Mlamleli’s plans for Mangaung

Mangaung Metro Municipalit' s new Mayor, Olly Mlamleli. PHOTO: REFILWE GAESWE

Mangaung Metro Municipality Mayor, Olly Mlamleli, was officially inaugurated at a ceremony held at the Bram Fischer Building in Bloemfontein. This after opposition parties boycotted the event, saying that it was wasteful expenditure.
Democratic Alliance Caucus Chairperson in the Mangaung Metro, David Masoeu, said the municipality is apparently waiting for a loan in order to pay service providers who haven’t been paid on time. “The Mangaung people are in dire straits in terms of not having jobs and there is no service delivery within the municipality. And yet the executive mayor has decided that she is going to go ahead with celebrations to glorify herself at the expense of taxpayers,” said Masoeu.
Economic Freedom Front party leader in the Mangaung Council, Jabavu Sebolai, said the mayor could have been inaugurated during a council sitting. Professor Elizabeth Snyman-Van Deventer of the Freedom Front Plus said they would also not take part in the inauguration.
The hall was packed to capacity with guests from across the municipal district, who were treated to choral music and traditional dancing. Mlamleli was not fazed by the boycotting. She said the inauguration was not meant to be a big party, but a platform for her to talk to the Mangaung community, which now includes Soutpan, Dewetsdorp and Wepener.
She used the occasion to present her plans for the metro, which include increasing infrastructure and the availability of land. “The purpose of the day was not for us to be given status. My purpose was to share our five-year plan with the communities and media houses. We are going to work with other political parties, because I have said that I am going to work together with them,” she reiterated.
Ten contracters have been appointed to work on getting rid of the bucket system in Bloemfontein, Botshabelo and Thaba Nchu. She said the municipality will also focus on job creation through the Community Work Programme (CWP). Mlamleli said people should not be confused by the CWP. She added it is not just a programme where the youth collect rubbish, but a skills development programme which has led to many young entrepreneurs opening their own businesses.
Also on the agenda, is improving the operation of water and sewerage plants. The municipality will also deal with water leakages and sewage spills. Mlamleli warned that there are individuals who are stealing water from the municipality through illegal connections. She said these individuals will be dealt with. The recent drought faced by the country has led to the municipality enforcing tight water restrictions. She said they have begun cleaning sludge found at the bottom of dams, since the water levels are still low.
As part of improving public transport in the metro, Mlamleli said they are working together with the transport industry to ensure that the municipality obtains an Integrated Public Transport Network. She added they are working towards opening the R400 million taxi rank in the Bloemfontein CBD, which has not been used since its renovation, by the end of the year.
Mlamleli said she will be conducting a skills audit to look into the qualifications of municipal workers. Many workers have been displaced, some due to desperation to retain a job. She said she will be not be firing people from the municipality. “It helps me to know who I am working with, to know if I’m working with somebody with a Biblical Studies qualification working in Finance. I have to address that, and I’m going to be bravely addressing it.”
The municipality also plans to conduct customer-satisfaction surveys to assess the needs of the community and whether they meet them. Olly Mlamleli pledged to roll up her sleeves and serve every citizen of Mangaung to the best of her abilities. – Seithati Semenokane