Klerksdorp – The month of September heralded a new era in local governance as the Dr. Kenneth Kaunda District Municipality convened an Integrated Development Plan (IDP) District Lekgotla at the City of Matlosana Council Chamber in Klerksdorp. As one of the run-up Districts Makgotla, culminating in the annual Provincial IDP Lekgotla held at the start of October this year, the inaugural annual District Lekgotla was used as a yardstick for service delivery by municipalities.
The engagement was coordinated in collaboration with the Office of the Premier as well as the Provincial Department of Local Government and Traditional Affairs who were constituted as the Provincial Support for the district. In attendance were Executive Mayors, Mayors, Speakers and Council Whips from the District Municipality and Local Municipalities in Matlosana, Tlokwe, Ventersdorp and Maquassi Hills respectively. Other stakeholders included District and Local Aids Councils.
The main intention of the meeting was to receive inputs from the municipalities in the district according to information given by the Provincial Support Team in earlier days running up to the District Lekgotla on September 06, 2012. Municipalities also made submissions to projects from as early as the 2009/10 financial year, which coincided with the assumption of power of the current national and provincial administrations.
The submissions of the municipalities were to backdate projects from as early as the 2009/10 financial year, which coincided with the assumption of power of the current national and provincial administrations. Challenges and recommendations for consideration by the province were included in the comprehensive report, which focused mainly on service delivery, provision of basic services, job creation and auditor-general’s opinions.
Municipal presentations from locals were made by Executive Mayors and Mayors. Among concerns raised by the political principals was the explanatory notes that were to be made in the presentation to provide additional information on why certain activities were not performed. Observations made were that large portions of the Municipal Infrastructure Grants (MIG) Allocations were not completely spent in the financial years they were given.
In particular, Tlokwe City Council Executive Mayor Maphetle Maphetle identified not only general limitations in the information provided, but also what extra information the municipality had given. He noted that in general all presentations were to be specific in the information they wanted to present to the province and they were not supposed to suppress the challenges experienced by the municipalities as this would elicit constructive debates and solution finding at the Provincial Lekgotla.
Based on the concerns raised, the gathering resolved to compile A narrative report that will provide additional information which was not included in the information guide, moreover where municipalities should raise challenges which they need the Office of the Premier to address on their behalf. In addition, municipalities would from then onward include lack of funding as a primary impediment leading to failure to complete projects. Specific institutions that will unblock service provision should also be identified in cases where there are needs.