2017/18 IDP & Budget Roadshows

Under his leadership, Mayor Cllr Makhosini Nkosi together with his political and administrative team embarked on a series of public consultative meetings under the Annual Integrated Development Plan (IDP) and Budget Roadshow Program, which commenced from the 26th of April to the 11th of May 2017.

Under the theme, Navigate through the Storm and Seas, the purpose of the roadshows was to present the 2017/18 draft budget and to inform the public about the municipality’s achievements and projects that have been implemented in the previous financial years.

The consultative process is mandated by the Local Government Systems Act no 32 of 2000 and this Act calls for municipalities to encourage and create conditions for the local community to participate in the affairs of the municipality. The roadshows therefore serve as the forum of engaging and listening to the views of the communities and business sectors in Newcastle.

“It is no secret that the municipality’s financial state is not all that good but we have put together plans and strategies to help eradicate the situation, this is in line with the municipality’s initiative in encouraging public participation in the municipality’s budget allocations and to promote transparency as well as encourage the culture of saving”, said Nkosi.

Mayor urged young people to choose careers that would enable them to find employment and benefit from the infrastructure development. “It was for this reason that the Mayoral Bursary Scheme was introduced. The municipality is in dire need of engineers and people to work in the finance department, so we need young people to study these scarce skill courses so they can assist the municipality”, he alluded.

“It is imperative that we provide people with dignified basic services through infrastructure, water & sanitation and electricity. There are areas in the Eastern part of Newcastle that have been identified for infrastructure development which will assist in the socio-economic growth”, concluded the Mayor.

All the roadshows were well attended by the community in different wards but the challenge still remains that a lot still needs to be done to alleviate lives of the Newcastle residents.

Proposed IDP/Budget/PMS 2017/18 Public Consultation Meetings – NOTICE CS16 / 2017

NEWCASTLE MUNICIPALITY PROPOSED IDP/BUDGET/PMS 2017/18 PUBLIC CONSULTATION MEETINGS

NOTICE CS16 / 2017
Proposed IDP/Budget/PMS 2017/18 Public Consultation Meetings

Notice is hereby given in terms of Section 22 of the Municipal Finance Management Act (Act No.56 of 2003) and Chapter 4 of the Municipal Systems Act (Act No. 32 of 2000) that his Worship, the Mayor CLLR E. M Nkosi, invites all community members and stakeholders to the following Budget Roadshows:

No STAKEHOLDER VENUE DATE DAY TIME
1 Ward Committees, IDP Rep  Forum, IGR Technical Task Team, Traditional Healers, Youth Structures, Women & Men’s Forum, Interfaith, Minister’s Association, NGOs & FBOs Richview hall 26 April 2017 Wednesday 10H00
2 Ward 20, 22 & 23 Mbalenhle Higher Primary School Ground 02 May 2017 Tuesday 09H00
3 All Chambers, Organised Business, Farmers Association & & Traditional Leadership EXCO ROOM 02 May 2017 Tuesday 17H00
4 Ward 14, Part of 28 & 31 Dedangifunde School Field 03 May 2017 Wednesday 09h00
5 Ward 2, 3, 4, 5 & 25 Fairleigh Hall 03 May 2017 Wednesday 14h00
6 Ward 1 Charlestown 04 May 2017 Thursday 14h00
7 Part of ward 7, Part of 30, 6 & 33 DicksHalt Community Hall 05 May 2017 Friday 2017 10H00
8 Ward 21 Vezubuhle Sports Ground 05 May 2017 Friday 15H00
9 Ward 12, 15, 16 & 18 Mzamo Sports Ground 06 May 2017 Saturday 11H00
10 Wards 11,13,17, Part of 30 and Part of 32 Osizweni Stadium 08May 2017 Monday 09H00
11 Part of 7, 8, 9, 10, and Part of 32 Osizweni Cricket Oval 08 May 2017 Monday 14H00
12 Ward 24, 26, part of 27 & 28 Madadeni Community Hall 09 May 2017 Tuesday 10H00

 

13 Ward 34 S. V Zulu School: KwaMathukuza Sports Field 09 May 2017 Tuesday 14H00
14 Wards 19,27 & 29 Cathulani Sports Ground 10  May 2017  Wednesday 10H00
15 H39 H39 Open field 11 May 2017 Thursday 10H00

 

Be Safe This Easter

SAPS will also be on a look out this Easter

The Easter holiday season is synonymous with high crash and accident rates which claims too many lives and or incurs injury to our citizens. This ultimately negatively affects the country’s economy by millions of rands.

In order to influence the mindset of road users, it is vital that law enforcers create a euphoria of Omni-presence, especially over this notorious period. It is therefore the intention of Newcastle Traffic Services to embark on a rigorous high visibility weekend in order to suppress road carnages.

