Lebogang More MPL
DA Spokesperson on Public Petitions
In a written response to DA questions regarding public petitions in Gauteng, Premier David Makhura admitted that there are 215 unresolved petitions dating back to 2005.
That equates to a 10-year backlog of dozens and dozens of unanswered community concerns; this, while service delivery protests continue unabated across the province.
Communities need a legitimate and peaceful platform to air their grievances and concerns, and the Petitions Committee should offer them this outlet.
However, it is clear from this backlog that the ANC has failed to listen to the people of this province for a very long time now.
A recent report issued by Rhodes University found that the Johannesburg Metro alone reported the highest number of service delivery protests out of the five other metros over the past five years. Many of the outstanding petitions relate to functions that could have been attended to by Gauteng provincial departments and other local government structures.
Premier Makhura did indicate in his reply that a Special Advisor on Service Delivery Interventions will be appointed to deal with the backlog. However, for many communities this may be too little, too late.
Despite this backlog, petitions remain an important platform for communities to communicate with government and avoid violent protest.
The DA will continue to work to ensure that the backlog is attended to and that any future petitions are given the urgent attention they require.