathered from communities and include accelerating the roll-out of water and sanitation in rural communities, upgrading and replacing aging infrastructure, improving revenue collection; engaging communities about tariffs, in particular the sewerage tariff.
“We also pledge to make effective use of our development agency iLembe Enterprise to stimulate the local economy,” Gumede said.
He added that the newly sworn in council is committed to strengthening relations with traditional leaders as well as with the community.
“As a community of the iLembe District we pride ourselves very much on the fact that we are a municipality built on the good deeds and legacy of heroes from this district.
“This is why this municipality is known as iLembe.
“This is paying homage to the king from KwaDukuza, the unifier of the Zulu nation who had the vision of bringing people together.
“It is therefore, important for us as councillors to learn from this and work hand-in-hand and put aside the fact that we come from different political parties,” he said.
Gumede also undertook to eradicate poverty by creating employment opportunities, especially for the youth.
“We have noted that the young people from this district are desperately in need of jobs,” he said.
Gumede praised and thanked Mdabe for the work he did during his time in office.