As the Accounting Officer of the District Municipality, it gives me pleasure to make this submission as the foreword of our newsletter which seeks to take the public on board in respect of the service delivery agenda of the municipality.
The municipality has performed remarkably well in gaining the confidence of its communities through accelerated service delivery implementation of its core functions, namely water and sanitation. Furthermore, the municipality has put in place very effective oversight mechanisms through the establishment of the Municipal Public Accounts Committee, which to date has carried out its oversight function very successfully. Judging from the many positive developments that this municipality has achieved which far outweigh the negative perceptions that had in the past become synonymous with the District Municipality, it can be safely said that the municipality has indeed turned the corner. The IDP which serves as a service delivery master plan of the municipality has improved tremendously compared to those of the previous years, and it is pleasing to note that the MEC in his recent assessment has rated it as one of the most credible IDPs in the Province. With a solid foundation having been laid, communities can have assurance that their needs as planned for in the IDP will be turned into tangible deliverables. What is even more encouraging is that the municipality has puts its communities first by making sure that service delivery projects account for 69% of the budget. Whilst there are huge service delivery backlogs, mainly attributed to the dilapidated and obsolete infrastructure, the municipality has not been deterred, as evidenced by the extent of the its vigorous drive to eradicate such backlogs. Since the new Council assumed office in May 2011, many water and sanitation projects have been implemented in all the four local municipalities of the District. In pursuing this implementation drive, the municipality never compromises on quality and by all means, efforts are made to ensure that such services are of good quality and sustainable. Our achievement on the green drop and blue drop status bears testimony. As the municipality continues to strive for the best, we are very mindful of the fact that there are still some communities who are still eagerly waiting the opportunity to be afforded basic services. In this regard, the municipality will work tirelessly with all the spheres and sectors of government to reach these communities. Where a service is being provided, there will always be inadequacies and dissatisfactions, and as a requirement, the municipality has established a fully-fledged Customer Care Centre that receives all complaints from communities and channels such complaints to the relevant authorities for redress. Of note, was the visit by the Auditor General and the commitment made by the Leadership and the Administration in ensuring that the audit status of the municipality is geared towards a clean audit by 2014, a target which undoubtedly is achievable if the municipality sticks to its commitments Finally, all these achievements are attributed to the commitment made by the administration and the Councillors as well as the stable political climate in our district. As we pursue our service delivery agenda, we will never take our communities for granted and most importantly never again will the municipality be found wanting on issues of compliance.