City strengthens service delivery

City strengthens service delivery through almagamation of two successful community outreach programmes. The Operation Sukuma Sakhe (OSS) and the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) initiatives in the City will be merged under one unit to further enhance service delivery. The formation of the unit was approved in principle at the Full Council meeting on Thursday, […]

City strengthens service delivery through almagamation of two successful community outreach programmes. The Operation Sukuma Sakhe (OSS) and the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) initiatives in the City will be merged under one unit to further enhance service delivery.

The formation of the unit was approved in principle at the Full Council meeting on Thursday, 27 October.

The new structure will be able to implement interventions to empower people living in different communities in eThekwini.

Contrary to media reports, the City has not created a “needless” unit, however, the OSS and EPWP are existing programmes in the Municipality, whose work has changed the lives of many residents in the City.

There are only 14 vacant posts in the organogram of the new proposed merged unit. The rest of the posts will be filled by existing staff who are also presently carrying out the duties.

The merging of the two programmes, which have impacted positively on a number of eThekwini residents, will ensure better coordination. This in essence will ensure that the unit will be able to implement interventions more effectively through this one administrative structure.

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The amalgamation of these two programmes into one unit, will further strengthen the work that has already been done. At the same time it will ensure an improved response to community issues both service delivery related and those of social ills that plague the community.

It will also guarantee proper administration in OSS and EPWP. This merger will also address the backlog of issues raised previously in communities which may not have been addressed due to insufficient capacity.

Some of the work done through the OSS programmes has assisted child headed households, the elderly and disabled.

One beneficiary is Clermont resident Mfana Ka Hlongwa who was born disabled. He received a new home through the intervention of OSS War-room in Ward 19. He moved into the wheelchair friendly home from an informal dwelling made from corrugated iron sheet.

Ka Hlongwa was thankful for the house and praised the OSS team for their assistance.

“We live in a Municipality that cares for its people,” he said.

The City’s contribution to job creation through the EPWP has also been recognised. This year EThekwini won three awards at the KZN Expanded Public Works Programme Kamoso Awards, for ‘Best infrastructure,’ ‘Best Maintenance’ and ‘Best Volunteer’ programmes.

Meanwhile, the report laid before Full Council yesterday, stated that the establishment of the management structure was an urgent requirement.

EThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede said existing staff would be absorbed into the new unit. She said there would be further discussion with relevant stakeholders about the new unit.

Speaker William Mapena said while the report has been approved in principle, it will go back to committee for further deliberation regarding the structure. “We are approving the structure of the unit in principle. Labour matters will still be engaged on.”

The proposed structure for the unit will include the head of OSS and EPWP and two deputy heads, one for OSS and another for EPWP.

Under the deputy head for OSS will be three senior managers. The first senior manager will oversee four regions including north, south, north central and south central. Each region will have one regional manager, two coordinators and 18 administrators.

The second manager will oversee two regions namely inner west and outer west. The third senior manager will oversee welfare service and research and policy services. Welfare services will have one manager, two chief social workers and 12 social workers. There will be two research and policy specialists and two facilitators under research and policy services.

For EPWP, under the deputy head there will one senior manager for project coordination. This person will oversee social sector projects, environment and culture sector projects, infrastructure sector projects and monitoring and evaluation.