Chief Whip address at Buffalo City Metro Municipality, 25 June 2014

Cllr DE TshabalalaChief Whip of the ruling party and council, Speaker, Executive Mayor of the Metro, Whippery Members and Officials.

Receive my revolutionary greetings on behalf of Emfuleni Local Municipality ANC Caucus. This visit comes after the state President opened parliament on the 17th June 2014 wherein he outlined a clear program of action for the coming five years. Taking from the State of the Nation address it becomes clear that economy and local governance is prime in the cabinet program and that all of us need to tow the line in addressing service delivery in our respective municipalities.

Chief Whip you will note that this is not the first time we have bilateralbetween the two municipalities, first it was en-route to the study tour which saw Sedibeng District Municipality which we are part of being conferred the Metro status in 2013 by the Municipal Demarcation Board. This indeed is an indication that our bilateral are not just a cheap talk-shop but rather a work session that is progressive.

You visited us in 2012 to check how we do things as the office of Whippery on a range of issues wherein we exchanged information on good practices and one of the things we learned from you again was the establishment of the Women’s Caucus which has the multi party character. We are proud to indicate to you Chief Whip that we took that and ran with it however we wanted to deepen the understanding within the party first hence we have taken the approach of establishing the Women’s Caucus within the ANC Caucus first and then move in the next financial year or next term to take it to the level of council in the form of the Multy party Women’s caucus led by the ANC given our clear understanding of the concept.

I wish to reiterate that our relations are indeed bearing fruits and all can testify to the output. As Emfuleni we remain a growing developmental municipality in terms of population and economic growth hence it requires us not to slumber but to be a municipality at work. Towards the Metro we have been declared the anchor municipality which leaves a mammoth responsibility on us to carry all three municipalities on our shoulders leading them towards the Metro.

It is therefore paramount that we begin putting systems in place as part of responding to our ready to govern document which will take us to the metro in 2016.
Compatriots, first on our agenda will be to understand your application of the Separation of Powers as part of strengthening the legislative arm of the municipality to play an oversight on the executive arm without compromising the relations between the two. As a Metro we want to believe that you are at the advance level in as far as this subject is concerned but also its implementation and monitoring its effectiveness as well as its limitations.

We have indicated earlier that we have also established the Women’s Caucus although is characterised differently, however given your maturity in the understanding of the concept we believe that you will enlighten us on the road traversed thus on the subject matter as we are in our presence with both the Chairperson and the secretary of Women’s Caucus hence it is imperative that as we go back we do that with some in the package that we would have harvested from this visit on how best can we mainstream gender, youth and disability issues in our agenda as the municipality.

I did make mention earlier about our growing economy as the municipality mainly on the following sectors i.e. agriculture, steel, tourism and retail. To be frank as the municipality we have since had the Local Economic Development strategy was in 2002 hence the ANC Caucus took it upon themselves to the guide development in the municipality as these development are not guided even though we have a Sedibeng Growth and Development strategy at the level of the district.

We however feel that with the vast land that we might be having as we have also not been conducting the land audit so that we can guide our Spatial Development Framework as the municipality. It is our view as the Caucus as resolved in the ANC Caucus lekgotla of 2012 that Spatial Development Framework cannot exist outside the Local Economic Development strategy especially going towards the Metro.

Emfuleni is a developmental municipality and in its development infrastructure is central as we cannot boast sound economy when infrastructure is dilapidated or in an appalling state. As part of ensuring that we build quality roads and that we maintain them with the minimal budget that we have as the municipality we then seek wisdom either from your practice your experience as we deem road infrastructure as one amenity that our communities view as a key visible service delivery.

History has proven that visiting Buffalo City Metropolitan has never been a wasteful expenditure given what has emanated from our bilateral and it remains our firm belief again that even now we will still benefit from this study tour as it is not a vacation trip but work in progress. Manene nama Nenekazi asifuni ukumosha ixesha ke apha sizimisele ukungena entsimini silime de sivune xeshekweni sesizohamba apha sihambe nemvuno esizawuthi sifika ekhaya sinike abantwana umgubo batye.


Photos available here

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