The KZN Provincial Government under the leadership of Premier Sihle Zikalala today launched the R160-million Operation Khawuleza programme in Newcastle in the Amajuba District.

This programme, implemented through the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) under the leadership of MEC Sipho Hlomuka, will see millions of rand worth of plant machinery which includes graders, TLBs, waste trucks, honey suckers, rollers and the like handed over to municipalities so that they can deliver speedy services to communities.

Speaking at the launch, Premier Zikalala emphasised government’s commitment to capacitating municipalities so that they can take care of the needs of communities. “What we have launched today is an unprecedented and ground-breaking intervention aimed at capacitating municipalities to respond to service delivery challenges that have sparked dissatisfaction in communities. As the provincial government, we are determined to see our communities receive adequate services from our municipalities,” said Zikalala.

In his address, Cogta MEC Hlomuka called upon community members to protect the machinery that is being given to their municipalities since it will be used to service their needs. “With this plant equipment, municipalities will be better able to respond to your needs as communities. If there is a pothole or a broken water pipe, municipalities will now have the equipment to attend to it. This equipment comes at no cost to municipalities and we expect them to utilise it because every month we will be monitoring the usage of this equipment,” said Hlomuka.

Mayor of Newcastle, Cllr Ntuthuko Mahlaba, who was the first mayor to receive this equipment, has committed to ensuring that this critical tool is utilised efficiently and effectively in service to the people of Newcastle. “We are honoured to have received this equipment since now this municipality will not have to hire plant equipment and this will allow us to divert our scarce resources towards other pressing service delivery needs of our communities,” said Mahlaba.