By Libuseng Nyaka
QWAQWA – Maluti -a-phofung local municipality council’s first sitting under its new leadership saw councilors cutting costs by dumping paper in favour of digital communication during proceedings.
The migration to technology is in line with the treasury’s call that government department must cut costs.
The Speaker of Maluti-a-phofung local municipality Mandlankosi Dlamini has revealed that the adoption of paperless communication in council sittings proceeding will the municipality saving R151 500.
This is what it cost to print the agenda for each council sitting in the past.
He thanked his predecessor for making it possible for the procured laptop computers to be delivered.
“With this council sitting alone we have managed to save up to R151 500 – the money that used to be spent on paper printing when they charge each copy R1.
“Sometimes this amount would go up to R227 250 depending on the service provider. We will now save over R1.5 million a year.”
However, council whip Moeketsi Lebesa warned that if those laptops are not taken good care of, they will render the efforts futile.
“We appreciate having laptops, but we must beware of heading to a crisis. They will soon be dysfunctional during proceedings, making it impossible for councillors to participate because they would have no agendas to refer to. For now, it looks simple because these laptops are still new,” Lebesa said.
Map speaker Mandlankosi and acting municipal manager Amos Goliath.
Dlamini said the days of carrying huge files are over for Map councillors.
“We are going to induct all our councillors on computer literacy so they can improve and adjust to the digital age.”
For his part, councillor Shashapa Motaung proposed a policy be drafted that will provide guidance when a councillor’s term of office ends.
“We must make a policy for laptop ownership. We must be allowed to keep these laptops when our terms end. It is very frustrating when you are told to return the laptop when it has a lot of information that one has to clear.”
However, acting municipal manager Amos Goliath emphasized that the laptop is municipality asset.