The Rustenburg Local Municipality, continues to ensure that services are rendered to residents in cost-effective and efficient manner, as outlined in the strategic priority which focuses on sound financial management while promoting good governance principles. The economic down-turn which has led to a technical-recession has not spared the residents from the consequences of a tougher economic times. Most of whom, have lost their primary sources of income. The impact of the national lockdown cannot be ignored, as many businesses could not operate at their full capacity, and others could not survive beyond lockdown, thus having to lay off employees. The financial position of the municipality made it impossible to offer any form of relief to the ratepayers, and the debtors’ book continued to grow.
The Municipal Finance Management Act 56 of 2003 requires that the municipality have effective revenue collection systems as consistent with section 95 of the Municipal Systems Act and the municipality’s Debt Collection and Credit Control Policy. Subsequently, the City Council resolved in line with item 62 of the 30th March 2021 meeting that the Municipality may, in order to encourage prompt payment by customers and/or to reward regular payments made by customers or payments made by any of the existing means to pay any outstanding balance through an arrangement for the purpose of paying off of debt in instalments which are available in law, including those provisions in section 103 of the Systems Act, and section 71 of National Credit Act – NCA.
Council after taking into account, the effects of a contracting economy and its consequences on households, resolved to extend the debt collection incentives scheme by 6 months commencing 30th March 2021. The incentives program offers clients the opportunity to have their arrangements calculated in line with the Credit Control and Debt Collection policy with interest removed from the calculation and written off when clients have kept to the arrangement.
For more information, residents can contact the following persons:
email@example.com or 014 590 3420 firstname.lastname@example.org or 014 590 3595 email@example.com 014 590 3426 or at offices 22 – 28th ground floor Missionary Mpheni House.
Following, the many unannounced visits to various areas of Rustenburg, earlier today the Executive Mayor of Rustenburg – Councillor Mpho Khunou accompanied by the City’s head of administration Mr. Victor Makona made an unannounced visit to see the effectiveness of service delivery as well as to see first-hand the challenges that communities are faced with, where delivery is inconsistent. This visit comes as part of an-going program led by the Mayor of Rustenburg to carry out-oversight exercise where communities have had challenges with the inefficiency of services.
The inspections began with a meeting where ward Councillors of Tlhabane and Tlhabane West were present, including the Council’s Single Whip – Councillor Levy Mokwele and Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Technical Infrastructure Services – Councillor Michael Mhlungu. The purpose of the meeting, was to provide an update to the ward councillors, on the work which has been done in the area in resolving the bulk services particularly water and sanitation related challenges. Later the inspections were carried out in Zinniaville.
In the recent past, the Mayor has been to various areas within the City Centre, Tlhabane, Boitekong and Tlhabane West to establish what challenges could be as a result of the inefficiencies prohibiting residents to access maximised services at all times. Mayor Khunou said it was important that the Municipality in its approach to addressing service delivery issues needed to be proactive “there is no wisdom, whatsoever for us to come to our residents when there are service delivery protests when we can just come and conduct our oversight at any time” Mayor Khunou said emphatically.
Mayor Khunou has been leading service delivery inspections along many areas of Rustenburg with officials in tow, to ensure that there is accountability and remedial action where RLM officials are found wanting at the expense of residents. He said the days of complacency and lack of consequence management are long gone “we will not have to wait for residents to complain about inconsistent service delivery so that we can act, furthermore we will be on an on-going basis receiving reports from directorates responsible critical for services and where there are continuous concerns with the situation not changing, we will have to act and take those responsible to task. We cannot compromise service delivery while our people continue to be inconvenienced” reiterated Mayor Khunou.
In the recently tabled adjusted budget of the City, the RLM prioritized the bulk infrastructure services of the City, which have not been sufficiently dealt with due to both infrastructural and financial limitations. The allocations in terms of the various areas of urgent intervention in service delivery have been approved as follows, to fast-track service delivery while addressing existing backlogs.
