As the country celebrates the year of “OR Tambo: Unity in Action” we reflect on the values demonstrated by the struggle icon. South Africa is today a constitutional democracy founded on the principles of human dignity and equal rights for everyone because of his leadership. We are building on his legacy to create a society envisaged in the Freedom Charter and the Constitution.

The world continues to marvel at our transition from a pariah state to one of the most admired democracies. It’s with this reason that we also acknowledge women in leadership who continue to shake up their communities with the same resilience portrayed by Tata Oliver Reginald Tambo who led the emancipation of women.

In light of the above mentioned statement Umzimvubu Local Municipality continues to provide basic services which are in line with the Municipality’s function. Earlier this year we connected a new access road from Nkanji to Molwana. The project was first handed over to the contractor on the 10th of October 2016 and was completed on the 15th May 2017. The R3. 3 million access road stretches for 2km and was funded through the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) in aid of fostering basic service delivery.

The planning, implementation and maintenance of basic infrastructure is critical for sustaining basic standards of living and economic activity in our Municipality. Umzimvubu has the sole responsibility of creating decent living conditions by consistently delivering municipal services to the right quality and standard. This includes planning and delivering proper road infrastructure and maintenance. It’s pleasing to note that this project alone has created 16 jobs for this community and no challenges were recorded in completing this project. We’re aware that this road was supposed to stretch as far as 21km’s however due to unforeseen budget constraints we could only construct a 2km access road.

On a slightly different tone, supporting and promoting the efforts of our people especially our vulnerable women and children is one of our main objectives as the municipality. I think it’s evident that the municipality is not only focusing on developing the town but touching lives where we can enable our small businesses to grow under this government. On that note, Umzimvubu Local Municipality hosted a panel discussion in recognition of the role OR Tambo played in advancing the interests of women. The objective of this discussion was to lead, motivate and inspire women across the area while also affording them an opportunity to engage with funding agencies in aid of growing their small businesses. Government has introduced the Gender Equality Bill to accelerate the empowerment of women and attain 50/50 gender parity for the country. Women are critical in our efforts to combat poverty and stimulate sustainable development.

With this council, I believe Umzimvubu Local municipality is in good hands.