Eight Commissioners appointed to develop Umkhanyakude

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Eight Commissioners appointed to develop Umkhanyakude

MR. MPONTSHANE BOXER-ACTING SENIOR MANAGER:PLANNING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, HERBERT NXUMALO, MR. SBU GWACELA – MUNICIPAL MANAGER, COMMISSIONER-ANDREW ZALOUMIS, MR. VC XABA: CHAIRPERSON OF THE KZN PROVINCIAL PLANNING COMMISSION, SPEAKER-HLENGIWE. MAVIMBELA, CLLR. CHRISTOPHER SWARTZ – DEPUTY MAYOR, HIS WORSHIP, MAYOR CLLR JEFFREY VILANE, COMMISSIONER-GUGULETHU SITHOLE, COMMISSIONER-MRS CEBISILE NYAMBE, COMMISSIONER-MISS NAMHLE KHANYILE, COMMISSIONER-DR. ABRAHAM HERBST AND COMMISSIONER-MR. ZAMA NGCOBO ONLY 6 OF 8 COMMISSIONERS WERE PRESENT.

ABSENT WERE: MR. JAMES SEYMOUR AND MR. MZIMKULU MSIWA

 

The first two-day Strategic Planning Session Workshop of the District Development and Planning Commission (DDPC) took place at Umkhanyakude Municipality, Mkhuze, on 6 December at 10am.

The session workshop also announced the eight, newly appointed members who had been appointed by the Umkhanyakude District Municipal Council to serve as part of the planning commission and who will be given an opportunity to represent and contribute positively towards the development of the region.

The workshop was a culmination of hard work and as a direct result of the establishment of the first ever Development and Planning Commission for the Umkhanyakude District Municipality at Mtubatuba on 1 June 2012. Umkhanyakude District Municipality is situated in the North-Eastern part of KwaZulu-Natal, extending from the uMfolozi river up to the Mozambique border, being bordered on the east by the Isimangaliso Wetlands Park which encompasses the entire coastline onto the Indian Ocean. It is composed of five municipalities, namely: Umhlabulingana Municipality, Jozini, the Big 5 False Bay, Hlabisa and Mtubatuba.

New commissioners, Mr. Andrew Zaloumis, S. G Sithole, James Seymour, Mzimkulu Msiwa, ZI Ngcobo, Cebisile Nyambe, ZP Khanyile and Abraham Herbst, will all be serving on the Commission. The newly appointed members will be focusing on infrastructure development, economic development and tourism, spatial and environment, research, monitoring and evaluation, skills development, social sector, governance and project management, agriculture and agribusiness.

The brainchild of the DDPC, UKDM’s Mpontshane Boxer-Acting Senior Manager: Planning and Economic Development, said: The Umkhanyakude District Municipality was viewed by many as the epitome of underdevelopment, unemployment, poverty, lack of basic delivery to the people. The confidence of business to the district was at an all-time low. The commission was established to create a platform that would enhance and maximise the development and planning capacity of the family of municipalities that fall within Umkhanyakude District Municipality. The newly appointed commissioners will serve for a period of five years, meet quarterly. We want to see this district a metro, and one which has excellent infrastructure, high levels of jobs. Although we have eight commissioners, we need to identify more key role players who will be roped in to provide input. Vision is growth, development and delivery excellence. Through this particular initiative we want to turn this district to be turned around. The commissioners need to make strategic contributions to how governance is done.”

Mayor of UKDM, Jeffrey Vilane, said the District Development and Planning Commission (DDPC), was tasked with the huge but doable responsibility of achieving the long-term 2030 vision of the district.

“It is 6 months and 6 days since the historic 1st of June 2012 when we together with all our strategic partners officially launched the establishment of our District-Wide Development & Planning Commission which took place at the Mtubatuba Riverview Country Club, within Mtubatuba Local Municipality. The current leadership and management of uMkhanyakude District Family of Municipalities had to undergo an intense and thorough introspection of the capacity of our institutions and the appropriateness of our policies to turn this unsavory situation around.  We did this through a series of strategic planning sessions and one-on-one engagements between and among ourselves and also engaging other levels of government including the offices of the National and Provincial Planning Commissions.

“The DDPC purpose is to champion the long-term planning within the district municipal area, conduct a diagnosis of the local environment, identify barriers to the development and propose appropriate policies and strategies to accelerate the pace of growth and development in the district, develop a 5 year plan for the period leading to 2030,unlock the potential of the district by packaging policies and strategies that would ensure the creation of entrepreneur opportunities for the previously disadvantaged sector of the community, with strong emphasis on young women, people and the disabled.”

One of the commssioners, Cebisile Nyambe, added: “I’m looking forward to my new role and I would be looking at social economy which is my expertise and I hope to bring it together with my fellow commissioner colleagues and do my best to achieve the goals we set out to achieve for UKDM.”

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