Mr. Victor Makona the City’s Accounting Officer said, it was important that the recently allocated budget for services is used to fast-track services without any compromise “we will be doing routine checks to see if public funds are used to the benefit of the community, it is our responsibility to ensure that work is done and that the community feels the impact in material terms, if we are to achieve our mandate of improving the speed with which services are rendered” he said.
As a regular engagement between the City’s top leadership and senior managers responsible for the provision of varied services to the communities of Rustenburg, Councillor Mpho Khunou and Mr. Victor Makona as well as the members of the Mayoral Committee on Technical and Infrastructure Services, Roads and Transport and Budget and Treasury Office – Councillors Michael Mhlungu, Lucky Kgaladi, and Basebi Lekoro were locked in a performance review meeting regarding service delivery in Rustenburg. Given the challenges which the City noted in the recent budget presentation, the Mayor called for an intensified approach to service delivery as residents needed to be serviced effectively despite the many challenges which have been highlighted.
In his opening remarks, Mayor Khunou said it was important to be relentless in the provision of services as residents have been inconvenienced enough “the budget which we have augmented at the recently tabled Council meeting, shows that we may not be perfect but we are turning things around. The only way this City can work is when residents’ challenges are resolved and the infrastructure Rustenburg has is maintained to promote effective delivery of services, without addressing this core mandate we would be failing at the basic reason why we are all here” Mayor Khunou emphasized.
The RLM has prioritized all issues around water-related issues, which have been highlighted previously. Following the additional funding from the adjusted budget which is people-centered and service delivery oriented the City has commenced with numerous interventions in resolving water reticulation within Rustenburg’s water network. This includes the upgrading of Tlhabane West Pump station and about 80 percent of the pipe bulk line has been laid. This project will ensure that the RLM’s infrastructure pumps more water within its network which will ensure that high-lying areas which have been severely affected by water supply interruptions experience low incidents of water cuts.
The City’s Community Development Directorate has continued to express concern about the growing number of illegal dumping spots which the City has been regularly clearing. The Directorate has been hard also, clearing most of the public spaces within the City’s jurisdiction which pose a safety concern to residents. To this extent, illegal dumping areas, which experienced an increased occurrence of illegal disposal of refuse/waste have been cleared.
Ramochana’s main entrance and the taxi rank area are some of the areas which had the ire of the community and the directorate responded swiftly in ensuring that the open spaces are cleared thus preventing any health-related hazards to residents. These by-law contraventions of waste management – illegal dumping have also been in the City centre and this is concerning as most of our SMME’s make use of the allocated public spaces for trading and these incidents have the potential to affect their income and or profitability as a result of the health complications that may arise.
In ward 34 at Bokamoso, the team cleared the illegal dumping area, which has been at the entrance of the settlement and some cleaning of the public spaces in Tlhabane around the JD Mosia Primary School has also been successfully completed. The recent wave of torrential rains has also made the RLM intensify the cleaning campaign in cemeteries around the City. Numerous burial sites under the administration of the City have been given more attention, as the relaxation of the Covid-19 regulations gives an increased number of our residents’ access to gravesites particularly during funeral services.
Our cemeteries including Pioneer, Donkerhoek, and Rietvlei have are being cleaned by way of grass cutting while the Tlhabane cemetery cleaning phase has been successfully ended. We urge our communities to make use of the municipal approved waste management/dropoff sites which residents can access directly to dispose of their waste such as the Strumosa drop-off facility, which is used only for garden waste, and the Waterval Landfill facility which can be used for the disposal of domestic waste.
Alternatively, residents can put their domestic waste out, as per normal on the day of collection. It is critical that illegal dumping has serious effects on the immediate environment and the health of persons who may be in close proximity to the area used for dumping. Technical inquiries for waste-related matters can be directed to Customer Care on 0145903090 or Unit Manager: Waste Management, Mr. Julian Nkoana on 0145903101/8/3108 or firstname.lastname@example.org
RLM Mayor, MAYCO Members and EXCO Descend Upon Tlhabane West to Engage Community Over Service Delivery Concerns
Councillor Mpho Khunou, the Executive Mayor of Rustenburg, Single Whip of Council – Councillor Levy Mokwele accompanied by members the mayoral committee (MMC’s) for Technical and Infrastructure Services, Budget and Treasury Office and Roads and Transport – Councillors Michael Mhlungu, Basebi Lekoro and Lucky Kgaladi were in Tlhabane West to further engage the community on their grievances over services delivery challenges. The meeting was a continuation of an earlier meeting which was held last month and was disrupted by bad weather and was rescheduled to this weekend.
