King Cetshwayo District prioritises development and service delivery

In jovial mood, District Mayor Nonhle Mkhulisi and her deputy Alice Mthembu join community members in song at the eSikhaleni TVET College

PRESENTING her first State of the District Address, King Cetshwayo District Mayor Nonhle Mkhulisi committed herself to improving the socio-economic conditions of the people of the district.

She said while the district was facing an extended period of drought, interventions have been put in place to ensure the supply of water to communities who depend on the district for service delivery.

‘We have been working with the Department of Water and Sanitation to find ways to combat water shortages. In this regard we are involved in the steering committee dealing with the Tugela-Goedertrouw Transfer Scheme to alleviate the effects of the drought.’

Mkhulisi said she was excited about the desalination plant in Richards Bay, which is also alleviating pressure on water supply.

Agriculture

In terms of development, Mkhulisi said the district municipality was committed to create thriving businesses and appealed to communities to exploit opportunities available in the agricultural sector.

‘One step at a time, we are transforming the agricultural and local economic development sectors, and ultimately hope to reduce poverty in this district.

‘We are in the business of raising an awareness around food security and empower the community to grow food gardens and secure their own food sources.

She announced that the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development would spend R11-million on agricultural projects.

‘In addition the department will spend R4.5-million on fencing and alien plant control in Nkandla, uMhlathuze and Mthonjaneni, while R4-million has been budgeted for dam and borehole rehabilitation projects.’

ALSO READ: City of uMhlathuze urged to increase expenditure

Health

‘The Department of Health will be conducting renovations at various hospitals and clinics in the district to enhance the services at our medical facilities.

‘These include renovations at Ngwelezana Hospital entailing security upgrades, a new eight-theatre block which will be a centre for a variety of medical procedures, a new entrance and parking area, as well as providing regional training facilities.

ALSO READ: uMkhanyakude District Farmers unhappy over GM seed supply

Grant levy

Announcing a R998-million budget, which she said addresses transformation, equality and prosperity for the citizens of the district, Mkhulisi said there was a reduction in the Levy Replacement Grant for the coming year.

‘In 2017/18 adjustments have been made to the grant to redistribute funds to the 13 district municipalities. Grant allocations to the 10 largest districts municipalities have been reduced to fund other districts. Unfortunately, King Cetshwayo District Municipality falls within this category.

‘This has impacted on our expected revenue grants, and a number of other provincial grants have also been reduced. We have had to adjust our expenditure in line with this.

Mkhulisi said the district was still committed to key IDP projects such as Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone investments, the strategic corridor development plan (N2 corridor), uThungulu Fresh Produce Market, Agriculture Business Programme Development and the P700 road.

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  AUTHOR
Wiseman Mthiyane
Journalist

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