Welcome to the Official Website of the Mkhondo Chamber of Commerce!
The Chamber was established with the purpose of promoting the interests of member businesses within the Mkhondo area, and to provide a platform for other role players to engage with local businesses.
As the voice of local business, we take great pride in promoting our town, our people and our businesses.
The aims of this website are to improve communication amongst members, to encourage interaction with other role players, and to provide essential and note worthy information to all concerned.
We hope and trust that you will enjoy the content and information provided by this website!
However, we are always looking to improve, and welcome any comments or suggestions you may have.
MEETING WITH THE MUNICIPAL MANAGER
Treasure and I have just completed our meeting with the Municipal Manager, and herewith the feedback to the issues some of you have raised:
1) Hydro electricity plant:
The MM indicated that the municipality had initially awarded a tender to a contractor to make the plant operational, but that this contractor has now absconded. It is unclear what now is to happen, but I anticipate that this project may be put up for tender sometime in the future. For those interested in bidding on the project, please keep an eye on the newspaper.
2) Construction of new licensing department and municipal offices:
Construction was meant to have been completed at the end of Feb, but the contractor has missed this deadline. The MM has not committed to a new completion date, but the general feeling is that this could be completed by the end of April 2016.
3) Smart electricity meters:
The pilot phase of this project has been launched, and in the region of 257 meters have been installed to date. Once the pilot has been completed, the roll out of the remaining 17,000 odd meters will commence. The municipality has indicated that the contractor needs the services of local electrical partisans in order to install the meters. If anyone is interested in getting involved in this project, CV’s are to be submitted to them. It is not clear when this project has to be completed. MM indicated that the meters are being supplied to the Municipality at cost, which is in the region of R3,000 per meter (ie R51m in total), and that the repayment of this has been structured. The contractor will then earn a % of the town’s rates, taxes and electricity bill for a specific period. I did not raise the issue of affordability of the meters with the MM.
4) Construction of Mfula Mall:
Construction of phase 1 is expected to be completed by November 2016. The MM indicated that if anyone has any questions as to whether all permissions and legalities have been complied with, these are too late and he will not be entertaining these.
5) Businesses in residential areas:
If you are operating a business in a residential area, then the special consent dispensation will not suffice. Due to the fact that a special consent is only valid for 3 years, the MM is weary that they may not be renewed by die consent holder as required. The MM suggests that you rezone your property in order to accommodate your business on that site.
6) Eskom arrears:
The MM indicated that Eskom will not be cutting electricity supply to our town. He could/would not elaborate on specifics around an agreement with Eskom, but did give this commitment.
7) Residential development on Mahamba road:
The MM indicated that he intends giving the allocated contractor notice of cancellation if he does not commence his construction now. If notice is given, the contract will again be put out to tender. Please keep an eye on the newspapers if this contract is something you may be interested in.
8) Property transfer clearance certificates:
If you are an estate agent and are experiencing difficulties in getting clearance certificates finalised, then this is for you. The MM indicated that all requests for clearance certificates are to be submitted to his office directly, and he will ensure that the process is then brought to finalisation.
9) Sale of town hall
The MM confirmed that the town hall has not yet been sold. As soon as the new offices have been completed, the administration will move to these offices, following which the current town hall and municipal admin offices will be sold at public auction to the highest bidder.
It is anticipated that this will take place in Jan – March 2017. Keep an eye on the newspaper.
The Municipality also intends selling the library property (library will also be moved) and municipal flats, also to the highest bidder at public auction.
I trust that this information is of value to you.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
13 March 2016
MEETING WITH THE MUNICIPAL MANAGER
I had a meeting with the Municipal Manager, during which I raised a number of concerns. His feedback was as follows:
1) Pavement in Mark Street: He assured me that repairs would commence on Monday 1 Feb at the very latest, hopefully even before then.
2) Eskom bulk supply: Apparently he inherited R79m in Eskom debt when he was appointed in Sep 2015. This has now been reduced to R26m. He is confident that he will be able to come to an agreement with Eskom, and thinks it is ‘highly unlikely’ that Eskom will cut the supply. I will keep you updated in this regard.
3) Vehicle licensing: As of Feb 2016, the licensing function will be taken over by the Mpumalanga Provincial administration, and it is therefore no longer a municipal function. Apparently the province will station a representative locally. I will engage this representative as soon as he/she takes up the post, and will address issues around staff professionalism and payment options.
4) New mall development: I have asked for all the relevant documentation proving that all permissions and legalities have been complied with. Unfortunately he could not provide this, and it would appear that the relevant documentation is not available. I will pursue this further.
In addition, the MM indicated that the Municipality is in the process of going over to a ‘smart meter’ system, which is aimed at improving the collection of rates, taxes and utility consumption. I will get more info in this regard and will hopefully be able to report in more detail soon. Pretoria ran into dramatic problems with a similar system, and I would like to ensure that we don’t have the same problems.
I have arranged with the MM that we meet monthly.
26 January 2016
eMkhondo, formerly known as Piet Retief, is located in the south eastern corner of Mpumalanga, midway down the escarpment between the Highveld and the Natal Lowlands. The town straddles the N2, approximately 100 km from the neighbouring towns of Vryheid, Pongola and Ermelo.
WEATHER AND MARKET INDICATORS