On Thursday 13 April 2017, Traffic services hosted a roadblock on Allen Street at Hilldrop. Attending this roadblock was Newcastle Municipality’s Deputy Mayor Cllr D. Sibiya, Executive Strategic Director for Community Services Mr. Mandla Sithole, Manager to the Mayor Mr. Andile Masondo and Chief of Traffic Mr. A.K Anandhaw

Welcome those who were present Deputy Mayor emphasized the importance of having traffic officers on the road during this season, she said that the lives of the passengers and even the drivers depends it.
“Motorists tend to get overly excited this season and end up drinking alcohol whilst driving, we need to send all those to jail because they are putting people’s life in danger. Speed is also a lethal offence, motorists should be held accountable for not adhering to speed limits” said Sibiya

Chief of Traffic Mr. Anandhaw said that there are many factors that contribute to these unacceptable behavior from motorists I.e. High volumes of traffic over a short period- increased travels to places of worship. Easter is the first long break since December holidays, thus migrant workers return to their homes and this increases traffic volumes, KZN is still the preferred tourist destination prior to the winter period.
“Road-user behavior- drivers do not obey rules of the road. They do not ensure that they are buckled up and the latest plague is the cellphone usage whilst driving. Pedestrians are also oblivious to road safety and pose a huge hazard in the road environment.” Continued Anandhaw

The Delegation proceeded to the road where they started spreading messages of road safety to motorists by engaging with them and also handing out road safety kits.

Law enforcers ready for the Easter holiday

20 Years of the Constitution – Fact Sheet

• This year’s marks the 20th anniversary of the South African Constitution.
• The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. No other law or government action can supersede
the provisions of the Constitution.
• South Africa’s Constitution is one of the most progressive in the world and enjoys high acclaim
internationally.
• Our Constitution sets out how all the elements of government are organised and contains rules about what power is wielded, who wields it and over whom it is wielded in the governing of a country.
• The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DOJ&CD) will lead South Africans in celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Constitution.

Click the link below to download the full document.

Water is a Human Right

Miss Z.P Mabaso receive her price after a Q&A

Miss Z.P Mabaso receive her price after a Q&A

The Newcastle Municipality’s Department of Water Services held a three day water awareness campaign from the 5th to the 7th of April 2017, under the theme Water and Sanitation is a Human Right.

The main objective of the programme was to highlight the  importance of  preserving water and  educate  residents from the rural areas on the importance of yard connections, looking after infrastructure, illegal connections and the water status in Newcastle.

This is what saw the Department of Water Services visiting Lister Farm, Mndozo and Manzana.

Customer Relations Manager: Dr. Dumisani Thabethe said rural communities were the main target for this year as they have discovered that there are more illegal connections and residents are not aware of how to maintain toilets and report water loses in these areas

“We end up having more water losses in these areas, due to lack of awareness on the following; reporting of water problems, and honey sucker damage as a result of residents throwing disposable nappies and other foreign objects inside the toilets, “explained Thabethe.

Thabethe continued to remind residents about the water status of Newcastle from Charlestown, Normandien, Madadeni and Osizweni.

“We had a crisis in December last year where Ntshingwayo Dam was sitting at 40%. It was a difficult period and we ended up closing water and reopening the taps in the morning. We also had to reduce water consumption by 30% as per the directive by the Department of Water and Sanitation, “he stated.

Thabethe said Newcastle was fortunate enough for favorable weather conditions due to the recent heavy rains as the dam is currently sitting at 95%. He added however that this did not mean people should waste water.

“95% is nothing if we continue to waste water because we just might a have a drop to 10% as in the Western Cape which has been declared a disaster area because of the heavy drought,”he said.

P.R councilor Ruben Molelekwa said it would be sad if Newcastle had to run out of water that will require the provincial government to bring in trucks as it has been done in other towns.

“Let’s preserve water, without water there is no life, “added Molelekwa

He also added that ward councilors work tirelessly and go out of their way to ensure that services come closer to the people but if people vandalize and waste them, it becomes a setback for the municipality. He urged residents to take better care of water and other services as they will have no choice but to stop delivering in the same area as they are going around the same circle, he said.

Ntuthuko Madlala from customer care warned residents about the dangers of illegal connections and urged them to come forward and make applications for new connections at a cost of R1 900. The connection according to Madlala is a 21 working day process. He said it was important for each household to legally connect their own taps to avoid conflicts.

“When you connect illegally, you end up fighting with neighbors and it now becomes the burden of the municipality and the police while they were not there when you decided to break the law, “he said.

Madlala also reminded residents that if they connect legally, they have free access to services in case of leakages, residents can call the municipality to come and fix any problems.

The campaign ended on a high note as residents walked away with water buckets, t-shirts and water bottles after participating in a series of questions concerning water. 

NADO Entertainers performing educational songs for the public

NADO Entertainers performing educational songs for the public

local artists entertaining the public

local artists entertaining the public

water campaign task team taking food to a feeding scheme

water campaign task team taking food to a feeding scheme

Amajuba Healthy Lifestyle event

MEC and Mayors after finishing their 3km walk

MEC and Mayors after finishing their 3km walk

During the engagement dialogues with the community of Newcastle, the Office of the Mayor identified the ‘lifestyle we living’ as an issue and for this reason approached the Department of Arts, Culture, Sports and Recreation in hosting a healthy lifestyle event to encourage the culture of exercising.

The event was held on Saturday, 01 April 2017 at Phelandaba Stadium in Madadeni with the purpose to create awareness around communities adopting healthy lifestyles advocated in the #ICHOOSE2BEACTIVE campaign.

The #ICHOOSE2BEACTIVE campaign is an initiative by the Department of Arts, Culture, Sport and Recreation with the aim to provide an opportunity to all South Africans to be actively involved by participating in recreational activities that will;
• Improve their health and well-being,
• Create livable communities and promote Social Cohesion,
• Drive personal benefits of improving self-esteem and
• Improve on social integration, developing community and cultural identity.

