Challenges outlined at IDP/Budget meeting

POLOKWANE – CDM comprises 1 330 436 people, 84% of whom are Sepedi-speaking with the municipality comprising the Polokwane, Blouberg, Lepelle-Nkumpi, and Molemole local municipalities.

Among the challenges highlighted was the low education and skills levels of CDM residents which leads to an unemployment rate of 37,1%, with a dependency ratio of 64%. Another challenge is that 18,6 % of the population is HIV positive. People with no formal or only primary school education comprise 45% of residents, while 47% have been educated up to secondary level, 2% of residents have a higher education and 4% have diplomas. Around 49% of households are female-headed. The majority of the population live under the breadline, and revenue collection, due to over-reliance on grants.

The provision of bulk services and the aging state of infrastructure add to challenges faced by the municipality.

Inadequate public transport services, lack of water and dependency on ground water sources, unresolved land claims, non-availability of land, unplanned, scattered settlements and urban sprawl, insufficient budget and prioritisation as well as lack of integrated planning with other sectors, are among the other challenges listed. Climate change, rising temperatures, less rain, diminishing savannah, environmental destruction through deforestation, veld fires, soil erosion, overgrazing, and wetland destruction were among the natural challenges noted.

Capricorn contributes around 24,7% to Limpopo’s economy. Mpe identified unsustainable cooperatives due to a lack of beneficiaries’ business skills, the collapse thereof, subdued economic growth as a whole, and the status quo of the Gateway International Airport that is still not enabling economic growth.

The status of roads and lack of liaison between the district, Roads Agency Limpopo (RAL) and South African National Roads Agency (Sanral), and a lack of capacity in roads planning units, were highlighted as factors impacting on growth.

CDM’s total budget for 2017/18 is R959,775 million and will be adopted by the council on 26 May.

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Nelie Erasmus

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