On the day the Taking Parliament to the People programme concluded, residents of the Eden District Municipality said they were pleased to have been given a platform to raise their service delivery challenges to Members of Parliament.
The National Council of Provinces held the TPTTP programme in Oudtshoorn from Monday 13 April to Friday 17 April.
Ms Irene Pietersen from George said while she appreciated this initiative from the NCOP, she hoped issues raised would find their way into the government’s programme. “Our kids are unemployed. We want the NCOP to take our concerns and ensure that government creates jobs for our children,” Ms Pietersen said.
She added that solving the unemployment challenge could help reduce high levels of crime, referring to the fact that some people claim they commit crimes in order to feed their families.
On the other hand, Mr Thembalethu Faku from Mossel Bay said he was disappointed by the unavailability of some national ministers, especially the Human Settlements minister because many of the problems people have relate to housing. “While we were informed why some Ministers could not be here, many of us would have liked to air our concerns directly to them,” Mr Faku said.
Mr Faku also said the importance of the TPTTP programme cannot be over-emphasised. “It affords ordinary people a rare opportunity to raise their concerns directly with their elected representatives.” He hoped the programme would yield tangible outcomes for the people of Eden District. He called on the NCOP to closely monitor the implementation of all outcomes.
A teenager, Mr Damian Booisen, said the TPTTP programme provided a good platform for locals to interact with MPs and the Executive. “It’s a good platform for MPs to get involved with the people and listen to their concerns. This is a great chance for ordinary people to speak to their representatives in Parliament.”
Mr Booisen said in his area of Mossel Bay the most common issues affecting youth were drug abuse and gangsterism. “A number of youth in the area are not educated in Mossel Bay. There must be more opportunities for the youth to make something of their lives,” he said.
Another resident, Ms Thembakazi Thompson from Plettenberg Bay, agreed that the programme had given voice to the people of the Eden District Municipality. “We are happy the MPs are in our area, as we only see them on TV while they are in Cape Town. now they came closer to the people and we haD an opportunity to tell them our views. However, we don’t know what will be done now that they have heard from us.”
She said residents “came all the way from Plett” just so that they could get to tell the MPs their challenges. “I worked for the Bitou Local Municipality for five years while under contract. In 2011 when a new party took charge, I still remained under contract. “I had to join that party just so that my contract could be renewed. My contact was not renewed in December 2014 and since that time I have been sitting at home,” she said.
17 April 2015
Source : Parliament of South Africa