Honourable Speaker of Municipal Council, Cllr MA Mashele
Municipal Council whip, Cllr T Masha
Fellow Councillors
Municipal manager, Mrs L Tshabalala
Municipal officials
IEC representatives
Political party representatives
Community members and structures
Distinguished guests
Ladies and Gentlemen

Today marks exactly sixteen days after the fourth local government elections which were held on the 3rd August 2016 under the theme, ‘Together advancing peoples power in every community, local government is in your hands.’

The 2016 local government elections took place on the month of women celebration. On the 9th of August 1956, more than twenty thousand women of all races staged a march on the Union Buildings in protest against the proposed amendments to the Urban Areas Act of 1950, referred to as the pass law. The march was led by Lilian Ngoyi, Hellen Joseph, Rahima Moosa and Sophia Williams. They left bundles of petitions containing more than hundred thousand of signatures at the office doors of Prime Minister J.G Strijdom. They stood silently for thirty minutes and then started singing a protest song that was composed in honour of the occasion: ’Wathinta Abafazi, Wathinta Imbokodo (Now you have touched the women, you have struck a rock.’). We salute them for their bravery and dedication to the National Democratic Revolution.

The political activism, festival of ideas and the battle of ideas demonstrated in the elections were reminiscent of the courageous spirit of our heroins of 1956. This council therefore should be inspired such courage and continue contributing towards the building of a united, democratic, non racial, non sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa.

Madam Speaker

The 2016 local government elections posed a challenge to all political parties who actively participated. Indeed it was the real festival and the battle of ideas. The elections by their nature have demonstrated that they were about winning the hearts and the minds of all our people by telling a good story.

In the course of telling a good story, winning the hearts and minds of all our 47 216 people (Stats SA, 2011), we have traversed all our jurisdictional areas namely, Siyathuthuka, Sakhelwe, Emthonjeni, Emgwenya, Watervalboven, Entokozweni, Emakhazeni and approximately the 200 farms of Emakhazeni. The furthest point in the North of ward 2, bordering Elias Motsoaledi local municipality being Wanhoop farm 78 JT which has a Nature Reserve called Verloren Nature Reserve, Doorhoek farm 113 JT, NW of ward 4 bordering Thaba Chweu Local Municipality, Eerste Geluk farm 472 JT, SW of ward 5 bordering Mbombela Local Municipality, Blesbokspruit farm 455 JS, SE of ward 8 bordering Albert Luthuli local municipality and Leeufontein farm 431 JS, E of ward 1 bordering Steve Tshwete local municipality. The message we got from all our people was the same, that we accede to your good story telling but we need a faster change to continue building a better life for all. In this regard the following developmental issues identified during door to door campaigns were raised, namely, declining of water quality in Waterval Boven and Belfast, poor provision of refuse removal services, lack of maintenance of boreholes in the farming communities, poor maintenance of road infrastructure, Grading of roads particularly for the farming communities, poor communication when there are outages of services, incorrect billing system, incomplete houses, slow process of concluding land claims, high rate of unemployment etc. This ANC led municipality will not turn deaf ears on the issues raised by all our people. In the next ninety days of office, a programme will be developed to address all issues which do not require much budget while in the long term, the new five year Integrated Development Plan containing all the issues raised will be developed and factored in on our Service Delivery Budget Implementation Plans for delivery. In this regard mediocrity will not be tolerated at all. Thina siyaqhuba, sishoda ngawe.

Consequently thereof, we congratulate all political parties which actively participated in the elections and thus ensured the maturity of our hard won democracy. We congratulate the IEC for managing the challenging elections and declaring them free and fair.

We further congratulate the ANC, the ruling party for winning majority of municipalities in South Africa with 54%, Emakhazeni Local Municipality with 69.73 % and Mpumalanga province with 70%. The people have spoken and this was confirmed by Amilcar Cabral when he said,’ Hide nothing from the masses of our people. Tell no lies. Expose lies where ever they are told. Mask no difficulties, mistakes, failures. Claim no easy victories.’ Indeed the truth has been told by the 2016 local government elections. The ANC mandate has been renewed for the next five years and we dare not disappoint all our people. Thina kwa ANC led municipality siyaqhuba, sishoda ngawe.

As we congratulate the newly elected collective leadership of the ANC led Emakhazeni Local Municipality, note should be taken that we are once more privileged to gather here not because of our own individual choices but because of the will of all our people. Congratulations honourable councillors.

Accordingly, sixty one years ago, the Freedom Charter, the people’s document, stated categorically the following, ‘We the people of South Africa, declare for all our country and the world to know:

That South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white, and that no government can justly claim authority unless it is based on the will of the people;

that our people have been robbed of their birth right to land, liberty and peace by a form of government founded on injustice and inequality;

that our country will never be prosperous or free until all our people live in brotherhood, enjoying equal rights and opportunities;

that only a democratic state, based on the will of all the people , can secure to all their birthright without distinction of colour, race, sex or belief;

And therefore, we, the people of South Africa, black and white together equals, countrymen and brothers adopt this Freedom Charter;

And we pledge ourselves to strive together, sparing neither strength nor courage, until the democratic changes here set out have been won.’

This ANC led municipal council established based on the will of all the people and the 2016 local government peoples driven manifesto, reconvicts itself until the end of its term of office not only to live up to the spirit of the Freedom Charter and the ANC manifesto but pledges to strive together, sparing neither strength nor courage, until the democratic changes set out therein have been won.

