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On Tuesday, 2 February 2021, Newcastle Municipality successfully clinched two awards; a Certificate of Recognition for Producing One of the Best IDPs in the Province plus Being Ranked the No 10 IDP in the Province for 2020/2021. And a Certificate of Recognition for Having One of Most Improved IDPs in the Province for 2020/2021—showcasing the government entity’s improvement over recent months.
IDP (Integrated Development Planning) is a method used by local municipalities to plan for the future. Moreover, it is an approach to planning that involves the entire municipality and its citizens, finding the best possible solutions to achieve good long-term development.
It also aims to co-ordinate the work of local and other spheres of government in a coherent plan to improve the quality of life for all the people living in an area.
Both the Acting Municipal Manager, Vish Govender, and Deputy Mayor, Reuben Molelekoa expressed what this means for Newcastle. “This is an auspicious day for the Newcastle Municipality, winning these two awards,” states Govender.
The reason for this, as he explains, assessments are conducted on local municipalities. These assessments look at various key factors within the government entity, including institutional development and service delivery, as well as governance and the way a municipal entity handles its finances. All of which, Govender stresses Newcastle Municipality has seen an improvement in. However, this does not mean the municipality has perfected its aims and objectives.
The Acting Municipal Manager explains the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) has established a master plan which will focus on municipalities water plans and infrastructure. The plan will be issued to the local government entity in the foreseeable future; thereafter, it will be put into action.
However, Govender stressed, the master plan will be addressed in phases due to the municipality not possessing approximately R1 billion, the amount required to deal with the water plan and infrastructure challenges.
In addition, when reflecting on the two awards, he commends the municipal officials and maintains that the town’s governance has improved significantly. “People might want to criticise us, but they need to look at the time we respond to issues, with the resources we have available.”
Furthermore, Govender explains that following the awards, the government has implemented a series of plans which involves the Newcastle Municipality.
One of these is the District Development Plan; this will see the local municipality working closely with the Amajuba District Municipality in order to develop both Newcastle and surrounding areas.
Deputy Mayor Reuben Molelekoa emphasises, “These two awards give us hope and showcases that we are on the road to recovery.”
Despite criticism from residents, Molelekoa commends the municipality’s administration, stating, “These awards show that they are doing their job.”
Both Govender and Moelekoa believe there is a bright future for the town. However, what are your thoughts as the residents of Newcastle?
Share your views with us in the comment section below.