Speech delivered by the Executive Mayor of Emfuleni Local Municipality, Cllr. N.G. Hlongwane during the Inauguration ceremony, 10 June 2011

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Cllr NG HlongwaneSpeaker of Council: Cllr. Msebenzi Gqelosha, Chief Whip of Council: Cllr. Eric Tshabalala, Members of the Mayoral Committee, Honourable Councillors, Honourable Mayor of Sedibeng, Cllr Mahole S. Mofokeng and Honourable Mayor of Lesedi, Cllr. Lerato Maloka, Leaders of Political Parties present here today, The District Magistrate, Mr S. Sibanyoni, The Municipal Manager: Mr. Sam Shabalala and members of the Senior Management Team and officials of the municipality,

 

The Chairperson of the Audit committee and its members, Religious leaders, The business fraternity, Distinguished guests, Miss Emfuleni, Members of the community, Friends from the media, Ladies and gentlemen. Sanibonani.

Mr Speaker, Allow me to acknowledge in our midst the MEC for Local Government and Housing, the Honourable Humphrey Mmemezi; your presence here today communicates a clear message that the province and all of government is committed and serious about the development of our municipality and local government by extension.

I would like to thank God for giving us this day and for blessing this ceremony and its proceedings. Again I would feel as committing a religious injustice if I fail to mention and acknowledge my spiritual Father, Prophet Tshepo Ramajoe and his wife who are here with us today and would like to say to him with all of you present, Thank you Father for your wisdom, spiritual guidance and your on-going efforts in my religious and spiritual growth.

Ladies and Gentleman, today we want to announce and layout the key defining features of this current administration. We want this administration to be known and remembered as one of urgency when dealing with issues of delivery. We are forging ahead full steam in breaking with the past however within the context of continuity and change.

Mr Speaker, Honourable Councillors, as this newly elected administration; we will be doing things differently. The current status quo and current patterns of development cannot and will not be allowed to continue. We are preparing the stage for a bigger role for Emfuleni not only in the Sedibeng region but also in the formulation and development of a region into a thriving metropolitan economy by 2025. Between 2011 and 2016 the focus would be on the establishment of a single authority for our region; and 2016 – 2021 will prepare for accreditation of the region into a metropolitan authority by 2026. We are therefore rallying ourselves to achieve our vision of reaching a metro status by 2025.

Among the things we want to do within our 100 days plan of action is to focus on the youth, to look at issues of youth empowerment, and youth unemployment. Within this youth month we want to convene a youth summit to solicit the divergent views of our young community in order to marshal a way forward and find practical solutions jointly on issues affecting them.

We will be forging and strengthening partnerships with all social partners and community formations with the hope of combating poverty and unemployment. I had thought long and hard about the long way we have overcome to be here today. There is a long road ahead, however I can assure you that this road is going to be a road towards a new sense of dignity for our people and a road based on practical progress and hope.

On basic services, we will be implementing “Operation Khanyisa”, emphasis would be on public lighting, street lighting, robots, and high mast lights. These will also play a leading role in our fight against crime. Our crime prevention strategies will include more effective policing of streets, development of local safety plans, expansion of CCTV cameras in crime hot spot areas, and enforcement of by-laws.

We will be implementing a pothole repairs programme and speed up the proper maintenance of roads.  We will further establish co-operatives to maintain roads, parks, cemeteries, dumping and environmental projects through co-operatives and EPWP programme.

We will be breaking new ground working with the province in the renewal of Vereeniging CBD, KwaMasiza renewal, Evaton, Sharpeville, resolve the housing allocation disputes in Tshepiso, and Zone 24 Sebokeng. Accelerate housing delivery in Boiketlong, Sonderwater, New Village and Westside park (extension 21) removal of illegal dumping sites, and introducing street cleaning programme.

We will work hard and continue installing street waste bins, I am very sure you have seen some of them in our streets and the positive impact they have had. We intend to intervene in resolving the student accommodation problem in partnership with stakeholders and affected communities.

Plans are already underway to increase the number of clinics in rural areas, upgrading of 5 clinics, construction of a new clinic in ward 5, upgrading of swimming pools and Dickinson Park and upgrading of stadiums in zone 7 and 11.

We will unlock local economic development through rural and urban flagship projects. We will introduce adopt a park programme where big business will be approached and requested to adopt and maintain a park for the sustainability of our environment and beautification of our communities.

We will implement smart metering to improve billing accuracy, create a revenue management agency, launch “Operation Patala’ (Masakhane) campaign to increase our revenue and further continue implementing our indigent support programme.

Towards effective oversight

In the next few weeks, together with my Mayoral Committee leadership collective, alongside the Senior Management Team, we will be doing the rounds within our communities to interact with the people and see what projects are taking place. We will also want answers on projects that seem to be lacking progress.

We will be making un-announced visits to all our pay points, customer care centres, and pension payout points, to see the functionality of our structures.

Once a month, our Councillors must call public meetings to inform the community about the resolutions of Council including information from provincial and national departments like Home Affairs and Justice Department to educate people about their rights.

The previous administration, Mr Speaker rightfully paid too much attention on governance issues; now having made progress in that regard, what must be clear is that service delivery is now our priority in-line and in-keeping with our manifesto.

At this stage, Mr Speaker; allow me to acknowledge my family members who have joined us today. I would like to humbly express a word of appreciation for their continued support, most of all, my three sons and their father, who is my husband Comrade Mlungisi Hlongwane, I need your support more than ever.

With those words, I thank you for your undivided attention.

Malibongwe!!

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Our Vision: A developmental municipality that continuously improves the quality of life of its residents. Emfuleni Local Municipality (previously Lekoa) is one of three Local Municipalities comprising the Sedibeng District Municipality situated in Vanderbijlpark, Gauteng, South Africa.

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