The Department of Arts, Culture, Sport and Recreation implemented this campaign in partnership with Newcastle Municipality, Amajuba District Municipality and Department of Health.

In his official welcome, Newcastle Mayor; Cllr EM Nkosi thanked the MEC and her department for the sponsored sporting and gym facilities. He further alluded on the ‘Active Fridays’ initiative and assured that the municipality will be involved in a call on the community, public and private sectors to participate in this initiative to promote an active lifestyle.

MEC of Arts, Culture, Sport and Recreation; Honourable Mrs B.N Sithole-Moloi addressed ward 23 to encourage them to embrace sport and healthy lifestyle as part of their daily physical activities. She elevated the issue of obesity as one of the challenges amongst women in South Africa.

“South Africa is sitting with 3% of South Africans women over the age of 15 being obese and 42% of urban women obese, this is a huge problem, but exercise alone is not enough. Good nutrition is also an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Combined with physical activity, your diet can help reach and maintain a healthy weight thus reduce diseases, said MEC Sithole-Moloi.

MEC further stated that the cabinet of KwaZulu-Natal took a resolution to introduce ‘Active Fridays’ as an initiative to curb the increased sedentary lifestyle. She also acknowledged the role senior citizens play in maintaining a healthy lifestyle as she highlighted the importance to create a conducive environment for them to train and sponsored soccer equipment for them to participate in the senior citizens golden games.

Activities for the day included a 1km and 3km walk, mass aerobics, exhibitions, wheelchair 3 on 3 basketball, volleyball, netball, senior citizens golden games, indigenous games and live performances from Lvovo, DJ Siyanda and other local artists.

Dignitaries with the senior citizens showcasing their sponsored soccer equipment.

Dignitaries with the senior citizens showcasing their sponsored soccer equipment.

Netball match

Netball match

Volleyball match

Volleyball match

MEC engaging with an exhibitor

MEC engaging with an exhibitor

Mass aerobics

Mass aerobics

INVITATION TO PROSPECTIVE SERVICE PROVIDERS TO REGISTER ON THE NEWCASTLE MUNICIPALITY DATABASE

The Newcastle Municipality (NM), pursuant to the provisions of the Municipal Finance Management Act no.: 56 of 2003 read together with the Supply Chain Management Regulations (2005) as well as Preferential Procurement Regulations, 2011 pertaining to the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act no.: 05 of 2000, hereby invites suppliers/service providers to register on the Council`s supplier database for 2017/18 financial year.

The supplier database aims at giving all potential suppliers an equal opportunity to do business with NM. Although preference will always be given to registered suppliers, it does not necessary follow that those who are not yet registered will be excluded from doing business with NM.

Service providers currently registered on Council`s Database must re – register or submit updated valid documents for re – registration should their documents be expired.

Companies must ensure that all the mandatory documents are attached to their registration forms. Failure to adhere to the above requirements and incomplete application forms will lead to your application being rejected.

Supplier database registration forms may be physically accessed through the below mentioned address at a non-refundable document fee of R 20.00 during office hours between 8h00 to 15h00 or electronically be downloaded from Council`s website: www.newcastle.gov.za, with effect from 06 April 2017.

All suitable and interested prospective suppliers are encourage to register onto National Treasury`s Central Supplier Database (CSD) by logging onto to the website address of https://secure.csd.gov.za or by logging onto National Treasury website address of www.treasury.gov.za then click on CSD database icon.

Enquiries pertaining to completion, submission and registration of supplier database forms may be directed to the following officials during office hours:
Ms S. Mbatha 034 328 7819
Mr S. Mabizela 034 328 7811
Mr S. Zwane 034 328 7625

NOTE

1. The Database forms must be completed in full and signed by duly authorized representative.

2. Only ORIGINAL registration forms will be accepted. Completed Supplier Registration documents, endorsed on the envelope: “Vendor Registration Forms” for attention of the above mentioned officials be forwarded as below indicated:

Physical Address: Postal Address:

Newcastle Municipality Newcastle Municipality
Municipal Civic Centre (Tower – Block) Private Bag X6621
Supply Chain Management Unit Newcastle
2nd Floor, Office number – 217 2940
37 Murchison Street
Newcastle
2940

3. Please note that no unsigned or faxed forms will be accepted. Certified copies of the tax clearance certificate are NOT ACCEPTABLE and invoices will not be processed until the original the original valid tax clearance certificate is submitted.

4. Copies of the tax clearance certificate are ACCEPTABLE as the new Tax Compliance Status (TCS) system has been implemented by SARS where any 3rd party can verify the compliance status through the use of an electronic access PIN, or through the use of a Tax Clearance Certificate obtained from the new TCS system.

5. Businesses intentionally providing incorrect or fraudulent information will be disqualified.

6. Applicants who have been declared insolvent and wish to do business with the Council must have been rehabilitated and provide necessary proof thereof.

7. Blacklisted enterprises appearing on the National Treasury database and that are prohibited from conducting business with the state, shall not be considered.

8. Members / Directors / Partners / Owners / in service of the state, must declare any conflict of interest. Failure to do so may lead to disqualification or de-registration.

