Eastern Cape Legislature Speaker Helen Sauls-August has urged aggrieved community members to utilise the available parliamentary channels to seek intervention from the Legislature instead of destroying public property during protests.
Sauls-August made the remarks in response to a report of the Legislature Portfolio committee during house sittings to adopt reports on budget vote and policy speeches at the Legislature.
The Provincial Legislature said while the right to protest is enshrined in the Constitution, numerous destructive service delivery protests have occurred across the province recently, where public property has been destroyed and public roads barricaded by the protesting communities.
“The Provincial Legislature remains concerned that despite the available Legislature platforms for communities to air their service delivery concerns, communities still resort to destructive community protests,” the Legislature said in a statement.
Sauls-August said citizens must rely on the Legislature to resolve their service delivery complaints.
"Our intention is to encourage communities to move away from destructive community protests and persuade them to bring their issues through our parliamentary channels such petitions and constituency offices,” Sauls-August said.
She said it was an indictment on the Legislature if people who are aggrieved by lack of government services would rather embark on destructive protests instead of approaching the Legislature.
“It can’t be. It therefore becomes incumbent that we maximise use of our constituency offices, intensify public participation and education for us to gain public trust as this institution,” she said.
The agenda for the sixth Legislature is to reconnect with the people by becoming an activist Parliament and educate citizens about the role of the Legislature and how this institution helps the people.
This week, the Legislature house sittings considered reports from all portfolio committees for adoption of budget by the house.
The committees will conduct vigorous oversight on the projects tabled in the Legislature once the budget votes and plans have been adopted in the house sitting this week and ensure that the public participates in government programmes. – SAnews.gov.za