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uThungulu-Best District in KZN



The uThungulu District family of municipalities scored a hat-trick when three municipalities under the district banner made it to the finals of the KZN Inaugural Municipal Excellence Awards held at the ICC on Thursday 13 November.

uThungulu was selected as the Best District in KZN and the City of uMhlathuze won in the Large Local Municipality category. Ntambanana Municipality, situated outside Empangeni, was a finalist in the small-medium municipal category, giving this region the most finalists in the entire competition.

The provincial awards were held for the first time this year following the KZN Department of Local and Traditional Affairs' decision to withdraw from the annual VUNA Municipal Awards, citing the national selection process as being flawed and disadvantageous to many of the KZN municipalities.

MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu said the new awards were based on a new process to recognize performance, taking into account adherence to municipal legislation that calls for the compilation of annual reports and performance reports based on the five national Key Performance Areas (KPA's) that local government is obligated to report on, i.e. Transformation, Financial Viability, Good Governance, Local Economic Development and Service Delivery.

"We have identified the need to ensure that municipal annual reports and associated annual performance reports play a significant role in determining whether municipalities  are good performers," said the MEC.

uThungulu was recognized for its growth in local economic development, especially the creation of 185 jobs through the benchmark essential oils project in three local municipalities; the multi-million rand Greater Mthonjaneni bulk water project; the brick-making yard that employes local labour to construct VIP toilets for the sanitation projects and the KwaBulawayo Cultural Centre, where the Regional Zulu Dance Contest took place this weekend.

Ntambanana Municipality, the smallest municipality in the district, has no rates base and therefore no income to speak of, however it was its ability to carry out projects and implement them according to the required legislation, that earned them the kudos this time around. With financial viability only forming one leg of the criteria, the little-known municipality had the opportunity to battle it out on a even footing based on its ability to create local economic development opportunities for its rural people.

uThungulu District Mayor Ald Stan Larkan praised the management and officials for their determination and high standards of service delivery, saying that it had paid off with the reward of recognition.

uThungulu spokesperson Rekha Naidoo said a key part of the assessment was the verification of information contained in annual reports, meaning that municipalities had to back up every word in their annual reports with documentation. A complicated and time consuming procedure, it requires meticulous record-keeping of files dating back to 2005, Council resolutions for every action taken and off course, mountains of paperwork.

"The auditors only finalized the winners at 11pm the night before the ceremony," she said.

Issued by:

uThungulu Public Relations Manager Rekha Naidoo


Tel: (035) 7992600

Fax: (035) 7891641

Mobile: 083 639 9028





Wed, 03 Dec 2008 13:23:05 +0200

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uThungulu-Best District in KZN

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