In an effort to strengthen public
participation and a more community-based service delivery approach, Mnquma
Local Municipality conducted a Mayoral Imbizo during the third quarter of
2019/2020 financial year.
Hosted by the Executive Mayor Councilor
Sithembiso Ncetezo, the event was attended by scores of community members,
community leaders and Councillors.
The Mayor described the Imbizo as one
of Mnquma Local Municipality`s programmes which are aimed at restoring the
dignity of residents. The mayoral Imbizo is a form of community outreach which,
according to the Local Government Structures Act 117 of 1998, mandates the
Mayor to identify and evaluate community needs through the Integrated
Development Plan (IDP) and in line with the allocated budget.
The municipality is responsible for
encouraging and creating conditions that motivate the local community to participate
in the affairs of local government. Executive Mayor Ncetezo visited Ward 19 at
Siqithini Junior Secondary School in Ngqamakwe on March 19.
"Service delivery in Ward 19 is
currently underway and moving ahead full steam. There are 114km of access roads
constructed in the area and we have other roads that are to be constructed with
the service provider already on site” said the Executive Mayor.
Some issues raised in Ward 19
include: The construction of bridges in two areas to make it easy for children
to cross to and from school during heavy rains in the area, scholar transport,
clean drinking water and water taps and the allocation of grants (electricity,
paraffin) for the Indigent. Ward 19 Councilor Vuyelwa Nkehle expressed
gratitude to residents for coming out in their numbers. "It is with honor to
have the Executive Mayor come to us today as this shows his commitment to fulfill
the needs of the people” said Councilor Nkehle.
MNQUMA Local Municipality has issued a stern warning to
unscrupulous companies undertaking illegal mining activities in its
jurisdiction, adding that the days of pillaging in the area which is rich in
mineral resources are numbered.
This follows a meeting between the municipality’s
management and their counterparts from the office of Mineral Resources Minister
Gwede Mantashe, including the Mnquma Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCOCAI).
The municipality’s Local Economic Development Unit is
spearheading efforts to unlock the economic potential that mineral resources in
the area can bring to local communities.
The municipality, which is situated along the Wild
Coast, is rich in sand, titanium, granite, clay and dolorite. Mnquma also wants
to ensure that there is full compliance with laws governing mining in the
LED Director in Mnquma, Mr Mongi Dilika outlined that
the purpose of the meeting was for all parties to chart a working plan going
forward. Illegal mining in Mnquma was very rife at the expense of the
previously disadvantaged communities.
"The mining sector in Mnquma remains a virgin (untapped)
territory. This is the beginning of the road to prosperity, the beginning of
better things to come,” said Mr Dilika.
A well-known company mining crushed stone in Mnquma owed
the municipality more than R275 000 in unpaid rental fees, including
refuse removal, he said.
This was an unacceptable loss of revenue for the
municipality, which was making strides to get out bankruptcy and meet its
service delivery obligations.
must honor their corporate social investment (CSI) obligations. They must
support exceling learners from local schools through bursaries and support
locally-owned food gardens which will address food security and fight hunger to
our people,” said Mr Dilika.
Mr Dilika said a committee comprising of officials from
DMR, Mnquma, MCOCAI and other relevant stakeholders to dig deep into the
illegal mining operation and ensure compliance across Mnquma.
According to MCOCAI, local transport operators have also
complained of lack of partnerships with the mining companies because of their
outsourcing the delivery of their produce, depriving them of economic benefits.
According to DMR, up to 15 companies from the Mnquma
area who have submitted applications for mining rights and only four have been
awarded. Four applications are currently being processed. The department has
powers to impose a penalty of R10million or 10 years’ imprisonment for
non-compliance with its regulations.