KZN ANC lays down the law on mayoral candidates
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WITH the local government elections 29 days away and political parties jostling to emerge victorious at the polls, the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has promised voters that all candidate mayors will be subjected to a rigorous interview process.
This promise was one of a litany of pledges presented by ANC provincial chairperson Sihle Zikalala, yesterday, during the launch of the party’s provincial manifesto in KwaMsane township, Mtubatuba, on the north coast of KwaZulu-Natal.
Hundreds of the party’s supporters and members, clad in black, green and gold colours, braved the wet and cold weather to head to the Inkosi Mzondeni Community Hall in KwaMsane to listen to Zikalala’s address.
The party said that it has a clear plan of turning local government around and to render it more effective and capable of service delivery.
With the ANC having involved communities in the selection of councillor candidates this time around, Zikalala said that community involvement would remain a hallmark of their approach going forward.
“Communities will continue to play a significant oversight role into the performance of our elected candidates. To ensure that we appoint competent and committed mayors, all candidate mayors will be subjected to a rigorous interview process.
“Mayors and councillors will sign performance agreements so that we can effectively measure their performance. In addition, mayors, councillors and senior managers will be subjected to lifestyle audits to prevent corruption,” Zikalala said.
Zikalala said that they would strictly monitor the work of every councillor from now onwards and that every councillor would have a monthly programme and a weekly plan that should indicate a day in the week dedicated to cleaning, environmental care and grass cutting for every ward.
He said that this weekly plan should also see every ward councillor produce a plan for feedback meetings with the community they serve, while councillors would be expected to convene meetings with their constituencies every quarter, and every municipality will have a dedicated programme focused on water leaks and fixing potholes.
Another key feature of the party’s provincial manifesto focused on housing within various parts of the province, with several housing projects currently under way and others near completion.
Across various parts of the province, Zikalala said that the ANC government has set aside housing projects that are aimed at restoring dignity to the people and ensuring that rural areas become active social and economic centres.
In the Nongoma Local Municipality, in northern Kwazulu-Natal, the governing party has set aside housing projects totalling more than R1 billion.
A housing project in Jozini municipality, in the Umkhanyakude district, was launched with a budget of just over R40 million and will see the construction of 300 houses.
Another project in Big Five Local Municipality, a project worth over R40 million was launched. In KwaMaphumulo Local Municipality, 1,500 houses are being constructed with a budget of R44, 3 million.
Zikalala also said that together with the national government, they are expediting the processes to deliver houses to military veterans who were influential during the liberation period. He said the party will deliver 261 houses in KZN for military veterans by the end of the 2021.
Water provision was also at the top of the agenda in the party’s manifesto with Zikalala saying that there is political will to ensure universal access to water by 2030.
In an effort to ramp up service delivery, particularly the provision of clean water to previously disadvantaged communities across KZN, Zikalala recently launched the province's Water Master Plan.The plan will require R150 million over the next ten to fifteen years, the ANC provincial chair said.
Amongst other water projects Zikalala announced was the implementation of the Lower uMkhomazi BWSS Umgeni Water, which is scheduled to be completed in 2023 at an estimated total cost of R 3 billion and the R1 billion Cwabeni Project Location which will be completed in 2022.
He added that the Stephen Dlamini Dam, a project costing R1 billion is expected to be completed in 2023, while the R23 billion uMkhomazi Water Project: once completely developed, phase 1 and phase 2, would be the largest water transfer scheme in South Africa.