(Durban-eThekwini is one of the municipalities where the status quo remains and no coalitions are needed)
06 September 2016
Today marks exactly two weeks since the 5th eThekwini Municipal Council was inaugurated on 23 August 2016. At this ceremony 218 councillors took the oath of office that they will serve with diligence at all times. This is a report back.
Availability of services at Councillor offices
Councillors will be available to assist residents and can be reached on their mobile phones as well as in their nearest Sizakala Centre for assistance.
The first induction for the 218 Councillors and 16 Amakhosi was organised by the Municipality, on 29-31 August 2016 at the Durban City Hall. The objective of the induction was to familiarise Councillors with Municipal policies, strategic objectives and budget processes to ensure successful management of the City.
Then from 5 to 9 September 2016, Councillors attended the South African Local Government Association/ Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs induction programme which includes some of the following modules: Policy and Legislation applicable to Local Government, Municipal Planning and Strategy, Municipal Finance Management, Municipal Performance and Accountability, Key Municipal processes, Developmental Local Government and service delivery, Councillors leadership roles and responsibilities.
Convening of Committee, Exco and Council meetings
According to council report the City is at work. Teams of officials are out in full force rendering services to the 3.5 million residents. Waste is being collected, roads are being repaired, houses are being built, clinics are operating, libraries are operating and maintenance work is in progress.
Mayor’s stakeholder and outreach programme
Since taking office, the newly elected Mayor Zandile Gumede has interacted with a range of stakeholders across the City to ensure that there is a robust engagement programme. In the past two weeks, the Mayor has articulated the municipality’s programme of action at some high-level strategic stakeholders’ events.
At these events the Mayor made reference to the commitments she has made during her inaugural speech, which includes driving economic growth, fighting corruption, women empowerment, youth and rural development, fighting social ills as well as the development of Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises. These and other priorities listed in the Mayor’s inaugural speech are being actively driven by all levels of City officials.
Fast tracking of services is among the many promises made by the Council. “In 86 days’ time, we will pronounce on our service delivery progress. It is important for residents to remember that they are at the centre of what we do at all times. Building a sustainable and people centred City hinges on constant two-way communication between elected public representatives and the community. We cannot achieve our vision of being Africa’s most caring and liveable City by 2030 without you.”
Here is a clear message- contact your councillor if there are any problems in your area!