Mayor Johannes Maudu Phokane has once again vowed to improve services in the Fetakgomo Tubatse Local Municipality (FTLM). Phokane addressed residents during the State of the Local Municipality address (SOLMA) hosted at Ntoampe sports grounds in Moroke on 30 June.
Phokane said they are still feeling the effects of the economic recession that hit the country last year.
“There were many workers who lost their jobs due to retrenchments more especially in the mining industry and this has affected our economy negatively. As a local sphere of government we rely heavily on grants to survive and our revenue base has diminished as a result of the bleeding.
Phokane still indicated that they tried uplifting local youth in business. “We are also proud that 40 SMME`s were appointed on a storm water and road maintenance project for a period of three years. To date, an amount of R17 million got paid to the local businesses.”
The mayor said they are on the right path to improve the lives of the youth in FTLM.
“In January 2018 we established the Interim Youth Council, It is worth noting that the Interim Youth Council has taken part in activities that are promoting education and youth empowerment. This structure managed to unleash a program of back to school campaigns; they were put in office where in they were able to motivate learners to take education seriously.”
Phokane said the Mayoral bursary still aimed to assist government in its quest to make tertiary education free.
“For the 2017/18 financial year we have assisted 21 learners with bursaries to various tertiary institutions. The bursary will now include included registration, tuition, accommodation, books and a monthly allowance of R500.
Phokane also listed some of the projects that his municipality has managed to successfully complete, this included, Bothashoek internal road, Morokadieta Access Bridge, Mamogolo electrification and many others.
He said projects such as the ,Leboeng access road, Lefahla access road, Tukakgomo internal streets and Praktiseer testing station upgrade will be completed before the end of the calendar year .
The mayor said the FTLM is still in the process of appointing service providers for Motodi sports complex, Mapodile sports complex, Praktiseer drainage system and
Ohrigstad sports complex
With electricity being one of the major necessity for locals, Phokane admitted that provision of electricity remained a challenge for FTLM.
“In the past 12 months we had had many engagements with communities that are affected by the project commonly known as Operation Mabone so as to find ways of resolving it. The Municipality then took a decision to allocate R40 Million from our own funds to complete the households that were left unfinished. Eskom has been engaged and they will be responsible for the completion of the work. In addition an amount of R15 million will be allocated to the Municipality to assist.”
He said Eskom has also allocated an amount of R41 million to electrify the following villages Lerajane, Dresden, Malogeng , Ga selala ,Ga Riba ,Ga Nkoana
Mashung , Strydkraal , Mosotse, Ga Selepe and Tjibeng.
On roads, the mayor said they have appointed 40 SMME`s who are working with the main service provider to improve the state of local roads.
“As compared with other years, the FTLM has made strides in making sure that major routes in our villages are taken care of in terms of regravelling and most are in a good condition.”
He also took time to digest on the VBS saga. Phokane revealed that he was unsure if the 230 million invested with the controversial VBS bank will be recovered.
“We can confirm that an amount of R230 million was invested with VBS mutual Bank from November, 10, 2016 to January, 10 2018. It is not clear at this stage whether the monies will be recovered as the FTLM has not received any form of communique either from the curator or the South African Reserve Bank on this matter.””
Phokane also applauded the administration for a sterling effort having achieved a qualified audit opinion for the 2015/2016 financial year.
“We have operated with two acting Municipal Manager (MM) NP Busane and TG Ratau until a permanent appointment was made in March 2018.We would like to thank them for making FTLM to operate in an effective way and this show the dedication they have in the institution.”