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INTERVIEW

Cape Winelands District Municipality Executive Mayor Ald (Dr) Helena von Schlicht explains why eco nomic development must be linked to social upliftment.

What is your mandate as a district municipality?

Ald (Dr) Helena von Schlicht

In executing our legislative functions, we focus mainly on the rural areas. Our flagship is the firefighting service, which takes up a large part of our budget. We maintain certain identified roads on behalf of the province and we have a strong function in environmental health services, seeing to the hygiene of foodstuffs. We support tourism and sport where we bring tourists to the area and open up opportunities for our people. We support local economic development by creating an environment conducive to economic growth. Do you have other mandates? Something that is not covered in legislation is our social development function. We are fortunate that we have reserve funds. We decided when we took office that we would roll out socially orientated services, for example to look after our aged people and to support services to address social skills. Why the focus on social development?

BIOGRAPHY Dr Helena von Schlicht honed her skills during a 24-year career in higher education. After earning her doctorate, she worked as Head of Department, Social Work, at the Huguenot College in Wellington. In this capacity, she was involved in the writing and implementation of policies. She transferred to the political arena in 2009 and became a member of the Mayoral Committee in 2011. She has been Executive Mayor since the election of September 2016.

WESTERN CAPE BUSINESS 2018

Economic development is dependent on the social health of our people, so we need to tackle both at the same time. We want to empower people and enable them to enter the economy. If they are healthy, they can participate. How important was the award at the Audit Excellence Awards? It was of paramount importance, firstly to inform the public that we absolutely support clean governance. The award underlines this in strong terms. Secondly, it recognises the hard work of our staff. How was it achieved? It was no easy task and took real team effort, every staff member bought into it. We are currently preparing ourselves for what we hope will be our fourth clean audit; this will be a huge achievement. Our Finance division works very hard to ensure compliance. How do you develop your Integrated De velopment Plans (IDPs)?

We host two IDP stakeholder engagements with community organisations, NGOs and businesses from all sectors annually.

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Western Cape Business 2018  

The 2018 edition of Western Cape Business is the 11th issue of this highly successful publication that, since its launch in 2005, has estab...

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