KLCBT to focus on tourism development and job creation in the 2020/21 IDP input

The consultation process for the 2020/21 Integrated Development Plan is currently underway during the month of October 2019.  This should happen at all municipalities.  KLCBT will focus on tourism development and job creation for our input going forward.  Government cannot stand alone in trying to create all the jobs required to make our economy work—especially with our high population growth.  We need to take hands to devise strategies on developing industries with growth potential, ie. Tourism and Agriculture.

Here is a summary of input given at the stakeholder consultative meeting of 11 October 2019:

Performance Report:

  • Future targets are very high in comparison with achievements to date – we question that these will be achievable
  • Concern over progress of dams and bulk water solutions
  • Concern over boreholes without environmental studies
  • 100km of roads to be tarred in 5 years
  • Electricity design for Msholozi completed
  • Electricity meters audit in progress – part of revenue enhancement strategy
  • Large waste transfer station planned for White River
  • Welcome land use by-laws that will look after Air B&B and Student Accommodation regulation
  • Formalisation of townships like Msholozi will enhance revenue for Mbombela
  • LED strategy is still in draft for a number of years now – KLCBT has requsted to have a meeting to give input

Challenges:

  • Insufficient budget – this is improving
  • Delay in acquire authorisations, EIA, land use, etc.
  • Land invasion
  • Protests
  • Water losses due to illegal connections

Current funded projects & progress:

  • Water conservation not attended to as quickly as we need to
  • LED programs seem focused on sheltered employment, not real development with real jobs
  • Mbombela aims to be a responsive government – why responsive, why can we not be a leading municipality?
  • Where are the real projects?

Feedback from our comments:

Water supply:

  • Mbombela has run out of water rights and is around 30% over subscribed
  • Reconciliation study for new dam will take another 1 1/2 years
  • Dam studies fast tracked by studying identified sites already
  • Construction will only start in 8 – 12 years
  • Awaiting court order to impose water restrictions and penalties
  • Other interim solutions – raising of existing dam walls – also a long process to be followed
  • No new development can be approved without transfer of water rights from agriculture to commercial
  • Masterplan for Umjindi completed and dam sites were identified

Roads:

  • University interchange cannot be constructed due to insufficient funds – they are requesting funds from many sources

Protection of Tourism Assets:

  • Will attend to it…

City Planning:

  • 4 new nodes developed according to vision 2030
  • Mataffin – agreements being finalised, implementing agent is appointed, parliamentary village started development
  • Nkosi City – lay-out plan is approved, transferred land, township establishment in process – there are serious water issues
  • Tekhwane – Implementing agent appointed
  • Mpumalanga Green – Agreements in process, water issues, private sector offered to donate a dam
  • New development in Barberton not complying with regulations – will discuss later
  • Msholosi – land transfer in process
  • Illegal B&B’s – 3 are being demolished
  • Student accommodation – in high court on 11 October 2019 to demolish those not complying
  • Land invasion (no real answer to the issues here)

Job Creation:

  • Municipality providing Expanded Public Works Programme jobs only. They are temporary and below minimum wage
  • Conducive environment for businesses and tourism development should be created
  • Many developments were approved but economic climate is bad, so developments are not happening at the moment
  • Mbombela is supporting cooperatives and some SMMEs
  • Township tourism route is finalised – we need to look at it together – KLCBT was not part of the development and has concerns over safety and service delivery
  • LED strategy needs to be discussed

Members can send any input they may have to linda@klcbt.co.za

Published in Lowvelder on 18 October 2019: