State of the District Address 2018 by the Executive Mayor of Capricorn District Municipality, Cllr John Mpe, Ga-Rafiri, Zebediela, Lepelle-Nkumpi
25 May 2018
Our Speaker, Honourable Mme Nakedi Lekganyane;
Our Host Traditional Authority, Kgoshi Kekana III
Our host Mayor, Her Worship Cllr Nakedi Sibanda-Kekana
His and Her worships, Executive Mayor and Mayors of our local municipalities;
Our district Chief Whip, Ntate Calvin Masoga;
Speakers and Chief Whips of our local municipalities;
Members of the Mayoral Committee;
Maaparankwe, Our Honoured Traditional Leaders;
Leaders and members of our glorious movement, the African National Congress;
Leaders of political parties represented in our Councils;
Our Ward Committee members;
Municipal Manager, Ms Nokuthula Mazibuko;
Senior Managers and other municipal officials;
Representatives of various government departments, municipalities, Parastatals;
Members of the Business Community;
Members of the academia;
Deaf and disability South Africa;
Representatives of Community Based Organisations;
Comrades, friends and compatriots;
Members of the community and those who are listening on various radio stations;
Madam Speaker, allow me to take this opportunity to convey my sincere, warm and heartfelt greetings to everyone present here today, including all residents of Capricorn District listening to these proceedings.
We are meeting here today as the fourth democratically elected Council of Capricorn District to deliver the State of the District Address, just moments after we adopted the Integrated Development Plan and budget for 2018/19.
This special occasion gives us as an opportunity to appropriately respond to central question in the minds of our people as to what are we doing as municipalities in Capricorn district to lift from their shoulders, the intolerable burden of unemployment, poverty and inequalities. This momentous occasion also gives us an opportunity to present a programme of action to guide our financial commitments for 2018/19.
Madam Speaker, we gather here today at a time when Africa is celebrating 50 years of African Union, which highlights five decades of progress on the continent. We believe leaders of all member states will continue working together to end civil conflicts, extreme poverty, human rights violations, and infrastructure challenges so that Africa can continue to rise.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is befitting that we chose to come here in Lepelle-Nkumpi Municipality, the home of Sefako Makgatho, the 2nd President of Africa‘s oldest liberation movement, the African National Congress. Through his famous quote that says “We ask for no special favours from the Government. This is the land of our fathers,” Sefako Makgatho, hailing from Ga-Mphahlele in our district, stood firm in opposition to the dispossession of land from the African majority.
This important gathering also takes place at a time when our country, continent and the rest of humanity across the globe is celebrating 100 years of Nelson Mandela, uncontested founding father of our democracy, the volunteer-in-chief of the defiance campaign, commander-in-chief of Umkhondo We Sizwe, the President of the ANC, who dedicated his entire life to serve his country and his people. We also celebrate another centenary and one of the key architects of our democracy, Cde Albertina Sisulu who, together with her generation of freedom fighters, fought for the gains of freedom we enjoy today.
This is also the year in which South Africa lost the mother of our nation – Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, a candle in the wind, whose strength and determination carried her through the most painful times of the struggle. Her resistance, defiance and resilience in the face of adversity served as inspiration to struggle veterans and generations of freedom fighters.
We cannot talk about freedom and its fruits without mentioning the names of these heroes and heroines of our struggle as well as the brutal murder of Chris Hani. Their contribution and their legacy leave us with courage and wisdom to continue with efforts to end poverty and hunger for the benefit of all.
It is through such inspiration that local government made significant inroads in our quest to give this freedom a true meaning. This can be seen with the massive infrastructural development, substantial reduction of poverty through job creation, access to portable water, and connection to electricity. These have changed our people’s encounter with underdevelopment and inequality.
Despite these achievements, there are still challenges that water-down the meaning of freedom and we believe a lot can still be done to lift them out of extreme poverty; create more jobs than before; expand social security, housing and basic services to our people; and further improve access to better education and health care.
INFRASTRUCTURE AND BASIC SERVICE DELIVERY
The success of our socio-economic transformation requires that we build and upgrade our infrastructure, which in turn implies the ability to unlock economic potential of the district. Both the State of the Nation Address by His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa and State of the Province Address by the Honourable Premier Chupu Mathabatha identified infrastructure expansion as one of the key pillars that must be used to improve the living conditions of our communities, whilst at the same time, creating job opportunities for our people.
