UThukela District takes Draft Budget to the people

UThukela District Mayor Cllr AS Mazibuko, flanked by Cllr T Njapha and M Mbhele, during the IDP road shows.

UThukela District Municipality under the leadership of the Mayor Cllr AS Mazibuko reached out to the communities on the Draft Integrated Development Plan (IDP) Budget 2018/19 through a series of public meetings that commenced from April 10 to 13 across all three local municipalities. Two road shows were conducted in each municipality per day.

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Mayor Mazibuko invited the public to be the part of the IDP Budget process for the 2018/2019 financial year, which included traditional leaders, ward committees, community development workers, community care givers, non-governmental organisations, sector departments including organised business, rent payers and farmers associations to be part of the meetings.

Mayor Cllr AS Mazibuko, Deputy Mayor Cllr NW Sibiya, Speaker Cllr DCP Mazibuko and executive committee member Cllr MV Khumalo as well as councillors and an administrative team embarked on the public meetings to table the draft IDP and Budget.

The other purpose of the road shows was to inform the public about the municipality’s achievements and projects that have been implemented in the previous financial years.

The public meetings process is mandated by the Local Government Systems Act and calls for municipalities to encourage and create conditions for the local community to participate in the affairs of the municipality.
The road shows therefore serve as a forum of engaging and listening to the views of the communities and business sectors, in order to implement the budget accordingly.

A community member making input into the budget road show.

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“It is no secret that the municipality’s financial state is not all that good but we have put together plans and strategies to help improve the situation, this is in line with the municipality’s initiative in encouraging public participation in the municipality’s budget allocations and to promote transparency as well as encourage the culture of saving,” said the Mayor Cllr Mazibuko.

The Mayor informed stakeholders that the district is faced with challenges of ageing infrastructure.
He also said that there was a plan to have Water Boards in all provinces including KwaZulu-Natal. The Mayor mentioned that the district has a responsibility of maintaining and upgrading existing bulk infrastructure.

“It is imperative that we provide people with dignified basic services through infrastructure, water and sanitation. There are areas in some parts of the district that have been identified for infrastructure development, which will assist the community to receive clean and potable water and hygienic sanitation,” concluded the Mayor.

The budget timetable and IDP Process Plan, which was approved by council in August 2017, ensured that the process was highly interactive and consultative in nature. UThukela District Municipality has also ensured that during the revision of the IDP, a series of the public meetings as well as representative forum meetings take place.

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These meetings are of paramount importance as the IDP should represent the interest for all role players. Outcomes of the consultative process from all stakeholders were factored into both the operational and capital budget and the budget is also aligned and with national, provincial and district priorities.

During the road shows the Mayor and councillors informed the communities that all citizens will have access to adequate safe water and hygienic sanitation and an upgrade to ageing water and sanitation infrastructure across the district.

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