2014 Eastern Cape Public Service Month launched in Kou-Kamma

SEPTEMBER 1, 2014

Eastern Cape Premier, Phumulo Masualle, officially launched this year’s Public Service Month at an event held at the Kareedouw Community Hall, in the Kou Kamma Local Municipality, on 2 September.

Among the dignitaries at the event, were the Executive Mayor of the Sarah Baartman District Municipality, Khunjuzwa Eunice Kekana; Speaker of the Sarah Baartman District Municipality, Deon de Vos; Mayor of the Kou-Kamma Local Municipality, Sam Vuso; Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee in the Office of the Premier, Sicelo Gqobana as well as MEC’s representing the Department of Local Governance and Traditional Affairs [Fikile Xasa], Human Settlements [Helen Sauls-August], Transport [Weziwe Tikana] and Rural Development and Agrarian Reform [Mlibo Qoboshiyane].

In her welcoming speech, Executive Mayor Kekana thanked the Premier and government for the Public Service Month programme and hailed it as an opportunity for local communities to raise their service delivery challenges with their leaders.

Premier Masualle said that the theme for 2014 was all about finding creative and smart ways to bring services closer to the people.

“Government is continuously searching for new ways of delivering services to our people and to reduce the burden on them to access these services,” the Premier said.

He also stressed that very little could be achieved without public participation, before informing residents that they must act as the “eyes, ears and limbs of public servants” in order to point out problem areas and reap the maximum benefit from public services.

 

“We have pledged ourselves, as public servants, to work in a collaborative fashion, but we rely on you to achieve the outcomes.”

Citing the Principles of Batho Pele, the Premier stated that a critical review was undertaken to identify why some public servants are benefitting from government programs.

“These people tend to enrich themselves at the expensive of our people, compromising the integrity of government as well,” he said.

Premier Masualle also said that they will no longer tolerate mediocre standards of work in the public sector, and that the time has come “to serve our people with distinction, because they deserve nothing but the best”.

Referring to the challenges facing the Kou-Kamma Local Municipality, as mentioned by community members in a community engagement session held before his speech, Premier Masualle said that government have noted these problems. He also said they would find ways to address these problems and would do so by first visiting as many areas as they could to get an idea of what was actually happening on the ground.

“Kou-Kamma is situated on the border of the province, so we decided to launch the Public Service Month here and then take it to another border municipality – the King Sabata Dalinyebo Municipality, when we close at the end of September.

“One reason why we chose Kou-Kamma is because it is at the far end of the province and away from Bhisho, and communities here do not always have access to services. We have come here to see how best we can deliver services to them,” explained MEC Xasa in an interview after the event.

He said his department would prioritise the issues that local residents have raised such as the delivery of water, sanitation, electricity, roads and clean surroundings.

 

Photo Caption: WE ARE HERE FOR YOU…. Eastern Cape Premier, Phumulo Masualle (centre), delivers his keynote address at the launch of the Kou-Kamma Local Municipality’s public service month, held in Kareedouw. Listening to the Premier’s speech, are the MEC for Rural Development and Agrarian Reform, Mlibo Qoboshiyane (left), and Mayor of the Kou-Kamma Local Municipality, Sam Vuso (right)