We therefore remain responsive to the need to invest in the public infrastructure for a better life for all. This we do as part of the advances to attain objects of Millennium Development targets, national and provincial mandates as well as the Local Government Strategic Agenda, and other policy frameworks. This explains why much of our budget projected for the MTREF period will mainly be used for key infrastructure projects and dealing at length with some of the bottlenecks impacting on accelerated service delivery.
Madam Speaker, the delivery of water remains the primary and key mandate of the Capricorn District Municipality as Water Services Authority, supported by Lepelle Northern Water and our local municipalities and national government through conditional funding and support. We are therefore guided by a common goal of making water a catalyst for fighting poverty and a critical bulk infrastructure to stimulate economic growth.
In order for Capricorn District Municipality to achieve its vision where every household enjoys a decent standard of living that water gives, we must expedite water supply and maintain the infrastructure that enables that supply.
Challenges such as ageing infrastructure, water scarcity, 80% of our district population that depends on ground water source, and the growing patterns of our villages continue to cause the imbalance between water demand and water supply.
In the spirit of IGR or cooperative governance, we managed to work with Lepelle Northern Water, Department of Water and our local municipalities in ensuring that 89% of residents are connected to the water reticulation network. With this, we were able to marshal our resources to give people water.
We are therefore pleased to report that the following water projects are set to improve the lives of our people:
§ In Lepelle-Nkumpi – We are going to spend R299m to complete water projects at Bolatjane, Dithabaneng, Makurung, Phalakwane, Mogodi, Hwelesaneng, Thamagane, Kgapamadi, Seswikaneng, Serobaneng, Mamaolo, Morotse, Marulaneng, Lenting, Tooseng, Gedroogte and Lebowakgomo – to benefit 39 307 residents in 15 villages. These projects are rolled out on a multi-phase approach between now and 2021. In addition, plans are afoot to roll out a groundwater project to benefit communities in Makaung, Madilaneng, Ga-Mazwi, Ramorake, Sefafaolo, Makaepea, Sedimothole, Seleteng Moshate and Mashite.
§ In Blouberg – R168m is put aside for water projects serving Uitkyk, Tswatsane, Lipzight / Sesalong, and Hlako are complete, benefitting 4 954 households. Blackhill, Brana, Mangalo, Lekgwara, Hlako, Mampote, and Dithabaneng will soon be completed. Currently we are rolling out more water projects at Lethaleng, Ga-Machaba, Burgerrecht, Langlaagte and Senwabarwana. In Schoongesight the municipality is looking into the alternative methods because Eskom does not have capacity for the borehole to be energised. At Slaaphoek a poor performing contractor was terminated and a new one was appointed to complete the works.
§ In Molemole –We have set aside a budget of R48m to complete water projects at Maupye, Schellenburg, Rheiland, KoeKoek, Mohodi and Sekonye and some of them are almost complete, benefitting 2 387 households. Currently, work is underway at Sephala, Mokopu, Makwetja and Nthabiseng villages and the water projects are to be complete within the next few months to the rune of.
§ Polokwane Local Municipality has also planned some of the following capital projects that they will be implement in 2018/19:
o The upgrading of Olifantspoort RWS (Mmotong wa Perekisi) 2, Moletjie East RWS 2 for Mabotsa-Ramphele villages;
o Aganang RWS 1 and 2;
o Sebayeng Dikgale RWS;
o Molepo RWS phase 10;
o LaasteHoop RWS phase 10;
o Mankweng RWS phase 10;
o Boyne RWS phase 10;
o Installation of smart meters in Mankweng township;
o Replacement of old asbestos pipes with PVC pipes in Polokwane CBD, Seshego and Ladanna; and
All these projects will go long in restoring the confidence of our people in their local government. And that can only happen if appointed contractors do quality workmanship for value of money on all projects. Contractors who do not perform according to specifications, timeframes and budget will be penalised – such as two contractors in Nyakelane in Molemole and Slaaphoek in Blouberg. When we say a project is complete, contractor must see to it that there is water flowing from the taps and both the ward councillor and the contractor must sign it off to confirm that indeed the project is functional before final payment can be effected.
For the 2018/19 financial year, a total of R388m for water projects throughout the District while R235m is set aside for Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) for water projects. Our budget for water supply thus represents 87% of our capital expenditure for the next financial year, and that speaks volumes about our commitment to significantly reduce delivery backlogs.
Operations and maintenance
Existing infrastructure that is not maintained creates new backlogs and stalls service delivery. In CDM, our technicians are always on high alert and stand-by to attend to any breakdowns as well as short-term challenges such as leaks. However, the incidents of pipe bursts and leaks in our townships particularly in Lebowakgomo on the Specon line are a cause for concern. Those pipes have outlived their expected lifespan and they are sometimes failing to cope with the pressure of rapid reticulation. Too many, frequent leaks and bursts affect our cost recovery mechanisms for revenue collection. We do not only lose water, but millions of rands too.
