The Challenges which lie ahead
Like any family, which all comprise separate personalities and ideologies, trials and trib-ulations have been encountered, in respect of the establishment of harmonious relations, and certainly our analogical family has proved no exception to this rule.
However, as time has passed and the need for inter-relatedness has become ever more evident, these initial differences and dis-agreements have been addressed and a climate of co-operation and interaction has been developed, forming a cohesive whole able to meet the challenges posed by the transition to a developmental system of local government where the boundaries of the District are now perceived as a collective whole.
The 1st and 2nd spheres are no longer seen as being interfering and authoritarian and certainly these entities are now playing a more supportive role, an attitude substantiated by the recent implementation of operation consolidate by the National sphere, to be roll-out by the Provincial Department.
In the local context, functioning forums, within the District, have been established which have cemented an efficient system of local communication, from which it has been conceded and agreed that the challenges which face each of these entities, in developing fully equitable service delivery for all their collective constituents, is all, but immeasurable and where no one entity has the resources to address it individually. Consequently, in this regard, the need for shared service entities is becoming evermore evident and already preliminary negotiations and arrangements are being put in place, in consultation and with the support of the Provincial sphere, in order to establish such entities, initially, in respect of:
- Internal Audit & Control
- Waste Management
- Disaster Management and...
- Emergency Services
Like all the newly established municipalities in the country, as a whole, Sisonke District Municipality is faced with the almost overwhelming challenge, in funding a resolution, within its area of jurisdiction, of the legacy of apartheid whose municipal systems created an imbalance of services development between the urban and rural populations, where the former enjoys a municipal infrastructure at a 1st world level and the latter with almost nothing.
In these latter instances, this absence of infrastructure extends, in many cases, to the fact that the people have no formal vehicular access way to the areas they inhabit, and therefore they are even
denied private or public transport between their homes and the economic nodes, upon which they rely for sustenance..
In order to merely to achieve the capacity and sustain delivery of existing services, in terms of its currently assigned powers and functions, it has been estimated that the municipality will require access to funding, in extent of some R733m, this only in respect of the forthcoming medium term
In order to achieve total equality of services infrastructure development, in the long term, the estimate is a staggering R80 Billion. Merely to begin to meet this core problem, the municipality must, in the short and medium term begin to build up, by attracting private and public sector investment, the economic potential of its area of jurisdiction by developing:
- The primary agriculture / silviculture industries and the intensification of the related and lucrative secondary operations.
- Tourism to its full potential and...
- Industry and commerce, in a general sense, by providing the formally disfranchised communities the capacity for self advancement, this, to a large degree, in accordance with the National strategy of self employment.
These then are the major challenges, which the Municipal Manager, in his introductory comments herein, has liken to a journey which will extend beyond the current era.