On Tuesday 23 July a meeting of representatives from civil society organisations took place at Graham Hotel, facilitated by Kagiso Trust.
Kagiso Trust is commissioned by Cogta to assist Makana Municipality to cleanse the municipal database, enhance revenue collection and register indigents.
Representatives from the following organisations met – Grahamstown Residents Association, Rhodes University, Grahamstown Business Forum, members of the religious community, the National Arts Festival, Fingo Festival and volunteers from various civil society organisations.
This meeting provided an opportunity for stakeholders to gather around the table and discuss the preliminary steps that are needed to take the renewal of the city forward. The forum was united in their objective of complementing the municipality in its turnaround project. This non-statutory body has the task of coming up with ideas and proposals to complement efforts to take the city on a developmental trajectory.
It was noted that this was not the first time a group of stakeholders had combined to try and partner with the municipality to find solutions to the challenges it faces. Emphasis therefore was placed on the fact that this group would need to do something completely different to produce the desire results.
The group will meet quarterly and three working groups were established:
1. Investment promotion and job creation;
2. Social Cluster;
3. Communication and publicity.
The plan is for the working groups to meet regularly and give feedback to the forum on the strategic projects that need to be pursued. It was also emphasised that the forum will not take over the work of the municipality but will complement it.
The success of this forum will depend largely on the collaborative relationship with the municipality. To this end, the forum will invite senior managers of the municipality to their working group meetings.
I look forward for more volunteers to come forward to participate in the working group meetings. Together we can make Makana a great place to be!
Honourable Executive Mayor Councillor Mzukisi Mpahlwa