Eastern Cape Executive Council and Nelson Mandela Bay Mayoral Committee Held Public Engagement Meetings on Service Delivery

BY SUPPLIED - NOVEMBER 27, 2014

The official two-day visit by Eastern Cape Executive Council (EXCO), led by the Premier, Phumulo Masualle, to Nelson Mandela Bay ended on a high note. The visit displayed a true reflection of intergovernmental relations in action and a government committed to its people.

On Thursday, November 27, the entire Executive and the Mayoral Committee, led by Premier Masualle and Executive Mayor Benson Fihla, accompanied by officials, were spread across the City attending public engagement meetings to interact with local communities on service delivery issues. They were received enthusiastically by local communities, who packed community halls across the City.

The meetings were also an opportunity by both spheres of government to report back on progress made on issues and challenges identified during the national elections campaign in May this year.

Both Premier Masuale and Executive Mayor Fihla attended a public meeting in Khayamnandi Community Hall in Despatch, near Uitenhage. The interactions and discussions were robust, with constructive criticism emanating from the community.

Housing delivery and rectification were raised as the most urgent matters that needed to be attended to by both spheres of government. Young people at the meeting raised the issue of a lack of skills, stating that exacerbated unemployment among the youth in Khayamnandi. They also highlighted the need for sport development and facilities, especially given the fact that Despatch is known as a sport loving town.

The Executive Mayor was accompanied by the City Manager, Mpilo Mbambisa, who took notes during proceedings, with the intention of following up on the issues raised. Some of the issues, like the rectification of houses, involved both the Province and the Municipality, in terms of deliverables and funding. Officials from the Premier’s Office also took notes, to be sent to the relevant departments for follow-ups and implementation.

On Wednesday, the leadership visited the homes of victims of violence and abuse against women, children and the elderly. They also held an intergovernmental relations meeting, which focused on issues ranging from institutional management to major infrastructural projects in Nelson Mandela Bay.

Responding to the issues raised by the community, Premier Masualle said that it was evident that spheres of governments needed to conduct more sessions of that nature. “We are not here because we were forced. We are here because we see the need to come to our people and account on the promises we have made.

Report-backs and progress reports to our people are not a favour, it is our obligation,” added Premier Masualle. He asked the community to be patient with government, as delivery could not happen all at the same time.

“We are pleading with you to understand that we will not deliver everything now, but we equally call upon you to always call us to account when you feel that we are moving slow in what we have promised,” he said.

Executive Mayor, Fihla said that he was thankful for the constructive criticism that the leadership received from the people of Khayamnandi.

“I am encouraged by the contributions that have been made, more especially the suggestions we received about sports development and facilities”.

He added that the visit by EXCO was an indication that government did not only make promises, but also followed up on promises made and monitored the implementation thereof.