LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER
Nardine Nelson Publisher & CEO Kweda Media & Communications
SONA 2021 on page 8
n 11 February 2021, President Ramaphosa delivered his much-anticipated State of the Nation (SONA) address in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Coincidentally this was the same day in 1990 on which Nelson Mandela walked out of the Victor Verster prison a free man. In this edition of Municipal Focus, we provide our readers with an in-depth summary of the important announcements made in the State of the Nation address. This year the local government elections will be held between August and November under the auspices of the new Political Party Funding Act, which comes into force on 1 April 2021 and is designed to allow voters an insight into who is funding the various political parties. In Municipal Focus we explore
The Vaal Dam on page 44
the state of readiness of the Municipal Demarcation Board and the important work they do to ensure the elections take place. With the untimely passing of Kimi Makwetu, Auditor General of South Africa (AGSA), just before his term ended in December 2020, President Ramaphosa appointed Tsakani Maluleke as his successor. The first woman to be appointed as AGSA, she is well qualified both in terms of academia and experience to keep our public servants accountable for the funds they manage in order to effect service delivery. We are delighted to introduce you to the new AGSA and to provide our readers with a summary of the audit report on the municipalities delivered by the late Kimi Makwetu. In the following pages you will
also meet Bonginkosi Mkhize who was appointed as CEO of the KwaZulu-Natal Joint Municipal Pension Funds (NJMPF) in July 2019. He is the first black head of the NJMPF and is doing sterling work to ensure the Fund delivers to its members. Our water feature is devoted to the challenges and opportunities facing government in the sphere of water and sanitation infrastructure. The effects of climate change and the concomitant increase in extreme weather events has placed a spotlight on the on-going need to preserve and sustain our scarce water resources. Municipal Focus reviews how the government is hard at work implementing various programmes and infrastructure projects that will have an impact on the sustainability and preservation of South Africa’s water resources. As we go to print with this edition the government is in the process of rolling out the COVID-19 vaccination programme to the nation. The goal is to vaccinate at least 40 million of our population to establish herd/community immunity. As vaccines become available we urge our readers to get vaccinated and beat the pandemic. Enjoy the read and keep safe.