Mpumalanga Municipality showing signs of improvement

By Sydney Masinga

Volksrust - The Mpumalanga municipality which was put under administration in February because of poor service delivery and financial control is showing signs of improvement.

Spokesperson for the Provincial Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Simphiwe Kunene, said MEC Norman Mokoena was satisfied that a recovery plan put in place by administrator Meshack Nkosi to rescue the Pixley ka Seme municipality in Volksrust was working.

"According to the plan, the municipality established a forum to deal with labour issues before they escalate into disputes. A human resources manager will soon be appointed," said Mr Kunene on Wednesday.

He said Mr Nkosi was also working on finalising the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) for 2009/10.

"The processes of aligning the budget and the identification and prioritisation of projects will be done. There will also be intensive public participation in these processes," he said.

Mr Kunene said Mr Nkosi was interacting with all stakeholders, including the community, to share information and explain the municipality's plans and programmes.

"To help Mr Nkosi, the department has appointed two assistants, Sinky Ngobe to assist with legal matters and Khaya Mpungose to assist with administrative and technical support," added Mr Kunene.

At a protest in June last year, residents complained that water and electricity prices were increased without proper consultation. Allegations of corruption and maladministration were also levelled at the municipality.

Pixley ka Seme is the third local municipality in the province to be placed under administration in the last five years. The other two were Thaba Chweu Local Municipality in Mashishing and the Mbombela Local Municipality in Nelspruit.

Curatorship status has since been lifted at Thaba Chweu and Mbombela.

The Ehlanzeni District Municipality, which is one of three district municipalities in the province, was also placed under administration after being brought to the brink of financial collapse. It too is back on track.

Mr Nkosi was a board member of the old Mpumalanga Parks Board, served on the Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency board and was also the deputy administrator at Mbombela while it was under administration. - BuaNews