Municipal Manager
uMlalazi Municipality

Municipal Manager's foreword

manager umlalaziIn 2014/2015 we remained committed to our Vision “To provide sustainable services to all communities with emphasis on infrastructure, social and economic development in a safe and healthy environment managed by good leadership”. During the 2014/15 financial year, uMlalazi Municipality made progress in key service delivery areas — as aligned to the Municipality’s Integrated Development Plan (IDP) and SDBIP. With a strong focus on fiscal responsibility and the development of prudent financial management practices, resulted in the Municipality achieving its revenue target and collecting 97.42% of revenue billed. We delivered 604 houses in 2014/15 and recognise that there is still a long way to go till we can respond fully to the challenge of housing. We are experiencing challenges with the availability of bulk services for future housing projects. The provision of water services is the responsibility of the District Municipality and we continue strengthening relations with the District.

The Municipality successfully implemented Community Based Planning (CBP) in all wards. The Municipality is refining administrative processes of planning and budgeting to meet the basic needs of our communities. We also commit to cultivating meaningful stakeholder relations and to engaging stakeholders collaboratively in response to priority developmental needs.

The Municipality recognises the need to create an inclusive economy through increasing the contribution of SMME’s to the economy. uMlalazi is committed to developing competitiveness, innovation and increased investment through support for SMMEs. During the year, a total of 63 SMMEs were supported through our SMME development programmes. This support included assisting informal traders to obtain trading permits. In addition, the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) aims to reduce unemployment and alleviate poverty by creating on-the job training. During the year, the Municipality created 694 work opportunities (against a target of 550), thereby exceeding our target by 144 work opportunities. Despite these achievements there is a long way to go in achieving a totally inclusive economy and to eradicate unemployment.

Notwithstanding recorded achievements, the Municipality acknowledges missed targets. To enhance the attainment of these the Municipality is improving its environmental and operational issues, improving its capacity, and to improve the skills of its workforce to ensure improved delivery against set targets. The Municipality is also improving communication of programmes to communities to ensure that programmes such as its waste recycling programme have a better uptake from households. The Municipality will proactively respond to the risk of labour unrest to reduce the negative impact to service delivery. 

A detailed review of our performance against SDBIP targets can be found in the report, reflecting where our targets were either met or missed. The Municipality recorded significant progress towards the goal of financial sustainability as evidenced by its ability to generate a healthy net surplus, improve cash and cash equivalents as well as its responsiveness to customers as part of resolving billing queries. During the year, four of the key ratios that measure prudent financial management improved, namely: solvency, debt to revenue, net operating margin and cash coverage.

The Municipality realised a surplus of R 30,4 million. Our total asset base increased by 6.20 percent to R 663.4 million, driven largely by our capital projects expenditure of R 58,8 million, increased debtors and an improved cash position of R 79 million. Collectively these efforts improve the Municipality’s ability to achieve its medium-term goal of spending more towards infrastructure development. The Municipality still recognises that, despite this progress more work must be done to completely eliminate issues around billing. The Municipality is committed to sound financial strategies and prudent financial management practices

The Municipality’s biggest asset is its employees who bear responsibility for delivering its mandate to communities. They are the foundation and drivers of our collective success. Accordingly, the Municipality strives to create value by attracting, developing and retaining skilled and competent people. Through our Human Resources Management (HRM) function, we are committed to inspiring and growing people through individual development analysis and plans, as well as career management programmes and by recognizing performance excellence.

The Municipality is committed to recruiting from within its communities while also ensuring a deliberate focus on developing a local skills base where this may not exist. In 2013/14 the uMlalazi Municipality has once again attained an Unqualified Audit Opinion. This reflects progress toward meeting the national target of ‘Clean Audit’ for local Government. The Municipality is responding comprehensively to all matters raised by the Auditor General to ensure progress towards the national objective of a clean audit.

In conclusion, I would once like to thank Council, and in particular the Mayor, the Deputy Mayor, the Speaker and the Executive Committee members for their support. Thank you also to my management team and the personnel of the Municipality for your support and huge contribution towards the successful 2014/2015 financial year.

I am confident that together we have the ability and skills to make the 2015/2016 financial year another successful year and maintain uMlalazi Municipality’s proud reputation as one of the fully functional municipalities.

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