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Mayor notes progress made in City since taking office
WHEN outlining the progress made by his administration since taking office on 5 September 2019, eThekwini Mayor Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda said while there are still challenges, much progress has been made to improve the City and the lives of residents.

Speaking at a media briefing on 15 September to officially mark his first year in office, Mayor Kaunda said one of the primary tasks his administration wanted to achieve when they assumed leadership of the Municipality was to improve service delivery in communities. “We began by putting measures in place to ensure that poor people do not spend their hard earned money travelling to get services.

Through the Operation Sukuma Sakhe Mayoral Outreach Programme, we brought government closer to the people. To date, we have visited 36 wards of the Municipality where we have been able to address issues raised by the communities,” said Mayor Kaunda. His administration has achieved quite a bit in a very short space of time including stabilising the City and creating a positive investor climate which has contributed to many large investors recommitting their investment to the City despite the losses they suffered as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said the City recently launched the eThekwini Economic Council that brings together different stakeholders to unlock the economic potential of the City and create jobs. “Over the past two weeks we have been engaging with the business sector to cement further investment in the City,” he said.
When Mayor Kaunda took office there were several major service delivery disruptions in uMlazi taking place since December 2017 due to contractual disputes between the contractor and contract workers. “This led to a decision by Council to in-source the refuse collection services in uMlazi.

The reasoning behind insourcing was to ensure similar service standards of refuse collection in uMlazi with other areas of the Municipality,” he said. With regards to the disruption of electricity supply which impacts negatively on the economy, Mayor Kaunda said his administration has put systems in place to improve this. “We are finalising plans to move to the new technically advanced Network Control Centre that will enable our controllers to view the status of the electrical network on a real-time basis.

This will also assist us to make informed decisions quickly and reduce turnaround times in attending to faults,” he said. He said there is also a turnaround plan to upgrade the water infrastructure. The plan includes the implementation of the Western and Northern aqueduct project at an estimated cost of R2 billion that will bring relief to communities affected by intermittent water supply.

The City has also procured generators for eight reservoirs in the south and north of Durban. And in areas where there is inadequate water infrastructure, the City has procured an additional 30 water tanks. This has increased the total number of the fleet from 88 to 103. The Municipality is also moving ahead with the implementation of the eThekwini Transport Entity which will see all bus operations returning to the City. This decision was endorsed by Council recently.

Mayor Kaunda reported that the City’s cash collection was stable for the months of June and July, with almost R2.6 billion received and a further R2.8 billion collected in August.

simphiwe.dlamini@durban.gov.za
 
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