THE JOURNEY CONTINUES...
The Honourable Premier bestowed us, in his State of the Province Address, with the mandate to "work together for growth, development and a better future for all. A national vision is to accelerate social and economic transformation, using infrastructure led growth as a focal point. COGTA, municipalities and institutions of traditional leadership can never be passive when such a call has been made. In this respect Local Government has to lead from the front as all projects will be taking place in municipal spaces.
The catalytic projects underway in KZN such as the dug out port, Dube TradePort, Cornubia, Isimangaliso Wetland Park and many others will help us achieve our vision to re-anchor our municipalities so that they became centres of economic growth.
We are carving ourselves a niche that will help us contribute in changing the KwaZulu-Natal landscape for the better. To this end, we are supporting all our municipalities as they are busy finalising their Integrated Development Plans (IDP) to ensure that key infrastructure and economic development initiatives are clearly accommodated.
Infrastructure developments mean a lot for the sustainability of municipalities in terms of revenue and job creation, improved quality of life for all citizens and addressing the backlog in basic services. The establishment of MISA (Municipal Infrastructure Support Agency) to enhance municipal capacity is also a welcome initiative. This agency will be constituted by various experts in the field of engineering, finance and planning.
However, in the highly-competitive global economic environment that we live in, municipalities should be more that just purveyors of social services such as water and electricity. They should be engines of economic growth. In this regard, we want all municipalities to use their competitive and comparative economic advantages to stimulate their own local economies. This requirement means that local economic development should be at the top of the priorities of all municipalities.
The more the people are employed; the more they will contribute towards the economic rejuvenation of the area and thus have a multiplier effect in the local economies such as creating jobs and ensuring the sustainability of municipalities.
We are making progress in promoting good, clean and accountable governance in municipalities in the area of service delivery, governance and financial management. We will assess all municipalities, adjudicate best practices, and hold municipal excellence awards which will recognize innovation, best practice, and leadership.
We invite everybody to put hands on the wheel and strive to keep our province as one of the best. We may be singing in different in languages, but the melody should, and will be, service delivery, economic development and good overnance.
MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs in KwaZulu-Natal
The Honourable Nomusa Dube