However, we have begun with replacement of old pipes in Lebowakgomo and R5m project is completed and we need more funding to do a wholesale replacement of all asbestos pipes with PVC ones in our townships. We will engage the Department of Water and Sanitation and explore possibilities and methods of funding for this mega project. This will encourage the culture of payment for services by our consumers. In the interim, we have increased the number and capacity of our technicians in partnership with our local municipalities and Lepelle Northern Water to attend to all leaks and bursts as soon as they are detected.
We also call on our residents and businesses in our townships to work with us and report any leaks or bursts to the local municipality or the District as this will enhance our turn-around time in attending to the leaks and bursts, and save us water.
We are also in the process of recruiting meter readers who will ensure that we collect enough revenue from water sales. We are mobilising communities to work with us and report any case of theft and vandalism of water engines as such crimes deprive our villages of water supply.
In the last SODA, we made a promise to move with speed to address issues of pump operators, who are our servants that ensure that our communities receive water when they should. We are pleased to report that we managed to absorb many of them permanently.
It is our belief therefore that, the R101m budget that we are setting aside for 2018/19 will enable us to attend to all leaks and bursts while increasing access to water supply.
Sanitation and WWTW
Ladies and gentlemen, there is an urgent need to multiply our efforts to restore the dignity of our people through provision of decent sanitation facilities. We also have to increase the capacity of our waste treatment works in order to cope with the rising needs of residents and businesses in townships. This is because of rapid population and patterns of growth in our towns that demand expanded sewage lines, plants and treatment works that can handle the amount of effluent they receive in large volumes every day.
We are therefore pleased to report that we have completed a sanitation project that serves Mogoto, Volop and Gedroogte for 423 households as well as the refurbishment of Lebowakgomo Treatment Works at a cost of R16m and the scope of work will continue in the next financial as soon as planning and designs are completed to determine the cost of upgrading and the appropriate technology. We have thus set aside R21m aside for the 2018/19 that will be used for sanitation projects.
In addition, Polokwane Municipality has will refurbish of Polokwane Waste Water Treatment Works in the next financial year.
Electricity and energy
Madame Speaker, in the year 2000, 41% of our population did not have access to electricity. The Capricorn District Municipality, together with our local municipalities and Eskom, made a vow to our people that all households should be connected to electricity. Today, 89% of our households are connected to the grid. We resolved at the 2018 Government Lekgotla to work closely with Eskom when they investigate and respond to vandalism, theft and erections of transformers. We are also pleased that Eskom has got a multi-year plan to upgrade transformers district-wide in order to be more resistant to extreme weather patterns such as thunderstorms that often lead to power outages.
For the year ahead, our local municipalities will roll out electrification projects to connect more households. In this regard, Blouberg Municipality has committed to implement the following:
§ Electrification and Post connection of 411 units in Addney, Mochemi, Miltonduff and Hlako and Witten extension 6;
§ Electrification and connection of 285 units for The Granche, Mokhurumela, Genoa, Essoringa, Kgatla extension, Makgari ext1, and Witten ext. 6;
§ Electrification of Witten; and
§ Post Connection project of Raweshi, Cracouw, Early Dawn, Oldlongsinge, and Lekgwara.
Lepelle-Nkumpi Municipality will electrify the following projects in 2018/19 financial year:
§ Electrification of 1, 037 households at Bolahlakgomo, Mawaneng, Matime, Mamogashoa, Makushwaneng New, Mashite, Mogoto; Manaileng, Blydrift, Mathibela, Kliphuiwel, Tjiane
Eskom – We are also pleased that Eskom has planned to roll out 56 electrification projects in our district – 8 projects in Blouberg for 436 households, 4 projects in Molemole for 337 connections, 34 in Polokwane for 6,111 household connections and 10 projects in Lepelle-Nkumpi for 744 connections.
District Roads and Transport
Ladies and gentlemen, as a predominantly rural District municipality, investing in quality road infrastructure is key to unlocking the economic potential of the District. We therefore have partnerships with the provincial and national Departments to tar more roads, preserve their lifespan for aesthetic appreciation and attract investment.
Following the resolution of our Roads and Transport Summit last year, we are implementing our Rural Road Assets Management and the District Roads Master plan while the Provincial Department is also finalising the development of roads maintenance plan. We shall continue to support local municipalities to complete their integrated transport plans.