9. Responding to this invitation does not mean an automatic registration with Newcastle Municipality.

10. The Council reserve the right to reject any application, which in its opinion failed to comply with the registration requirements or criteria and registration does not guarantee any business opportunities.

Mr. B.E Mswane
Municipal Manager

Newcastle Municipality
Municipal Civic Centre
37 Murchison Street
Private Bag X6621
Newcastle
2940

Budget Speech and State of the Town Address 2017

Budget Speech 2017/18 year

Madam Speaker
Honorable Deputy Mayor and the entire Executive
Fellow Counsellors
Amakhosi asendlunkulu
The Religious Leaders present
Captains of industries and business leaders present
Regional heads of various Government department
Fellow citizens of Newcastle
Leadership of the ANC
Leadership of all Political Parties Present

This year South Africa marks 23 years since the dawn of democracy and 21 years since the passing of The Constitution which gave rise to rights of all citizens enshrined in the bill of rights. This means that we as government we need to move with speed to redress the past imbalances. This will assist us to restore the dignity of our people who were stripped off their rights over 300 years of colonialism.

Madam speaker many people have been asking me why am I keeping my hair and beard as I usually do not keep hair at all. My answer is very simple, I will not cut my hair until we, as the Municipality are able to cut the grass to the satisfaction of the people we are leading.

As the new administration we are faced with different set of challenges from previous administration. We are entrusted with that responsibility, it is our commitment and with humility that we accept such responsibility.

We are mindful of the commitments we made during the build up to local government elections in 2016 and we are working tirelessly to achieve them, the aspirations of the vast majority of our people lies in our hands and we cannot dare disappoint.

Madam speaker I deliver this my maiden budget speech in the year that the ruling party, the ANC, has declared as the year of Oliver Tambo, let us deepen unity. Comrade O.R led the ANC in exile and in very difficult times. He may no longer be with us, but his legacy lives on.
He was thoughtful, wise and warm hearted. His simplicity, his nurturing style, his genuine respect for all people seemed to bring out the best in him. His rural background and the expertise he acquired through education shaped him to be the man that he was. If we are to tackle the struggle of making the lives of our people better, we must emulate comrade O.R. He was a real servant of the people and a selfless leader. During our local government elections campaign we committed to our people that we shall ensure the following among other things:

1. Visionary, Responsible and Accountable leadership.
2. Improved audit outcomes
3. Improved performance management and compliance
4. Improved public participation
5. Improve on LED to realize tangible results

I want to re-affirm that we are still committed to that. As I said earlier on we are facing different sets of challenges as this administration. You may all have seen the press release on the financial situation of our Municipality. As the Mayor, I have been upfront to say indeed we are facing and experiencing financial challenges. Inevitably, this will affect on our capability to render services. We are working hard to cut off on luxuries and we are improving our collection rate. We cannot be expected to deliver services adequately when those who can afford to pay are not paying. In return we commit to handle the monies entrusted to us in a proper manner. We will ensure value for money, transparency and accountability. As much as financial constraints may have effect on our service delivery, we believe lack of or inadequate supervision of the workers on the ground adds to the problem. We are working to improve on that aspect.

Financial Analysis

Many maybe asking themselves as to how did we land in dire financial situation? The financial analyses we have conducted reveals among other things that :

• Previously the Municipality over committed reserves into funding of capital projects.
• The deficit budget approach resulted in limited ability to generate reserves. Thanks to the MSCOA deficit budgeting is no longer possible.
• The adoption of below NERSA approved tariffs in the previous financial years exerted pressure on the operating budget to date.
• The outstanding loan account of R500 million exerts pressure on our operating budget. This is serviced at a rate of R47 million on interest alone per annum. It is projected that it will take the Municipality about 9 years or so to service the loan account in full at this rate?
• Municipality incurred increased employee related cost as a result of re- engineering and absorption of contract workers
• About R96 millions of this financial year equitable share was used for the previous FY’s (2015/16) financial commitments.
• The Municipality requires about R116 million to cover monthly fixed costs while the average receipt is about R 111 million
• There are not sufficient reserves to cover the unspent grants, consumer deposits and reserves which must be cash backed.
• As at the end of February 2017 the balance of conditional grant to the tune of R115 million were not cash backed.
• The balance of internally funded capital projects for the current financial year in the sum of R 32 million is not cash backed

Given this situation indeed we have to “Navigate through storms and seas” No doubt this situation is not going to enable us to render all our services as expected, and at the level expected.

Madam Speaker it cannot be disputed that since the ANC took over in 2009, landscape of service delivery has never been the same. Some people say it is not enough, and indeed we agree it is not. It will not be enough for as long as stark difference in terms of development between the town and townships remains as it is. It is and it will remain difficult to render the services in accordance with the needs of the people which are unlimited, based on the limited budget and resources. The needs of our people are not only unlimited but they are getting more and more day by day. The general growth of our economy and our local economy in particular is not helping us much.

When we came into the office we had to grapple with an unfunded budget. We had to review the budget and effect some serious cuts on the budget to get it to the state of being funded. We are skirting on a very thin ice due to budget cuts. It, therefore becomes important that we keep our budget realistic, and really realistic this time around. The effect of the unfunded budget we found is still going to be with us for some time.

