OFFICIALLY, the fifth term of the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Legislature has come to an end and through the upcoming elections, it will seek a new mandate. Through these elections, citizens will get a chance to elect a government and leaders of their choice.
It is this reason that gave the opening of the Provincial Legislature, which signified the end of its term, that much more fanfare. As it is customary, the two-day event kicked off with an address by iSILO that was interpreted as one that was dignified and fitting for the occasion. On the second day the State of the Province Address was delivered by Premier Willies Mchunu. He provided an honest analysis that conceded to the challenges at hand, reflected on the successes achieved while laying out a plan on how targets will be delivered against.
This was an event that was attended by a tapestry of stakeholders, wide ranging in scope. Host Mayor Themba Njilo pleaded with all tiers of government to work in collaboration in order for the work of the state to be a success.
“These two days were a resounding success as everything that happened was befitting of the event, from the time His Majesty delivered his address to when the premier got a health scare but the Lord spared him and he was able to rejoin us at the event,” said the Mayor.
Adding to sentiments passed by iSILO which had focused on rural development, agricultural economic development and job creation, the Mayor said that Msunduzi is a shining example of all the topics that were touched on. Responding to the issue of local economic development, he did cite that the job shortage was a national challenge not unique to Msunduzi.
“As our contribution we have identified a co-operative-based programme that will best ensure that wealth is shared amongst many people,” said the Mayor.
The Mayor also shared that the municipality also collaborates and works hands in hand with other tiers of government and a case in point was the knowledge-sharing sessions the municipality had recently which were also attended by the Minister of Small Business Lindiwe Zulu.
The Msunduzi Municipality continues to bask in the growth of its economy since it became the only capital city of the province. It is reported that it grew by 30% in its first year and it has also seen a steady and consistent incline over the years.
The strategic location of the legislature in Msunduzi and its President annual official opening bring much-needed economic activity like in accommodation. To add to that, with all provincial departments being based in the capital city, scores of government employees reside in the city, increasing the number of ratepayers and economic activity.
This therefore puts a lot of strain on the municipality to come up with new ways of growing and transforming the city, especially its infrastructure.
Responding to this challenge, Mayor Njilo said that in spite of the hurdles the facing municipality, it has a variety of plans in place that will make Msunduzi befitting of a capital city status.