Corporate Services Director Mzukisi Madlavu demanded that municipal officials draw up a jargon-free document informing citizens about the municipal budget and Integrated Development Plan (IDP).
Corporate Services Director Mzukisi Madlavu demanded that municipal officials draw up a jargon-free document informing citizens about the municipal budget and Integrated Development Plan (IDP). Noticing the vacant and confused expressions of citizens at Wednesday's public meeting, he scolded officials for using terms that people didn't understand.
Standing up after a long period of observing presentations, Madlavu said, I am putting myself in the position of those people sitting at the back there, and I am asking myself, 'what is the IDP, KPA'?
I expect to see a summarised report on how many roads have been built, don't tell me about Portfolio of Evidence – what is that?
The audience of around 50 people attending the Integrated Development Representative Forum mumbled in agreement. Madlavu said there must be a way of summarising the contents of the draft annual performance plan in a way that everyone could understand.
People are just watching us because they don't know what we are talking about, Madlavu said. We are just talking to ourselves, this is not a council meeting. We have called them here to participate in this meeting and they must do so.
While it was mostly community members and representatives from non-governmental organisations attending the Forum, the majority of people who contributed to the discussions were Makana councillors.
National African Federated Chamber of Commerce chairperson in Makana Ali Adam complained that in the IDP doesn't seem to cater for businesses in Makana, especially in the new area of Extension 10.
Local business is the engine of creating jobs for the people of Makana, the budget is limited and we are worried about what is in these documents, Adam said, We want to be involved as businesses in the development of Makana.
Councillor Nomhle Gaga said there are educated professionals in Makana like to complain but never attend Mayoral Imbizos that are held to discuss the IDP. She said they rather run to institutions like italGrocott's Mail/ital to express what they want the municipality to do in their wards.
Speaking to italGrocott's Mail/ital after the meeting municipal spokesperson Mncedisi Boma said he believed that people had understood what was being discussed. He explained that community development workers in local government had also been present.
He did however say that Madlavu's input was relevant and would be brought up in council. When we communicate with the community we cannot use the same language that is used when talking to officials, Boma said.
According to the municipal act, municipalities must take the special needs of people who are illiterate, disabled or otherwise disadvantaged when engaging in public participation processes.
Boma agreed that the municipality needs consider peoples' special needs and said, The process of consulting the IDP process with the community will be simplified for everyone to understand. We will tell them these are the projects, and ask what [they want added to the IDP], he said.