Despite all the challenges mentioned above, we have been able to continue to deliver services to improve the lives of our people. The circumstances under which we found ourselves as the new administration reminds me of the words of Oliver Tambo. When he said “Comrades you may think it is very difficult to wage liberation struggle. Wait until you are in power. I might be dead by then. At that stage, you will realize that it is actually more difficult to keep the power than to wage a liberation war. People will be expecting a lot of services from you. You have to satisfy the various demands of the masses of our people. In the process”. How prophetic were these words? Standing on the shoulders of giants like O.R makes us to face our leadership responsibility with more determination. It is profound revelations like this that makes us indeed to tell no lies and to claim no easy victories. It is with this understanding that we know our work is never going to be easy.

In the current financial year we have been able to award 10 full bursaries to local learners who are now university students. We wish we could have assisted more, however our resources are limited. This is done in the spirit of the African proverb that says “it takes the whole village to raise a child” We would like to thank the private sector and individuals who have also assisted many other students in various ways. How can we forget to once more congratulate our District Amajuba for performing best (No. 1) in the province. We are proud of you Jobe and the entire management. We avail ourselves as Municipalities to assist where it is necessary. Through the assistance of the LGSETA we have been able to place 71 students for a period of 18 months, with a stipend of R1 800.00 per month. 30 of our adult employees are going through the adult education and training in a quest to improve their quality of life. We acknowledge that they were not educated because they were denied an opportunity to go to school by the apartheid government.

Infrastructure development

We continue to strive to bring services to our people, particularly those that impact their lives daily. A tarred road may not put a plate of the food on the table, but it goes a long way to restore dignity and respect to our people. In Osizweni we have upgraded access road to the extent of 4.420 km with the budget of R24 661 295.48. Currently the sum of R14 457 043.93 has been spent on these projects. These include access roads OB1, OB3 and OB8 in ward 18. Also OB7, 13, 45, 134 and OA17 in wards 13, 17, and 11. These projects have seen approximately 60 job opportunities being created. During the implementation of these projects we have encountered various challenges ranging from locals protesting against the contractor, lack of materials from the market (like G5), labour dispute between the contractor and workers. Level of existing services that were unknown conflicted with storm water levels. I am pleased to report that all the challenges have been overcome. Progress on the projects is well underway.

In Madadeni, we are busy improving 5,185km of roads with the budget of R42 354 669.48. There is good progress as it is shown by spending to date of R32 912.36. These road construction projects are in ward 24, 28,6,23, and 27. 76 job opportunities have been created through these projects. Almost similar challenges encountered with the Osizweni projects were also encountered in these projects. Again, all the challenges were resolved and the work is progressing well.

Challenges will always be there, but of greater importance is our attitude and approach towards the resolution of same. From time to time we do encounter cash flow problems which cause some delays in the implementation of the capital projects.

Most of these roads are constructed with sidewalks to provide for safety of the pedestrians.

The Harthorn Street extension is almost complete, in Ward 3. The contractor is busy attending to the snag list. The budget for this project is R1 000 000.00. For the construction of Watt Street a budget of R3.6 million was allocated. The surfacing is 95% complete and the contractor is busy with storm water drainage. There were delays caused by the sewerage pipe that is connected to the storm water. 8 Job opportunities were created.

Water and Sanitation

Madam speaker, we have very high regard and respect for our rural communities. Our government has committed to uplift and develop our people where they live. It is for that reason that we are also in a very equitable manner developing areas like Charlestown, Normandien, Inkwelo and Ingogo among our rural areas. The construction of Charlestown main internal road is underway and is progressing very well, the project is practically complete and the project is a sum of R6 million. The contractor is busy with the snag list.
We are committed to improving the quality of life and economic wellbeing of our people living in relatively isolated and sparsely populated areas. We are also very clear in that we shall improve the rural lives with participation of the rural communities themselves so as to meet their needs.

Madam speaker we all know water is life and sanitation is dignity. We cannot over emphasize the importance of water in the human life. On the entire earth water is a most important thing. Every living organism needs water for survival. Both the constitution and the NDP (National Development Plan) enjoin us to provide water to people or at least access thereto.

On the provision of water the following milestones have been achieved:

In Charlestown and Ingogo we have completed the ground water development. The pump station has been constructed and is operational using a generator while waiting for power connection from Eskom. It is pumping 2000 kl of water per day and we were able to supply water even during the drought period. This project came at a cost of R11 501 460.

We have completed procurement of material on the Blaauwbosch bulk water supply project which will services the areas of Blaauwbosch and Dry cut. The total cost of the project phase is R115 million. We are now in the process of appointing the contractor to construct the pipeline.

The Siyahlala bulk water services has been completed at the cost of R45 104 804

Madam speaker the issue of water loss continues to be a challenge. Even the National government has come up with the “war on leaks” programme which is aimed at reducing water loss through leaks on our aging infrastructure. We have spent more than R13 million on Osizweni water conservation and water demand management. We will be continuing with the war on leaks in the 2017/18 financial year as we expect Departments of Water and Sanitation to allocate additional budget for this purpose.

We are continuing with the Soul City and Dicks water supply network. This will enable provision of basic water supply with planned yard connections of about 350 households.

We have in our current budget a sum of R 7 million for the installation of VIP toilets in JBC and NIC areas. The procurement process is at its final stages. We are indeed committed to restoring the dignity of our people, particularly in rural communities.

