Mayor aims to upgrade Nongoma in honour of King Goodwill Zwelithini
Durban – Nongoma Mayor Albert Mncwango wishes to upgrade his small town in the northern part of KwaZulu-Natal, which has attracted thousands of visitors following the passing of Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini KaBhekuZulu.
Nongoma is where the Zulu king's palace is located, with its rich and deep Zulu history. At least three great Zulu kings, including the recently departed King Zwelithini, are buried there.
However, the town is still lacking in terms of infrastructure development and got overwhelmed when thousands recently descended on its dusty roads to pay respects to the beloved king.
Located in a deep rural area, the municipality was struggling financially as it relied solely on government grants for road infrastructure upgrades and water supply.
Mncwango said although they went through the saddest period, the unfortunate passing of the king did put Nongoma on the map. He said they had financial challenges over the years which put them on the back foot of service delivery.
This week, Mncwango bought eight vehicles for the municipality, which he said would assist to take services to the people. They are striving to cut spending by ceasing the use of hired cars and other services that could be in-sourced, which has been a challenge to the municipality.
“We have several challenges which require budgets like roads maintenance and provision of water, but have made plans over the years and managed to cut our spending wherever we could.
’’We launched several capital projects which will bring much-needed change in our municipality, like the recently finished taxi rank. We have one main road which easily gets congested as it is used by everyone, including taxis who park on the side.
’’Most of our roads are tarred, yet we have only one tractor loader backhoe (TLB) for maintenance. This has kept us on the back foot of service delivery, but we have come up with plans to turn things around,” said Mncwango.
He said the municipality will invest more in infrastructure as Nongoma will be attracting more visitors due to its rich history. His vision was to keep the small town in good condition in a bid to attract tourists and visitors who often visit the Royal Palace.
“Since the passing of his majesty, we have seen leaders across Africa going past our town to pay respect to the royal family. As much as it is for the sad reason, it has put Nongoma in the world map.
’’In honour of the late king, we want to elevate this city to match the standard of the Zulu Kingdom,” Mncwangu added.
Nongoma, through the late King Zwelithini, has hosted several big events, such as reed dances, the First Fruits festival and Diwali, which attracts thousands of visitors in Nongoma town.
Meanwhile, the Zulu royal family was expected to announce the next Zulu king in three months, which will then be followed by a coronation taking place in Nongoma. This is expected to attract thousands of dignitaries and visitors across Africa.