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Muni, Rhodes raise the bar

Date Released: Mon, 16 September 2013 10:10 +0200

Capable officials who stay and are committed to actively improving the town is the vision behind a new joint initiative by Makana Municipality and Rhodes University.

In a long-term bid to improve services to the town's citizens, 20 officials from various departments in the municipality have enrolled at the Rhodes Business School for a specialised course in local government operations management. The brainchild of Municipal Manager, Dr Pravine Naidoo, the School co-designed and will teach the courses for the oneyear Certificate in Operations Management in Local Government (NQF Level 6).

Naidoo said the practicallyorientated curriculum was the first of its kind in South Africa. He believes other South African municipalities will follow and send their staff to be trained at Rhodes University in this critical area of management. The collaboration between Makana and Rhodes, Naidoo said, was one of the fruits of a 2001 memorandum of understanding.

"It is now time that Makana and Rhodes work closely with each other to build on the existing good will." He said the relationship would be enhanced by embarking on joint programmes for the betterment "not only of our Makana community, but of humanity as a whole". Mayor Zamuxolo Peter said, "This is indeed a historic moment for us... We want to create a dedicated local core of well-capacitated officials who will add value to Makana Municipality and who will remain in Makana and serve our community with distinction.

"This initiative of our Municipal Manager, Dr Naidoo, comes at a time when we are experiencing challenges in our service-delivery mandate. "It is an attempt to [safeguard] the short, medium- and long-term sustainability of Makana Municipality. "We want to 'grow our own timber' in Makana by investing heavily in our own local people so that one day they will be able to manage our municipality in an effective, efficient and accountable manner in line with constitutional prescripts."

Director of Rhodes Business School, Professor Owen Skae, said they were delighted that the municipality had shown such great interest in getting the programme off the ground. "It is customised to the needs of the municipality and will entail them undertaking actionlearning projects as part of the assessment," Skae said. "The Business School is committed to playing its part in our community to ensure that we make a meaningful contribution to the leadership and management development of our civil servants.".

Municipal Manager Pravine Naidoo (front, centre) and director of Rhodes Business School Owen Skae (front, second from right) are leading a co-operative venture between the institutions whereby municipal officials are trained in certain areas of local government management. The practically-orientated course is intended to help improve the way the municipality works, as well as to build an experienced workforce by encouraging staff to remain in Grahamstown.

Article Source: GROCOTT`S MAIL


Source:Grocott`s mail