ANC Far North region wants service delivery top of agenda
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Turning around the dire financial situation of the ANC-run Mtubatuba Local Municipality and ensuring an upward trajectory in service delivery will continue being at the top of the agenda of one of the party’s leaders in the Far North Region, north of KZN.
This is one of the promises made by the party to the community of the instability-plagued municipality ahead of the November 1 local government elections.
The township of KwaMsane, in Mtubatuba, is today hosting the launch of the ANC KZN election manifesto with provincial chairperson Sihle Zikalala expected to deliver the manifesto as the party looks to perform better than it did in the 2016 local government elections.
Speaking to Independent Media on the sidelines of the manifesto launch Verus Thobelani Ncamphalala, the ANC regional secretary and mayor of Mtubatuba Local Municipality, said that they were confident of retaining their governance of the municipality after taking over from the IFP in October 2020.
The municipality has been plagued by instability since the IFP won governance of the municipality at the 2016 local government elections with three IFP mayors, Qhina Mkhwanazi, Velangenkosi Gumede and Cedric Zungu, having preceded Ncamphalala who replaced Zungu.
Ncamphala said that it was his responsibility that he continued into the new term, should the ANC win the municipality, the upward trajectory in service delivery they had started in the 12 months since usurping the IFP because it was what the people expected from their government.
“We must maintain it or even surpass it. The difference that we have made over the past 12 months is for everybody to see and our citizens here in Mtubatuba are very happy and they can see what the ANC can still be because we have tried to go back to the values of the ANC because many people are rejecting the ANC because sometimes we deviate from what we need to do and focus on ourselves and be inward looking, infighting and all those things,” Ncamphalala said.
He said that the municipality had previously had an Achilles heel of not completing projects and municipal money was not accounted for and the municipality had a negative balance of R34 million when they took over from the IFP.
He said that they should not be judged by “abnormalities” of other political parties
He said that in the 12 months since their takeover they had stabilised the council’s finances and been able to reverse that as they now boast a coverage ratio of about four months which enables them to go for four months without dependence on any grant or an overdraft.
“Now we are focusing on service delivery, that’s what we’ve done in Mtubatuba. We have tried to refocus the municipality to be a service delivery orientated municipality, over the past 12 months we’ve launched projects, completed them and handed them over to the community, we have spoken to all stakeholders and communities in terms of their expectations of their government and we have met what they have to us,” Ncamphalala said.
He added that another problem that had plagued the municipality leading to underperformance and lack of efficient service was the lack of qualified staff, particularly in critical positions that needed registered people in terms of their professions.
“For instance if you’re going to have a deputy director of planning that only has a matric that can only spell disaster for the municipality because it means not all projects will be completed and we are not going to get new projects going because everything the municipality does has to do with planning,” Ncamphalala said.