The ANC 2016 local government manifesto, tried and tested by the will of the people shall be the guiding document for this municipal council for the next five years. In this regard working together with communities, we will continue building on the achievements made in the past 22 years of democracy and the past 15 years of local government intensifying the implementation of Back to Basic programme focussing on the following key performance areas, namely; Building people first and engaging with communities, delivering basic services in a more efficient and effective manner, strengthening good governance and accountability, ensuring sound financial management and attracting a highly skilled and professional local government administration.

We will ensure that our municipality continue to contribute towards building a growing and inclusive economy with sustainable work opportunities for all. In this regard the promotion of contractor development, industrialisation, skills development and training, education and local content promotion among others will be our key focus areas to reduce the high unemployment rate with 50% in the next five years.

In the next ninety days in office, the following key tasks will be undertaken;

  • Internal control systems are efficient and effective (Political oversight committees, audit committee, risk committee, Internal audit unit, performance management system and regular appraisal, quarterly reviews etc)
  • Ensuring that all capital projects are implemented and finished on time.
  • Establishment of service delivery committee meetings weekly.
  • Ensuring that all staff and full time councillors report on duty on time at 7h30 as per their contracts of employment.
  • Signing of performance agreement with all MMC’s
  • Closing of potholes in all our entry roads and the urgent purchase of equipments related thereto, e.g roller machines and the tar cutting equipments.
  • Fixing of all electricity fixing equipments, eg cherry picker to ensure uninterrupted electricity services to our people.
  • Repair all sewer leakages and ensure a green drop status.
  • Ensure that all our water treatment plants operations are legislative compliant and thus ensuring a blue drop status.
  • Identification of all water leaks and development of a programme of WAR on leaks.
  • Introduction of a DASH BOARD measure used by Auditor General to track progress and failures and this should be institutionalised and be reported to council monthly.
  • Adoption of a twelve months IDP and the development of the new five years IDP
  • Establishment of new ward committees and their war rooms.
  • Establishment of AIDS Council.
  • Identification of financial wastage areas and the urgent relocation of Technical services into a permanent accommodation place where municipality will not be paying. Currently we are paying a lot of money. Lets stop wastage and redirect all financial resources towards service delivery.
  • Urgent establishment of Budget committee to ensure revenue enhancement, sound financial management, budget implementation, budget spending and monitoring.
  • Development or review of cost containment measures as per the National Treasury circular.
  • New options for Eskom debt payment
  • Meetings with all community structures such as Business community, mining houses, agricultural unions, civic organisations, workers to consider a new trajectory of development.
  • Reengineering of organisational structure to respond to the ANC 2016 local government manifesto.
  • Municipal turnaround strategy development including a plan for a clean audit attainment in the 2017/18 financial year.

Madam Speaker
Our door to door campaigns have revealed the expectations of our people in so far as leadership is concerned. They expect collective leadership with the following values, namely, honesty, humility, hard working, mutual criticism and self criticism, selflessness, integrity and morality.

Nkwame Nkruma in one of his writings, Africa must unite summarised this new man and woman required by society when he said, ‘Africa needs a new type of citizen, a dedicated, modest, honest and informed man and woman. A man and women who submerges self in service to the nation and (humankind). A man and woman who abhors greed and detests vanity. A new type of man and woman whose humility is their strength and whose integrity is (their) greatness.’

With the powers vested in me, I now appoint the following dedicated, modest, honest and informed man and women who submerges self in service to the nation and humankind.

  • Cllr Maria Kambula – Technical Services, Community Services and Local Economic Development
  • Cllr Thandiwe Scheefers – Corporate Services
  • Cllr Seun Mthimunye - Finance

As Members of Mayoral Committee, their roles and responsibilities among others will be to advice the office of the Executive Mayor and they will have to sign a performance agreement. In this regard, mediocrity will not be celebrated. The starting time for work is known as 7h30 but the knock off time is unknown.

Amilcar Cabral warned us all when he said, ‘Always bear in mind that the people are not fighting for ideas, for the things in any ones head. They are fighting to win material benefits, to live better and in peace, to see their lives go forward, to guarantee the future of their children.’

This municipal council will not celebrate mediocrity. It will ensure that all the contents of the manifesto gets implemented without failure to continue building a better life for all and build hope to all our people.

Special thanks go to the outgoing Executive Mayor, Cllr XSH Ngwenya and his collective for the good work done for the past five years. You have laid a solid foundation and ours is to continue with the long walk journey of building a better life for all.

The Anc is a national liberation movement, discipline force of the left and the leader of all democratic forces and the society at large. Le Duan describes it better when he said, A wise political line produces good cadres.  Cadres that are trained and mature under a wise line.  On the other hand, they take part in the making and development of the line, they also ensure the realisation of the line.  Without competent cadres, even though we have worked out a line, it will be useless.  If cadres are bad, they will damage the line itself.  If cadres are good and able, they not only help to carry the line creatively but also contribute to its development” close quote

We would like to thank the ANC as a ruling party, for the privileged given to us all to lead the National Democratic Revolution and continue in taking part and development of party line to accelerate the building of a better life for all. The ANC lives, The ANC leads. Thina Asinamona, Asinanzondo Siyayidumisa I-ANC.

Let all people who love their people and their country now say, as we say here; These Freedoms we will fight for, side by side. Throughout our lives, until we have won our liberty.’ Freedom Charter

I thank you

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