In order to reduce the backlog, we are pleased to report that Roads Agency Limpopo, which is the implementing agent for the Provincial Department of Roads and Infrastructure, has made a commitment to finish the upgrading of the following roads in our District over MTREF:
§ Morebeng-to-Senwamokgope in Molemole;
§ Moletji-to-Makgodu in Polokwane;
§ Marulaneng Village in Lepelle-Nkumpi;
§ Chebeng-to-Koloti-to Kolopo-to-Kanana-to-Senwabarwana; and
§ Further, RAL will also upgrade road R523-to-Alldays;
The City of Polokwane will also implement the following roads projects:
§ Chebeng to Makweya internal roads and storm water infrastructure;
§ Sebayeng ring road and storm water infrastructure;
§ Upgrading Semenya to Matekereng;
§ Upgrading internal streets in Toronto;
§ Ramongwana bus and taxi roads;
§ Upgrading of access road to Maja Moshate;
§ Upgrading of Makanye road (Thoka) ;
§ Upgrading of internal streets in Seshego Zone 2, 3, 4, 5 and 8;
§ Mohlonong-to-Kalkspruit upgrading of roads from gravel to tar; and
§ Acquisition of Leeto la Polokwane BRT bus fleet
In addition, Blouberg Local Municipality will also fund the implementation of the following projects:
· Internal street and stormwater in Senwabarwana phase 7 and 8, Senwabarwana sports complex, Indermark phase 5 and Avon phase 3 and 2
In addition, Molemole Local Municipality will also fund the implementation of the following projects:
§ Ramokgopa to Eisleben gravel to tar phase 2;
§ Mohodi to Maponto gravel to tar;
§ Matipane to Madikana Gravel to tar;
§ Upgrading of Nthabiseng Internal Streets;
§ Construction of gravel-to-tar from Ramokgopa-to-Eisleben, Matipana-to-Madikana; and
§ Upgrading of internal streets at Nthabiseng, Capricorn Park, Mohodi-to-Maponto.
Lepelle-Nkumpi will upgrade the following roads projects:
§ Upgrading of access road from gravel to tar and storm water control (Multi-year) in Mogoto to Moshongo, Dithabaneng access road, Mahlarolla access road from gravel to tar and storm water control (Multi-year), Hwelereng access road, Hweleshaneng access road, Rakgoathwa Internal Streets, Kliphuiwel (Ga-Ledwaba) access road, Moletlane Moshate to Chita Kekana School road, Seleteng Ga-Chidi to Solly Colman;
§ Construction of Access Bridge-Ivory Route Mafefe;
§ Compilation of Roads and Storm Water Master Plan (Phase 2) ;
§ Upgrading of Access Road to Ga-Seloane Moshate;
§ Construction of Makgophong-to-Ga-Molapo Bridge;
§ Tarring of Magatle Internal Streets phase 3
§ Construction of stormwater drainage systems in Mogotlane, Rakgoatha.
On road safety, we are working closely with the Department of Education in road safety school debate which involves schools in building very strong road safety movement. This year’s competition is taking place tomorrow, 26 May at Capricorn High School.
SPATIAL ANALYSIS AND RATIONALE
Madam Speaker, poverty and social inequalities in our midst have their roots in apartheid spatial patterns that legislated black people into poverty, away from economic centres and growth points. The effects of this practice can be seen and felt with many of our communities strapped in outlying areas, characterised by slow economic activities and poverty – thus making it difficult and complex for us to plan for land use and facilitate economic development and sustainable human settlements.
However, as the District:
§ We developed Spatial Development Framework (SDF) in line with the prescripts of Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act (SPLUMA)
§ The Geographic Information System is in place;
§ We established Municipal Planning Tribunal to implement SPLUMA in our local municipalities;
§ We will foster the understanding of spatial planning as espoused in SPLUMA with our traditional leaders, councillors and other key stakeholders;
§ Work is also underway to review the District 2030 Development Strategy, which guides investment attraction, economic growth and development the next 20 years. We are pleased to announce that our IDP has been lauded by MEC of CoGHSTA as the best in the province with highest credible status in terms of compliance to legislation, public participation and alignment to LDP and the NDP; and
§ We therefore welcome the progressive stance of the National Assembly on the review of land redistribution to move away from willing seller willing seller approach
§ We also welcome the resolutions of the historic national land summit that was held last weekend, which addressed the impatience of our people in respect of acceleration of land reform through expropriation of land without compensation and this process will be implemented in an orderly and lawful manner
§ We therefore appeal to your local municipalities to be steadfast and put development first when they allocate stands for residence and business
Going forward, we are allocating R500 000 towards implementation of the SDF. This will position us to be a planning theatre that will make us a spatially efficient district for development to flourish.
