The Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC, Sihle Zikalala officially recognised the province’s best-performing municipalities during the Municipal Excellence Awards which were held at the Greyville Convention Centre on Tuesday, 22 November.

The Awards brought together the province’s municipalities in a night of recognition for the hard work that the sphere of local government continues to do in the province.

In his remarks during the awards, MEC ZIkalala reminded the audience that the 6th administration identified as its first priority the improvement of the basic delivery of services, in particular water.

“The verdict is still out there in the remaining two years of this administration on how far we have succeeded to turn our municipalities around and improving the provision of services as we committed in 2019. We cannot, however, ignore the important work that the department and our municipalities to attend to the water challenges through the implementation of the KwaZulu-Natal Water Master Plan” said Zikalala.

The categories for the awards were in line with the 5 pillars of the government’s back to basics programme which are:

● Public Participation – Putting People First

● Basic Services: Creating Decent Living Conditions

● Good Governance

● Sound Financial Management And Viability

● Building Capable Institutions And Administration

During the night municipalities were given accolades in various categories including overall best performing municipality which was won by the Greater Kokstad Local Municipality which was the only municipality to receive awards in 4 different categories during the night which were:

1) Best performing ward committee – 22/23 FY

2) Best Managed land-fill site

3) Best developed IDP 21/22 FY

4) Municipality obtaining positive audit outcome 20/21 FY (Financial & Non-financial)

The Municipality walked away with an R1 million grant prize.

The other winning municipalities were:

Best Performing Ward Committees in terms of functionality in the 2021/22 financial year: Greater Kokstad LM Ward

Best-managed electricity project by a Municipality: Mtubatuba LM – Ward 17 Shikishela-Madwaleni, Mtubatuba LM – Ward 18 Mchakwini, Ubuhlebezwe LM – Ward 5 Stofile

Best Recycling Project managed and supported by a municipality: Newcastle LM –Mpilenhle recycling

Best-managed Landfill Site: Ethekwini Metro – Marianhill Landfill Site, King Cetshwayo DM – King Cetshwayo Landfill Site, Greater Kokstad LM – Kransfontein Landfill Site, Umuziwabantu LM

Best Implemented Service Delivery and Budget Implementation Plan (SDBIP) in the 2020/2021 Financial Year: Ubuhlebezwe LM

Best-developed Integrated Development Plan (IDP) for the 2021/22 FY: uMhlathuze LM

Clean Audit Opinions in the 2020/2021 FY: Okhahlamba LM, King Cetshwayo DM, Umhlathuze LM

Best and sustained sound Financial Management: Mkhambathini LM, Umlalazi LM, Kwadukuza LM, Ilembe DM, Mandeni LM

Allocation and spend on Repairs and Maintenance (O&M) budget in the 2021/22 FY: Mkhambathini, Umhlathuze LM (each municipality won a R500 000).

Best Performing District obtaining positive audit outcomes both financial and non-financial performance in the year 2020/21FY: King Cetshwayo District Municipality and its family of municipalities, iLembe District and its family of Municipalities, Harry Gwala District and its family of Municipality