The magnificent De Stilj Hotel in Xhariep municipal district will on October 28 host a high level South African Local Government Association (Salga) provincial members’ assembly.
The meeting will be attended by government officials, mayors, heads of departments, councillors, municipal officials, as well as traditional leadership under the umbrella of the SA House of Traditional Leaders.
Salga spokesman in the Free State Thabang Sikisi said the two-day engagement is an annual meeting of stakeholders in local government to reflect on topical and strategic issues affecting and impacting on the constitutional mandate of municipalities.
Sikisi noted outcomes of the deliberations would be used in informing and shaping the formulation of the Annual Programme of Action Plan for the subsequent financial year.
The assembly will be held under the theme: “Consolidating Municipal Systems for Improved Service Delivery and Municipal Resilience.
Free State Premier Sisi Ntombela and Co-operative governance and traditional affairs MEC Thembeni Nxangisa are expected to address the event on a variety of issues afflicting local municipalities.
Traditional leadership and organised labour formations are billed to deliver messages of support.
Sikisi said this year’s assembly will also be attended by key stakeholders including the South African Local Government Bargaining Council, Department of Cogta, Provincial Treasury, Small Enterprise Development Agency as well as the Department of Water Affairs Sanitation and that of minerals.
He added Salga will organise a briefing on the last day of the meeting to provide an update on key issues discussed and the direction the organisation will be taking in the coming year.
Salga recently condemned the abuse of women and children, and xenophobic attacks against fellow Africans that rocked the country some weeks ago. It called on municipalities under whose jurisdiction the attacks were happening to gear themselves up to provide shelter and temporary accommodation should a need arise.
The organisation maintained it is the role of local government to promote social cohesion and foster nation-building to bind people together towards a common sense of identity and sense of belonging. “Irrespective of structural challenges confronting South Africa, we must be willing to extend trust even to those we see as outsiders; respect one another, uphold each other’s dignity and to be moved to action in the face of persistent inequality on behalf of those who are marginalised,” Salga said at the time.