Insights from the joint ward committee meeting

Story:  Azonwabe Thukani | Photo: Azonwabe Thukani

In a move toward enhanced community involvement and transparency, the Walter Sisulu Local Municipality (WSLM) recently hosted a Joint Ward Committee meeting, spearheaded by the Municipality's Speaker, Cllr Nalisile Mathetha. The meeting, held on November 15, 2023, brought together ward councillors and committee members to discuss crucial aspects of community governance.

Fostering a reporting culture

One of the primary objectives of the meeting was to acquaint attendees with the reporting mechanism integral to effective community governance. Councillors and committee members were briefed on the reporting template and mechanism that they are expected to use. The emphasis was on providing a clear understanding of the required information and the types of meetings that should be conducted in their respective wards.

Cllr Yandiswa Zweni stressed the importance of active participation in these meetings, highlighting the opportunity they present for learning how to effectively communicate with the community and sharing insights on issue resolution strategies employed by other ward committees.

Mzwandile Plaatjie, Manager in the Office of the Speaker, elucidated that all actions undertaken by the committees align with the Service Delivery Budget Implementation Plan (SDBIP). This plan dictates the frequency and nature of meetings, ensuring a structured approach to community engagement.

Election registration week

A crucial aspect discussed during the Joint Ward Committee meeting was the upcoming Election Registration Week. Attendees were reminded of the eligibility criteria for voter registration, emphasizing the importance of being a South African citizen, being 16 years or older, and possessing a valid form of identification.

Ukho Ntlanganiso from the Independent Electoral CommissionOfficial (IEC) shed light on the significance of voter registration. She underscored that registration is not only a right but a civic responsibility, crucial for maintaining a healthy democracy. The simple act of checking registration details by sending an SMS with the ID number to 32810 was also highlighted as an accessible means for citizens to verify their status on the voter's roll.

Acknowledging challenges and expressing appreciation

In acknowledging the challenges faced by the community, Asanda Nketho from the Cooperate Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) commended the efforts of the Walter Sisulu Local Municipality Public Participation office in resolving issues. This recognition reinforces the vital role played by the community in addressing challenges collectively.

Cllr Nalisile Mathetha, in a word of encouragement, expressed gratitude for the commitment and hard work demonstrated by the ward councillors and committee members throughout the year. The meeting concluded with warm wishes for a prosperous reunion to all attendees and their families.

The Joint Ward Committee meeting stands as a testament to the commitment of the Walter Sisulu Local Municipality towards fostering community engagement, transparency, and effective governance. As the community prepares for the Election Registration Week, these initiatives serve as crucial steps in empowering citizens and strengthening the democratic fabric of the municipality.