Appointment of Municipal Manager
It gives me great pleasure to inform this Council that I can now say almost all our critical positions in the administration of the municipality have been filled. We are all aware that we have been operating without a municipal manager for 10 months and that has posed challenges when it comes to service delivery and the smooth running of the institution.
On 1 September 2008, we marked a historic event in our municipal history when our newly appointed municipal manager Ms. Ntombekhaya Baart reported for duty. Her appointment will go down in history as the first for a woman to hold the highest position in the administration hierarchy of our municipality. This is a move that indeed coincides well with the month of August known as Women’s Month which we’ve just celebrated where about 20 000 women stood up in 1956 to fight the unjust laws of the apartheid regime.
Ms. Baart comes highly recommended and has a track record to support that claim. We hope that her invaluable expertise gained from working in various institutions coupled with her academic qualifications will make us become a responsive municipality that gives hope to the people that tomorrow will be better than today.
Moving on to the Civic Awards
This matter is not new to Council but I can report that strides have been made to ensure that this idea becomes a reality. A panel of judges has been constituted which comprises of experienced people in the relevant categories of the awards. Preparatory sessions are ongoing and the date of the Civic Awards is 14 November 2008. There are 12 Categories
and they are as follows:
Community Builder of the year/Civic/NGO/Community Project (1ST and 2nd)
Sports Category/ Arts and Culture (1st and 2nd)
Most Functional Ward Committee
Youth Project of the Year
Business Woman of the Year
Outstanding unique Talent
Entrepreneur of the Year ( will cover economic areas)
Cleanest School of the Year
Food Garden of the Year (will also include schools)
Small Scale farmer of the Year
Quality Service Taxi of the Year
Best B & B of the Year
More details will be presented in relevant forums as they become available.Albany water scheme
Last week all councilors and directors were invited to a briefing between the municipality and ABSA DEVCO who have been contracted by the Provincial Government to undertake the Albany Water Scheme. The purpose of the briefing was to report on issues that were raised in previous meetings for the developers to consider and/or explore further. The full report of that meeting will be made available to council after undergoing the due internal reporting processes of the municipality.
Mayoral Rural Development Outreach Programme
The Rural Development Outreach Programme carried out by the Executive Mayor’s Office came to an end on 4 September 2008. We’ve visited 13 farms starting on 9 August 2008 interacting with residents listening how they would like the R1,1 million allocated for rural development to be spent. Issues and project raised were captured and a comprehensive report will be made available.
Reception for Makana’s Top Achievers
On 5 September 2008 we held a reception to pay homage to people that have kept Makana municipality’s flag flying high through their outstanding achievements in their respective fields. A special gesture of appreciation was expressed to the following groups or individuals: Mrs. Jennet Buckland who is the overall winner of Shoprite Checkers Woman of the Year Award, UBOM! Eastern Cape Drama Company who won a Gold Award at the Impumelelo Innovations Award Trust Ceremony in Cape Town and the Reintegration and Diversion for Youth Project (READY), Rhodes University’s Collegial Cluster Project & Makana Meadery Beekeeping project who all won Silver Medals and last but not least C.M. Vellem Primary School.
Makana Youth Indaba
The Mayor’s Office under the Special Programmes Unit will host the inaugural Makana Youth Summit from 25-26 September 2008 at Noluthando Hall, Grahamstown. A total of 150 delegates are expected. All 12 wards will be represented by 10 delegates each, with 18 more coming from churches and the rest from youth formations. The Indaba is expected to come up with programmes of action that the youth will embark on for the next two years. The purpose is to involve young people in constructive and developmental programmes.
After a very long time we were confronted with the non availabity in large sections particularly in Grahamstown East. I’m not sure if this was a way of welcoming our newly appointed Municipal Manager. The timing and the nature of the problem which led to water shortages is suspect. I’m still waiting for the report on this matter and how to mitigate and address problems of this nature in the future.