September 25, 2017

News:

Parties in Thabo Mofutsanyana put differences aside

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Given full backing ... Thabo Mofutsanyana executive mayor Malefu Vilakazi

Given full backing … Thabo Mofutsanyana executive mayor Malefu Vilakazi

. . . Approve R219 million budget for 2017/2018 financial year and sing praises for executive mayor Malefu Vilakazi

Political parties represented in Thabo Mofutsanyana District Municipality on Wednesday put aside their differences and spoke with one voice to give thumbs up to a R219.7 million budget for the 2017/2018 financial year presented by executive mayor Malefu Vilakazi at Tshiame B.

While supporting the budget, the parties also raised some concerns and advised on how some challenges can be addressed or avoided.

They said they supported the budget because of Vilakazi’s good leadership and her ability to engage them in a transparent way as the municipality seeks ways of dealing with challenges affecting the area.

African Independent Congress (AIC) representative Harry Mdakane said, “ Executive mayor, as AIC we support this budget and promise to play our oversight roles as an opposition party to make you accountable to ensure it is implemented accordingly.”

The Democratic Alliance’s Ben Venter hailed the increased budget for 2017/2018 from last year’s R115 million, saying while the party supported the budget, it was concerned by the municipality’s failure to attain a clean audit in the previous financial year, attributing this to lack of accountability.

“In the last quarter we experienced financial problems; we had R5 million short in 2016/2017 and that’s a cause for concern. The council asked for a bank loan and we had to pay it before end of the financial year. There is no way we can pay back.

“Besides that, I am happy with the budget. We have about R110 million from education which was not there in the past and that is why the budget comes to R219 million,” Venter noted.

Sani Bonakela of the Congress of the People (Cope) said his party was in support of the budget because its contents cover all the problems affecting the municipality.

He pointed out that they backed the budget because the executive mayor had promised that she would abide by the legal requirements.

A member of the Dikwankwetla South African Party, Moeketsi Lebesa, congratulated the ANC for hosting the district’s budget at Tshiame, an area that is named after the founder of his party, Dr Kenneth Tshiame Mopeli.

“We are happy that Tshiame has hosted this budget because it is earmarked for the special economic zone programme which is a brain child of Dr TK Mopeli. After 30 years President Jacob Zuma was here in April to ensure that this project is implemented,” Lebesa said.

He praised Vilakazi as a true leader who had united all political parties under the district through her approach to issues.

“When there are issues we discuss them. Through her tolerance we manage to solve and decide on matters, even when we differ. She brings a spring of hope in the council.”

Lebesa called upon the executive mayor, executive committee, councillors and officials to all play their part to ensure that the municipality retains a clean audit report.

Also supporting the budget, the Economic Freedom Fighters councillor Mahlomola Majake promised to play his oversight role and ensure the budget is implemented in a mindful way which will benefit the community.

“You are a true leader who respects and engages us and for this reason we will support you in the implementation of this budget. The budget is very balanced and transparent and for this reason as EFF we support it,” Majake told the executive mayor.

Appreciating the kind comments made by the opposition parties, ANC councillor Seipati Mbiwe said the municipality had taken all councillors for financial training which would enable them to play their overside roles and make meanful inputs in the running of the municipality.

“The opposition parties’ positive reaction speaks to the character of the person deployed here and her ability to unite the council,” Mbiwe explained, referring to Vilakazi.

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