On rural Electrification

We have been able to switch on 74 households in January 2017 at Charlestown. The project is continuing as we speak. The same with Inkwelo where we are to switch on very soon. Also at Normandien the contractor is on site. The total budget for this areas electrification is R 7 million. We will not rest until such time that the entire Newcastle jurisdiction has access to electricity and all other basic services.

On Human Settlement

We believe we have made significant progress in the provision of houses in our area in the past years. The population growth in our town, as a regional economic hub, makes it difficult to cope with the demand for housing. The following housing projects are underway.

Siyahlala Housing Project. We have started with the first phase of the project. The first phase compromises of 500 units of which 100 have been completed to date. The location of that project affirms our commitment to social integration. The cost of this project is R 56.6 million.

Osizweni Section E Phase 3 Project, to the value of R13601 000 is the most challenging project in terms of performance. The implementing agent has been put on terms to improve performance

Emawozeni brownfield housing project is experiencing a delay due to the outstanding addendum to be signed by the MEC for Human Settlement. We are in constant contact with the department to explore the signing of the addendum by the MEC. The value of the project is R11 476 638.

H39 Housing Project- the installation of internal services is underway. Currently we are facing the challenge of relocating 196 shacks, 100 toilets and 12 solid houses that are on the way of services. We are expecting to start with the construction of the top structures around June/July 2017. The value of project is R48 million.

Charlestown Housing Project. For the first time since the advent of democracy, Charlestown is receiving government built houses. We, as Council, are very much excited about this project. No doubt, people of Charlestown are even more excited. We thank them for their patience over the years. They appreciated the fact that if it was happening in Madadeni and Osizweni, it was also coming to them. That is the nature of Development, it cannot happen at all the places at the same time. The value of this project is R21 million. Construction of internal services is well underway. The slight challenge is the bulk sewer services without which the top structures cannot be commenced with. The Municipality is working hard to get bulk sewer services installed. This is one project we pride ourselves with. We cannot wait to see it complete.

Madam speaker we would be doing an injustice if we do not acknowledge the role played by private sector in various ways, to uplift the lives of our people. We wish to extend our gratitude and appreciation to various corporates and businesses who lend a hand in this regard. Standard Bank has built and donated 4 houses in ward 6,9,12 and 17. We are hoping that other businesses and individuals who are better blessed than many will come forward to lend a hand in the struggle to improve the lives of our people for the better.

Fairleigh and Suryaville flats needed some attention. In the Fairleigh flats there were issues of unsafe stairways and non-compliance with the fire regulations. In Suryaville there were, over and above those at Fairleigh flats, issues of leaking roof and taps. Total cost of these projects is R12 ½ million. We are aware that there are complaints pertaining to the quality of workmanship in these projects. The department under Cllr Matthew Shumnugam is looking into these issues.

COMMUNITY SERVICES

This department together with technical services are the face of the Municipality.
In community services we have the following projects under the current financial year.

• Refurbishment of town library. The cost of the project to date is above R 9 million rand, this is a multi-year project.
• New ablution at Fort Amiel. We had one set of toilets and that posed a challenge for the museum. The project is complete and the value was R620.000.
• Charlestown hall, we all remember the unfortunate incident when some unruly members of the community burnt down the hall in Charlestown. A new hall has been completed to the tune of R2.1 million. It is very sad that we are not aware of any person who has been charged and convicted for this incident. We may have forgiven but we certainly have not forgotten. And we will never forget.
• Osizweni Netball court has been completed to the tune of R1million.
• JBC Hall, there are challenges and currently there is no progress on the construction. We expert management to submit a report on the way forward and the resolution of this stale mate.
• Establishment of a play park in Madadeni in Ward14. This project is proceeding well and should be completed by the end of this financial year. We have to mention that we have noted with concern that most play parks equipments have been damaged including fairly new parks. Given our state of finances we may soon be faced with open spaces with no equipments. It is important to ensure good quality equipments are used, and not equipment of inferior quality.

ON THE WELFARE OF OUR COMMUNITY

In our struggle to pursue a better life for our people, we are inspired by the Freedom Charter. When it was drawn up and adopted, it became a clear statement of the future of our country. In carrying out responsibility as Government, working together collectively with all other government departments, we are called upon to ensure that:

• No child must be exposed to an environment that will put his/her future and that of the country at risk.
• No woman must suffer abuse
• No child must go to bed hungry because of deprivation and poverty
• No senior citizen must be abused in any way or neglected.
• No farm worker must suffer indignity of abuse, deprivation and torture
• The aspiration of young people must be natured and nourished to become a reality.

This calls upon all of us as the citizens of our country and various towns to work together united by our common vision and purpose.

As a Municipality we are concerned about the welfare and development of communities. OSS becomes important in this regard. To give effect to the implementation of Operation Sukuma Sakhe, the Special Programmes Unit ensures that all relevant stakeholders participate in the struggle for the people of the our town to “stand up and build” to overcome the issues destroying our communities such as poverty, unemployment, crime, substance abuse and HIV. This furges delivery of services through partnership with Community Stakeholders and Government. Government has structured programmes which need to get as deep as to the level of the people we are serving. This is at ward and voting district level. We accept that we cannot achieve this alone as government, but need communities involvement in building the nation together. Blacks, Whites, Indians, Colored we need one another. War Rooms become essential in this regard.

