Joining hands, from left to right: VDM’s Chief Whip, Mihloti Muhlophe, the new Speaker, Dowelani Nenguda, and the newly elected executive mayor of Vhembe District Municipality, Tsakani Freda Nkondo, photographed after the special council meeting on Thursday, 16 November. Photo: Silas Nduvheni.

New Vhembe mayor promises clean water and proper sanitation


The newly elected executive mayor of the Vhembe District Municipality(VDM), Tsakani Freda Nkondo, pledged to provide clean, drinkable water and sanitation to the communities around the district. Nkondo was elected on Thursday, 16 November, during a special council meeting that was held a few days after the former executive mayor, Dowelani Nenguda, had stepped down from his position. He was elected as VDM’s Speaker.

“Our mandate is to cater for the needs of the people as entrenched in the Constitution of the country. We want residents of the VDM to have access to their basic needs. We will also work hand in hand with traditional leaders as they are the custodians of the people in their communities.”

Nkondo pointed out the problem factors that the VDM is faced with, such as the high rate of unemployment (especially among young people in the communities), crime, gender-based violence, and tribalism, and she urged the people to join hands in ending these challenges. She said that, as soon as she assumed her duties as executive mayor, she would appoint social-development committees in all the local municipalities, which she believed would help to detect and address challenges, especially the provision of water and sanitation.

Nkondo voiced her concern over the poor audit opinion the district is facing, saying that for all the VDM’s employees and officials to apply preventative manners to comply with the Municipal Systems Act and obtain a clean audit outcome was imperative.

Nkondo appointed the full-time members of the mayoral committee (MMC), with Miyelani Chauke as the head of finance, Samuel Munyai (former mayor of Makhado) to lead technical services, Joyce Bila over local economic development and planning, Joyce Mukwevho over corporate services, and Rose Mathukha over community services.

Meanwhile, the representative of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in the Vhembe region, Mr Fhatuwani Begwa, criticized the ANC’s decision to elect Nkondo as the new executive mayor of the VDM, saying they had merely changed the position of one mayor to another. Begwa said Nkondo had been the VDM’s Speaker, and he did not believe that she was able to lead and bring changes in the VDM council. He said he did not think she was able to handle the whole district.

The representative of the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Vhembe region, Ms Thelma Marole, said that, although she could not comment on what happened within the ANC, she was concerned that the focus was more on making changes, instead of finding ways to improve service delivery to the people. On behalf of the DA, Marole welcomed Nkondo as the new executive mayor, saying they had faith that Nkondo would work hard to improve services, such as the provision of clean water and proper sanitation.


News - Date: 23 November 2023

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Silas Nduvheni