I would like to take this opportunity to thank the African National Congress for having trust and confidence in me to be given the responsibility of being a political head for our Municipality. This is indeed an honour and I accept it with humility.
I am not necessarily new in the local government environment, especially in this Municipality. I have served as a Head of Legal Services for a period of five years. This gives you a right to assert that I know this Municipality very well. I know the good it does, I know its weaknesses, I know its challenges and most importantly I know it’s potential.
Working together we are going to strengthen and improve on our service delivery mandate, we are going to improve on our identified weaknesses and challenges, together we are going to explore all possibilities with a view to realize our full potential. It may not be in this term that we may realize our full potential, but it is important that in this term we lay a solid foundation to that end.
Continuing from where the previous administration left off, we will continue with the mandate in improving the lives of our people for the better. Now that the people have renewed the social contract we have with them for another five years, we must live up to the commitments made to them. These were not promises but a commitment. It is up to both the political component and the administrative component to make these commitments a reality to be cherished by our people.
As the political Head I commit our municipality to:
• Ensure visionary, responsible and accountable leadership. We must and we will serve with integrity and honesty. We must uphold moral values and use our authority for, just and equitably.
• Improve audit outcomes with a view to achieve a clean audit in our third year at the latest. We will be able to do this if we constantly practice sound Financial Management and compliance will all the edicts.
• Improve service delivery and the standard of services, this will be achieved through rendering speedy, efficient, reliable and quality services. The standard and quality of our services must be certain and consistent.
• Improve performance management. This we will do by recruiting officials with the necessary, relevant qualification, skills and expertise coupled with clear records from the previous employment. We will capacitate our councillors to enable them to play effect and meaningful oversight.
• Improve public participation by building and fastening partnership with the general communities and legitimate community organisations. Councillors must be accessible and accountable through regular report back meetings.
• We are to deal with corruption in all the ways it manifest itself. Be it real or perceived corruption. In this regard, we need to set the tone from the top. We, as leaders, must not just be rhetoric but we must lead by example. Our deeds and actions must speak volumes. There must be consequences for everyone found engaged in corruption practices, be it politician or official.
• We will strive to improve labour relations as we are all aware there are too many issues surrounding labour relations. We must deal with all issues without fear, favour or prejudice. Management must be fair, just and consistent in dealing with labour relations issues. There is no issue that can be above us, as we sit around the table and engage frankly, honestly and in good faith. Unions must act responsibly in their quest to assert and protect the employee’s rights.
As a Municipality, we are all about people and nothing else. We must strive to put the interest of people we are serving first and before our own interest as politicians and officials. So much has been done and there is still a lot to be done to restore the worth and dignity of the previously disadvantaged. To achieve this, your little contributions becomes essential. We cannot afford to be self-serving. We must do right even if no one is watching.
I would like to conclude by reminding you of my personal motto as I assume this huge but important responsibility. I have borrowed it from the Robert Ingersoll concept, “WE RISE BY LIFTING OTHERS”.
You may be asking yourself but how can I do that as I do not have enough money for myself. It’s not all about money. There are many ways that one may help lift someone else up. Just to mention a few;
• Be encouraging
• Stay humble
• Be positive
• Share knowledge
When you lift others you rise with them. Let us all look forward to another term of Council that will be challenging and exciting. We have been afforded an opportunity to positively impact the lives of our people let us cherish the moment.
ALUTA CONTINUA: THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES
Cllr Makhosini Nkosi
Mayor Newcastle Municipality
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