The newly-appointed Chris Hani District Municipality manager this week spelt out his action plan with responding to the auditor general’s recent disclaimer opinion the first priority.
Gcobani Mashiyi, the former manager of Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality, was recently appointed the new manager of CHDM and assumed his duties last week. The post had been vacant since 2018.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Mashiyi said there were five key areas he would be looking into in the next six months.
First on his agenda would be the municipality’s response to the auditor general’s “disclaimer” opinion.
He said an audit action plan had been developed and was due to be presented to the mayoral committee first, then to council.
“We will make sure all the elements of the action plan are implemented and monitored on a fortnightly basis. This will ensure maximum implementation.”
Next for Mashiyi will be to make sure no municipal grant amounts return to the national purse.
“In the past, we have not done well in the spending of these grants. However in the last six months there is a plan to improve that situation.
“Four weeks ago we had a meeting with the department of corporate governance and traditional affairs when we discussed spending of the grants, particularly the municipal infrastructure grant. We requested CHDM to develop a spending acceleration plan which will detail how the grants will be spent.
“We will try to make sure that no grants are returned due to non-performance and non-spending. Complementing the expenditure will be “improved” revenue collection,” he said.
“We all know the fiscal situation of the country and Chris Hani is also affected.”
Mashiyi said among other avenues, an improved billing system was being explored. “We are busy with the first phase which is data cleansing. This will move us towards credible billing.”
He also said there were proposals to centralise a billing point in Komani for both water and electricity.
“The manner in which payment systems have been structured has posed a challenge to consumers of water and electricity. CHDM has initiated an engagement with Enoch Mgijima to look at a better way.”
Mashiyi’s said the municipality was cognisant of the deteriorating water situation across the region.
“We want to stabilise water supply. One of our key challenges is that the infrastructure is very old. However, there is work being done to make sure water provision is not compromised.”
Other areas Mashiyi said he would look into were the support of local municipalities and improving general performance.