In 2019, ECSECC signed a Service Level Agreement (SLA) with the Ntabankulu Local Municipality (NLM) located in the Alfred Nzo District Municipality of the Eastern Cape. Ntabankulu, initially established in 2012, remains one of the poorest municipalities in the country, and remains home to the poorest ward in the Eastern Cape.
However, despite these developmental challenges, the leadership of Ntabankulu was not satisfied to see this situation continue. The municipality therefore decided to partner with ECSECC in the implementation of several projects, which formed the basis of a Service Level Agreement (SLA) embarked upon in 2019, and recently concluded in 2022.
The SLA focussed primarily on recrafting the Ntabankulu’s Spatial Development Framework (SDF) and Land Use Management Scheme (LUMS), implemented in line with the SPLUMA requirements. Both these deliverables remain critical for effective spatial and development planning within the local municipality, without which it would be difficult to redefine the spatial and developmental profile of the municipality. Following the successful development of the SDF and the LUMS, the Municipality with the support of the team from ECSECC, was able to conduct a Social Housing Demand Survey aimed at assessing the market for a government subsidized rental housing stock, and a first-time homeowner middle income housing scheme who qualify under national government’s Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme (FLISP).
In 2022, this collaboration saw ECSECC providing support in the development of a ward - based socio-economic profile and service delivery gap analysis, in support of the 5- year IDP.
The purpose of the SLA was therefore for ECSECC to:
Whilst the SLA commenced in 2019, there were several delays caused by successive Covid-19 lockdowns, and related restrictions, experienced during 2020 and 2021. In addition to the local government elections of 2021, the interleading period since the Pandemic also saw the re-demarcation of the ward boundaries within Ntabankulu, which resulted in an increase in the number of wards from 17 to 19 wards.
Having concluded all the deliverables forming part of this partnership, ECSECC finally handed over the project deliverables to Ntabankulu during their strategic planning session held on 7 December 2022. As part of the handover of the SLA, ECSECC CEO Luvuyo Mosana delivered a presentation outlining how ECSECC enters into partnerships with municipalities, government, and other organs of the state, further outlining how this partnership and the support provided by ECSECC remained at the centre of its mandate and value proposition to the benefit of the province, focussed on providing strategic insights and research-based evidence for decision-making, and forming the basis of all support interventions by ECSECC. He also extended words of gratitude to the Municipal Council for affording ECSECC an opportunity to support the municipality with the four (4) project deliverables.
The CEO’s presentation was followed by presentations by ECSECC Local Government Planning Specialist Fezeka Maqwati who was the project lead, and the ECSECC Planning Data Specialist Barry Morkel. Their presentations focused on lessons learnt and recommendations across the projects implemented as part of the SLA.
After the presentations, ECSECC CEO officially handed over all four project deliverables to the Executive Mayor of the municipality Cllr Priscilla Tsileng Sobuthongo, Speaker Cllr. Vuyokazi Matwasa, Chief Whip Cllr. S Menziwa, Portfolio Head of Community Services Cllr. Z Joyi, Portfolio Head of Corporate Services N Kinase, Member of Executive committee and Cllr. N Pezisa. The handover was witnessed by Ntabankulu Municipal Manager Luleka Nonyongo, her management team, and staff members.
Mayor Sobuthongo further noted the importance of the projects and their outcomes as important direction setting documents, which would significantly assist in guiding the Ntabankulu in advancing its development goals into the future. Stating: "On behalf of the Ntabankulu local municipality council, we appreciate the work that you are handing over to us today,” Mayor Sobuthongo said, adding that the documents will be used to guide the municipality in its planning processes, and engagements with potential investors.
You can watch a video of the handover here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvPay8wVM5k&t=18s