Amathole District Municipality
Building on existing foundations
The executive mayor of the Amathole District Municipality, Nomasikizi Konza, hopes to continue with the programmes her predecessor was involved in to ensure that steady progress is made in achieving the district's development goals.
Cllr Nomasikizi Konza has been involved in local government matters for a number of years. Between 1995 and 2000, she was the deputy mayor of the Cathcart Transitional Local Council (TLC). From 2000 to 2006, she was deployed to the executive committee of Amahlathi Local Municipality, leading local economic development and tourism. After a break from publicsector work, she returned to local government affairs in 2010, when she was appointed as speaker in the Amahlathi
Challenges in the Amathole region
The Amathole District is rural in nature and some of the inhabitants do not have access to clean water or adequate sanitation and have to rely on the bucket system. Furthermore, the region has struggled to attract viable businesses to the area and create a meaningful number of employment opportunities for local inhabitants. The mayor hopes to address these and other issues.
Goals for the municipality
Cllr Konza plans to focus on rural-development programmes and ensure food security and economic development by promoting agricultural programmes. The municipality would also benefit from robust engagement with businesspeople in the semi-urban areas.
The executive mayor has committed herself to continuing with the initiatives with which the former mayor was involved, for example: Heritage Routes, Liberation Routes and partnerships with other municipalities and other African
countries. Creating partnerships with institutions such as the University of Fort Hare could also be beneficial for the municipality.
In addition to the total eradication of the bucket system, attention will be paid to providing access to clean water in rural areas or rehabilitating existing water and sanitation infrastructure. Cllr Konza has emphasised the need to provide additional support to Category B municipalities within the district.
The executive mayor wants to ensure that Amathole District Municipality delivers on its service delivery mandate and hopes that the principles of good governance can be instilled among all officials and staff members of the various local municipalities within the district municipality’s jurisdiction.
One of the ultimate longer-term goals is for the Amathole District Municipality to be an institution that is able to generate its own revenue. With support from councillors and staff, Cllr Konza is eager to tackle the
challenges facing the district and improve the lives of the people living in the Amathole District.
Promoting tourism in Amathole District
Amathole District Municipality has undertaken numerous initiatives to promote the growth of tourism, and ultimately the economy, of the Amathole region.
The Amathole District Municipality (ADM) has a tourism master plan, which guides the municipality in its tourism development and promotional operations. One of the key recommendations of the document is that the ADM should establish tourism products and develop them into tourism attractions. It is further recommended that the ADM does the marketing and promotion of the district and that it work in partnership with its tourism stakeholders to develop policies and strategies that will guide and transform the industry.
With regards to marketing
and promotions, the ADM is proud to support world-class facilities including the following events:
- The ADM supported various crafters and performing artists, enabling them to participate in the Grahamstown National Arts Festival, held from 3 June to July 2011.
- The ADM was the main supporter of the Wild Coast Jikileza Festival, which was held in July 2011.
- The Christmas in July event held in Hogsback between 22 and 24 July 2011 was also a huge success with more than 1 000 visitors visiting the area.
- The ADM’s Mayor’s Challenge, which seeks to promote rural development initiatives through tourism activities with the purpose of promoting the safety of our tourism attractions and hiking trails, was held from 14 to 18 September 2011. The ADM also ended the event with a Tourism Day celebration in Nkonkobe, which was attended by well over 300 people from the Alice area.
- The Bedford Garden Festival was held from 27 to 30
October 2011. There is growing interest among the previously disadvantaged communities in this event and in gardening initiatives.
- The Mbhashe Beach Festival was scheduled for 3 and 4 December 2011 at The Haven along the Wild Coast. The ADM supports the event with marketing material and recruiting of cleaners and security staff.
- The Amahlathi Craft Mania in Stutterheim was scheduled for 25 to 27 November 2011. The ADM supports this event with marketing material, security, stalls for crafters, etc.
- The Great Kei Summer Festival was scheduled for 9 to 11 December 2011 at Kei Mouth. The ADM is also providing support with marketing material, appointment of cleaners and the handover of awards for community sporting events.
- The Africa Open Golf Tournament is an annual event held early in January. This is a world-class event that attracts golfers from around the world. The pro-am also provides an opportunity for talented local emerging golfers to
interact with professional golfers and to learn from them. The event is televised globally and is well marketed to promote the area and its attractions.
- The ADM’s second Annual Tourism Imbizo and Expo was held in East London from 17 to 20 March 2011. There were over 100 exhibitors at the event. The next event will be held in March 2012.
Grand plans for small rural towns
Amathole District Municipality is implementing ambitious plans in small rural towns
Thanks to an ambitious economic infrastructural project by the Amathole District Municipality (ADM), small rural towns are becoming economically viable, while creating livelihoods for locals.
Through its developmental agency Aspire, the Amathole District Municipality has injected millions of rands towards the development of these towns and the stimulation of the local economic environment.
The initial funding for operations behind this idea was
R5-million for three financial years, and escalated to R11.4-million in 2011/12, then increased further to R15-million for the 2012/13 financial year. The agency received a Neighbourhood Development Grant of R64-million from the National Treasury, as well as leverage funding of more than R300-million.
In line with State President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address announcement of a massive cash injection on infrastructural projects, the ADM executive mayor Nomasikizi Konza also announced plans to undertake such projects. During the State of the District Address, which signals the new municipal financial year, Konza said ‘Unemployment and its accompanying poverty characteristics are dominant and unacceptably high, as almost 50% of the district population still in poverty. The government is the biggest employer, contributing to 42% of all jobs. There were a total of 94 808 people employed in ADM in this period. This represents about 10% of all the jobs in the
Eastern Cape. Trade is the next best performing sector, creating 18% of jobs in the district. It is based on this that we have decided to take a bold political step to make economic development a key sector, by making available from the municipality reserves an amount not exceeding R30-million to fund agricultural and tourism projects.’As part of the small-town-regeneration project, Konza announced and unpacked investment plans for a upgrade of the 12 towns in the district.These towns include Alice, Butterworth, Dutywa, Hamburg, Stutterheim, Cathcart, Peddie, Keiskammahoek and Fort Beaufort. She cited investment opportunities in these towns as dependent on the promotion of economic revenue. The town development is linked to national and provincial road corridors.
Developments and successes
- The upgrade of the Butterworth CBD reached completion in November 2011
- The Gcuwa Dam development is being positioned as an entertainment and
leisure development node
- In cooperation with the Eastern Cape Development Corporation, bamboo has been identified as an alternative crop for the N2 corridor area
- Plans are in development for upgrades to the Dutywa CBD and the development of a commercial and community-orientated precinct in Dutywa town
- The construction of the Cumakala Bridge and access road, including uniquely designed street lighting and a foot path to Mlungisi, has been completed
- The construction of the Mlungisi Community Commercial Park is well underway, and more than 100 temporary jobs were created during construction
- The construction of the Stutterheim Central Business District is nearing finalisation
Tel: +27 43 701 4000