Local Economic Development
Madam Speaker, we have in the previous years focused largely on investment promotion for all the sectors, infrastructure development, technical support services to SMME’s and cooperatives as well as skills development. This we did to create a conducive environment for further economic growth and development.
Our Growth and Development Strategy 2040 is anchored on four pillars that serves as the foundation that directs the approach to transformation, integration and building the desired future. These pillars include
§ Promoting Economic Growth and Development
§ Spatial Transformation and Building an Integrated District
§ Provision of Services
§ Governance through IGR
These pills will help us shape future growth through four strategic objectives which will guide the strategic intention outlined above:
§ Attract Investment
§ Invest in Infrastructure
§ Develop Skills to support Economic Growth
§ Make social security a reality
These four objectives will be reached through strategies, that will need defined projects and programmes, which will be prioritised for delivery during each 5-year local government term from now to 2040.
Allow me to also state that we have got limited pool of skilled labour, currently only 7% of population within the district has tertiary education – a phenomenon which increases unemployment rate. Also, we have noted a trend of community cooperatives that are collapsing due to lack of business skills which lead to low economic growth and high unemployment rate, which now stands at 17%. To this end we have taken a quantum leap to focus on the following interventions:
§ We are rolling out capacity building for cooperatives and identify catalytic projects and continue to create a conducive environment for entrepreneurship;
§ We facilitate access to higher education and address skills shortages by awarding bursaries to 40 students who want to pursue careers in engineering at FET colleges;
§ We designed an internship programme and placed them across our administrative spectrum;
§ 40 community cooperatives and 10 bead workers were empowered;
§ We are implementing Agri-Park project with Department of Rural Development and Land Reform and a hub has been identified in Moletjie and two farmer production support units have been identified at Blouberg and Molemole;
§ In line with the review of the Preferential Procurement regulations to advance designated groups, we have implemented the new objective criteria that requires business to subcontract a minimum of 30% of the value of contract and to a apply subcontracting requirement for a contract above R30m.
§ Madam Speaker, despite relative low economic growth across all local sectors, the Provincial economic outlook still indicates that our district economy is still a major contributor towards the Provincial economic patterns and this means that it continues to grow faster than other four districts in the Province at 23%. This growth managed to translate into creation of 2 116 job opportunities from the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) grant through alien plant eradication project in Blouberg and Lepelle Nkumpi.
§ The total number of jobs that were created are 5 273 in this financial year.
Plans are afoot to breathe new life into Motumo Trading Post so it can be used by small enterprises to showcase their diverse tourism business products. We have completed a feasibility study into it and we are pleased that we have the support of traditional leaders and the national government and we will soon secure a partner for private investment to operationalise the facility to benefit the local community and grow the local economy.
Looking forward, in the coming financial year, an allocation of R14m has been made to implement local economic development programmes, spatial planning, EPWP and transport planning.
Madame Speaker, we need no reminder that we are all the custodians of the environment, and therefore we need to reaffirm our commitment to protect and preserve it. This obliges us all to take responsibility to take steps to reduce effects of climate change, a phenomenon which comes with extreme weather patterns that threaten our human sustenance.
For this reason, we remain on course in planting more trees, environmental education and waste management; implementing air quality management plan; and eradication of alien plants in our local municipalities. These we do to manage the conservation and protection of environment for compliance to environmental health and its legislation.
With regard to landfill sites, Blouberg landfill site is complete and we are funding the management and its operations. Our partnership with Wildlife and Environmental Education of SA (WESSA) is still on course in ensuring that we empower schools about environmental awareness. This year, 120 primary school learners attended a three-day Eco-School Environmental Education Programme to gain insight about the environment. To this end, we have set aside R17, 4m for environmental management for the next financial year.
Madame Speaker, whenever disasters strike, the most vulnerable and poor households are left devastated and in distress. The most common disaster hazards in our district include structural fire, flash floods, severe storms and veld fires. It is for this reason that we hosted District Disaster Risk Reduction Summit in order to reduce risks associated with disasters and build resilient communities that are able to cope and recover quickly after disasters. We made a commitment through a pledge we signed at the Summit towards achieving that goal.