The Municipality’s Accounting office was present with a contingent of both senior and middle managers from various directorates and departments. The Executive Mayor said it was important for officials to be part of the community engagement sessions so as to appreciate the difficulty which residents are faced with on a daily basis.
The meeting focused on the following issues:
In his response to the community the Executive Mayor, expressed his continued agony in respect of the bulk water supply challenges which Rustenburg has continued to experience “it has been over a year now since we have been turning the heat on our bulk water suppliers particularly Magalies Water and the Rustenburg Services Trust. We have formally written on numerous occasions to the Water and Sanitation Ministry, the Deputy Minister came to Rustenburg and saw for himself the situation at the Magalies Plant. We also need to put it on record, that the water supply issue is not due any outstanding debt to the water service provider, as the RLM’s account is up-to-date” Mayor Khunou emphasized.
Currently, Magalies Water in previous engagements with the City indicated that it required about 1-billion rand to complete the Pilanesburg Water Scheme, which will at once address the bulk water supply to Rustenburg, which currently sits at a deficit of 50 mega-litres per day. However, the City has commenced with a reticulation project which will address the low watered pressure and no water supply in other areas such as Geelhout Park and Tlhabane West which will ensure that more water is pumped thus reducing the longevity of water supply interruptions, within the City’s water infrastructure network.
Victor Makona the City’s Accounting Officer, said it was important for residents to understand that the Municipality needs all the money it can receive for payment of services, if the RLM is to continue to operate without any further struggle “ladies and gentlemen I want to assure you that if you withhold any payments towards any services, our bulk services providers, including Eskom, Rand Water from whom we purchase these critical services will halt their services. That will mean that you not have water and electricity, therefore Rustenburg will face a crisis never seen before” Makona reiterated. The Municipal Manager said, the municipality will be undertaking outreach programs, where officials from the BTO will be visiting residents over their accounts and to address the final demands for payment of accounts.
The Municipal Manager, residents need to explore all avenues available including lodging of disputes over accounts for services, which will enable further investigations to be undertaken in ascertaining the veracity of the status of the account. Residents were also encouraged to make use of the indigent register which allows qualifying persons to access free basic services for water and electricity, given their household income. Residents raised concerns about the non-functionality of some street lights in their neighbourhood, which compromises their safety particularly at night. The Municipality in its recent budget adjustment tabling, approved 10 million rand which address the maintenance of the electrical network including repairs to the infrastructure.
In the same vain, the municipality has started with the road rehabilitation project where pothole patching has been effected particularly on roads with more heavy traffic volume. The RLM aware of the importance of proper road infrastructure has also set aside funds to ensure that the economy of the City is not hampered by poor road network. The RLM leadership also lamented on the community civil duty to prevent incidents of criminality which leaves the infrastructure destroyed when electrical cables are stolen and street lights cut to be sold in the black market. A program which will address the repairs will commence soon which will cover Tlhabane West and parts of Rustenburg to repair street lights which will increase visibility in the evenings for pedestrian safety.
The RLM has also not been spared from the effects of Covid-19 like many other government institutions, while the City conceded to the backlog of cleaning of public spaces, the current situation was as a result of trimming of the work force where only essential service workers were allowed to continue working such as personnel from the electricity and water unit. However, the Directorate for Community Development has begun with its program of cleaning public spaces and Tlhabane West residents like many other areas will have all their hotspots cleared to ensure that their surroundings are both clean and safe.
The Executive Mayor, assured residents that he will always be available to engage with them, and communities should not underestimate their role in being part of the solutions which will in the end assist the municipality as it endeavours to improve the level of services to residents.