POLOKWANE Mayor Thembi Nkadimeng has committed to building a new regional water treatment plant, electrifying rural areas, and turning the Limpopo capital city into an economic hub if re-elected.
Delivering her State of the City Address this week, just days after ANC top brass announced her as the ruling party’s mayoral candidate, Nkadimeng promised to escalate service delivery.
She pledged to growing the economy, create jobs, build infrastructure, and improve financial management and governance in the municipality.
The City of Polokwane is Limpopo’s economic hub, and home to its state institutions, financial sector and major industries in the six million population province.
It’s also home to the provincial government and the Capricorn District Municipality.
While Polokwane, like towns such as Burgersfort and Lephalale, has seen the epicentre of economic growth and development over the past decade, it’s still battling to address unemployment, poverty, water and electricity shortages.
Nkadimeng announced that the municipality would spend R375 Million on water in the 2016/2017 financial year.
It has a budget of R2.8 billion.
“We will spend R229 millions on sanitation which includes the building of a new regional water treatment plant, and R532 million in the outer years. The budget for this project amounts to R235 Million,”Nkadimeng said.
“It must be emphasised that the municipality will spend R25 million on rural electrification and R31 million on urban infrastructure, while at the same time R131 million will be spent in the outer years. R20 million will be used to repay DBSA frontloading which was received in the 2015/16 financial year.”
Road transport, which includes the Integrated Rapid Public Transport System, has been allocated R371 million and R809 million will be spent in the outer years.
Sport and Recreation will receive R46 million for the 2016/2017 financial year, and R80 million will be spent in the outer years.
“As part of strengthening good financial governance, the municipality has managed to achieve unqualified audit opinion in 2014/2015 from qualification, while it has put necessary measures to attain clean audit in 2015/2016 and going forward. Council has approved the action plan as required by section 131 of the Municipal Finance Management Act and the plan is monitored on an ongoing basis” she announced.
Nkadimeng, who became Polokwane’s first female executive mayor when she took over in 2014, has been given the nod by Luthuli House as the ruling party’s mayoral candidate for the August 3 local government elections.
If media interviews by tripartite alliance leaders are anything to go by, Nkadimeng seems to enjoy their support and respect as both a politician and civil servant.
The former University of Limpopo student leader has management experience in both the public and private sectors.
Nkadimeng is not the only high profile mayor retained by the ANC.
Other notable figures include Mopani District Mayoral Nkakareng Rakgoale and Lephalale Local Municipality Mayor Jack Maeko.
However, some have been dumped.
John Mpe will take over from under siege Capricorn District Mayor Gilbert Kganyago, while Stan Ramaila will step into the shoes of Mogobo “Shoes” Magabe as Sekhukhune District Mayor.
Magabe’s fate appears to have been sealed way back in 2013 when his close political ally, former Premier Cassel Mathale, was forced out of his position by the ANC national executive committee after the Limpopo government collapsed under his watch.
Morris Mataboge and Florence Radzilana are set to occupy the top political positions in Waterberg and Vhembe districts respectively, should the ANC emerge.
Other executive mayors announced by ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe elsewhere include Thoko Didiza for Tshwane, Parks Tau for Johannesburg, Mzwandile Masina for Ekurhuleni, Zandile Gumede for EThekwini and Danny Jordan for Nelson Mandela Bay.
However, Didiza’s affirmation was not accepted by all.
It sparked violent protests by some ANC supporters across Tshwane townships, who accused party bosses of imposing the former Public Works Minister on them.
They went on a rampage, destroying public property, burning 21 buses and looting shops.
But Gauteng ANC bosses have refused to budge, insisting Didiza is the only candidate capable of taking the capital city forward.