For this financial year, we have an allocation of R10m for disaster management and R12m for emergency services, that will be spent on the refurbishment of Blouberg fire station, Molemole fire station as well as Sefako Makgato Fire Station in Lepelle Nkumpi; and the construction of the Aganang cluster fire station at Ga-Rampuru. This station will serve our communities in Moletjie, Matlala and Mashashane. Once the station is complete, it will be named after TT Cholo while Lepelle Nkumpi will henceforth be renamed Sefako Makgatho as it was announced in the 2017 State of the District Address (SODA). We have already met with the two families for courtesy and blessing to start with the renaming process. The new fire station in Aganang will incorporate municipal health services, which is a critical district function which ensures that there is improvement in the quality of food, water etc.
Still on Municipal Health, we played a significant role in helping the Department of Health and National Institute of Communicable Diseases to trace the source of listeriosis bacteria which caused national hysteria when its origin was traced in our district, at a factory in the City of Polokwane. This was after our environmental health practitioners took samples at the factory and detected the bacteria, after which it was recommended that full deep cleansing be made before production of ready-to-eat foodstuff could resume at the factory. The matter is continuing to receive serious attention from us and we are working very closely with the Provincial Health Department, the Ministry of Health and National Institute for Communicable Diseases to ensure that all precautions are followed before the factory is back in business.
In the words of Nelson Mandela, “HIV/Aids is not only a disease but also a human rights issue”. It is also a socio-economic issue which cuts across and affects us all, in different ways. We are therefore pleased to report that the District Aids Council is functional and most recently the MEC for Health launched our District Aids Council on a five-year term to fight the scourge of HIV/Aids and coordinate care and support programmes through the partnerships with various NGO’s/CBOs. For this financial year, we are allocating R601, 000 to fight HIV and Aids and further reduce infection rate.
We have also intensified our fight against substance abuse and other substances are ravaging our communities. The addicts are becoming younger and we should fight more and find effective methods of rehabilitating the users. These social ills compromise the future of our children by depriving them of their education and deny them youth development opportunities. The social ills have even found a market in our schools. Going forward, we are pledging our support to the Moral Regeneration Movement initiatives of restoring humane social attitudes and fight social ills.
It is such social ills coupled with a number of socio-economic factors that inhibit youth development – in respect of their education and skills development. President Ramaphosa, when he launched the Youth Employment Service earlier this year, stated that it is in our best interest to fight against all these mishaps and build a friendlier society in which young people can be champions of our country’s future.
Social transformation programmes
The district remains mindful of the fact that education is a very complex matter that requires a broad set of responses. And there is no doubt that we are all aware that education is a necessary and most powerful ingredient for development.
Being a district municipality, we are worried that our district has been dislodged from the top spot for many years and we have been unable to reclaim the first and second positions in the province. The matric results for the past years have showed progressive decline in performance.
We therefore forged partnership with the District Department of Education and SALGA in dispensing support to underperforming, under-resourced and under-privileged schools in the district in order to improve Grade 12 matric results in our district. It is for that reason that we held matric boot-camp for 196 Maths and Science grade 12 learners who needed some extra-help in preparing for their final matric exams and improve their pass rate and this programme was able to produce 135 learners who passed. 55 learners passed with Bachelors, 51 passed with Diploma and 26 passed with Higher Certificates. The remaining number wrote few subjects and will re-write the rest in June.
We also handed out school uniforms, backpacks, stationary, shoes, and school promotional materials to the best performing learners and those from impoverished families. We have already made strides when we donated those items to needy learners at Ga-Molepo as part of our 2017 Mandela Month activities in partnership with Lingas Entertainment. Back-to-school campaign is no longer about visiting schools when they re-open in January and make speeches, but about investing in the improvement of their performance, building self-esteem and confidence of learners, putting smiles on their faces so they can look forward to going to school, with pride.
We also hosted the District Principals Leadership Summit which brought together principals and curriculum specialists from across the district to share good practices, learn from each other in finding lasting solution to challenge that affect the quality of basic education. This was in response to unsatisfactory matric results which were a serious cause for concern.
Sports, Arts and Culture
Madame Speaker, we all know sports, arts and culture form an integral part of the basket of social cohesion and upliftment programmes that should be prioritised for implementation. To this end, we are engaged in partnership negotiations with various sporting councils to promote participation and competitiveness of our District in various sporting codes.
§ We have completed the upgrading of District Satellite Sport Academy in Ga-Mothapo, which is a multi-purpose facility that has a potential to generate revenue for us through membership fees. We have already met with the community about proposed tariffs that will be in force once the facility is re-opened to the public.
