“The fact that Musina Local Municipality is a provincial growth point, a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and its strategic location as a border municipality count on its advantages of becoming a city in the near future. Government will give full support to this municipality because its growth benefits everyone in South Africa.”   These were the words of Dr Zweli Mkhize, the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA). Mkhize was addressing a delegation from Musina Local Municipality in parliament, Cape Town. The meeting was convened to discuss amongst others, Musina Local Municipality’s overview, future growth and development.

: Captured shortly after the meeting in parliament, Cape Town, last week are seated from left to right: Cllr Gilbert Netshisaulu (Council Speaker, Musina Municipality), Cllr Fistos Mafela (Chief Whip, Musina Municipality), GoGTA Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize, Mayor Mihloti Muhlope and Dan Mashitisho (Director General in the Minister’s Office). Standing from left are: Domnic Nkwana (Personal Assistant to Musina Mayor), Nathi Tshiwanammbi (Musina Municipal Manager), Manyedi Nkashe (Chief Director, Inti-Corruption, Minister’s Office), Ntombifuthi Ndlovu (Chief of Staff, Minister’s Office) and Mpho Mogale (Chief Director in the Minister’s Office).

Mkhize said it was impressing to see the leadership of Musina Municipality seeking for assistance in the municipality’s growth and development. “The government, in particular my department, intervenes in cases where leadership from different municipalities are fighting over political squabbles, positions and other things that are not related to service delivery. I’m very happy that I’m here today to assist the municipality to grow instead of intervening in petty activities that do not benefit ordinary community members. I hope other municipalities will learn from Musina Municipality that the focus should be on future growth and community development instead of focussing on political battles. I’m really impressed with the good and focused leadership of Musina Local Municipality.”

Mkhize said he will work with his team to give the necessary support to Musina Local Municipality. “Assistance does not only come in the form of finance. Where we cannot source finance, we will make sure that we connect you with the relevant stakeholders.”

When addressing the ministerial team, Mayor Mihloti Muhlope touched on the strategic advantages of the municipality, challenges and proposed interventions, proposed projects and costs, urgent needs of the municipality and recommendations on how the municipality can be assisted.

She said the municipality has the potential to grow based on its stable political environment. “The municipality is situated in the busiest border post in the sub-Saharan area and a second busiest port of entry in Africa after OR Tambo. Venetia Mine, which is found in Musina, is the largest producer of diamond in South Africa.  There is also a suitable landing strip in Musina which can be turned into an international airport. The world heritage site of Mapungubwe is found in Musina. These are just a few things that consolidate our potential for growth.”

Muhlope thanked the minister and his team for making time to meet the delegation from Musina and appreciated their gesture in assisting the municipality to grow.