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Service delivery takes centre stage

Written by Stephen Timm

Local government

Service delivery is receiving top priority in Nelson Mandela Bay.

When he took the position of acting municipal manager for Nelson Mandela Bay Metro Municipality in November 2015, Johan Mettler had a task to bring positive change to the metro. 

Ward committees barely met, there were losses of about 18 percent of billable electricity and 44 percent of water that the city procured from entities, the city’s finances were not managed properly and corruption was on the increase.

“It was a challenging time,” admitted Mettler, who was one of a number of new appointments made during the city’s Back to Basics intervention.

Since various interventions under the Back to Basics programme began in mid-2015, things have improved, he said.

 It’s now mandatory for ward committees to submit the minutes of their monthly meetings to the city.

The fraud hotline is now functioning. The city has also filed a number of civil cases to claim the hundreds of millions of Rands from city officials and suppliers suspected of being involved in corruption.

Waste collection in all parts of the city is now carried out weekly, whereas before there were certain parts in which waste was only collected every second week.

In addition, rates collections have climbed from 88 percent to 93 percent, while water losses have been brought down to 37 percent, by putting proper systems in place. Electricity losses are to be addressed through installing smart meters.

A number of critical vacancies have also been filled, including that of the chief risk officer, a position. The city also launched  metro police department in May 2016, with 50 officers now employed. 

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