Building A Resilient And Inclusive Future: Initiatives And Strategies At Overstrand Municipality

Executive Mayor Ald Annelie Rabie of Overstrand Municipality shares their commitment to social equity, environmental sustainability, and economic prosperity. From innovative technological advancements and digitisation strategies to fostering private sector collaboration, we explore how the municipality is positioning itself for success in the face of challenges and opportunities.

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The Overstrand Local Municipality in South Africa has been an Overall winner in the The Best Municipality Category which recognises a municipality that demonstrates commitment to citizen-centeredness, service-delivery excellence and good governance principles.

We discuss Overstrand Local Municipality’ commitment to social equity, environmental sustainability, and economic prosperity. From innovative technological advancements and digitisation strategies to fostering private sector collaboration and ensuring resilient supply chains, we explore how the municipality is positioning itself for success in the face of challenges and opportunities.

Episode Summary:

  • 00:00:00 In this section, Executive Mayor Annelie Rabie discusses the Overstrand Municipality's commitment to social equity, environmental sustainability, and economic prosperity. She highlights the municipality's focus on citisen-centeredness and public participation, ensuring that the voices of the community are heard. They have implemented initiatives such as public meetings and WhatsApp groups to facilitate communication and collaboration. The municipality has also launched technology to improve performance management and service delivery, as Mayor Rabie believes in measuring in order to manage effectively. Overall, their approach emphasises inclusivity and engagement with the community to ensure the success of their projects.
  • 00:05:00 In this section, the speaker discusses the implementation of a citizen app called "Collaborator" that allows the community to communicate with the municipality. It has been successful in improving response times for non-strategic and operational matters, with some requests being addressed within 48 hours. The municipality is also working on incorporating a business sector-specific element into the app. The app has provided valuable data for better planning, budgeting, and resource allocation. It has also helped in freeing up resources by reducing the need for phone calls. Overall, the app has been instrumental in improving service delivery and efficiency for the municipality.
  • 00:10:00 In this section, the Overstrand Municipality discusses their efforts in digitisation and collaboration with other municipalities to become a cutting-edge holiday destination. They have redesigned their website to be more user-friendly and have created a job seekers database and digital building control processes. However, a challenge they face is the lack of access to smartphones, internet, and laptops for many citizens. To bridge this gap, they provide free internet access in libraries and are establishing hotspots in community halls. Additionally, they have employed workers to assist with account inquiries through mobile phones. The municipality has also implemented an investment policy with incentives to improve communication and create a mutually beneficial environment for the private sector.
  • 00:15:00 In this section, the official discusses the process of engaging with developers and addressing their concerns to ensure a smooth and efficient development process. They emphasise the importance of face-to-face conversations and understanding each other's intentions. Mayor Rabie also highlights the need to streamline processes such as rezoning land and conducting environmental impact assessments to speed up development. In terms of supply chain management, she mentions their commitment to following guidelines and ensuring transparency. Proactive measures have been taken, such as drafting plans for expiring tenders well in advance to avoid delays. Mayor Rabie gives an example of a challenging tender related to baboon management and how they started engaging with the community a year prior to its expiry to ensure a smooth transition.
  • 00:20:00 In this section, Mayor Annelie Rabie discusses the challenges they face in the tender process within the municipality. She mentions that tax certificates and financial statements are often not in place, which slows down the process. She highlights the importance of supply chain management in promoting local economic development, but also express frustration with the paperwork involved. There is a need for clear roles and responsibilities between political office and administration, stating that they have regular coffee sessions with their team to clear any issues and avoid crossing into each other's areas.
  • 00:25:00 In this section, the Mayor of Overstrand Municipality discusses the importance of adhering to caucus rules and codes of conduct, as well as not interfering in the administration. The municipality prides itself on sticking to the systems and structures provided in legislation. The mayor's vision for the future includes improving communication, reducing crime, and improving the cost and ease of doing business with Overstrand. However, the overarching goal is to create an inclusive municipality where everyone has access to the same quality of services. This includes electrifying informal settlements to provide a more dignified life and reduce illegal electricity connections. The mayor's guiding question is how each decision contributes to making Overstrand a liveable and achievable objective for all.

About Business Engineering
Business Engineering is a leading consultancy on public sector strategy and transformation, in both local and national / federal environments.
Business Engineering strives to provide quality software and professional services solutions designed to increase productivity and Collaboration.

About Overstrand Municipality
The municipal area of Overstrand covers a surface of almost 1708 square kilometres. The area has a permanent population of 90 000. The municipality has its head office in Hermanus, but municipal services are delivered on a decentralised basis from offices in Gansbaai, Stanford, Hermanus and Kleinmond. The area is divided into three administrations: Hangklip-Kleinmond, Greater Hermanus and Gansbaai/Stanford.

The area is demarcated into Fourteen wards, each with a directly elected councillor. These councillors are assisted by a ward committee of ten members. Ward committee members are elected democratically. Ward committees play an important role in the drafting and reviewing of the Integrated Development Plan and the identification of budget needs.

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