Financial stability and viability, good governance and improved service delivery key to turning around ELM.
The journey to financial recovery and stability has begun - this was the key message in the State of the Municipality Address (SoMA), delivered by Executive Mayor, Councillor Gift Moerane on Friday (19 July 2019).
Held at the Vereeniging Civic Hall, the mayor’s address promised a people-centered municipality that delivers quality services and further emphasized the significance of the municipality’s fruitful partnership with the Gauteng Provincial Government.
This year’s SoMA was themed, “Building Partnerships for a People-Centered Municipality”, and drew scores of stakeholders.
Mayor Moerane outlined the Financial Recovery Plan (FRP) which contains eight turn-around strategies to ensure the municipality achieves financial stability and viability, good governance and improved delivery of services.
“This year we will be commemorating the 35th Anniversary of the Vaal Uprising. It is time for the municipality to commemorate the Uprising by improving service delivery, combating corruption in all its manifestations and placing people at the center of governance,” Moerane said in his speech.
Moreover, the mayor listed the culture of non-payment for services as one of the biggest challenges facing the municipality. He indicated that this was prominent in the affluent African families who are not willing to pay for services and hide behind the poor.
To mitigate this challenge, the municipality will convene a Service Delivery Summit in September as part of the Vaal Uprising commemoration.
“This culture is negatively affecting service delivery. We will also be interacting with communities at ward level, encouraging residents to pay for their services and those who cannot afford to register as indigents,” said Mayor Moerane.
The overall budget for the 2019/20 financial year is R 6 189 475 834 with an operational budget of R 5 717 909 834 and a capital budget of R 471 566 000.
This represents an increase of 6.9% (R 403 203 814) on the 2018/2019 adjustments budget.
To achieve financial stability, Mayor Moerane indicated there will be a reduction of outsourced services and consultancy services, in favor of a much more conventional in-sourcing.
“One of the milestones of the 2019/20 MTREF budget was the material reduction in outsourced service and consultancy services in favor of in-sourcing through procurement of appropriate and relevant tools of trade. There is a functional Budget Monitoring and Control Committee with the mandate ensuring revenue and expenditure management,” said Councillor Moerane.
Furthermore, the mayor emphasized the budget has been increased for operational cost, which will facilitate the procurement of tools of trade for improved service delivery to communities.
Mayor Moerane committed himself to take the Vaal back to its glory days and pronounced on the vision of a Metropolitan City.
“We intend to double the current budget in an effort to pave a path to a Metropolitan City that qualifies for additional economic development grants,” he said.
By: Kelebohile Power