New councillors to learn the ropes of local govt

Tuesday, May 24, 2011
By: 
Nthambeleni Gabara

Pretoria - Newly elected councillors are set to get a taste of what local government operations are all about in an induction programme by the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.

While acting Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister, Nathi Mthethwa, did not give a specific date for the programme, he let on it would be "soon" and they had high hopes for its outcomes.

He said the induction would prepare them to serve people with efficiency, speed and instil a sense of accountability to the community.

"We welcome the newly-elected and returning councillors to local government and we remind them that their election into municipal councils is about serving communities who have put their trust in them," he said.

Mthethwa also applauded the peaceful conduct of all South African voters during the 2011 municipal elections last Wednesday.

Mthethwa, who chairs the government inter-ministerial committee on local government elections, also congratulated the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) for its dedication and professionalism in conducting free and fair elections.

"A pat on the back goes to all South African voters whose mature conduct and cooperation with officials before and during elections ensured that the environment was conducive to conducting elections which were free from disruptions," he said.

The minister said the 2011 local government elections were characterised by lively and respectful campaigning, with all political parties free to engage with voters in all areas.

The IEC recorded decreased voter apathy and achieved an impressive 57.6 percent turnout in registered voters, which is an improvement from the previous local government elections, which scored below 50 percent mark.