Chiefs, Tinkhundla Polititians Marvel at Achievements, Challenges
The Chiefs and Tinkhundla politicians (Members of Parliament, Tindvuna Tetinkhundla and Bucopho) were amazed upon learning of the number of achievements and challenges that the Municipal Council of Manzini experienced as she executed its mandate in the city.
In her presentation, Chief Executive Officer Lungile Dlamini highlighted the achievements as inclusive of upgrading and proper management of the controlled dumpsite, an investment of E125 million into road infrastructure rehabilitation and upgrading, upgrading of King Somhlolo Park (former Jubilee Park), upgrading and plot allocation in Moneni, development of a new Manzini Integrated Development Plan (IDP), development of a new township (Mkhosi Township), introduction of a Quality Management System, development and implementation of an organizational Turnaround Strategy, introduction of a Performance Management and Development System as well as provision of social services through the LaMvelase HIV/AIDS Help Centre through which over 200,000 citizens had benefited in terms of voluntary counselling and testing, prevention of mother to child transmission as well as other social services such as management of eight social centres in which over 1,500 orphaned and vulnerable children feed and get basic pre-school education and childhood care and development on a daily basis.
On the other hand, the Chief Executive mentioned that the exciting milestones were not without challenges. She cited non-availability of land for establishment of an alternative cemetery and landfill (dumpsite) as the existing facilities had a remaining life of less than one and less than three years, respectively. Dlamini also stated that the city required recapitalization of over E250 million over the next five years to cover infrastructure development and urban renewal. She further mentioned that due to an increase in business activity in the city, there was a need to extend the urban boundaries. Also cited as a challenge were the need for a review of municipal legislation so that they remained relevant to present city needs, the need to operationalize the satellite bus rank as well as a need to find a solution to the issue of child headed households and indigent elderly citizens who were said to be struggling with payment of property taxes (rates). In fact, it was mentioned during the meeting that the City of Manzini was presently owed in excess of E75 million in rates.
SOME OF THE QUESTIONS POSED BY CHIEFS, TINKHUNDLA POLITICIANS
The following are some of the questions that were posed by the Chiefs and Tinkhundla politicians during the historic workshop. They were all responded to:
- It is shocking to learn that Council is owed so much in rates money. If collected, those funds could go a long way towards fixing the service delivery challenges of the city. How is the efficiency of the rates collection mechanism? Also, how long should you wait before selling an owing vacant plot?
- If you are owed so much money, why is it that you have only raised public toilet fees by 20 cents; from 50 to 70 cents? Private providers of the same service in the city charge up to E3.
- When will the informal settlements that you have upgraded start paying rates?
- If you were to acquire cemetery land outside the urban area, who would collect the burial fees?
- When you extend urban boundaries what happens to the residents who have all along been the Chiefs’ subjects?