ZDM Council Inauguration



His Worship the Mayor, Inkosi ME Buthelezis.jpg






Ulundi: 1 September 2016


Honourable Speaker;

As we begin a new chapter in the Zululand District Municipality, I wish to congratulate our Members of the Executive Committee, our new Speaker and Deputy Mayor, and all our Councillors. This is the team that will lead a new chapter of service excellence.

I appreciate the opportunity given to me by my Party, the Inkatha Freedom Party, and by my President, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, to lead the Zululand District Municipality. I intend to fulfil the responsibility placed on my shoulders with integrity and excellence, for these are the hallmarks of the IFP.

As I take the helm, I remain acutely aware that this is a position of service. The IFP believes in servant leadership. This resonates with me, for I am a traditional leader. I was born into public service, and I have served in whatever capacity I am called upon to fulfil. I come here from the Provincial Legislature of KwaZulu Natal. So my service to the people simply continues, on a different platform.

I am proud of what my Party has accomplished, not only in restoring integrity to governance, but in serving this District for several decades. On the mandate of Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, leaders have worked in this municipality to ensure the delivery of basic services, like water and sanitation, to set in place infrastructure that serves the needs of development, and to drive programmes of social and economic development.

Year after year, this Municipality received an unqualified audit report from the Auditor General. The IFP laid a solid foundation in Zululand. Our values were at the heart of this Municipality, and those values have proven to be unshakable.

Through the will of the people, the IFP has been restored to leadership. The people of Zululand asked us to lead, and lead we will, with excellence. We will strengthen the commitment to good governance that we laid at the foundation of this Municipality years ago. We will fulfil our promise of being a leadership the people can trust.

I want to remind our Councillors of the commitments you made when you asked the electorate for their vote. I intend to hold all our Councillors accountable in this Municipality. I expect us all to subscribe to the ethos of being available, honest and responsive.

We have entered a partnership with all the people of Zululand. We have a responsibility to keep the lines of communication open, listening to our people and engaging a conversation on their needs and aspirations. We serve more than a million citizens. Let's get to know them.

I want to assure the staff of this Municipality that we are committed to maintaining stability. I know that our work cannot be done without the invaluable support of a strong team, from administrative and technical staff, all the way to the CFO, Heads of Departments and Municipal Manager.

There is no reason to fear job losses on the basis of politics. But I must warn you that we intend to clean house in terms of inefficiency, poor work ethic and corruption. We will deal with this decisively wherever it is found.

There is just no space for waste, abuse or mismanagement. Across South Africa, municipal governance is inadequately funded. We will therefore need to work strategically, and with great care, to make the best use of the municipal budget. But that is what the IFP does. We know how to do a lot with a little. And because we don't tolerate corruption, every cent that is spent delivers on its promise.

To enhance the municipality's success, we will strengthen our relationships with traditional leadership, stakeholders and business, ensuring that everyone is able to make their contribution towards a shared good outcome.

This is particularly important for local economic development and youth development, which will be two cornerstones of our work going forward. Local entrepreneurs must be at the centre of development initiatives. We must pursue bursary schemes, and bring youth on board in the tourism industry. Employment generation is a key priority.

As we do this, the basics cannot be neglected. There is a crisis in our District brought on by drought. It is a simple reality that the budget for solving this problem is too small. So again we have to work better with what we have. And wherever savings can be made elsewhere, more will be freed up to get water to where it is needed.

We have to stop up the gaps. In the water tanker project, for instance, there are cases where contracts are given to people who lack the capacity to deliver. Undoubtedly, we need to upgrade water works, drilling emergency boreholes in every municipality.

There is another challenge that we have faced for so many years that it has somehow lost traction. I believe our fight against HIV/Aids needs to be placed high on the agenda. Within the next few months, I intend to meet with business people, religious leaders, NGOs, health workers, traditional leaders and all stakeholders, so that together we can come up with a workable strategy.

At the launch of our election manifesto, the IFP made a very practical promise. We promised to task our mayors with making provision in municipal budgets to get sanitary products to all school girls who cannot afford them. We want to restore dignity to our young women and protect their right to education. As the new Mayor of Zululand, I commit to start this project immediately, with a needs assessment.

Colleagues, a great deal of work lies ahead of us. My vision for Zululand is simply to ensure that the lives of our people are better at the end of my term of office, than they are today. I invite you to join me in this noble pursuit.

I thank you.


Speaker Cllr SE Nkwanyanas.jpg

Deputy Mayor

Councillor MM Kunene


Councillor SE Nkwanyana