Establishing Operation Vuka Sisebente (OVS) in 2015 sought to improve ward level coordination and planning as key levers for service delivery. At the heart of OVS are the war rooms, established in each ward and chaired by the Ward Councillor. War rooms are a service delivery engine to deliver a fully coordinated and integrated basket of services by different stakeholders, and White River residents of Ward 30 will be happy to hear that they have a very active war room.
Collectively community leaders, government departments, field workers, community members and civil society come together to respond to various issues ranging from HIV and AIDS, poverty and other social ills such as crime, gender–based violence, stigma and discrimination, family disintegration and substance abuse.
Communities are encouraged to make use of the war room as points of contact to raise their service delivery issues. By directive of the Premier, all Government Departments and Municipalities must respond to the issues within the mandatory 30 days.
The war rooms record all needs from the community in a service provider referral register, submit them to government departmental representatives for immediate response. Action plans are then developed with government departmental representatives to address the identified needs from the community.
Services provided are categorised into three priority levels: immediate essential services which need to be provided within 90 days and they include food parcels, social grants, vital registration, temporary shelter, basic municipal services, behavioral change campaigns and access to healthcare.
The second priority level is the medium-term services, these are provided up to 180 days, and they focus on skills development, job creation, establishment of co-operatives and enterprise development.
The third priority level is the long-term services which are provided in a time frame of up to a year or more. They include infrastructure development and some municipal services.
At the war room meetings, fieldworkers and departmental representatives report all the services they have provided to the communities and the community members report the services they have received directly from the war rooms.
The war rooms comprise of the chairperson (the ward councilor), deputy chairperson (a community member) and the community development worker becomes the secretariat of the war room.
Other members of the war room are the ward committee, including all heads of community structures in the ward ranging from civil society organisations, churches, private sector, local business, traditional leaders and representatives from health, safety and security, education, social development, municipal services sectors.
At the local municipality war room, the chairperson is the executive mayor, the secretariat is the municipal manager, and other members of the local municipality war room include the municipal council, business sector, provincial and national government departments that provide services in a particular municipality.
Ward 8: Joseph Mkhonto → 073.210.7947
Ward 9: Beatrice Nyundu → 076.815.9135
Ward 30: Trudie Grove-Morgan → 083.414.5060
Ward 33: Ntombazane Nyalungu → 082.478.2480
Ward 37: Fundi Zulu → 082.944.8461