Emfuleni Local Municipality (ELM)’s newly-inaugurated Executive Mayor, Councillor (Cllr) Lehana Jacob Khawe says he plans to build on the good achievement made by the municipality’s previous administrations; while also tackling the challenges facing Gauteng’s southern-most local authority.
Addressing thousands of residents and well-wishers who had come to witness his inauguration in Vereeniging on 30 November 2017, Cllr Khawe said while he intended to change a few things, he was not a big fan of changing things for the sake of change.
“Every administration when it is ushered in, introduces its own concepts and strategies. I am not a fanatic of concepts, but I want to see this administration building from the good that has been in existence, eradicating the bad and move forward with no fear or favour,” he said.
Announcing his colleagues in Council, Councillor Khawe kept true to his emphasis on continuity, keeping all MMCs but only swapping a few positions.
Cllr Robert Thema, who had been holding the fort since the resignation of the former Executive Mayor, Simon Mofokeng, is back to his former position as the MMC responsible for Finance and Revenue; Cllr Busisiwe Mncube is the MMC for Corporate and Governance; while the Infrastructure MMC post was given to Cllr Kethiwe Ntombela. Cllr Nomvula Thulo was named the MMC responsible for Environmental Management and Planning while Cllr Dimakatso Maria Malisa is the MMC for Health and Social Development. Cllr Thembile Samson Nquba is the MMC responsible for Basic Services while Cllr Penny Sengoatsi was announced as the MMC for Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture, Library Information Services, Parks and Cemeteries. Cllr Pius Maseko is the MMC for Local Economic Development, Planning and Tourism; while Cllr Jan Motshana Moshualuba is the MMC for Public Safety. Cllr Mokete Edwin Kele is the MMC for Human Settlement.
The new Mayor, while acknowledging the many obstacles facing the Municipality, stressed the confidence he had in his tem to turn the Municipality’s fortunes around.
“Speaker, today is better that yesterday and I have no doubt that tomorrow will be even better than today. The ANC is just an agent of change and the people are their own liberators. We urge them to rise up and defend the revolution, hold us accountable and strive for a better future,” he said.
To ensure a better tomorrow for the people of Emfuleni, Cllr Khawe said he will, in the next 120 focus on a programme with Five Key Priority Areas “which will see all of us moving from the boardrooms to our communities through a strengthened public participation programme. The programme will ensure clean governance and a clean city. It must also bring changes to the economy and boost our revenue collection.”
Top of the Executive Mayor’s list of five priorities is bringing stability to the Municipality, followed by strengthening public participation and embarking on a campaign to make Emfuleni cleaner. The EM will also pay special attention to economic development and boosting revenue collection.
Khawe said he would continue walking the path of those who led before him.
“I commit to continue walking on the path of my predecessors, I call on all of us to breathe fresh air into the Four Pillar Turnaround Strategy which is founded on the following; improving the Revenue Collection of the Municipality by enhancing every single income stream; reducing losses through unmetered consumption; managing Expenditure and keeping a tight hold on our austerity measures; and extracting maximum benefit from the Indigency Policy to offset the impact of widespread poverty in the region,” he said.
In attending to the financial challenges facing the Municipality; Cllr Khawe said the ELM is to continue to focus on revenue collection management, enhancement and protection; efficiency and transparency in the supply chain management aimed at realising value for money for anything the ELM procures. The Municipality will also strive for an open tender system. Further the Elm will continue to implement tighter expenditure controls; and “complying without fail” to all issues raised by the Auditor-General.