“The first step to turn the Madibeng municipality around and to win the support of the community, is to get back to basics. – basic service delivery such as attending to potholes, removing refuse, keeping the towns clean. We need to get municipal essential services back on track,” says the newly appointed acting municipal manager, Noko Seanego.
And this priority is already in action. For instance, teams have started fixing potholes in Hartbeespoort on Monday and will work according to a tight planned schedule to cover all areas in the Madibeng district.
Seanego, formerly the municipal manager for the Mmbombela municipality and a consultant for the Department of Treasury, was appointed by the administration team for the duration of the current administration period.
“We have to get the support of the community back and the feeling that people are living here, and not the feeling that this is a dead town. Madibeng has been characterised by fraud and corruption and that is being addressed now. We have a number of directors under suspension and the disciplinary proceedings have to be resolved as quickly as possible for us to move on.”
Seanego is part of the administration team that will attempt to get the floundering municipality back on its feet in the next six months. “Six months is not a long time, so there is no time to relax. However, getting the municipality back on track is not an event, it is a long-term process and we ask the community to please support us. I am serious about basic service delivery and I will do my best to see that happening before we leave.”
Seanego said another priority is to appoint skilled and trained people in the right positions. “Currently the majority of director posts are not filled, and the right appointments must be made so that we can leave the municipality in capable hands when we go.”
Regarding the municipality’s dire financial state, he said one of the key issued identified, was the high number of contracted services.”The municipality is highly indebted to contract services and that has to be reduced drastically. I will also attend to irregular and wasteful expenditure and make sure that the operational budget is sufficient.”
However, there is no quick fix. “We intend to get Madibeng back on track, but we cannot accomplish it all in six months, therefore it is very important that we appoint the right people. We are getting the process in motion. We are hopeful, and we have a good team with the necessary experience. We ask that the community be patient with us. This is not going to happen overnight, we need the community’s support,” he said.
To show his determination to immediately restore basic service delivery, a scheduled pothole repair programme already kicked off on Monday. Potholes will be repaired in the following areas on pre-determined dates:
Schoemansville 25 – 28 January
Kosmos 1 – 12 February
Ifafi 1 – 21 March
Sunway 21 – 31 March
Mooinooi 15 April – 26 April
Brits rural area 28 April
Modderspruit 10 – 14 May