By Emily Setona
INTABAZWE – The role of the district municipality is to play a supporting role to local municipalities in their quest to deliver adequate services to the communities they serve.
This was mentioned by Thabo Mofutsanyana District Municipality’s (TMDM) executive mayor Conny Msibi at an imbizo at Intabazwe, that was meant to cast light on the District Development Model (DDM) to the residents of this community.
“During the community engagement sessions that we’ve had in Harrismith, people always asked us what the role of the district is. We are here today because if we do not clarify ourselves as a district, others might define in a negative way,” Msibi said.
Addressing the community at Intabazwe multipurpose hall, the director of community services in TMDM Selby Lengoabala said in 1998 when the government passed the Municipal Structures Act, its vision was to make sure that the role and function of local government was to deliver adequate services to the country’s citizens. The Act also determines appropriate division of functions and powers between different categories of municipalities.
“There are three categories of municipalities, namely metros which are found in big cities like Johannesburg, local municipalities such as the Maluti–a–Phofung (MAP) and the district which is our TMDM. District municipalities play a supporting role to the local municipalities in their plan to offer basic services to the community,” Lengoabala said.
He added that the DDM was initiated by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his 2019 budget speech.
“The purpose of the DDM is to make sure that issues of service delivery between all spheres of government from national level to local government, are planned and coordinated in a way that is more synchronized and integrated. When the local municipality wants to build 2000 RDP houses in a particular area, they must involve different government departments to make sure that proper services will be delivered to the prospective recipients of these houses,” Lengoabala said.
Speaking to The Guard on the sidelines of the imbizo, Free State Corporate Governance and Traditional Affairs DDM technical support member, Alexander Rolihlahla said:
“The DDM is merely saying, let’s not work in silos; let’s have an integrated and coordinated plan that will speed up service delivery to our communities. Because this is what our people need. When there are plans for development, call residents, call businesses so that the people are involved in the planning of projects aimed to bring development.”