A delegation of National Council of Provinces (NCOP) members are spending the week in the province to assess the delivery of services.
This week of assessment by the NCOP, known as Provincial Financial Week is a mechanism of the house to ensure that provincial delegates to the NCOP keep in touch with the province with the aim of receiving mandates on what needs to be placed on the national agenda. For the national delegates it is a time of oversight.
Delegation Leader Tsapane Mampuru told Polokwane Observer on Tuesday that the delegates will focus on visiting municipalities with the aim of looking at service delivery.
She said the permanent members of the NCOP will also look at progress and challenges in the province, successes, the spending of the budgets, spending of Municipal Infrastructure Grants and if municipalities are able to spend it. This they will do after talking to MECs, the Speaker and presiding officers in the Legislature, the South African Local Government Association and the Auditor General.
Various oversight visits will be done this week by NCOP members in the five districts and the NCOP will also engage with communities to hear their versions after talking to MECs to see if their views correspond with that of the leadership in the province.
Asking Mampuru about a protest action the NCOP encountered while visiting the Department of Education on Monday, she said she did not believe in protest, but rather in engagement, sitting around a table and discussing issues. Learners demanded school furniture while protesting at the department’s head office.
“We can’t move South Africa forward by protests,” she said. ”A big challenge the Department of Education encounters is that numbers are not correctly supplied to the department and that learners migrate from one school to another.”
Apart from the focus on service delivery the NCOP delegation will also concentrate on certain government departments, including those of Education, Agriculture and Health to determine what has been done regarding certain aspects highlighted during the NCOP’s previous visit to the province.
“Following this week’s visit we will be reporting as a collective to Parliament,” Mampuru said.
Story: NELIE ERASMUS