New Community Development Project for Ekurhuleni

Pretoria - Ekurhuleni Executive Mayor Mondli Gungubele has launched a R101 million ward based project aimed at creating jobs and fighting poverty in the region.

First of its kind, the Lungile Mtshali Community Development Project, will see each ward in the city receiving R1 million for the community to spend in developmental projects of their choice.

Speaking at the launch in Germiston on Tuesday, Gungubele noted that such projects are pivotal for a municipality which has an unemployment rate of 28.8% - 40% of young people.

"This can also be viewed as the city's intervention to build an active and responsive citizenry in our efforts to fast-track service delivery in the region," Gungubele said.

During the State of the City Address last year, Gungubele pronounced the intervention emphasising that time had come for communities to get actively involved in the development of their communities.

Gungubele added that people must not be misled to think that the money is the entire budget for community and infrastructure development in the city, as the metro will continue delivering and broadening services to communities with its annual budget of R30 billion.

Through the Lungile Mtshali Community Development Project more than 3 000 jobs have been created in the region. The projects will be centred around: energy efficiency; water and sanitation; wetlands rehabilitation and waste management, greening and landscaping.

"Some people may think that the amount is not enough. However, for us it is not about the money but the intervention of building active and responsive citizenry who will be able to deal with the developmental issues of their areas, while at the same time addressing the scourge of poverty.

"This project allows our people to get directly involved in the upkeep of their areas and learn critical skills that will take them off the streets in the future," Gungubele said.

He added that the city will continue allocating R1 million per ward for the next three financial years starting this year.

"Qualifying projects are intended to serve as catalyst for skills growth, poverty alleviation, job creation and urban renewal. I remain confident that more jobs are going to be created by this programme," he said.

Lungile Mtshali is a former councillor of Ekurhuleni, who passed on after a short illness in 2010. At the time she was a member of the mayoral committee for finance. She was known to be a servant of the people who was always at the forefront of the community's needs.

Looking at poverty levels in the city, just before she passed on, Mtshali had initiated a community development project known as the R1 million rand per ward, which was later officially named by the City of Ekurhuleni as the Lungile Mtshali Developmental Project - in her honour.