Post-SOPA Stakeholder and Community Engagement Session held at Paterson
Cacadu District residents had an opportunity to make the now-former Eastern Cape Premier, Noloxo Kiviet, and her delegation aware of issues surrounding service delivery and socio-economic development when she visited Paterson, in the Sundays River Local Municipality. The stakeholder and community engagement outreach to the District formed part of her post State of the Province Address (SOPA) programme.
Held at Paterson Community Hall on the 27th of March, the engagement session was also attended by Cacadu District Municipality Executive Mayor, Khunjuzwa Eunice Kekana; Speaker, Deon de Vos; Portfolio Councillor, Nonkqubela Pieters; Sundays River Valley Local Municipality Mayor, Mbulelo Kebe; Speaker, Nombulelo Hawu; Ikwezi Local Municipality Mayor, Sizwe Mngwevu, as well as several Councillors and officials from all Cacadu District local municipalities.
“This programme is meant for you – the residents of this area, so that you can raise your issues and concerns with the leadership of the Province who have come here to listen,” said Mayor Kebe in his opening address.
“Our people must be free to raise their issues and this is an opportunity that has been created by the Eastern Cape Provincial Government to ensure that we have a responsible government that is accountable to the people."
Following the address by the Mayor, Cacadu District Municipality Speaker, Deon de Vos, gave an overview of the 2014 State of the Province Address, which was delivered by the then-Premier Kiviet on the 21st of February in Bhisho.
He described employment creation, socioeconomic infrastructure development, rural development and food security as well as health delivery, fighting crime and corruption, improving services at public institutions and strengthening democracy from a ward level as the priorities of the provincial government as reflected by the Premier’s address.
“People tend to forget that we must build cohesive, caring and sustainable communities,” said de Vos.
“We have a duty to live in peace amongst each other; we must care for one another – if someone has no food, we need to join hands as the collective community and see how we can ensure that he or she does not go to bed hungry.
“The sustainable community means we must constantly find things or programmes for our people to do. When our project ends, we should already have another one ready so that we provide income to our people while developing our areas.”
He said that Nelson Mandela sacrificed his life to create a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic, united and prosperous South
“You must ask yourselves; ‘how united, democratic, non-racial and non-sexist are you as a community in your area or town or municipality?’ Because that is the legacy that we want to promote,” urged de Vos. “If we do that, then we will realise Mandela’s dream!”
Speaking on behalf of their communities, delegates raised a number of issues with the Premier and her delegation, which included the need for improved infrastructure, water and sanitation provision, proper roads, access to decent housing, clinics, hospitals and doctors, secondary schools and FET colleges, learner transport, electricity, business start-up funding for the youth as well as employment and the finalisation of the land claims processes.
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