The Stellenbosch Municipality, the 8th best municipality in South Africa (survey) and the Innovation Capital of South Africa won the Arbor City Award for 2014 underpinning its strategic objective to be the greenest municipality in South Africa. The award was presented to the Executive Mayor, Gerald Esau and Portia Bolton at a gala function at Mofolo City Park, Soweto on 1 September 2014.
The Arbor City Awards is a partnership programme between the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) and the Institute for Environment and Recreation Management. The competition is sponsored by TOTAL South Africa. The purpose of the competition is to encourage Local Municipalities to green their areas of jurisdiction, especially informal settlements. The 2014 Arbor City Award competition was conducted in all nine provinces.
To win, municipalities had to fulfil a number of requirements; among these were a portfolio of evidence showing a greening policy or strategy, a tree register, maintenance plans and budget; a portfolio of evidence in videos or pictures depicting projects, sites, and special trees.
“Stellenbosch is a very proud town today, a very proud community”, says Mayor Conrad Sidego. "This award did not just happen to come our way come. We worked hard and creatively to achieve this and the Million Trees Project is one of a number of innovative projects that drives us and motivates us to increase the quality of life of everyone in the greater Stellenbosch community. The challenge now is to build on this performance, and remain the greenest city and municipality in South Africa".
The Municipality will be concluding its Arbor Week festivities by celebrating its victory, as well as the Million Trees Project's first year on Friday, 5 September 2014, at the Jan Marais Nature Reserve in Stellenbosch.
March Celebrating Women’s Month – Highlighting the Plight of Rural Women – 30 Aug 14
Starts at c/o Bird and Molteno Streets, down Bird Street towards the CBD, pass two traffic circles, left into Church Street, left into Ryneveldt , left into Plein Street, Right into Bird Street, left into Alexander Street towards Market Street and ends at 15 Market Street.
March will assemble at 08:30 at the c/o Bird and Molteno Streets. Start walking at 09:00 and moves to Municipal Offices in Plein Street at 10:00. Disperses at 15 Market Street no later than 12:00.
The political leadership under the Executive Mayor, Mr Conrad Sidego and Finance Portfolio Chair, Deputy Mayor, Mr Martin Smuts and the administrative leadership under the Municipal Manager, Ms Christa Liebenberg of Stellenbosch Municipality achieved top class service delivery during the 2013/14 financial year ending June 2014 through the capital expenditure of R171 million.
This capital expenditure represents 91% of the capital budget which will benefit service delivery in Stellenbosch Municipality. The capital expenditure percentage exceeded 90% for the first time in at least 8 years under the current leadership. When the current political leadership took control during 2011 the capital expenditure for the financial year ending June 2011 was a mere R113 million and only 78% of the capital budget was spent. Achieving capital expenditure of R171 million at 91% of the capital budget 3 years later represents a substantial improvement in service delivery by the current municipal leadership.
Between the 8 municipalities in the Western Cape with annual revenue budgets in access of R600 million, only 2 municipalities achieved a capital expenditure of 90% or more during 2012/13. The 91% capital expenditure achieved during 2013/14 by Stellenbosch Municipality therefore represents best practice in terms of service delivery.
The Engineering Directorate which is responsible for most of the basic service delivery achieved a capital expenditure of R136 million at 97,5% of its capital budget during 2013/14. This achievement will be best practice within the province and it was achieved under the leadership of Mr Van Niekerk who is a Professional Engineer with 30 years’ municipal experience.
The capital expenditure percentage of Planning and Development was 93%; Community and Protection Services was 91%; Strategic and Corporate was 84%, Financial Services was 94% and the office of the Municipal Manager was 100%. The capital expenditure of the Human Settlements directorate was 61%. The capital under-expenditure of this directorate relates to non-performance of a contractor that was replaced. No funding is lost to the Municipality and housing service delivery will be implemented.
Stellenbosch Municipality experiences infrastructure backlogs, but the current Council approved a budget that will accelerate capital expenditure to address the backlogs and promote service delivery, economic growth and job opportunities. This budget was approved based on a long term financial plan funded by Provincial Treasury and compiled by a service provider with extensive experience in municipal finances. Such a long tern financial plan is also a first for Stellenbosch Municipality in recent years which speaks to the responsible management of taxpayers’ money.
Stellenbosch Municipality achieved an Unqualified Audit opinion over the recent six years which bares testimony to good financial management. Hereby the Auditor-General expresses the opinion that the financial position and performance of the Municipality is fairly represented in the financial statements.
11 Municipalities in the Western Cape including the City of Cape Town achieved “Clean Audits” for the 2012/13 financial year. The “Clean Audit” concept relates to obtaining an Unqualified Audit opinion plus compliance and correct reporting on predetermined objectives. Stellenbosch Municipality is working towards obtaining a Clean Audit for the 2014/15 financial year by implementing an Audit Action Plan. To obtain a Clean Audit leadership stability is also a prerequisite. The appointments of Stellenbosch Municipality’s Municipal Manager, Ms Liebenberg (B.Sc. (Hons) and Masters in Business and Business Administration (MBA) with 20 years’ municipal experience during 2012/13); the Chief Financial Officer, Mr Wüst (civil engineering graduate and Chartered Accountant, CA(SA) with 17 years’ experience) and filling the positions of Manager: Treasury and Head: Supply Chain Management (both individuals brings extensive municipal experience to the Municipality) during the 2013/14 financial year will assist the Municipality in achieving a “Clean Audit” in the future.
Due to maintenance, no prepaid electricity purchases will be possible between 23:00 Tuesday, 22/7/14 & 06:00 Wednesday, 23/07/14.
NOTICE TO ALL USERS OF THE LANDFILL SITE
Stellenbosch Municipality has instituted a new coupon system and process, effective 1 July 2014. Notices had been placed at the Cashiers Office and at our Landfill site from May 2014, indicating that all old coupons, and that issued in the 2013/14 financial year will be valid only until 30 June 2014. This was also advertised on consecutive weeks in Die Eikestad Nuus on 29 May and 05 June 2014. This notification was also placed on the Stellenbosch Municipality website from May 2014.
The municipal financial year commences on 1 July each year, and this is the period when tariff increases are effected. The new tariff for half ton disposal is R206.82, and for one ton R413.64. The new system also reconciles coupons issued with use, and provides the customer with a tax invoice and similarly proof of safe disposal.
Although all coupons purchased prior to 1 July 2014 are no longer valid, the window period for the use of the blue coupons, ie the R195.10 (half ton) and R390.20 (one ton) tariff coupons is extended until 31 July 2014, as a grace period. No extension is granted for coupons preceding these coupons and no further extensions will be granted after 31 July 2014.