City of uMhlathuze Mayor outlines development progress

City Councillors arrive at Dlangezwa Sports field - Deputy Mayor Silondile Mkhize, Mayoress Thandeka Mhlongo, Mayor Mduduzi Mhlongo and Speaker Mfundo Mthenjana

OBTAINING clean audit reports from the Auditor General is nothing strange for the City of uMhlathuze and the municipality is looking forward to receiving another one.

But that alone is not enough if services are not delivered to the people.

That was the sentiment of uMhlathuze Mayor Mduduzi Mhlongo, delivering his State of the City Address (SOCA) last week at the Dlangezwa sports field.

Mhlongo said his municipality has delivered on the promises made during last year State of the City Address.

‘We are gathered today to submit a progress report card of what we promised you, and it is my pleasure to announce that the Lot 63 A Rank development in Empangeni is nearing completion.

‘We have completed two Thusong Centres in Msasandla and Ngwelezana Community Hall. The Nseleni Mall is also under construction after a long wait.

‘Great strides have been made with regard to housing development, particularly with Aquadene, Dumisani Makhaye Village and Empangeni’s mega housing projects taking off. The mega housing projects will have 10 000 housing units.

‘I’m also pleased to announce the development of the eSikhaleni fire station, which is 90% complete. This is an important development, as this station will quickly respond to any fire related emergencies in and around eSikhaleni.

Leading the procession is Zolile Poswa, Manager for Public Safety and Security, with city Mayor Mduduzi Mhlongo, his deputy Cllr Silondile Mkhize and Speaker Mfundo Mthenjana at the State of the City Address

ALSO READ: Big boost for Ntambanana communities

Local business

Mhlongo also announced the creation of an SMME Park at the old eSikhaleni Post Office premises.

‘Our intention is to equip local businesses with entrepreneurial skills to exploit business opportunities that come their way. We want them to be armed with all the necessary expertise needed in business.

‘We remain committed to see our local businesses prosper by taking advantage of the strategic geographical location of the city along the Indian Ocean and the Richards Bay harbour, which falls under Operation Phakisa, the Presidential programme to accelerate and unlock the ocean economy.

Mhlongo said the city was working towards ensuring the provision of water to rural communities of Ntambanana.

‘Since we incorporated three wards from the now defunct Ntambanana Municipality, it is our duty to ensure that they are given the best services.

‘We have put aside about R12-million for water provision for Macekane, R10-million for Bhuchanana and R15-million for KwaHlaza communities.

‘The implementation of these projects will reduce the provision of jojo tanks we have been supplying to these areas.’

The upgrading of rural roads and sanitation services are also priority projects Mhlongo said.

‘We have appointed a contractor to build 400 toilets in the rural areas, and priority will be given to those who have never had toilets before,’ he said.

Mhlongo said the city was also committed to expanding the Richards Bay Sports Complex, so as to increase its capacity in line with the PSL standards.

‘All this infrastructure development and other services we are talking about, must be paid for. We commend those who are paying for their services.’

Women’s month

He said the State of the City Address came at a time when women were being celebrated, and requested a moment of silence for all victims of women abuse.

‘We are with the family of Mbali Gumede who comes from this area and who went missing on 5 June this year and is yet to be found,’ he said.

The address was also attended by King Cetshwayo District Mayor Ntombenhle Mkhulisi, aMakhosi and business leaders.

In her message of support, Mkhulisi said she had an interest in what was happening in the city, since uMhlathuze was the district’s only economic hub.

‘We wish to congratulate the city for offering a better quality of life for all its citizens through sustainable development and radical economic growth.’


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Wiseman Mthiyane

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