Lebo More MPL, DA Spokesperson on Public Petitions and Kingsol Chabalala MPL, Member of the Gauteng Petitions Committee
The box-ticking exercise of the Gauteng Provincial Government continued this week during external petition hearings in the province.
This is despite earlier assurances by Premier David Makhura during his State of the Province Address that public participation in the province would be radically transformed.
During this weekend’s proceedings provincial government departments and municipalities disregarded the petitions process by failing to submit reports, not appearing before the committee and sending junior officials to respond to matters beyond their scope of work.
On Saturday in Soshanguve MEC Jacob Mamabolo, his Head of Department (HOD) and senior leadership failed to attend a public petitions hearing for the Department of Human Settlements.
This left the petitioners and other community members without any answers or a way forward on the issues raised.
Further, the HOD for Infrastructure Development failed to attend hearings and did not send an apology, while the City of Tshwane failed to submit progress reports regarding most of their outstanding petitions; some from as far back as 2010.
This is not a government with the best interests of the people at heart and this is not a government of accountability.
I will be posing questions to the relevant MEC’s requesting reasons for their non-attendance and what the department’s plans are for the affected community’s going forward.
The DA will continue to work within the petitions committee to ensure that voice of the people is heard and that Premier Makhura’s government follows through on their promise of better public participation.