The mandate of this department is to ensure a Local Government system that is able to respond to the needs of the citizens. This is a onerous mandate requiring our best efforts
MEC for the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Mr Fikile Xasa (left) introduced Mrs Nombulelo (Bea) Hackula (right) as the new Head of Department (HOD) in Bhisho last week. MEC Xasa assembled members of the Senior Management System (SMS) and general employees through separate meetings to formally and officially introduce the HOD. Ms Nowethu Goniwe reports.
MEC Xasa said he had given the HOD clear guides as he did not want to be dragged into internal fights.
“Mine is to do my oversight function and create a conducive environment for the HOD to run the department. We are not here to fight rather support one another to deliver services to the people,” he said.
“We are here to deliver services to the people. In that process, we must also help young people to know and understand what it means to be a public servant,” said MEC.
In the meetings, MEC Xasa also gave a report on the investigation undertaken on various allegations made by the National, Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) against the management of the Department.
“No to the destruction of state property during service delivery protests,” so said MEC for Cogta in the East-ern Cape Province FD Xasa. Speaking during a panel discussion organised by the Ntabankulu Local Munici-pality MEC Xasa said leadership in local municipalities should always ensure that they listen to peoples com-plaints and provide response.
He said public participation programmes are key to ad-dress the basic service delivery needs of communities including water, electricity, road infrastructure and wa-ter. Ward based planning is one of our focus areas contained in the Policy Speech for 2015/16 financial year.
The panellists included representatives from the reli-gious fraternity, traditional leaders and the ruling ANC. The event was attended by representatives from gov-ernment departments, business sector, school princi-pals, community based organisations, ratepayer and hawker associations.
“We need to form partnerships with communities to contribute towards moral regeneration and build social cohesion in areas where we live. Crime, child and women abuse should be dealt with by all stakeholders in communities. We need to become a selfless nation to make a difference to the lives of our people.”
MEC Xasa added that fighting crime is not a responsi-bility of government alone, but communities as well have a cardinal role to play as “eyes and ears of our government to work together and build the South Afri-can nation.”He said education remains a priority for government to deal with many challenges facing the country and communities.
Ms Sindiswa Mankahla appealed to government to consult communities whenever there are changes to its programmes including the issue of demarcation to pre-vent service delivery protests erupting. “Ntabankulu is the poorest of poor and we ask government to develop entrepreneurs to fight unemployment in our area,” she said.
Mr Magidela Selby Manga from the Department of Edu-cation appreciated good work done by government, however, complained about bad access roads to schools, vandalism of schools by pupils and members of the community.
“We request assistance from members of the School Governing Bodies and traditional leaders to lend a helping hand to stop vandalism to ensure a conducive learning and teaching environment and a bright future for our kids,” said Mr Manga.
A representative from the Alfred Nzo Council of Churches Reverend Mawande Lugongolo made an ap-peal to government to address “low morals” by some public representatives who work for government.