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Municipality meets with citizens to prepare a 5-year integrated development plan

Oudtshoorn, 12 October 2016 – The Oudtshoorn Municipality is currently holding a series of public participation meetings to gather inputs for the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) for 2017 to 2022. The Meetings are also discussing the Ward Committee establishment structure.  

In his presentation, Mr. Luvuyo Masola, the Municipal IDP manager explained that as stipulated in the Municipal Systems Act, “Each municipal council must, within a prescribed period after the start of its elective term, adopt a single, inclusive and strategic plan, which will be reviewed annually”.

“The IDP is meant to help the Municipality focus on the most important needs of the communities of the Greater Oudtshoorn while also taking into account the resources available to the Municipality,” Mr. Masola added. 

Other benefits of the IDP are:

  • To help speed up service delivery as it identifies the least serviced and most impoverished areas in town and guides to where municipal funds should be spent;
  • To help to attract additional funds as Government departments and private investors are more willing to invest in municipalities when they have clear development plans;
  • Decisions are made in a democratic and transparent manner when there is active participation of all the important stakeholders and communities – this speaks to strengthening of democracy;
  • Municipal resources are used to integrate rural and urban areas and to extend services to people living in poverty, thereby overcoming the legacy of apartheid and;
  • To promote coordination between local, provincial and national government. The different spheres of government are encouraged to work together in a coordinated manner to tackle the development needs in a local area.

The first two meetings were held on Monday, 10 October in a fully packed Dysselsdorp Community Hall for wards 9 and 10 and Blomnek Community Hall in De Rust for Ward 11. A common need raised by these two communities is the upgrade of the streets, human settlements and unemployment.

Meanwhile, Wards 1, 2 and 3 were dominated by requests for intensified law enforcement in the Central Business District (CBD), maintenance of infrastructure and, for rural areas, provision of basic services, housing and a need for recreational facilities such as community halls and sports fields.

The meetings further discussed the establishment of Ward Committees. According to the Speaker, Cllr. Julia le Roux Krowitz, “Ward Committees are aimed at ensuring better participation from the community to inform Council decisions, to ensure good communication between Council and the communities and to assist the Ward Councillor with consultation and report-back to the community.”

The formation of Ward Committees will be two-pronged; Ward Committees will be sector based in more urban areas while in rural areas, it will be more geographical/block based. Officials from the Western Cape Department of Local Government’s Public Participation Unit also attended these meetings to render their technical support in ensuring that the IDP and Ward Committee processes are appropriately followed. 

The Executive Mayor, Cllr. Colan Sylvester who also attended the meetings encouraged communities participate in the development and governance of their town. “We want to develop a culture of municipal governance that complements formal representative government with a system of participatory governance. As valued citizens and stakeholders, we appreciated that you can make your voices heard through participating in the IDP and Ward Committee processes and structures.”

The remaining meetings are scheduled as follows: