MEC says province has abolished bucket system
Mpumalanga's MEC for housing and local government, Jabu Mahlangu, last week announced that the province had eradicated the bucket-toilet system.
Mahlangu was speaking to delegates during the provincial Vuna Awards at the Graceland Casino Hotel in Secunda. The Vuna Awards are presented to local and district municipalities for excelling in in categories such as service delivery, revenue collection and good governance.
This year's overall winner was the Nkangala district municipality, which scooped the R750000 prize money and the trophy.
In the local municipality category, the winner was the Steve Tshwete local authority and the runner-up was Mbombela.
Steve Tshwete municipality pocketed R750000 and Mbombela R250000.
Emakhazeni local municipality received a certificate in recognition of its performance.
Though Mahlangu was impressed with the work of the competing municipalities, he expressed disappointment at the declining number taking part in the awards programme.
He said in 2004 only 16 of the 21 municipalities in the province took part. This year the number has gone down to 11.
He said Mpumalanga had managed to achieve the eradication of the bucket-toilet system a year before the 2007 deadline.
Other targets of the province are to supply clean water to all by 2010 and electricity to all by 2012.
Mahlangu called on executive mayors and councillors to take the lead in ensuring that they met the service-delivery targets they had set for themselves.
"You have been given the mammoth responsibility of deciding the path we will take in rolling-out programmes that will ensure that we reach the targets. You should not take your responsibilities for granted.
"The task bestowed on local governments is more demanding. Your local governments require that you go beyond the normal call of addressing the normal local government issues, such as delivering basic services.
"We need to think and approach our challenges with the aim of removing all problems in a holistic way," he said.
Mahlangu said the financial viability of municipalities continued to be a great concern to his department.
But he said he was confident that it would be dealt with because his department and the provincial treasury had signed a memorandum of understanding in respect of the implementation of the Municipal Finance Management Act to support municipalities.
He said Mpumalanga had not implemented the municipal performance management regulations recently published by the minister of provincial and local government, Sydney Mufamadi.
The regulations were important in guiding municipalities in the drafting of their management performance contracts, which would set out clear targets in all crucial performance areas, he said.