Durban — The uMngeni Municipality has unveiled a R230 million initiative to revitalise its infrastructure.
On Thursday, the municipality announced the launch of the Municipal Infrastructure Development, Maintenance, and Resilience (M.I.D.M.A.R) programme which is a R230 million initiative aimed at revitalising the region's infrastructure.
“This programme will inject R230 million into the municipality's infrastructure development and maintenance endeavours over the next three years,” the municipality said in a statement.
It said that in an effort to secure additional funding sources, it was actively exploring partnerships with organisations such as the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), which, if successful, will significantly enhance the municipality's financial capabilities.
Looking back over the last 21 months, the municipality said it had undergone a transformative journey to stabilise its internal finances and refocus its plans on critical infrastructure development.
“Key milestones achieved during this period include resolving supply chain management issues and implementing robust internal audit control mechanisms. The new administration inherited numerous unpaid accounts, expired contracts and skewed integrated development plans,” the municipality said.
“Consequently, dedicated efforts have been made to initiate internal reforms and reposition the municipality for effective service delivery. Previous mismanagement has left behind substantial financial backlogs, which demand systematic attention.”
Diving into the M.I.D.M.A.R programme, the municipality said that it represented a pivotal step towards addressing various infrastructure-related challenges.
M.I.D.M.A.R’s key focus areas include:
- Road network enhancement: Prioritising the maintenance of main roads and feeder roads, with subsequent attention to smaller roads.
- Rural road accessibility: Investing in upgrading rural gravel roads and, wherever feasible, converting them into durable black-top roads.
- Electricity infrastructure modernisation: Upgrading and maintaining the electricity infrastructure to minimise power outages and facilitate future development.
- Community facilities improvement: Elevating the standard of community facilities to enhance public services.
- Enhancing employee working conditions: Implementing measures to improve the well-being and working conditions of municipal employees.
- Procuring vehicles and hiring the necessary skilled employees to continue to build in-house capacity to deal with infrastructure-related issues.
“Furthermore, the municipality has proactively devised strategies to bolster resilience in the face of numerous challenges encountered by local governments nationwide. These challenges include load shedding, landfill site management and complex supply chain management systems,” the municipality said.
“Remedial actions include outsourcing landfill site management, introducing solar systems in select public facilities, and implementing an integrated solution for electricity supply and management.”
Additionally, the municipality said that it still faced a number of challenges around skills, internal processes, capacity, access to capital and execution of plans.
“However, the state of the municipality is far better than 21 months ago, and progress is being made to turn the uMngeni Municipality into the tourism and investment destination of choice in KZN with a strong focus on improving the lives of all our communities.
“We are optimistic about the programme's potential impact on the community. We are committed to forging a more sustainable and prosperous future for the municipality.”
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