Government engages Debe Nek community on Service Delivery

By Baphelele Njenkele

An outreach programme of the Provincial Executive Committee (EXCO) was held on Thursday, 23 August 2018, at Qhibira Location, in Debe Nek, for government to interact directly with communities.

The purpose of the programme was to find solutions to the problems of the communities and to identify parts that needed to be addressed urgently. The outreach also formed part of government’s 2018 centenary celebrations for Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu.

The programme was a joint venture between the Department of Safety and Liaison (DSL), the Office of the Premier (OTP), the Department of Transport (DOT), the South African Police Service (SAPS), the Department of Health and the Raymond Mhlaba Local
The municipality, as part of the Inter-Governmental Relations (IGR) approach.

MEC Ms Weziwe Tikana, Queen Nokwandisa Kama, Mayor of Raymond Mhlaba Local The municipality, Mr Bandile Ketelo and Speaker of Raymond Mhlaba Local Municipality, Mr Anele Ntshangani, were also among the high profile figures who attended the programme.
Their role was to respond to the questions asked by the community and to note any concerns that were raised.

“The cabinet sits down and arranges these programmes,” said MEC Weziwe Tikana. “This happens every year as a way of informing and alerting communities to what is happening around them. I, therefore, urge the people to attend these types of programmes so that they
would remain informed about the government’s plans and progress made on the implementation of service delivery programmes. The people must always make inputs to guide the government on what their needs are,” she explained.

Some of the major issues raised included safety, unemployment, as well as access to water and sanitation, which, were major problems faced by the community of Debe Nek. A resident by the name of Mr Fezile Ngcuwa from ward 14 KwaSityi, raised a concern about
policing in the area.

“Sometimes the police who serve our community are dedicated to their work, but due to the shortage of police vehicles, their service is not as efficient as it should be,” he said. Other concerns noted included lack of scholar transport, the condition of roads as well as the
need for bridges to cross rivers.

Responding to the questions, MEC Tikana said that the government had a limited budget to render services to the public, which, was allocated and distributed annually.

“About R2 billion was allocated for the construction and maintenance of roads across the province. Plans to build roads and bridges are part of the plan of government, but due to budget limitations, the work cannot be done in a single financial year for the whole province,”
she said.

The EXCO outreach is one of the government’s monitoring tools to ensure that services are being delivered to communities and to get feedback from the public about their level of satisfaction regarding the services rendered by the government.