Thembi Sarah Masilela inaugurated as Nkangala District Mayor at SODA
The State of the District Address doubled as the inauguration of the new Nkangala District Executive Mayor Sarah Thembi Masilela. The new executive mayor took the reigns from the now Emalahleni Municipality Executive Mayor Linah Malatjie in March this year following a reshuffle that occurred provincially within the ANC after the ascent of the former Premier DD Mabuza to the national office as the Deputy President of the state.
Momentarily after the Nkangala District Executive Mayor Sarah Thembi Masilela was sworn in a brief break in proceedings was undertaken shortly before the subsequent return of the NDM Executive Mayor to deliver the State of the District Address (SODA). In the delivery of the address the NDM Executive Mayor reminded the guests present that the NDM had in the last two years acquired a clean audit just as the District is coming out of another clean audit into a new financial year, “this makes it three clean audits in three years” she stated.
Speaking on finances she continued to indicate that the NDM was still operating on a deficit budget and that though it is lower than the one from last year, its still a concern within the Nkangala District Municipality. The NDM Executive Mayor also stated that the 2018/19 budget was lower than the budget from last year due to adverse economic conditions prevailing in the country. The total operating revenue for this financial year is R375 573 100 and the total Operating Expenditure is R445 223 222 with a deficit of R69 650 123.
The NDM Executive Mayor Sarah Masilela further indicated that as much as they are operating at a deficit they still had a mandate to allocate subsidies to the six local municipalities in the Nkangala District. The amount being granted in total to the local municipalities this financial year in less than the amount they received in the previous financial year. The figure stands at a total of R167 508 830 with Victor Khanye receiving the least amount of R15 335 128. The table that indicates the three financial year projections from 2018 to 2021 indicates that the local municipalities should brace themselves for reduced subsidies and work towards economic viability as there looks to be less and less allocations proceeding their way.
There is a lot that still needs to be done within the Nkangala District as a whole, the NDM Executive Mayor indicated that the economic profile of the district, is characterised by high unemployment rate, especially amongst the youth, aging infrastructure, a low skills base, high levels of poverty and lack of financial viability of our local municipalities. With the present depleting subsidy allocations there is a growing concern in the delivered outlook of the district which is contrary to the State of the Province Address that birthed hope in a developing and growing Mpumalanga province, this delivery indicates a downturn in the affairs within the Nkangala District.