§ We are also working on plans to build a stadium in Lebowakgomo that will make the township more resourceful in terms of sporting activities.
§ While Molemole Municipality has committed to upgrade Ramokgopa stadium and also roll out the construction of Mohodi Sport facility with fields and tracks for different sporting codes, irrigation systems for football pitch, water source and equip it with electricity, ticket sales office and access control.
§ Blouberg local municipality will construct Ben Seraki Sport Complex phase 4 which includes courts and high flood lights as well as Senwabarwana Sport Complex phase 2
§ We also have an annual District Four-in-One Marathon that is held in February and the 2018 was bigger than the 2017 edition in terms of attendance and impact; and we congratulate all the winners and participants of the 2018 race. We will continue with the same race in 2019
§ We will continue to host our annual District Mayors Soccer Tournament
§ In addition, we have partnered with SAFA Limpopo in the Motsepe League VW SAFA Limpopo Challenge and the finals will be played between Dolphins FC and Boyne Tigers at Seshego tomorrow on Saturday 26 May 2018. We wish them both all the best of luck and may the good team win.
§ We are also pleased that our district has been chosen as venue for the COSAFA CUP for the 18 international teams, and the opening is on Sunday 27 May 2018.
§ In community services, we host community safety forums and commemorate calendar days. In 2017 we hosted a successful Heritage Day at Ga-Dikgale and we will continue to partner with our traditional leaders in preserving our culture, as they are the custodians of our heritage and culture, to remind our people about the importance of African culture.
MUNICIPAL FINANCE VIABILITY
Madam Speaker, insufficient revenue collection continues to be a cause for concern as it subjects us to over-dependence on grants, which impacts negatively on the growth of the capital budget and our overall financial viability. We therefore have to press ahead with our initiatives to raise more revenue, hence our resolve to improve metering and billing of water supply to bulk-water consumers in across the district. This intervention will ensure that that we instil the culture of payment of services, collect our own revenue, reduce dependency on grants and improve our budget growth.
Madam Speaker, municipalities in our district have been supporting each other in financial management, cost recovery and matters of audit and we are pleased that none of our local municipalities has received an adverse audit finding in the year under review. In that regard, Blouberg has achieve qualified, Lepelle-Nkumpi qualified, Molemole unqualified and Polokwane qualified.
In CDM we achieved:
§ Unqualified audit opinion, which is for the fourth time in a row – with less findings (17) than the previous year (30) despite the challenges of instability or vacancies in key positions and support staff including that of the Chief Financial Officer and Deputy CFO;
§ The Municipality was able to resolve almost all the audit findings by the Auditor General of South Africa for the 2016/17 audit. I must say that we should have achieved clean audit if we resolved all findings from AG.
§ We have also tremendously improved on MIG spending and this has drawn the attention of the Premier and we have been declared the best performing district in the Province in terms of financial management. We are putting our measures in place to work towards achieving clean audit.
§ CDM owes no debts to any of the government utilities.
§ The Municipality has retained its Grade 5 status for the 2017/2018 financial year, which is mainly determined by a municipality’s total income.
§ We are taking bold steps to enforce viable cost recovery mechanisms from various identified revenue streams such as water. To achieve this, we have developed revenue enhancement strategy wish to remind our people to ensure that they pay for municipal services when the payment is. Council has written off disputed debts for residents in Lepelle-Nkumpi; Molemole and Blouberg, as part of the strategy to enable ratepayers to start on clean accounts.
In line with national stance on good practices, we are tightening our anti-corruption measures as announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his State of the Nation Address. We have adopted Risk Management Policy, Fraud Prevention Plan as well as the Whistle Blowing Policy that enable us to act against any form of misconduct. We will not show messy to those who are fingered for having a hand in corruption related offences. We will not hesitate to take action. I want to remind people to take note of this Anti-Fraud Number: 0800 20 50 53. Any corrupt activities can be reported on that number
GOOD GOVERNANCE AND PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
Madam Speaker, we remain committed to good governance and Intergovernmental Relation (IGR) principles in a way that is more than a superficial focus on mentioning principles and priorities without real contextualisation. We have done our all to strengthen all existing IGR forums to better fulfil alignment responsibilities that they are expected to fulfil. We continue to lead the District as a shared space of governance with the communities and municipalities that make us up, and all policies and actions aimed at influencing development of places continue to be coordinated in this fashion.
