Midvaal Municipality a shining light of service delivery
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WITH the Local Government Elections around the corner, communities will be wondering who they should vote for and who will ensure services are delivered.
For many, the fear of the unknown is our biggest anchor, holding us back from taking a leap of faith and trying something new. It was the same thing with Midvaal Municipality in Gauteng, but eight years ago, residents took a leap of faith and gave the reigns to a 26-year-old Bongani Baloyi of the Democratic Alliance. He managed to create what has been referred to as the service delivery and governance blueprint.
When he assumed office in 2013, Midvaal Municipality was ranked 16th in the country but is now ranked the fifth-best run municipality. In the process, the municipality has received seven consecutive clean audits.
Baloyi this week said the work he has been able to do in the municipality was down to the foundation that had been laid when they assumed office.
“We were very fortunate to have inherited a good municipality with a solid foundation which enabled us to grow from there and ensure we improve on our governance and provide ethical leadership. Those things are important because they manifest in many ways which inspire service delivery, improve the organisation in terms of governance to protect it against criminals,” he said.
Baloyi added that with that as a solid foundation, the next step became attracting competent civil servants who would deliver the much-needed services.
“This has assisted us in sustaining the delivery output that many people have become accustomed to and have known about Midvaal. That has been the competitive edge and also working in an environment that is politically stable and where there is consequence management,” he said.
Midvaal Local Municipality is part of Sedibeng District Municipality and is surrounded by some of the worst-performing municipalities in the country, Emfuleni and Lesedi. Regarding the dysfunctional nature of the nearby municipalities, the outgoing Mayor believes the biggest contributing factor is a lack of leadership.
“There has been a systematic weakening of governance in the municipality to allow all the troubles that have been happening. There has also been the issue of cadre deployment instead of people based on their capabilities and qualifications. The leadership there can also not deal with the complex environment that requires them to be decisive and extract accountability,” he said.
Midvaal Municipality has also been recognised for the exceptional work that the public servants put in. Last year, Midvaal was awarded the Golden Arrow award for doing the most to combat crime, create jobs, clean up the environment and develop infrastructure.
The stellar work and leadership in the municipality have had custodians of good governance in awe. Former auditor-general, the late Kimi Makwetu, once exclaimed that Midvaal was one of the few municipalities whose financial statements told a good story of how well the municipality was managed.
Baloyi attributed the running of the municipality to the active participation of residents in the municipality's affairs. He said they have strong activism from various interest groups who can keep a watchful eye over the institution and really ask difficult questions about the performance, which does not really happen in public.
“I think our communities need to understand the business of local government and beyond just complaining about streets, but also ask questions which sustain the output and performance and the governance of the institution. Communities have a vested interest in their communities. What inspired this is seeing what is happening in our border municipalities. We see what is happening in Emfuleni local municipality,” he said.
Baloyi, who is not contesting the upcoming elections, is playing his cards close to his chest and does not want to say what the future has in store for him.
He said all would be revealed after the elections.
Some of the accolades that have been bestowed on the municipality under the stewardship of Baloyi include:
PMR Africa awarded Midvaal Local Municipality the Golden Arrow award on March 24, 2021, Sedibeng District, Gauteng province. This honour is awarded to municipalities doing the most in the following sectors: social upliftment, attract foreign investment, clean environment, to develop and enhance infrastructure over the past 12 months in the Sedibeng Region.
The Executive Mayor, Bongani Baloyi, also tops the shortlist and was awarded the most proactive Mayor award in Sedibeng District.
Midvaal Local Municipality was recognised as one of the entities that have created jobs, attracted investments, combated crime, and promoted social upliftment.
This was certified by the Gold Arrow Award, received at the recent PMR Africa Awards.
Midvaal Executive Mayor Bongani Baloyi was awarded as the most proactive Mayor in the Sedibeng area.
Outstanding first overall for municipalities doing most:
For social upliftment, to attract foreign investment, to attract local investment,
Municipalities doing the most to fight crime, to develop and enhance infrastructure.
The most proactive Mayor in the Sedibeng area.
Municipalities doing the most:
For job creation, social upliftment, to clean the environment and to fight crime.
Municipalities doing the most to attract foreign and local investment, to develop and enhance infrastructure.
The most proactive mayor in the Sedibeng area.
In 2016, Midvaal received two PMR Africa Awards – a Golden Arrow Award for excellence in the category “doing the most towards attracting investment and for job creation” and a Diamond Arrow Award for first place in the category “doing the most for social upliftment, to attract foreign investment, to fight crime, to develop and enhance infrastructure and to clean the environment”.
PMR.africa 2018 awards: Most proactive Mayor in Sedibeng; Municipalities doing the most for job creation, social upliftment, to clean the environment and to fight crime and municipalities doing the most to attract foreign and local investment, to develop and enhance infrastructure.
Midvaal received the first place award in the category Overall Service to Residents by Municipalities for the 2015 PMR.africa awards.
Midvaal Local Municipality won the award for “The institution doing the most to clean the environment” in the 2014 Sedibeng Regional Survey Business Excellence Awards, conducted by PMR.Africa.