Bapela urges communities to approach govt at all levels

Friday, July 20, 2012

However, he cautioned communities to raise their grievances at the appropriate levels of government.

On Friday, Bapela led a delegation, which included Human Settlements Deputy Minister Zou Kota-Fredericks, Sports and Recreation Deputy Minister Gert Oosthuizen, Government Communication and Information System CEO Jimmy Manyi and local leaders, to Mbekweni, Paarl.

Friday's visit came after Minister in the Presidency, responsible for Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation, Collins Chabane, went to the Mbekweni earlier this year.

Bapela's delegation reported back to the Klapmuts and Mbekweni communities on issues that were raised during the previous meeting.

Representatives from local, provincial and national government addressed issues that included housing, unemployment, job creation, skills training, land claims and youth development.

At the earlier meeting, a number of community members had indicated that they had contacted the Presidential Hotline with the grievances.

Bapela noted, however, that communities should first raise their issues at ward level.

"Follow the process at the municipal level... First, there is a ward councillor...When the matter is not being resolved at the ward level, then escalate it to the municipality. When at the level of the municipality does not work, move to the province," he advised.

When all else failed, it was then time to call the Presidential Hotline. The President wanted to hear whether government was delivering at municipal and provincial level, he added.

The deputy minister also noted that human settlements remained a huge concern among the communities.

Earlier, the delegation visited the Drommedaris housing project in Mbekweni.

"What we found is that the houses there are very attractive, very beautiful. I would also want to own a house there one day... but there were problems that were indicated," he said.

These problems related to the length of the roof and leakages.

It was agreed that provincial government and municipality would follow up with the developer and fix the problem so that the roof was adjusted properly, he said.

Bapela said the government was looking into the community's request for an isiXhosa-speaking school closer to the communities and that this was under consideration.

He added there were talks about developing a liberation route in the area. He urged the communities, who had participated in the struggle, to help map out that route.

The delegation also gave the community members an opportunity to raise additional challenges they were facing.

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