Parliament, Wednesday 18 March 2020 - The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) is generally happy with national and provincial executives’ account on progress made in dealing with service delivery challenges brought by the fast-growing migration, particularly, in Gauteng.
Reflecting on the 1st day of Taking Parliament to the People (TPTTP) report-back session held at the Johannesburg City Hall on 17 March 2020, NCOP Chairperson Mr Amos Masondo said the undertakings made during the main visit of TPTTP in November 2018 have largely been carried out . He said the NCOP and the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) will thoroughly go through the comprehensive reports received from national and provincial departments and will be engaged further where there are gaps.
Mr Masondo said: “the Constitution … requires us to ensure that the Executive in the three spheres of government provides effective, transparent, accountable and coherent government for the Republic as a whole. This, we cannot achieve without consultation, co-ordination and co-operation amongst ourselves in the Legislative Sector. Irrespective of where we are situated in the spheres of government, the Constitution requires us to make laws, oversee Executive action, facilitate public involvement and participate in parliamentary diplomacy.”
At least 13 national and provincial Ministries and Departments led by the Deputy Ministers and Gauteng Premier Mr David Makhura respectively, presented reports on progress made in interventions to mitigate the implications of in migration on key service delivery priority areas of the people of Gauteng. These departments represented three major clusters of Peace and Security, Social Services and Economic Development. They also flagged challenging areas and new risks to numerous development efforts that required decisive leadership and collaboration.
Gauteng Premier Makhura said Ntirisano initiative of the Gauteng provincial government was modelled on the NCOP’s Taking Parliament to the People programme. He appreciated the NCOP’s identification of migration as a major development driver and risk affecting Gauteng disproportionately compared to other provinces. According to him, although good progress is being made, Gauteng will never relent in its effort to address all risks threatening people’s quality of life including the outbreak and spread of Corona Virus in South Africa.
In line with the national efforts to curb the spread of Corona Virus in South Africa announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa, the NCOP significantly scaled-down its long-standing report-back session of Taking Parliament to the People. It cancelled inspection visits to 21 service delivery sites scheduled for the 18 March and public meetings scheduled for 19 March in Johannesburg Metro, Tshwane Metro and West Rand District municipalities. The NCOP will proceed with its scheduled formal sitting on 19 March to consider the intervention in terms of section 139(1)(c) of the Constitution in the Tshwane Metro Municipality. The Constitution compels the National Council of Provinces to either approve or set the intervention aside within 14 days of the receipt of notice thereof. The 14 days expires on 20 March 2020.
NCOP Chairperson Mr Masondo said Parliament has to adapt and find more effective ways to sustain the engagement of the citizens even in the wake of a threatening outbreak and spread of Corona Virus nationally, which adversely affected its constitutional obligation of promoting citizen involvement and participation in Parliamentary processes. He undertook to pursue many challenges still inhibiting service delivery to the people, some of which were tabulated in the executive reports submitted.
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