October 18, 2017

News:

Thabo Mofutsanayana announces R219m budget

Thabo Mofutsanyana District Municipality executive mayor Malefu Vilakazi says the implementation of her R219 million budget will be guided by local government policies which focus on building the local economy to create more employment.

“As we implement this budget we will also be guided by the ‘Back to Basics Principles’ and ensuring that we put people first and we have constant contact with our communities through effective public participation platforms,” she pointed out.

She however stated that lack of enough funds remained one of the challenges facing the municipality because the district is very much dependent on grants from national government.

“We really need to find creative means of attracting lucrative funding that will help us to unlock various programmes in our district. We have to make notable changes in our communities in the six local municipalities under our jurisdiction. We have been able to wisely utilize our little resources in dealing with our priorities and thus we are able to report our successes and challenges for the 2016/2017 financial year.”

Vilakazi added: “The good news is that our municipality has just received R101 million from Construction Education and Training Authority (CETA) for learnerships, apprenticeship, work integrated learning and short skills programmer for to be launched next week.”

The Free State provincial government has directed 41,3 percent of its capital budget in the next financial year be spent on infrastructure projects in all six local municipalities in the district.

Vilakazi also highlighted the council had assisted 14 SMMEs with business equipment ranging from mobile kitchen units, woodhouse salons, equipment for farming, manufacturing, catering, sewing, and music instruments to five local municipalities.

On job creation and promoting cooperatives, the mayor noted the municipality has spent R800 million from the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) that was used to purchase sewing materials for six cooperatives.

Coming to how the budget of 2017/2018 would be shared, Vilakazi said, “We have set aside R770 000 for SMME development.”

She added the council would continue to implement the Rural Road Assets Management System (RRAMS) project, whose strategic goal is to ensure efficient and effective investments in rural roads. About R2, 4 million has been set aside for this.

The expanded public works programme, which is one of the municipality’s key programmes aimed at addressing unemployment and poverty, would also remain a top priority.

“Through this programme we have been able to create 456 jobs in all our six local municipalities, the majority of them women and young people. This financial year we have received an R2, 1 million incentive grant from the National Department of Public Works for job creation and skills development and this will see us employing 90 people,” the mayor said.

According to Vilakazi , the district municipality has also received R6 million from the National Treasury for Energy Efficiency Demand Side Management to assist in implementing energy efficiency measures in the usages of infrastructural assets such as traffic, high mast and building lights.

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