New budget to uplift Mkhondo

THE Mkhondo municipality in Mpumalanga has started engaging stakeholders in discussions related to its recently approved budget adjustment that was proposed by administrator Misaveni Khoza.

The move is a first since Premier David Mabuza appointed Khoza as an administrator for Mkhondo municipality on July 1 last year.

The appointment followed a series of service delivery protests in the area.

"When we arrived here we inherited a budget which was not linked to the integrated development plan," Khoza said.

"It failed to address the needs of all people and actually very little funds were available for operations and maintenance of infrastructure as well as service delivery.

"This limited the municipality's capacity to maintain quality service delivery," Khoza said.

He said the adjustments were aimed at aligning the budget with people's needs as it was going to enable the municipality to launch new projects in all the 15 wards under Mkhondo municipality.

"It will benefit poor people in both rural areas and townships as well as our more fortunate citizens in towns whom we must thank for paying their rates very well," Khoza said.

He added that projects that would be taking place between now and June would include the resurfacing of streets and the reviving of bus and taxi routes which had collapsed due to service delivery protests.

According to the adjusted budget, 1000 houses will get electricity that will be backed up by the installation of four high-mass lights for each rural ward to curb crime.

The municipality managed to send 12 people for training as traffic cops and its revenue was also increased, in part, by the fact that traffic cops managed to issue 150000 traffic fines.

In a recent meeting that was organised by Khoza and his deputy, Laurence Ngobeni, stakeholders sounded impressed by the plans.

"The new philosophy of engaging stakeholders and the public in your plans is one of the best, with the potential to bearing fruit," said one of the stakeholders Piet Roodt, the principal of Piet Retief Primary School.