NCOP critical in govt planning - Motlanthe

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Cape Town - Members of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) have a crucial role to play in assessing the implementation of government's priorities in the next five years, says Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe.

Speaking at an NCOP strategic planning workshop this morning, Mr Motlanthe urged members to find time and space during the workshop to identify monitoring mechanisms that could be implemented to ensure that each priority area yielded the desired results.

The NCOP is the second House of Parliament, responsible for promoting the interests of the nine provinces. 

The ten priority areas were identified by President Jacob Zuma in his State of the Nation Address earlier this year.

They include speeding up growth and transforming the economy to create decent work, a massive economic and social infrastructure programme and a comprehensive rural development strategy linked to land and agrarian reform and food security.

"The NCOP is an important institutional partner in realising the implementation of this programme of action by the provinces and local municipalities," said Mr Motlanthe. 

He said the recent spate of service delivery protests across the country were an indication of pressing work that laid ahead, which, he said, should be tackled in partnerships and guided by the vision of an activist parliament. 

"As government, we have long recognised the imperative value of partnerships across all fronts," said Deputy President Motlanthe, adding that there was a need to ensure that partnerships are used to maximum advantage, such as in addressing service delivery questions.

With an effective oversight of the implementation of government programmes, state institutions can do better, he said.

There have been problems in the past where National Assembly Portfolio Committees, NCOP Select Committee, Provincial Legislature Committees and sometimes Local Government Committees all conduct oversight visits separately to the same places.