Sarah Baartman District Municipality signs agreement with Dr Ruth S Mompati District Municipality
In an attempt to boost economic and skills development, the Executive Mayor of the Sarah Baartman District Municipality, Eunice Kekana, and her counterpart from the Dr Ruth S Mompati District Municipality in the North West Province, Choganyetso Tladinyane, officially signed a memo of understanding at a gala event, held at the Tsitsikamma Inn Lodge on the Garden Route on Thursday October 30th.
Consisting out of six phases of focus, both municipalities have agreed to the following:
The exchange of experience and knowledge on different aspects relating to local government administration, which will include changes in management and improving as well as facilitating relations with local municipalities
Development of economic cooperation with regards to agriculture, agro-processing and tourism, which will encourage cooperation with the business communities in both districts, and support local SMME’s
Exchanging experience and knowledge of the development, implementation and maintenance of an effective public participation and performance management system
The exchanging of experience and knowledge of processes and procedures to obtain a clean audit
Creating a platform where both district municipalities could benchmark, share and in some instances, adopted the best practice with the aim of improving and announcing local economic development strategies
Exchange of expertise and knowledge on various cross cutting issues targeted at specific sectors of the community, which includes the youth, woman, people living with disabilities and neglected and abandoned children
“The municipalities shall seek to develop joint strategies on matters of economic development by means of sharing ideas and experiences, as well as being exposed to each other’s resources, infrastructure, knowledge and information,” Municipal Manager of the Sarah Baartman District Municipality, Ted Pillay, said.
He also added that an effective implementation plan had to be established in order for the success of the matters laid out.
“We cannot leave this venue today, go our respective routes and think, ‘well we have done a great job’. The difficult task after this meeting is the implementation of this plan. It must be part and parcel of the Integrated Developed Plan (IDP) and must be included in the Performance Plan of both institutions’ senior officials. We have to measure it and check whether things are being done or not, otherwise, our gathering here will be deemed as fruitless.
“It is thus important to ensure that this implementation plan is adequately resourced. It must benefit our local municipalities. As District Municipalities, we must see the evidence of our efforts in the local municipalities which are part of our respective districts and must make an impact on the ordinary person and communities,” he said.
Pillay also added both Executive Mayors, as well as the respective Mayoral Committee Members and Municipal Managers, have agreed to form an oversight committee to make sure that the agreement is implemented and adhered to.
He however warned that getting ambitious about the project was not an option, and that it will be terminated if the desired results are not achieved.
In her opening statement, Mayor Kekana said that the similarities between the two municipalities could not be avoided.
“We are small in numbers and mostly rural, which they are as well. They rely on agriculture which we also do. If you check their history on audit comes, it is almost the same but we are beating them,” she joked.
“It says then, that when these two municipalities twin together, there will be a lot that will be learned. The agreement that we are signing today needs to be a living document and not a piece of paper. This should always be something that we will remember. Let us make a success to this agreement”.
Speaking in his address, Mayor Tladinyane said that singing marked an historic moment for both district municipalities, adding that effective leadership needs to be shown.
“As leaders, we sometimes have to give up our comfort zones and serve the poor and the working class with respect and diligence. I am therefore confident that this agreement will assist us in helping our various communities, and will grow from strength to strength”.
CAPTION: The Executive Mayor of the Sarah Baartman District Municipality, Eunice Kekana, exchanges her signed agreement of understanding with the Executive Mayor of the Dr Ruth S Mompati District Municipality, Choganyetso Tladinyane. FILE IMAGE
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