PHOKWANE– Job creation, provision of water, sanitation and local economic development, were Sekhukhune District Municipality (SDM) executive mayor’s key points during the presentation of his second State of the District Address (SODA).
Cllr Stan Ramaila presented the speech to the scores of residents which filled the Moreku Hall at Phokwane village.
Ramaila said the persistent problem of high unemployment rate particularly amongst the youth is a disturbing phenomenon.
“In the 2016/2017 financial year, Sekhukhune District Municipality through its various projects and programmes managed to create 1340 job opportunities. Out of the 1340 jobs that were created, 805 were for males and 535 females. Youth comprised 686 job opportunities and there were only 13 people living with disabilities that were employed.”
Ramaila highlighted that they are still aiming at construction of municipal offices in Jane Furse.
“Sekhukhune District Municipality has agreed with Bapedi ba Mamone Traditional Authority for the allocation of land for the future construction of municipal offices.
“The agreement reached was that the land will be secured on a lease agreement to be finalised through community participation resolution. The District is currently finalising the negotiations with land claimants for their consent for development.”
With most communities struggling with water and the persistent drought in the district, the mayor indicated that the water backlog is currently at thirty five percent (35%)
“The water services backlogs fluctuates based on the availability of new residential developments without water provisions. The operation & maintenance patterns on the existing water infrastructure also affects the water services backlog. We will strive to ensure that locals receive water.”
On education, Ramaila said he was saddened by Sekhukhune District’s poor matric results. According to him, the SDM is working hard to improve education in Sekhukhune.
“In 2017, 22 439 learners wrote their matric exams, only 11 634 passed, amounting to 58,8%. Placing us as the least performing district in Limpopo for the past three years. We are deeply touch by this situation. We once again reiterate the call that says “ education is not a departmental matter but a societal matter”. I call upon my fellow councillors to ensure that we adopt schools and play oversight.”
Ramaila congratulated some of the best perfoming schools in the district this included amongst others Hoer Skool Ben Viljoen, Ester Maleka, Moreko Secondary and St. Thomas College.
He revealed that the district municipality has allocated bursaries to 27 students since 2016. “From the 27 bursars in 2016, eleven were new intakes and sixteen were continuing students.