Local Economic Development

The municipality has recently elevated the LED imperative to the centre of its efforts to improve to quality of life of its residents. To this end the Municipal Council adopted the Preferential Procurement Policy in 2007. This intervention resulted in local companies in the construction sector benefiting substantially from infrastructure development projects. About five local companies were able to improve their CIDB grading, a feat that has made them competitive beyond the shores of Masilonyana Municipality.

The municipality is still committed to the condition of 40% allocation of each project to local contractors in rand value. This intervention has not been devoid of challenges though. Improvement in increased participation of the HDIs were characterised by some shoddy quality of work in certain instances. However, the municipality is confident that these companies have gained the necessary experience and will improve their performance moving forward.

The municipality has also successfully completed the registration of 25 co-operatives throughout all its units with a view to broadening participation in economic activity and developing SMMEs. At this juncture, the Council will soon be considering the Co-operative Development Strategy, which will provide a framework on how these entities can be grown and facilitate economic growth. All the members have been trained. Care and commitment were undertaken to ensure that youth, women and the disabled persons are prioritised when forming these cooperatives.

Projects have been identified for three of these co-operatives. The Premier of the Free State has identified the Tshepong brick-making plant as one of his flagship projects for the 2009/10 financial year. Interactions with the municipality and the Department of Tourism, Economic and Environmental Affairs are at an advanced stage towards kick-starting the project.

The Department of Social Development is supporting the bakery project in Tshepong. They have committed an amount of R300 000.00 to the project, over half of which has already been spent on purchasing the machine.

The municipality is also partnering with the Beatrix Mine, Harmony Mine and Star Diamond for the brick-making plant in Theunissen. Harmony Mine is also a partner in the Mayoral Bursary Scheme of the municipality. The municipality is envisaging the resuscitation of the Local Economic Development Forum as a vehicle towards integrated and inclusive approach to the local economic growth. This development will see the scope of private sector participation being expanded beyond the mines only.

Municipal developmental programmes

The municipality is currently providing free basic services to 4585 households. Through the co-ordination of ward committees and Community Development Workers, the municipality is working harmoniously with the Department of Social Development in order to increase registration for birth certificates and identity documents for our community.

These documents are integral to the government’s declared war against poverty. The role of CDWs has been elementary in identification of households still struggling to have some of their members accessing these documents. Secondly, their intimate interaction with the community is useful within the context of information dissemination and providing timely, useful responses to some of the queries. They have also helped to increase the community’s understanding of government work and competencies, processes and systems.

We have different community organisations that all pursue complementary development initiatives. All these organisations benefit from empowering training from various governments departments and agencies.