YOUTH DEVELOPMENT, JOB CREATION AND TECHNOLOGY

South African youth unemployment rate are now considered to be chronic. The latest figure show that about 48% of South Africans between 15 and 34 were unemployed in the third quarter of 2016. The situation has worsened over the past 8 years despite a great deal of policy attention and the implementation of a range of public and private interventions. If not addressed as a matter of urgency, this situation is increasing level of frustrations and impatience among the youth. As Newcastle, we are not immune from this situation.

The Municipality has taken a radical position towards youth development and economic transformation. We have resolved to focus on

1. Youth and Entrepreneurial Development,
2. Government and Private sector linkages to stimulate Economic Growth and Foreign Direct Investment.

We will soon be announcing the opening of the full service Centre by the NYDA in our town. This fully fledged Centre will not only assist with youth and entrepreneurial development, but also with access to finance for the youth to start businesses. Access to finance is the main obstacle to our youth in realizing their dreams of starting their own businesses.

As Newcastle Municipality we are excited to announce the commencement of a digital transformation initiative that aims to use technology to enhance service delivery, open opportunities for business, expand options for youth job creation and create an environment for rapid transformation. The initial phase will see the installation of 100 public hotspots by June 2017, at selected municipal facilities and service centers, including schools and clinics. This will also allow for affordable access to broadband for the general public interfacing with the Municipality.

2017/18 FINANCIAL YEAR DRAFT BUDGET

Let us now talk about the 2017/18 financial year draft budget. Due to the lessons learnt in the 2016/ 17 financial year budget, we are approaching this budget carefully. We have to be as realistic as we can be. The exercise of reviewing the 2016/2017 budget has taught us some lessons in a very hard way

The Operational Budget 2017/2018 proposed budget comprises of an operational budget to the tune of R1 816, 269, 996.

The Municipality is expecting to generate the following operational revenue

R 696.6 million from the sale of electricity
R 172 million from the sale of water
R 110 million from the sewer charges
R 89 million from refuse removal
R 283 million from rates

These are our primary sources of revenue and they are expected to contribute about R1.3 billion to the projected revenue. This represents 77% of the total projected revenue.

Grants and subsidies will contribute R 344.9 million to the operating revenue which represents 19.8% of the total projected revenue. Fines will generate R5.2 million. About R15.5 will be generated from interest on outstanding debtors, R8 million from facilities rentals, manly municipal flats and houses. R17.7million will be generated from the sundry revenue of the Municipality.

In accordance with the relevant legislation and national directives, the Municipality projected revenue collection rates are based on realistic and sustainable trends. The Municipality will clean–up its indigent register by identifying those who can afford and those who cannot afford to pay.

We are fully aware and we appreciate the fact that we have cut to the bone. The departments are expected to closely monitor their budget performance on weekly basis. Desperate times call for desperate measures. If you don’t have it, you can’t spend it. We must remember that we have a half a billion rands loans to service. We are operating with a serious deficit as we speak.

We know budget deficit solutions require leadership at all levels. We cannot afford to increase taxes and turn to borrowing without effecting drastic cuts on our budget spending. We cannot afford to spend more than we make, ideally we should borrow what we can afford to pay back, but for now we can’t even borrow.

The major expenditure projected are to be incurred on bulk purchases and employee related costs

R 579.3 million will be spent on bulk purchases as follows
• R494 million for electricity
• R66.7 million for UTW
• R15 million for deportation for Department of Water affairs as we as
• R 3 million for water purchase at Charlestown

R 514.7 million will be spend on employee costs, with only R30 million appropriated for overtime in respect of essential services.
R 3.8 million is projected for vacant SED positions and R16 million for critical positions

We are further projecting to spend R 45.1 million for the maintenance of municipal infrastructure. While it is well understood that this provision is far less than the norm or 8% of our total budget, this was provided on the basis of availability as the budget is income based.

R92 million is projected to fund indigent subsidies and note to be taken is that free water subsidy has been reduced from 12kl to 6 kl per household per month.

A further R128 million has been appropriate in respect of general expenditure, R5.7 million for collection fees, R22.2 million for contracted services, R47 million for the interest on loans. R23.2 million is for remuneration of Councillors. For debt impairment and depreciation we project R247.8 million and R93.4 million respectively.

RATES AND SERVICES INCREASE

The funding of Operational Budget is obtained through various sources, the major ones being:
• Property rates which we propose to increase by 7%
• Electricity 1.88 %
• Water 7%
• Sanitation 7%
• Refuse removal 7%
• Other general sources of revenue 10%

Our Municipality comprises of both rural and urban area as well as wide spread of income groups. Due to variation in living environment, the Municipality area has a number of households who currently do not have access to all services. We continues to provide basic services for free to households who earn below the threshold of R3500.00 pm. We provide free 50 kW of electricity per month, free 6 kl of water per month, with the following services subsidized 100% sanitation, refuse removal as well as property rates.

