The Guard

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Tswelopele cleanest FS municipality

By Libuseng Nyaka

BETHLEHEM -Tswelopele local municipality in Lejweleputswa district municipality took home R3 million after scooping position one at the Cleanest and Greenest Municipality Awards ceremony held at Dihlabeng local municipality’s new hall, on March 19, 2024.

Both Thabo Mofutsanyana distric’s local municipalities – Dihlabeng and Mantsopa – scooped position two and a prize of R1.5 million and third with R1 million.
Seventeen out of 18 local municipalities took part in the competition. Nala is the only local municipality that did not take part.
Prior to the announcement of the winners, office manager from Director General office, Mzwandile Silwana explained the process of selecting the winners has unfolded.

According to Silwana, a multidisciplinary team of specialists from department of water and sanitation, and DESTEA , moderated the applications and employed various techniques including score sheets, and physical site visits to ensure that the most deserving municipalities received the shine.
“This initiative was part of Premier Mxolisi Dukwana’s priority to develop a clean and green Free State. When he took office Premier Dukwana made clean and green municipalities his top priority. He came up with a programme called Letsema campaign, and later on came up with the idea of clean and green municipalities which was supported by the Exco.”

During the ceremony, Director General Kopung Ralikontsane awarded Tswelopele Local Municipality with a cash prize of R3 million for being the Cleanest and Greenest Municipality in the Free State.
“The first runner up award went to Dihlabeng Local Municipality with a prize of R1.5 million, while Mantsopa Local Municipality came third and won R1 million.”

Ralinkotsane also announced Mantsopa as a municipality that scored highest marks on waste management.
Speaking at the ceremony, deputy minister for Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, Makhotso Sotyu who also handed over an overall winner award to Tswelopele Mayor Kenalemang Phukuntsi.

She commended the department’s efforts in funding EPWPs across local municipalities to ensure cleanness.

“Councils nominate their own officials, and we provide them with stipends of R2800. The department has, over the years, continued to make a notable contribution in creating employment and skill development opportunities through implementation of the environment sector employment programmes broadly.”
For his part Provincial Head of the Department of Water & Sanitation(DWS) Dr Tseliso Ntili, said water and environment are intertwined as they focus on cleanness.

Executive mayor of Lejweleputswa district municipality handing over certificate third position Mantsopa local municipality mayor Mamsie Tsoene.

Dr Ntili also warned against vandalization of infrastructure. He went on to give a low down of how municipalities have performed in terms of blue drop .
The Free State province provides drinking water to a total population of 3,028,741 persons in South Africa. The Regulator determined that no water supply system scored more than 95% when measured against the Blue Drop standards and thus did not qualify for the prestigious BD Certification. In 2014, six water supply systems were awarded Blue Drop status.

Using the 2014 audit results as a comparative baseline, the province shows a decline in excellence for 2023.
Only three of 19 WSAs improved on their 2014 scores, namely Dihlabeng, Setsoto , and Tswelopele local municipality. The remaining 16 WSAs regressed to lower Blue Drop scores compared to their 2014 baselines.

Metsimaholo LM (84.2%), Dihlabeng (76.6%) and Tswelopele (73.8%) are the best performing WSAs in the province.
He said the Blue Drop scores of these top WSA performers were supported by technical site assessment scores of 82% for the Hoopstad WTW in Tswelopele, 68% for the Clarens and Fouriesburg WTWs in Dihlabeng, followed by the Deneysville in Metsimaholo with a TSA score of 73%. Thirty-one water supply systems were identified to be in a critical state in the province compared with five water supply systems in 2014.

In her acceptance speech overall winner executive mayor of Tswelopele local municipality attributed success to a team work and residents of the municipality.