Index Statement by the Executive Mayor to Council
Date Added: 10 October 2013

Honourable Speaker, Chief Whip, Mayoral Committee Members, Councillors, Municipal Manager, Directors, Officials, members of the public and the Media, good morning and welcome to this Council meeting.

ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

The CDM’s Annual Financial Statements (AFS) have been prepared and have been handed to the Internal Auditors for the review of the quality and to verify the compliance with the GRAP accounting standards.

The Audit Committee will also review the AFS which will be discussed in a meeting scheduled for 22 August 2013.

The Audit File is complete and management’s review of the AFS will be completed by 23 August 2013 which means that the municipality will be ready to submit the AFS to the Auditor – General on 31 August 2013 for Audit purposes.

The municipality has been progressing towards a clean audit over the last number of years and I am confident that a clean audit outcome is achievable in respect of the 2012/2013 financial year.

I trust that our local municipalities are also on track with the preparation of their financial statements for submission to the AG's office by the end of this month. I hope that they are also well prepared for the audit which is due to commence from 1 September 2013.

DEPARTMENT OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE : BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT FORUMS

The Department of Co-operative Governance (DCoG) made a presentation to the meeting of the Mayoral Committee on 7 August 2013 on their programme for the establishment of Business Development Forums in District Municipalities. They advised that Cacadu District Municipality has been identified as a pilot municipality for participation in the programme. One of the purposes of the presentation was to solicit support and buy-in for Cacadu to participate in the programme.

The programme has been conceptualized based on an identified problem of the apparent public sector – private sector divide as it relates to the planning and implementation of local economic development programmes. It is a reality and an accepted fact that by and large, jobs are created by the private sector. It is also a reality that by and large, some of the necessary and enabling environment for private sector initiatives to thrive is the responsibility of the government. However, observations made by the Department, and collaborated by a number of stakeholders point to a disjuncture between what the private sector does and what the public sector does, at a local level.

The solution, as conceptualised in this initiative, lies in a proactive collective effort by Government and the private sector - working collaboratively to create jobs. Government needs to create an environment in which the private sector will be willing to invest in sustainable business enterprises. Government and private sector need to co-operate on a formal basis (Forums) at local level (District). It is anticipated that this will be achieved through the Business Development Forums.

The Mayoral Committee has instructed the Director : Economic Development to interact further with the DCoG in regard to situation analysis that was presented and to obtain details on type of support which will be received by CDM in the current financial year and submit a report in order that Council may be fully informed.

NEGOTIATIONS BETWEEN TRANSNET AND LOCAL MUNICIPALITIES ON ACQUISITION OF LAND

Councillors will recall that on 30 May 2013, CDM facilitated a meeting between Transnet and local municipalities to discuss the transfer of properties owned by Transnet to local municipalities. The meeting was attended by five of the nine local municipalities in the District.

The meeting agreed that all municipalities submit details of Transnet properties in their areas and identify those that should be transferred and the purpose of which they require these properties. Despite numerous requests and reminders, only three local municipalities have responded positively so far. These are Baviaans, Ndlambe and Camdeboo. We are therefore proceeding with negotiations in respect of these three municipalities only, until such time as other municipalities respond.

The next meeting with Transnet will take place on 30 August 2013.

PREMIER'S EXCO OUTREACH 2013

As reported previously, the next Premier's Executive Committee Outreach to Cacadu District will take place from 25 - 27 September 2013. Makana Municipality has been identified as the anchor venue for the Outreach. A District Steering Committee has been appointed and has commenced work. Task teams have been appointed to deal with various aspects relating to the Outreach.

It is very important that local municipalities, and in particular Makana Municipality, attend meetings of the District Steering Committee. The meetings of the Steering Committee are being co-ordinated by our Director : Infrastructure Services. Local Municipalities are invited to meetings of the District Steering Committee, but so far attendance has been poor.

I want to appeal to councillors to ensure co-operation by their municipalities in attending these preparatory meetings to ensure the success of the Outreach.

VISIT BY DELEGATION FROM CACADU TO JINCHENG CITY, CHINA

At the last meeting of Council, I reported that I would be leading a delegation to Jincheng City, China, to pursue the interest shown by business representatives from that area in investing in Cacadu District, particularly in the mohair industry. The visit to Jincheng City took place between 27 July 2013 - 2 August 2013. The focus of this visit was to promote connections between businesses that contribute to economic development in the District, and interested business operators in Jincheng. Mohair South Africa and Coega Development Corporation were part of the delegation.

During the visit, we were exposed to many interesting aspects relating to the economy of the Jincheng area. Like Cacadu, there is a vast rural area devoted mainly to agriculture. Their economy is driven mainly by coal production, the steel manufacturing industry, agriculture and processing of agricultural products, and textile production.

During a business seminar on 29 July 2013, the interest shown in the Cacadu District by business concerns in Jincheng City, which is strongly encouraged by the municipal government, was very gratifying. In fact, a company has been created purely to find the best options to invest in Cacadu, and to pursue such investments. However, the businessmen in the area will clearly want to invest in something that will not only contribute to economic development in Cacadu but also make a profit for their businesses. At present mohair is the major area of interest, but agro-processing of fruit and vegetable products is also an area where opportunities exist, as well as the tourism industry. Some of the silk and hemp manufacturing companies are keen to experiment with combining silk or hemp and mohair to create luxury products. A strong interest has also been expressed in establishing a mohair factory in Cacadu, but this would depend on the availability of suitably serviced land and the incentives that can be offered.

A full report on the visit and the outcomes thereof will be submitted to the next cycle of Mayoral Committee and Council meetings.

THANK YOU

K E KEKANA
EXECUTIVE MAYOR