We further provide the following rebates
• Floods victims 50%
• Pensioners 25%
• B&B Business 10%
• Bus development with property above R50 million
⎫ From year 0-4 40%
⎫ From year 5-6 25%
⎫ From year 7-8 10%

CAPITAL BUDGET

As we have been doing since 2009 we will continue with Service Delivery Projects. We now even have better experience in rolling out service delivery. We will do so within our budgetary constraints and keeping in mind the costs of maintenance and upkeep of the capital infrastructure we are building. We must also ensure that we get good quality and good workmanship from our services providers. We must guard against putting up infrastructure that we cannot maintain going forward. This causes more of a frustration to our communities than relief. About 90% of the capital projects are grant funded

For the 2017/18 fi the capital budget is the sum of R234, 127,702.00
Which will be allocated as follows

Roads Infrastructure Improvements R 89,113,702.00
Water & Sanitation R 120,589,000.00
Electricity Roll Out R 9,000,000.00
Extension of Newcastle library R 5,425,000.00
Building of the new library in Charlestown R 10,000,000.00

It is exciting that the community of Charlestown are going to have a fully-fledged library. This goes a long way to show that our government is serious about the education of our communities. We hope that after completion it will be put to good use by the Charlestown community and surrounding areas.

The extension of Newcastle library will enhance library services and will improve accessibility with more efficiency and effectiveness. The extension overall will provide improved floor space in a number of areas in the library.

The roads improvement and stormwater infrastructure will assist in the improvement of the quality of roads infrastructure and better management of stormwater through proper drainage system. Included in that will be the traffic calming devices and pedestrian side- walks.

The water and sanitation projects will ensure improved sanitation system, accelerate access by increasing number of households with basic access to sanitation. This will also see the increase in the number of households with access to basic potable water.

The following Wards will benefit from the proposed capital budget:

On the roads infrastructure improvements including storm water management wars 13,18,11,8,9,12,30,17,21,1,2,24,28,19,14,10 and 26.

On water and sanitation infrastructure improvements wards 5,4,3,2,31,21,1,19,16,18,8,9,11,12,30,17,31,6,33, and 12.

On electricity roll out ward 25 and ward 1

FUNDING OF CAPITAL BUDGET

The capital budget is funded mainly by allocations made to us by National and Provincial Governance in the form of grants, as well as a minor portion of internally provided funds. No external loans will be taken by the Municipality to fund the capital programme. Furthermore, no reserves are available for the purpose of funding the capital budget saves for VAT returns on grants projects.

The Municipality has approved R234.7 million from grants receipts to fund Capital (Projects) Budget, both from National and Provincial Governments. This amount is made up of MIG, MWIG, NDPG, and Electrification Grant, as well provincial allocation from Department of Arts and Culture under the leadership of MEC Bongi Sithole Moloi. R18 million worth of projects will be funded from internal funds to be generated through VAT refunds on conditional grants as per circular 58 of the MFMA.

Madam speaker that than completes our proposed draft budget 2017/2018 financial year

I would like to thank the members of the Executive Committee in particular and the entire council for their tireless efforts in ensuring that we keep the ship afloat and navigate through storms and seas. Executive Committee members were the first victims of our financial situation as they had to forego 50% of their salaries. Despite that, they are still committed and dedicated to their work. Some of them are professionals who could easily walk away to make more money elsewhere. I would like to say to them please let us remain steadfast. At some point, THIS TOO SHALL PASS.

I would like to thank the senior and middle management for the work that they are doing in this regard. As Councillors, we are aware that most of the time we are very hard on you. Please understand that it’s nothing personal, and it’s all about the struggle to improve the lives of our people.

In conclusion, I would like to emphasize the fact that this is a Draft Budget. We will be going out on a consultation process on it. We expert all individuals and all stakeholders to constructively criticize this draft budget and make recommendations. We also welcome all sorts of inputs and submission that will positively influence the second draft and the final budget before it’s approved by Council.

Last and most importantly I would like to thank my wife and my entire family for their support and understanding.

Newcastle Municipality Commemorates Human Rights Day

Newcastle Municipality Commemorates Human Rights Day

Newcastle Municipality Commemorates Human Rights Day

“The year of OR Tambo: Unity in Action in Advancing Human Rights”

The 21st of March, Human Rights Day South Africa commemorates the fallen heroes of the Sharpeville Massacre. Our Country can will always remember the 69 men, women and children killed and another 180 injured for standing up against the unjust “Pass Laws” of the brutal apartheid system.

As we reflect on South Africa’s journey as a free and democratic country which honours and promotes basic human rights for all its citizens, regardless of race, gender or culture, this year 2017 we also honour the life of Oliver Reginald Tambo who dedicated his life to the emancipation of black people that were oppressed by the apartheid government.

Oliver Tambo once said “It is our responsibility to break down barriers of division and create a country where there will be neither Whites nor Blacks, just South Africans, free and united in diversity.” In 1994 we moved from an oppressive South Africa to a liberating country that values the human rights of all, let us build a cohesive Newcastle Municipality that condemns racial discrimination‚ xenophobia and violence against women and children and all its prejudices against its cultures.

New councillor sworn in

New councillor sworn in

Councillor Sombu Bellinah Buthelezi was sworn into office during a council meeting held on Wednesday, 09 March 2017.

Cllr Buthelezi replaces Alphinah Angel Coka; as a PR councillor in ward 23.
Magistrate Gurlal officiated the induction, where Buthelezi swore under oath to serve the community without fear or favour. She promised to carry forward the mandate given to her by council which is in line with the vision and mission of the Newcastle Municipality.

Council welcomed the newly appointed councillor.