Rural Development hands over iPads
The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform handed over iPads to schools in Kakamas. Through its Comprehensive Rural Development Programme (CRDP), aims to support the poorest rural communities in their development. This includes ensuring the provision of access to basic, social and economic services.
In 2009 the Department embarked on bringing information and communication technologies (ICTs) to rural communities, in the form of ICT centres that provide access to government services and communication.
Ms Esmerelda Reid, Project Manager of the ICT Program indicated that they have learned many lessons through this program, central to these is the fact that devices could be shared amongst students and classes and across grades. The sharing of ideas and concepts encourages learning and growth among students. Ms Reid told the scholars that they need to fully utilize the "iPad" as the "creation of this project was to see how the use of appropriate technology in the learning process can be simplified"
The Speaker of the ZF Mgcawu District Municipality, Cllr ZS Mjila acted as keynote speaker. Speaker Mjila stressed that "Information Technology has become an integral and accepted part of everyday life for many people. ICT literacy is a functional requirement for people's work, social and personal lives"
Since 1994 the government has consistently worked to improve the lives of all South Africans and the promotion of socio-economic rights and education is one of those rights. The Constitution provides for the right to education for all which the state, through reasonable measures, must make progressively available and accessible.
District hosts Municipal Manager’s Workshop
The ZF Mgcawu District Municipality recently held a workshop that involved all Municipal Managers and Chief Financial Officers in the District.
In terms of Chapter 5 of the Municipal Structured Act (Act 117 of 1998) it is the responsibility of the District Municipality to build the capacity of local municipalities and to ensure that municipalities fulfil their mandate of providing basic services to communities.
This engagement has been long overdue and it was imperative that Managers discussed exactly how the District will build their capacity and the implications involved in providing such assistance.
Mr Elias Ntoba, District Municipal Manager agreed that the assistance and support should be more coordinated and the District should take the lead in this regard. Mr Ntoba was of the view that each municipality should strive towards a clean audit, but for this to happen much work lies ahead. The ZF Mgcawu District Municipality received a clean audit for the 2012/2013 financial year.
Local Municipalities also indicated their availability to assist each other where such assistance is required.
During the IDP public participation process the District did a needs analysis of the kind of assistance and support that B municipalities need. These needs will be captured in the District IDP and will be given further attention.
District hosts Political IGR
The Executive Mayor of the ZF Mgcawu District Municipality, hosted the quarterly Political IGR on the 7th March 2014
In accordance with section 24 of the Intergovernmental Relations Framework Act 13, 2005; it states that there is a need for all three spheres of government to facilitate and promote intergovernmental relations between itself. This is a consultative forum for the District Municipality and the local municipalities, sector departments and NGO's in the District and must discuss and consult each other on matters of mutual interest.
The Executive Mayor, Cllr Gift van Staden said in his opening remarks that this is a critical meeting and should be taken in the spirit of cooperative governance poised towards discussing issues around service delivery and challenges that might be experienced in the delivery of those services.
The meeting is composed of Mayors, Municipal Managers, District Heads of Departments, Media and NGO's.
Municipalities report at this forum on the spending pattern around infrastructure grants and legislative compliance matters whilst government departments report on what is happening in their departments.
The Mayors indicated their appreciation for the forum, as it is a platform for sharing best practices and a space for learning is created.
The Portfolio Committees of the ZF Mgcawu District Municipality met during March. In terms of section 80 of the Municipal Structures Act (Act 117 of 1998), if a municipal Council has an Executive Mayor it may appoint committees to assist the Executive Mayor. Such a committee must report to the Executive Mayor in accordance with the directions of the Executive Mayor. The ZF Mgcawu District has the following committees in place:
Social and Local Development
Good Governance and Public Participation
Each Chairperson of the committee sits on the Mayoral Committee. The administrative arm helps the Executive Mayor and Mayoral Committee to implement the Council's broader political objectives, headed by the municipal Manager.
During the last meeting, each manager to report on the work they have done for the quarter. The idea is that there should be accountability on how the tax payer's funds are spent. The Mayoral Committee receives monthly financial reports in terms of the Municipal Finance Management Act and thus the committee plays an oversight role in that regard.