Local government leaders have the opportunity
and responsibility to transform their communities and are best placed to change people’s lives.
This is according to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who was addressing a new cohort of leaders during the recent South African Local Government Association (Salga) National Conference.
He urged local government leaders to serve people selflessly and with distinction.
“Our people have elected you because they trust you and have confidence in your ability to lead and to transform their communities and their lives.
They also have confidence that you will use the assets and resources they have put under your custodianship prudently.
“They have confidence that you will prioritise development and you will work tirelessly to advance their interests.
They hope for an activist cadre of local leadership that will get out of the council chamber and walk the rocky and difficult journey of progress with them,” he pointed out.
Serving people The Deputy President cautioned leaders not to neglect their constituencies Transforming communities.
“We have experienced councillors who are detached from their constituents,
neglectful of their duties and wasteful with public resources Transforming communities.
They give local government a bad name. “But, we must hasten to add, these councillors are in the minority.
Our responsibility is to ensure that all structures of local government, in all parts of the country, serve all of our people all of the time.”
The new term of local government must be characterised by dedicated local leadership that responds to the urgent challenges facing communities, he added.
“We look to this cohort of councillors to exemplify everything our people expect of their public representatives.
We want councillors that are accountable and responsive. No task must be too great and no resident’s concern too trivial.
“They must be honest, trustworthy and uphold the highest standards of ethical behaviour.
No councillor must ever again be accused of ‘misusing our money’.”
Making an impact He also stressed the importance of leaders’ abilities to manage public funds effectively.
“We want councillors that are capable, understand public finances, have experience in management
and have a firm grasp of the theory and practice of governance.
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