The Department of Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) recently held a leadership meeting at the Kaiser Sebotelo Arena in Botshabelo for all Free State mayors, municipal managers, speakers and chief whips.
The meeting was held to celebrate Botshabelo’s 40-year anniversary and to devise plans to change the way things are being done in the Free State.
The MEC of Cogta, Thembile Nxangisa, told Bloemfontein Courant that the first minister of housing in the democratic dispensation, Joe Slovo, visited Botshabelo 25 years ago and promised that the new government would build a million houses in five years.
“We have exceeded that number today because we have built more than 4.3 million houses to date, not only here in Botshabelo but across the province. The meeting today was to remind local government of its core function of serving the people.
“Our people must be put first. In order for local government to work, we need to enhance public participation. We also need to work on our rate of revenue collection, which is very low at the moment. To an extent one can understand this, because our people depend on social grants and the unemployment rate is very high.”
Mangaung Metro Mayor, Olly Mlamleli, said in order for the province to become great again there should be cooperation among the leaders. “We need to work together with different district and municipal managers. Our people have given us the opportunity to make Free State great again. They have shown in the recent national and provincial elections that they still trust the African National Congress to change their life for the better.”
Free State premier, Sefora Ntombela, said that if you want people to respect you as a leader you need to change their lives.
“Don’t just talk about it, push for it to happen. Don’t promise things you will not able to deliver. We need to turnaround the status of our people. People have entrusted us with this responsibility. It should not be business as usual. Let us be the change we want to see and lead by example.”