The Municipal Excellence Awards were recently held at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre (ICC) in Durban on Friday 10 October 2014. The awards pay tribute to the champions of development, despite the enormous challenges in Kwazulu Natal and precisely in local government. What makes these awards even more distinctive is that they allow communities to have their say and be the judges as to whom they believe to be the best thus communities from all over Kwa-Zulu were invited to support and vote for their Municipalities in different categories presented and it was on this occasion that Newcastle Mayor Afzul Rehman was crowned as the best performing mayor of a local Municipality for the consecutive third year.
Present at the admirable event were Ministers, MEC’s, Mayors and officials from all constitutes in the province of Kwa-Zulu Natal.
Mayor James Nxumalo the Mayor of eThekwini and Host city welcomed all those in attendance “These awards seek to acknowledge municipalities that have worked harder and faster to fast track service delivery, and also to encourage municipalities to come together and share best practice in which we are all able to come together and enhance service delivery.”
Hosted by the Department of Co-Operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) and led by MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube. The awards were commemorating its third anniversary since the awards began.
On this occasion we acknowledge the book of proverbs which declares “Withhold not from those who do good”, therefore tonight we acknowledge municipalities that have continued on their quest to do good. What makes these awards special is that this year we celebrate the third year since Salga and Cogta partnered to ensure that ordinary people who do their ordinary best are recognized. The Municipal Excellence Awards seek to recognize excellence in municipal practices that improve administration and service delivery. Over the past few years the Municipal Excellence Awards has allowed municipalities to share their best practice ideas with Municipalities whilst at the same time showcasing their own municipalities. The awards also seek to celebrate Kwa-Zulu Natal as a province.
Cllr Rehman began his term of office as Mayor in 2009 and since then Newcastle has seen remarkable improvement. In the past 5 years alone the municipality has spent over R2 billion rand on infrastructure development and new equipment. We have transformed the landscape with new roads, new state of the art parks, new municipal buildings and won numerous awards apart from the best performing award.
We have upgraded sewer and water, electrified more areas, built new bridges, opened new intersections, paved walkways, built more low cost houses and basically changed the lives of almost every citizen.
“We all understand that communicating with communities, listening to them, and planning around their issues, is the most powerful key to satisfied communities.” Said Mayor Rehman. Deputy Minister of Cogta Mr. Andries Nel who delivered the key note had these words to say, “The Collective presence of municipalities here today brings meaning to the motto of the province which is Sukuma Sakhe.” We also congratulate all the winners for the night and hope this will lead to an improved service delivery in the local sphere were another’s are also motivated to excellence.