This time of the year normally has much activity as most organizations prepare for the Eswatini International Trade Fair. However, this year, with the Covid-19 Pandemic a number of big annual activities have come to a halt. During the Trade Fair, Matsapha Town Council normally has a vibrant stand showcasing the services, ongoing and upcoming projects which all contribute towards the development of the town. Fortunately, with this platform as Matsapha Town Council will take you through services that we offer.
Matsapha’s entire operations are guided by a strategic document referred to as the Integrated Development Plan (IDP), which is a five (5) year plan mapping out key activities or projects to be implemented. The activities are informed by residents and stakeholders of the town. The strategic document outline speaks to five (5) thematic areas, namely, Financial Viability of the Town; Infrastructure Development and Maintenance; Institutional Capacity Building; Social Development; Spatial Development. The thematic areas are implemented by the different units all which offer services that contribute to the development of the town. They are as follows:
Town Planning Unit
The Town Planning unit is responsible for the control and management of all land development through facilitating land applications processes such as land subdivision, processing of building applications, land rezoning, special consent and advising Council and the public on the suitability of land for various uses. Consultations with the own Planning unit are always advised to ensure that the proposed development follows the Town Planning Scheme. Maps and information on the ownership, size, location, and land use of properties is obtained from this Unit and used to determine development suitability. The Town Planning Unit is also responsible for advertising, transportation and issues of public engagement and consultation.
Town Engineering Unit
Town Engineering focuses on effectively providing safe, affordable, sustainable and socio-economic infrastructure that properly promotes integrated land use development and ensure optimal mobility for the town’s residents and active users of transportation network system within the urban boundaries. This can be done through planning, infrastructure development and continuous maintenance. Maintenance services includes but is not limited to proper maintenance of paved and unpaved roads networks, street lighting, Council’s buildings and in addition is the continual renewal of public transport permits. The Engineering Department can precisely achieve this through, the gradual rollout of the Capital Improvement Programme (CIP) and the Maintenance Programme Plan for the financial year. The most pressing issues for the said financial year were to improve mobility of both vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
Environmental Health and Community Services Unit
Matsapha has over the years evolved into being Eswatini’s investment hub and a home to over 700 formal business operations as well as over 300 informal traders. As the town’s population continues to grow, there is a need to strengthen environment and public health interventions aimed at safeguarding health, safety and the environment. It is a known fact that high population growth coupled with industrial and economic development is a cause for concern to the earth’s finite natural systems and resources. Matsapha Town Council, in its 2018-19 Integrated Development Plan (IDP) established 10 environment and public health strategic focus areas through which it intended to address these environment and public health concerns as they relate to the town.
Food Hygiene and Safety
Food Safety Inspections are one of many procedures put in place by the Council to ensure that food is clean and safe for consumers. Through Council’s education and consultative public health forums, businesses are now able to do their quality checks and are able to condemn and seize unwholesome food. However, some food products are seized and condemned by the Council’s inspectorate team during routine inspections.
Informal Trade Management & Control
In line with the requirements of Section 28 of the Urban Government Regulation, 1969 and the Market Regulations of 1970, Council fully supports the informal trade business in its diversity. Council in the past years has provided Informal Traders vending spaces and infrastructure and continues to hold educational forums to help empower the traders.
Council, in its endeavour to enforce compliance to specific statutory requirements regarding all types of business trade in the urban space, conformity assessment activities remain a top priority. Pre-operational and post operational market surveillance inspections continue to dominate the conformity assessment activities. These inspections also include efforts in the abatement of public health nuisances as per the requirements of the Public Health Act no.5 1969.
Nuisance abatement involves the removal of stray animals and ensuring that the town is kept clean at all times by identifying plots that have overgrown vegetation and facilitating the removal of overgrown vegetation.
Mobile Clinic Unit
The Matsapha Mobile Clinic provides free medical services within the urban space and the peri-urban areas. The mobile clinic serves as a first stop to HIV care for the Matsapha populace. The mobile clinic remains a valuable and versatile option for delivering health care services in a densely populated area.
As an industrial town, large volumes of waste are generated on a daily basis from the industrial processes, institutions and residential areas. General Waste is collected and disposed of at a waste management site called the Landfill.
Public Relations Unit
The entire existence of the Public Relations Office is to be the mouthpiece for Council. Being a participatory government, it is essential that Council remains transparent through information sharing. The sharing happens through different platforms, namely, stakeholder engagement forums, media platforms, social media, website, and others. Our stakeholders are more than welcome to engage with the Public Relations Office on any inputs they might have or concerns which all contribute towards the development of the town.
Local Economic Development Unit
Local Economic Development (LED) works towards economic development which allows and encourages local people to work together to achieve sustainable economic growth and development thereby bringing economic benefits and improved quality of life for Matsapha Community.
Town Treasury Unit
This unit oversees all the finances of the town. His may include rate payments and then controlling and managing funds to ensure they are spent according to plan as presented to the Matsapha stakeholders during Annual Budget Meetings.
The above highlighted services are just some of the services offered by Council. As a local authority it is important to remember that we are here to serve you and to see that the town grows into being a liveable and sustainable development town.