Manzini Mayor’s Festive Message to Citizens
“As we approach the end of another remarkable calendar year, I want to take a moment to extend my warmest wishes to each and every citizen of the City of Manzini. This festive season brings with it a sense of joy, unity and reflection and I hope it fills your hearts and homes with abundant happiness. First and foremost, I want to wish you all a safe and merry Christmas. May this special time be filled with love, laughter and cherished moments spent with family and friends. Let us embrace the spirit of giving and compassion; remembering those who are less fortunate and extending a helping hand to those in need. Let us love our neighbour as we love ourselves this festive season. If you are not sure who you can give to, please feel free to approach the Municipality and you will be assisted. We have eight social centres in our city; from which over 1,600 underprivileged children benefit just one meal per day. It would be nice to make this Christmas a memorable experience even to them. May I also take this opportunity to wish all citizens of our city a safe and exciting crossover into the new year. Let us welcome the year 2024 with optimism, setting our sights on growth and developmental progress within our city. I must say that as a new Council we have been humbled by the level of support and encouragement we have received from the city’s stakeholders, including the national Government, ever since we assumed office. Your dedication and involvement in our city’s affairs have been truly inspiring. It is this kind of support that fuels us to work harder. One would have made a big mistake not to acknowledge and appreciate our loyal ratepayers, including the national Government. On behalf of Council, I would like to thank you for your continuous commitment in paying your property taxes (rates). Your contributions play a vital role in supporting the projects and programmes that make our city thrive. As we embark on our new journey in 2024, let us remember that the strength and resilience of our city lies in unity and collaboration. Together, we can overcome any challenges that come our way and build a city that is endowed with a good quality of life and a brighter future for all. Once again, I wish you a safe and merry Christmas as well as a smooth transition into the new year. May the year 2024 be filled with hope, joy and new opportunities. May we continue to work together, hand in hand, to create a city we can all be proud of. If you have service delivery issues that you wish addressed by the Municipality, please make use of our communication platforms. You will surely be given the attention and care you deserve. At this juncture, I would like to take a moment and reflect on our achievements since the beginning of 2023”.
- 3 MAJOR ROAD INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS FINALISED
The three major road infrastructure rehabilitation/construction projects which commenced in the year 2022 reached their final stages during the year that we are winding up. They are now under the defects liability period. Package one of the projects entailed construction of the Bosco Bridge as well as rehabilitation of Southern Distributor, Tikhuba and Mimosa roads. The second package entailed rehabilitation of Meintjies Street, Meintjies Bridge, Mahleka Street, a section of Martin Street, a section of Tenbergen Street and a section of Masalesikhundleni Street. The Municipality also managed to complete the rehabilitation of Stanley Street in Ngwane Park. Motorists are already enjoying a cruise in all of these roads.
- 3 MASSIVE SHOPPING MALL PROJECTS LAUNCHED
We also witnessed the launch of three major shopping centre development projects in our vibrant city. These are the Fairview Mixed-Use Commercial Centre; which is a partnership between the Municipality and private investors, the Manzini Mall which will be constructed at the Old Trade Fair site as well as the Manzini Arch which will sit on the present Golf Course site. These massive projects, combined, will provide over 1,000 job opportunities during the construction phase and over 2,000 permanent jobs on completion.
- STAKEHOLDER PARTICIPATION, TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY
As a Municipality we continued to ensure adherence to public participation and accountability principles through hosting the 2023 Annual General Meeting in which the 2022/2023 annual performance report was presented to over 96 stakeholders. We also hosted the 2024/2025 stakeholder budget submissions meeting which was attended by approximately 100 stakeholders. Moreover, we kept our stakeholders updated on service delivery through dissemination of bi-monthly Manzini News articles in the newspapers and regular service delivery updates on our social media platforms.
- ESTABLISHMENT OF WARD DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEES
As a means to enhance public participation in service delivery planning and implementation at the community level, the Municipality facilitated establishment of 12 Ward Development Committees for purposes of providing assistance to elected Ward Councillors as they execute their mandate in the communities.
- 350 HEALTH INSPECTIONS CONDUCTED
On the environmental health front, we continued to prioritise the safety of consumers through conducting over 350 health inspections on food establishments; both in the inner city and in the neighbourhoods. Through these inspections we were able to identify and condemn six tonnes of food items that were found to be below the required health standards. We also continued to ensure cleanliness of our environment through conducting clean-up campaigns that were aimed at sensitizing citizens against littering and educating them on the economic opportunities that can be derived from waste recycling and upcycling.
- CRIME PREVENTION INITIATIVES
In an effort to ensure safe neighbourhoods in the city, we continued pursuing various crime prevention initiatives which include hosting of four crime prevention campaigns in collaboration with the Royal Eswatini Police Service and Community Police. We also continued supporting Neighbourhood Watch Structures in various townships.
- LOCAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES
In terms of Local Economic Development and as part of a drive to support citizens recover from the effects of Covid-19, the Municipality implemented various initiatives towards citizen economic upliftment. A total of seven flea markets were hosted in both the inner city and in the townships. Moreover, we continued to create a conducive trade environment for thousands of informal traders who conduct their trade in various parts of the city including the city’s streets, bus rank, second hand clothing site and the Manzini Trade Hub.
- MULTIPLE YOUTH INITIATIVES
We also managed to initiate a number of activities that were aimed at bringing the youth together for information sharing and empowerment. These initiatives included hosting of International Youth Day, Sports, Arts and Culture Day wherein close to 200 youths were provided a platform to showcase their talents. We also hosted a youth indaba wherein about 60 youths were empowered with information on how to fill-out tendering opportunities, financial management and mental health matters.
It can be mentioned that, despite the above highlighted milestones, the year 2023 has not been without challenges. However, we remain optimistic that, working together with our stakeholders, the challenges will be overcome. In conclusion, I would like to inform city citizens and stakeholders that, since the current Integrated Development Plan (IDP) is coming to an end, we have planned to rollout stakeholder consultation meetings towards the new IDP. Details of the exercise will be communicated in due course. My plea to all citizens is that let us accord these consultative meetings the highest priority; remembering that the new IDP will be the guiding framework for the city’s development throughout the next five years. Whenever we receive invitations to these meetings, let us attend in our biggest numbers. Once again, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all citizens of our city and other stakeholders a peaceful, refreshing festive season and an exciting crossover to the new year.
May the Almighty God Bless Us All