The Speakers in the Eastern Cape province signed a memorandum of understanding last night with the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature, to help enhance quality of services to the people. Over two hundred delegates witnessed the signing, which included Mayors, Chief Whips, Municipal Managers and Traditional Leaders serving in Municipal Councils.
Speaking at the Provincial Summit on Public Participation and Petitions, held at Fish River sun, the Honourable Speaker of the Eastern Provincial Legislature, Fikile Xasa, sharply raised the need for effective and meaningful Public Participation. He also encouraged participants to engage in debate and discussions towards good governance in the province. “This we can attain through constant engagement of the electorate whom we are mandated to represent,” said Xasa.
The summit is a joint initiative of the Portfolio Committee on Public Participation and Petitions together with the Speakers Forum. The latter is an association of all Speakers of municipalities and the Speaker of the Provincial Legislature. The Forum was established as a platform for sharing parliamentary best practises amongst the Speakers with a view of establishing common provincial norms and standards for legislative work. Furthermore, the Forum is aimed in ensuring that governance in the province remains democratic, accountable and of service to the people.
Thirty-three municipalities took part in the signing ceremony. In the next two days, we need to engage on some of the issues affecting our performance as Provincial Speakers and ensure that we connect government with the people. We need to listen to what the people are saying to improve the quality of service to the people and further strengthen our partnership with Chapter 9 and 10 institutions. We expect result out of this Memorandum of Understanding, as we are here to serve, said Xasa.
The summit themed “Consolidating democratic governance through Public Participation and Petitions Management” is aimed to:
Develop a provincial petitions framework with the aim of harmonising the petition system in the province.
Share experiences and challenges emanating from the participation of Traditional Leaders in Municipal Councils.
Share the understanding of Public Participation and Petitions processes with all spheres of government.
Develop a common approach in dealing with Public Participation with other spheres of government.