The MEC for the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nomusa Dube-Ncube has called on councillors in the province to continue empowering themselves with increased knowledge as they lead people in their communities.
MEC Dube-Ncube was speaking during the graduation ceremony of close to 600 councillors who participated in the Accredited Councillor Training Programme (NQF level 3) recently.
According to MEC Dube-Ncube, the aim of this course is to ensure that councillors are better equipped to deal with the challenges that they face at the coalface of service delivery.
“The understanding of key legislation that governs local government and the Constitution of the country is critical, so that they can be better able to lead their communities.
“The year that we are in is also an election year which means that some of these councillors might not be returning in the new administration. The skills and knowledge they have gained through this course ensures that they are still able to play a crucial role in the building of communities, no matter what role they occupy after the elections,” said MEC Dube-Ncube.
The key modules of the course included legislation, structures and functions, good governance and codes of conduct; municipal finance, municipal planning; municipal performance management systems; councillor oversight, and traditional governance and special projects.
Rhoy Adhika, a councillor from the Mtubatuba Local Municipality, said: “As a first-time councillor this course assisted me in understanding the municipality functions. I now understand my responsibilities better. I also understand how local government works and I am better equipped to carry out my responsibilities.”
Adhika said the course helped her understand how councillors’ decisions on service delivery affect the community.
“I now understand the critical bridge or link that we have as councillors in service delivery. We learnt about municipal finances which were very important when taking decisions,” said Adhika.
Adhika added that in any position it is important to understand the basics and that the course assisted with the basics of local government.
“I would also encourage other councillors to continue to equip themselves with knowledge for better service delivery.”
MEC Dube-Ncube also said the 21st century demands that councillors be at the cutting edge.
“We are happy to see councillors utilising social media and the Internet to engage their communities and to ensure that they are more accessible to their constituencies,” said MEC Dube-Ncube.
“We are moulding cadres who [are] selfless in the service of their constituency. A cadre who will unceasingly be guided by and subscribe to the Batho Pele principles. We are doing away with councillors who will not be asking which side is the bread buttered, but where duty lies,” she concluded.