Taking parliament to the people in Gauteng

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Gauteng residents have aired their concerns to those in power during the public hearings at the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).

The public hearings which kicked off on Monday are part of the NCOP’s Taking Parliament to the People (TPTTP) programme which is underway at the Alberton Civic Centre in Ekurhuleni.

The TPTTP, which wraps up on Thursday, is a 16-year-old flagship programme which aims to close barriers between representatives of the people in parliament and ordinary citizens.

The held public hearings with panels of government officials Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Gauteng MECs and Executive Mayors, where responses to people’s service delivery concerns were made and executives committed to address such concerns.

The hearings covered human settlements, health and education.

Absence of health infrastructure such as clinics and hospitals, access to services and attitudes of health care workers, clinics that close early or lack of medication, long queues and services at health care facilities, were among key concerns raised by residents.

Leading panel responses to the health matters, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi acknowledged growing challenges caused by migration in Gauteng and the pressure placed on existing health care facilities.

He further committed to absorb community health workers as permanent workers in the department.

“Next year this government would have absorbed 54 000 community health care workers on a permanent basis and put them all on persal,” said Motsoaledi.

The health departments revealed that a new health patient records management system being rolled out nationally, will improve the management of drugs and services to all patients.

Education

A series of challenges facing education including lack of schools, poor infrastructure and overcrowding were also raised by the people.

Basic Education Minister Motshekga and Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi  assured residents that everything was being done to deal with the challenges, most of which resulted from exponential growth of the Gauteng population because of migration and rapid urbanisation.

The Minister answered questions from the public, and called for a reality check and to make education a real societal responsibility.

She said parents must take responsibility for raising and educating their children with government support, instead of neglecting their role and demanding payment for being SGB members.

Also responding to matters regarding education, the MEC said with the 85 000 annual increase of learner population in Gauteng caused mainly by migration, the province would need to build additional 85 new schools every year to cope with the demand.

Given the inherent budgetary limitations, Gauteng is working on generating over R8 billion from the market to help eradicate mobile and asbestos schools between 2019 and 2023 to meet the growing demand.

Housing

On housing, residents raised the challenge of backlogs in the provision of houses, some dating back to 1996. The problem was compounded by alleged “skipping of queues” on the waiting list and unfulfilled promises to build houses.

Among the responses and undertakings made, Ekurhuleni Executive Mayor Mzwandile Masina said the metro had set a target of building 100 000 houses in five years and provide 59 000 serviced sites for people that can build their own houses. – SAnews.gov.za

 

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