Municipal Finance - why it's an important course for our students
- Kemantha Govender
Are you interested in studying our Municipal Finance course? One of students who completed the course recently shares his journey.
Lungelo Terrence Ramatselela is a natural born leader. So, when he chose to study at the Wits School of Governance, it came as no surprise that he was selected as the class representative. He successfully completed the Municipal Financial Management Programme (short course) in July 2021.
Ramatselela works as a Project Manager: Property Portfolio Management at City of Joburg Property Company.
“This is the third time being elected class rep since my tertiary education journey begun. I believe my classmates are able to pick up a leadership skill within me as I’m a good team leader and a team player,” Ramatselela said. He was quick to take the lead by working close with the WSG course coordinator and recognised that communication was pivotal especially studying during Covid-19.
“As a class rep, I made sure that WSG's code of conduct and its policies were implemented. I read them daily so that I was able to advise my classmates. I also use to keep the coordinator up to date with the developments and challenges during the lectures, confirm all the due dates for the tests, exams and assignments. I also made sure all new delegates were given a warm welcome and everyone stayed motivated,” he added.
Ramatselela is equally passionate about his work as he is about being a diligent student. He said that stakeholder engagement is the most important part of his job.
“I love involving communities before the implementation of any project. Public participation really humbles me. I always listen to the communities and use their inputs during the implementation stage until the close-out stage of projects.”
Like most of life journeys, Ramatselela’s experience with studying wasn’t a straightforward one. Initially, he didn’t do so well and that was his wake-up call, improving his grades from Cs to As. He thoroughly enjoyed the course because he felt that it had the most qualified and experienced facilitators who have municipality backgrounds and that made the course very interesting more informative as it covered the academic and practical sides.
“This course was an eye-opener for me especially coming from the private sector to the public sector... that there is Municipal Financial Management Act that guides and hold us as the public sector employees accountable on how we should conduct ourselves when we are handling public funds and the penalties one will face. It has also given us the solutions on how and when to handle the challenges that we are facing daily at our work environment,” he said.
The MF course taught Ramatselela the importance of synergy within different units in an organisation.
“Before I start any project, I make sure that there is strategic planning. I focus on plans for implementation and monitoring of that project until close-out. It is very important to conduct a stakeholder relations (matrix), understand that there are municipal legislatures and policies to adhere to, managing of risk and knowing your assets. Budget management is also key. Some of the most important things I’ve learnt at WSG, that I implement in my job daily, is to respect the rights of others and applaud diversity and embrace differences in my work environment,” he said.
He added that he enjoyed the diversity of the different municipalities that were represented in the course because it was interesting to learn from the presentations of others.
Ramatselela recommended that prospective students consider studying short courses at the School if you are passionate about the public sector and says he is a WSG ambassador already.