The ongoing construction of new municipal offices in Zamdela, Sasolburg, has been met with widespread adulation from the local residents, who see it as a good move by the municipality to bring services closer to the people.
The department of public works started erecting the new building which has a chamber for council meetings, early this year. The idea to build the municipal offices in Zamdela was first conceived by the late former MEC for health, Fezi Ngubentombi, when she was the mayor of the Metsimaholo Local Municipality.
The current mayor, Brutus Mahlaku, affirmed that his predecessor had a brilliant vision for the municipality, and had done a splendid job while she was mayor.
“The late comrade Fezi had done so much during her tenure as mayor. There are many projects that she initiated with the local oil company Sasol in her quest for this area to become one of the best in the province.
“When she moved to the provincial level, we were awed by her unwavering work ethic and dedication to service delivery. She ensured that she left Metsimaholo with a council chamber to host council meetings,” said Mahlaku.
Mahlaku believes the office is a true reflection of the municipality’s commitment to take services closer to the people.
“We have always put people at the centre of our operations. We are taking the services closer to them because some of the residents cannot afford taxi fares to come to town, something that discourages people from coming here for services.
A member of the mayoral committee (MMC) responsible for technical services, Nomsa Kubheka, said the developments taking place in the area will ensure that the people are proud of their government.
“In the past the former regime used to take services to the minority, and we are ensuring that our people can also be proud of us as their council because we believe that taking services to our people means offices and other structures of government shouldn’t be far from them,” said Kubheka.
The offices will house the department responsible for technical, social services, and housing. The municipality will also have other staff of the departments at its normal headquarters offices; people will also pay their rates and taxes at the new offices.
Many community members believe the new offices will save them money, as they will not have to commute to town anymore just to access services from the municipality.
“We used to spend a lot of money to go to town, sometimes at the risk of not receiving services at all,” said one Thapelo Mofammere.
Meanwhile, vendors will be able to make a decent living by selling their wares to the municipality’s employees working at the new offices.