Rustenburg mayor Mpho Khunou at the launch of ReDirelaSechaba programme. The programme aims to speed up service delivery throughout the municipality. Photo: ANA/Stringer.
RUSTENBURG - The rollout of the ReDirelaSechaba Service Delivery Programme on Friday at the  Rustenburg Local Municipality was in no way an attempt to curry favour with potential voters prior to the May 8 election, according to mayor Mpho Khunou. 

"The elections in May are national and provincial elections; municipal elections will take place in the year 2021. It cannot be that because you have provincial and national elections local government must come to a standstill. You will not be able to just suddenly acquire the kind of fleet that we have acquired because of an election," said Khunou. 

He said the purchase of the programme's multi-million rand fleet followed the approval of the budget on July 12, 2018.

"There are residents in Tlhabane or Rustenburg Noord who have been complaining about potholes. Do we have to put fixing potholes on hold because of elections?" he said.

The ReDirelaSechaba programme (loosely translated to mean 'we are working for the people') aims to address and improve service delivery across five focal areas, namely roads, electricity, water, sanitation and community development.

On Friday, the municipality handed over 100 vans, eight tipper trucks, two waste trucks, 15 TLBs (diggers), 10 tractors and 36 yellow fleet, costing R110 million.

Twenty-eight more yellow fleet units were expected before the end of the financial year. The municipality is also set to buy 10 tipper trucks and six waste removal trucks. 

Khunou said the water and sanitation unit had improved exponentially since it was allocated vehicles last year. 

"Having already seen favourable results from the turnaround strategy that we rolled out in our 2018/19 financial year in terms of delivering much-needed services to the people of Rustenburg, we are excited to launch a programme that will not only allow the municipality to further deliver on its mandate to communities and the business community, but will also change the lives of our people by creating jobs and fostering entrepreneurship," said Khunou.

"Through our turnaround strategy last year, we were able to reduce the number of service complaints related to water services from 4000 to just 20.
We increased the city’s electrical capacity to avoid power outages and straining of distribution lines. We saw an improvement of our green drop rating from the department of water and sanitation and our turnaround times in fixing our roads have lessened significantly," he said. 

ReDirelaSechaba would elevate the quality of service delivery exponentially and propel the municipality even closer to its goal of being a world class city, he said.

The programme is expected to create 150 jobs and empower local businesses to form cooperatives.

Municipal manager Nqobile Ngema said the programme's progress would be evaluated weekly on Fridays.  "We are very serious about service delivery. Because of a lack of resources, this area has been neglected in the past couple of months." 

African News Agency (ANA)