(Picture: Ms Pumla Makoma, Director: Corporate Services)
According to Knysna Executive Mayor Mark Willemse, the municipality’s administration complement has gained the expertise of three new directors. “We have appointed very capable candidates in the positions of Director: Community Services, Director: Corporate Services and Director: Technical Services,” he explained.
The position of Director: Corporate Services has been vacant since 31 January 2017. This position will be filled by Ms Pumla Makoma on 1 September 2018. The director position for the Community Services department has been vacant since 31 August 2017 and will be filled by Mr Gary Boshoff. Mr Pravir Hariparsad has been appointed as the new Director: Technical Services, a post that had been vacant since 31 May 2018. Both Mr Boshoff and Mr Hariparsad will join the municipality on 1 October 2018.
“After all due processes had been followed, I am confident that we have selected the right people, with the right qualifications and drive, for the right positions,” Willemse said. “I would like the residents to join me in welcoming Ms Makoma, Mr Boshoff and Mr Hariparsad to our town.”
Ms Pumla Makoma, Director: Corporate Services.
Ms Makoma leaves her position of Director: Corporate Services at Emalahleni Municipality in the Eastern Cape to join the Knysna team. She served as such for the last five years and has been in local government administration for 15 years.
Amongst others, she aims to strengthen the capacity of Knysna’s youth. “The implementation of the resolutions of the District Skills Summit, held last year, will assist in this regard,” she said. “I’ll also forge relationships with the Services Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) to facilitate skills development programmes and focus on developing staff retention strategies to reduce high staff turnover.”
Having obtained her BA Honours Degree in Public Administration from the University of Fort Hare, Ms Makoma said that she is humbled to join the close-knit community of Knysna. “I look forward to contributing to the growth and prosperity of the town,” she continued. “As much as my directorate renders support services to other directorates within the municipality, I look forward to making a difference to the young people in Knysna by enabling them to sustain themselves and positively contribute to the economic development of the greater Knysna municipal area.”
Her short-term goals include introducing e-governance to reduce the use of paper, employing retention strategies of the scarce skills in our area and encouraging a culture of accountability at all levels within the municipality.
“I admire the warmth of the people of Knysna, as well as the area’s beauty and tranquillity – which provides some inner peace when you are in relaxation mode,” she concluded. While her new position might not afford her a lot of relaxation time, when she is not working, you might spot this self-confessed bookworm on the golf course.
Mr Pravir Hariparsad, Director: Technical Services.
Mr Hariparsad holds a National Diploma in Civil Engineering from Technikon Natal, a Bachelor’s Degree in Technology Engineering: Civil from the Durban University of Technology and a National Certificate in Municipal Financial Management from the University of Witwatersrand.
“I was born on the outskirts of Pietermaritzburg,” he said. “My parent’s home did not have access to running water, sanitation or electricity. This is where my passion for providing basic services stems from.”
Mr Hariparsad’s career in both the private sector and local government spans more than two decades. He is leaving the position of General Manager: Technical Services at the uMshwathi Municipality in KwaZulu Natal after seven years of service.
Developing innovative solutions to achieve the service delivery mandate is high on his agenda. “First I’ll conduct a needs analysis for the directorate and identify challenges facing the municipality,” he explained. “Besides ensuring the continued, effective, efficient and economical delivery of basic services to the residents of greater Knysna, I plan on encouraging local economic development through basic service delivery. The directorate will improve the operations and maintenance of infrastructure and make use of the Expanded Public Works Programme to address municipal infrastructure needs and unemployment. I’ll also focus on skills training for staff and unemployed members of the community.”
His longer term goals include achieving universal access to basic water, sanitation and electricity services. “We’ll review the sector plans for water, electricity, housing, waste and transport – and implement recommendations,” he continued. “This directorate will not only maintain municipal infrastructure, but plan, implement and monitor infrastructure projects. These will have various endgames, but I hope to also provide access to community facilities such as sports fields and community halls.”
Mrs Hariparsad and the couple’s two children will remain in Pietermaritzburg until the end of the school year. “They will join me here in the new year and I think that most of our free time will be spent on the beautiful beaches in the area. Or you’ll find me bass fishing with my son,” he concluded.
Gary Boshoff, Director: Community Services.
Mr Boshoff said that he is here to serve the residents of Knysna and to ensure that all communities receive a quality service from the municipality. “This service can and will only get better when it is delivered in partnership with the residents and communities, with a municipality and officials that are accountable to the communities they serve. I look forward to making this real for Knysna.”
Mr Boshoff joins Knysna Municipality from Drakenstein Municipality where he served as Executive Director: Community Services. He currently holds a BA Honours Degree and MA Degree in Development Studies from the University of the Western Cape. He obtained an MBA from and Regenesys Business School his Municipal Competency Compliance as Accounting Officer was completed at Stellenbosch University in 2017.
“Community Services is the main touchpoint with residents in terms of service delivery,” he said. “It is my overarching goal to continue to improve service delivery in terms of waste management. Especially the expansion of recycling projects and educating our communities about the importance of keeping our living spaces clean and hygienic. I believe that this goes hand in hand with more visible and effective law enforcement of municipal bylaws, as well as the provision of sport and recreational facilities.”
“We must address the dual challenges of identifying land for landfill sites and cemeteries – challenges that are not unique to Knysna. I also aim to improve our response to disasters by increasing the necessary capacity and resources. The provision of quality services to underprivileged and informal areas needs to be prioritised in both the short and longer term. This lies close to my heart and is something I will vigorously pursue during my term at Knysna Municipality.”
Born in Caledon, Mr Boshoff is passionate about rugby and a keen runner. “I try to get to the gym on a regular basis and enjoy hiking. I look forward to exploring the famous and beautiful hiking trails of the area.”
Mayor Willemse thanked the various officials who acted in these directorial positions while they were vacant. “When acting as a director one does not leave your regular responsibilities behind, you just add much more work and responsibility. Thank you to everyone who was willing – and very able – to serve the administration and your community in this way.”
“Knysna Municipality has a culture of putting service delivery to the community first,” Mayor Willemse concluded. “We strive to be inclusive, innovative and inspired. And I am confident that Ms Makoma, Mr Hariparsad and Mr Boshoff will not only fit in perfectly but enhance our ability to serve our people.”