Accordingly, we pride ourselves on the fact that our IGR forums and that our interface programmes such as Council Outreach, Municipal Public Accounts Committee (MPAC) public hearings, Special Parliaments, IDP consultations and others are all in place to ensure that we involve communities in matters of governance. Our Council is fully fledged and stable with all Council structures functioning effectively, and all political parties working together for CDM to become the home of excellence and opportunities for all. We are proud of that. We therefore appreciate cooperation of all traditional leaders for always working with us, for representing the interests and aspirations of your communities at the district level. I must also mention that the District has 28 traditional authorities and 10 of them are participating in our Council.
We also hosted the first District Ward Committee Summit in March 2018 which sought to empower ward committee members responsible for water and sanitation with all the development information and knowledge they need to become more effective in carrying out their responsibilities.
Programme director, we are pleased that we have made significant strides to strengthen working relations between the Province and municipalities. Let us continue to strive for the spirit of cooperative governance by communicating more within IGR frameworks, speak in one voice and present a coherent set of messages to our people.
Madame Speaker, no institution can perform up to its full potential and deliver on its mandate if there are too many vacancies at management and operational levels. That is why we have successfully managed to fill the positions of Municipal Manager, CFO, Corporate Services Executive Manager. Also, we have also made significant strides to ensure gender representation at management level is fairly balanced but more still need to be done for the District municipality including local municipalities to attain our employment equity targets.
We have also prioritised skills development and capacity building for our employees through academic and vocational training in various fields as well as for 26% of councillors through enrolment in various courses, workshops and training sessions diligently and without any major hurdles.
To this end, we have set aside R13m for Corporate Services, which will help enhance the capacity of employees and councillors in various courses and to partner with accredited institutions to build strong capacity.
Budget statement 2018/19
Madame Speaker, these programmes that I have outlined will be funded by a total budget of R949 millions, which comprises of R251m for capital budget and R752m for operating budget, which represents a 76/24 ratio.
We believe this budget will address the service delivery mandate for the new financial in line with the 6 Key Performance Areas (KPA’s) of Local Government Strategic Agenda so we can take our district on a trajectory of prosperity and realise the promise of a New Dawn – which is an era of hope, evoked by President Ramaphosa, inspired by the spirit of Thuma Mina during his 2018 State of the Nation Address in February, and launched officially this week. The New Dawn brings with it a sense of renewal that is moving our economy and has ushered in greater confidence in the country.
For us as CDM, Thuma Mina inspires us to rebuild trust between local government and the people it serves; to improve service delivery and get communities involved in bettering their own lives. It means Capricorn district and all its local municipalities must do their part and the communities must do their part. Every member of the community can do something. Let us lend a helping hand to help where we can. It inspires us to call on communities to work with law enforcement to fight drug lords in our communities and townships, to fight human trafficking rings, to fight gender-based violence and other inhumane acts. As local government, we are taking the Thuma Mina call to the streets to bring down the scourge of crimes against women and children and vulnerable groups in our society.
In the spirt of Thuma Mina, we use every opportunity to profile Capricorn District and grow our local economy and change the lives the lives of our people. Let us embrace this campaign to move Capricorn district from where it is to where we want to see it. This is a call to black and white; coloured and Indian, old and young; rich and poor; Christian and Muslim; worker and business; educated and uneducated; healthy and sick; king and subject – to join the Thuma Mina movement and hold hands and walk together on a journey of success. We call on every South African to roll up their sleeves and get down to work.
Tributes and congratulations
As I close, let me take this opportunity to remember the following special figures in our district:
§ Earlier this year we lost pay tribute to a literary giant and icon of Sepedi drama, who hailed from our district, Aletta Motimele. She was a doyen of poetry and prose who wrote many radio dramas for Thobela Fm and authored books, some of which were prescribed for school curriculum.
§ We also congratulate Caster Semenya – the Olympic and Commonwealth champion for setting the new record in a 1,500m race in a Diamond League.
§ We also congratulate Dolphins FC of Blouberg, for their qualification to participate in the promotional playoffs of the National First Division.
§ We also express our pride and appreciate Baroka FC and Polokwane FC for their successful campaign in the PSL this season and wish them well in the coming season.
Let me therefore take this opportunity to once again thank you all stakeholder, in particular traditional leaders, our ZCC churches, all political parties and councillors – individually and collectively, for your partnership, cooperation, guidance and your ever-present support. We really appreciate your role in making Capricorn District the home excellence and opportunities for a better life.
As I close, let me remind everyone to continue to exercise their right to vote by registering or verifying or updating your addresses, especially young people. We urge you to SMS your ID number to 32810 or visit elections.org.za so that you can vote freely next year.
I thank you