Taking Parliament to the People (TPTTP), one of the National Council of Provinces’ (NCOP) flagship programmes, began in earnest on Tuesday morning at the Gauteng Legislature. Before the start of the programme, the Secretary to the NCOP, Adv Modibedi Phindela, asked those without an essential role to play in proceedings to vacate the venue, in order to keep audience numbers below 100. The request was to comply with the mitigation measures against Covid-19, announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday evening, in which he provided guidelines regarding public gatherings.

The NCOP Chairperson, Mr Amos Masondo, delivered a keynote address to open the programme, in which he explained the purpose of the TPTTP. He said that the NCOP decided to take the programme back to Gauteng in order to get feedback on the service delivery issues raised in 2019.

“In 2002, the NCOP initiated the annual Taking Parliament to the People programme to conduct oversight and to facilitate public participation in Parliament’s processes. Last year, we were here in Gauteng and today we are back at the height of Covid-19, which was declared a world pandemic by the World Health Organisation. All of us are then required to adhere to the precautionary measures in order to limit the spread of the Corona Virus,” said Mr Masondo.

The Speaker of the Gauteng Legislature, Ms Ntombi Mekgwe also emphasised the importance of scaling down attendance at public gatherings, saying that the right information with regard to Covid-19 should be communicated at all times.

Gauteng Premier, Mr David Makhura, also addressed the session, which was made up of permanent delegates of the NCOP, members of the provincial executive and councillors. He talked about the impact of migration in Gauteng.

“This year we have launched a provincial 10-year plan, namely Grow Gauteng Together, which lays out the measures we need to take in order to address the challenge of crime, education, unemployment and gender-based violence,” said Mr Makhura.

He further reported on the intervention taken by the provincial executive to address service delivery challenges at Tshwane and Mfuleni municipalities. The programme for the day will include a report-back from the social, peace and security, and economic clusters.

Justice Molafo
17 March 2020