The Kannaland Local Municipality covers Ladismith, Calitzdorp, Zoar and Vanwyksdorp.
Like all our municipalities in the Western Cape, the Kannaland Municipality has the responsibility to those in greatest need to ensure they have access to the social safety net. This include access to water, sanitation, solid waste management, affordable and safe energy, transport, education, health services and shelter as well as effective disaster management which act together in strengthening the ability of the poor to manage shocks and stresses and to gain access to a better life.To ensure an effective service delivery to our people there is a need for sound co-operative governance between all spheres of government.
Unemployment rates, HIV/Aids and TB infections, poverty, violence and crime are all factors that are negatively impacting on the development of youth today. Unfortunately, as in many areas the rate of unemployment the Kannaland municipal district is high, which had a negative impact on the youth in the area as increasing numbers of youth are leaving school due to teenage pregnancies. These implications are far-reaching and may in certain cases result in disentanglement from society. The pursuit and understanding of independence on the part of the youth is often void of a comprehension of the increased responsibilities that accompany their freedom. In recent years, the role of youth in the South African context has not been embraced and appreciated in a systemic manner. It is clear that youth are progressively finding it difficult to appreciate their contribution to the South African society. The youth remain susceptible to rapid changes in the external environment with school drop-out rates being high and leading to more unemployment and poverty. This has led to a number of further social challenges, especially in the marginalized communities. Drug and alcohol abuse, coupled with sexual intercourse have further increased the high rate of HIV/AIDS and TB infections and disable amongst the youth.
Vernon Gibbs-Halls explains the South African context as follows:
Why a Vanwyksdorp Institute?
“The legacy of Apartheid includes the breakdown of family structures, unemployment, high levels of alcohol and drug abuse, widespread violence and despair. This process of marginalisation has led to the disintegration of especially Coloured and Black communities, where youth in particular are deprived of positive role models. It has also excluded them from the education and employment opportunities that will enable them to develop to their full potential.
As a result they appear to have turned to crime in increasing numbers and ended up in forms of correctional institutions, with disastrous results. Many of their alleged crimes is of an economic and petty natures. The plight of these children is currently highlighted everywhere: in the media, parliament and civil society and is therefore a very topical subject.
The main thrust of the process of transformation of South African society from apartheid and inequality to democracy, has been the restructuring of the imbalances with regard to the provision of services and resources in South Africa. This process of transformation, however, has had an adverse effect on the South African society where socio-economic problems like unemployment, poverty and crime remain rife. There is also evidence of an increase in the number of children awaiting trial in South African Prisons. This appear to be directly related to the links between anti-social.”
The South African Constitution provides for the protection of socio-economic rights, including the rights to housing, health care, education, food, water and social security. These rights have not contributed meaningfully to the development of a large percentage of the youth in South Africa. The Constitutional Court has already stated that socio-economic rights should not exist on paper only:
Socio-economic rights are expressly included in the Bill of Rights; they cannot be said to exist on paper only. Section 7(2) of the Constitution requires the s tate “to respect, protect, promote and fulfil the rights in the Bill of Rights” and the courts are constitutionally bound to ensure that they are protected and fulfilled. The question is therefore not whether socio-economic rights are justifiable under our Constitution, but how to enforce them in a given case. This is a very difficult issue which must be carefully explored on a case-by-case basis.
The youth, as the next generation, will play a key role in making these rights a reality, and the Vanwyksdorp Institute will promote this. They must accordingly be included in finding a solution to the challenges faced by South Africans. Development is also about embracing the challenges of the future and to this extent helping the youth deal with their current realities and preparing them youth to deal with future challenges are crucial. The youth is accordingly in need of more dedicated and systemic development interventions, which our project activities are aimed at. Our interventions at the Vanwyksdorp Institute are aimed at mental, spiritual, social and physical development.
Interventions pertaining to the underprivileged youth have often short-term, focusing on the negative aspects of the youth and have been without significant impact. The Vanwyksdorp Institute wants to make a long-lasting and systemic impact on the youth in the Kannaland municipal district by focusing on activities to gain their trust and attend to their basic needs. We realize that in order to ensure a long-term impact on the youth; a long-term investment is require that takes into account the needs of the youth at various levels, including, mentally, physically, socially and economically. This require gaining their trust and by building strong relationships which would result in a better understanding of their needs and ambitions. This will enable us to determine more suitable interventions that are appropriate to assist the youth in their developments to pursue their dreams.
LOCAL MUNICIPALITY POWERS
Local municipalities are mandated to:
- Pass by-laws (local laws and regulations) about any of the functions they are responsible for. By-laws may not go against any national laws.
- Approve budgets and development plans. Every year, a municipal budget must be passed that sets down how money will be raised and spent. The municipality must also approve the Integrated Development Plan (IDP).
- Impose rates and other taxes; for example, property tax.
- Charge service fees for using municipal services like water, electricity and libraries.
- Impose fines for people who break municipal by-laws; for example, traffic fines or fines for littering.
- Borrow money. The council can take out a loan for a development or other project and is permitted to use municipal assets as surety.
LOCAL MUNICIPALITY FUNCTIONS
The Constitution confers the following areas of responsibility on local municipalities:
- Water for household use.
- Sewerage and sanitation.
- Storm water systems.
- Refuse removal.
- Firefighting services.
- Municipal health services.
- Decisions around land use.
- Local roads.
- Local public transport.
- Street trading.
- Abattoirs and fresh food markets.
- Parks and recreational areas.
- Libraries and other community facilities.
- Local tourism.
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