Captured during the meeting are from left to right: Thomas Nephawe (Musina Municipality CFO), Cllr Gilbert Netshisaulu (Speaker), Cllr Fistos Mafela (Chief Whip), Cllr Jeremia Khunwana, Cllr Phillip Mbedzi, Cllr Rosina Mavhungu and Cllr Carlton Netshivhulana. Seated are Musanda Vho-Makonde Phungo of Mabvete village, Musanda Vho-Rembuluwani Nduvheni of Rambuda Traditional Council, Mayor Mihloti Muhlope and Musanda Vho-Nndondeni Maranda of Gundani village.

“We seriously encourage our communities to attend all Integrated Development Plan (IDP) meetings because it helps to speed up service delivery while at the same time maximizing the effective use of available resources. These types of meetings help to strengthen democracy and also promote co-ordination between local, provincial and national government.” These were the words of the Mayor of Musina, Cllr Mihloti Muhlope. She was addressing representatives of stakeholders during the Musina Municipality IDP representative forum meeting that was held at Madimbo community.

Muhlope said it is important for community members to be part of these meetings in order to add their voices in the decision making processes of the municipality.  “The IDP is a super plan for the municipality that gives an overall framework for development. It needs our joint efforts to make sure that it is implemented effectively. It is a very important exercise because the annual budget of the municipality is based on the IDP. Working with all our stakeholders, we should be able to come up with clear targets and indicators to be able to measure performance as well as the impact of individual projects.”

She said the IDP will help the local municipality to focus on the most important needs of local communities taking into account the resources available at local level. “As a municipality, we must find the most cost-effective ways of providing services while at the same time improving the lives of our people. The IDP also helps to identify the least serviced and most impoverished areas and points to where municipal funds should be spent. Implementation of these projects is made easier because the relevant stakeholders would have been part of the planning process.”

One of the community members who attended the meeting is Phillemon Munyai of the Madimbo Business Forum. He said: “We are very privileged because our government gives us an opportunity to take part in the decision making processes of our municipality. I personally encourage other community members to attend these types of meetings because they are an integral part of service delivery machinery in our communities.”