ATC080515: Report NCOP “Taking Parliament to the people” Northern Cape
NCOP “TAKING PARLIAMENT TO THE PEOPLE” NORTHERN CAPE : 27 – 30 AUGUST 2007
The follow-up visit of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) to the Northern Cape Province, through the tenets of Taking Parliament to the People Programme, assisted parliamentary delegates to identify and make groundbreaking interventions in order to address hindrances that hamper service delivery. The main intention of the NCOP follow-up visit was to ascertain the progress that had been made by the Northern Cape Provincial Government to augment service delivery initiatives. The theme of the 3rd Parliament in 2007, Masijule Ngengxoxo Mzansi (let’s deepen the debate South Africa) was one of the significant factors that informed the proceedings of the follow-up visit.
The NCOP delegation undertook a number of visits to schools, health centres, farms and Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) projects. It was discovered that schools that were not in close proximity to town still experienced challenges with regards to inadequate school equipment (i.e. computers, desks and textbooks); poor participation of parents in school activities; weak electricity supply and poor school infrastructure. It is therefore a challenge to learners and educators to effectively perform their tasks due to a lack of an educationally conducive environment. Schools situated in town were functioning better and parental involvement in a learner’s education formed a crucial part in schools’ curriculum.
The follow-up visit to the EPWP sites indicated that most of the beneficiaries were still unemployed, due to the absence of an exit strategy within the EPWP. Further, that EPWP beneficiaries who participated in projects through the North West Department of Public Works as a result of demarcation process were not offered training on brick-making, which negatively impacted on the quality of the bricks produced. The newly-constructed road under the EPWP was not maintained due to the lack of an operational budget in the Gamagara Local Municipality. In addition, roads constructed in the Gasegonyana Local Municipality were of poor quality and lacked a water drainage system.
The absence of a recruitment and retention strategy in health centres serves as an obstacle to the Northern Cape Department of Health to effectively address the shortage of staff. One of the contributing factors is the lack of funding to expedite the appointment of staff. The majority of persons with Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) have to walk long distance to access Antiretroviral treatment (ARVs) owing to the complexities with the accreditation of local health centres to provide ARVs. The poor road infrastructure hinders the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) from responding quickly to emergencies.
Stock theft, conflict among members of the cooperatives and the scarcity of stable buyers for the local and export markets negatively affect business growth. The members of the Rekopane Ostrich Farm Co-operative are experiencing challenges with their expenditure due to a lack of training on project and financial management. This is further exacerbated by limited funding from the Provincial Department of Agriculture and the Moshaweng DistrictMunicipality. Similar to the health centres and schools, the poor road infrastructure impacts negatively on the transportation of livestock in Bendel Village and Rekopane Ostrich Farm.
The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) is mandated by the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (Act No. 108 of 1996) to “represent the provinces to ensure that provincial interests are taken into account in the national sphere of government”, as articulated in section 42(4). Expression is given to this mandate mainly through the NCOP’s participation in the national legislative process, as well as by providing a national forum for public consideration of issues affecting the provinces. The NCOP’s “Taking Parliament to the People” programme seeks to promote public participation in parliamentary affairs and to assist the NCOP in carrying out its oversight function. The Programme is aimed at strengthening Parliament’s commitment to a people-centred Parliament that is responsive to the needs of the people in order to realise a better life for all. The programme creates an important platform for communities and Government to engage on issues pertaining to service delivery and to identify critical areas that requires urgent attention from Government.
During 27 – 30 August 2007, the NCOP conducted a Taking Parliament to the People follow-up visit to the Kgalagadi District Municipality, Northern Cape. The initial NCOP visit to the Northern Cape Province took place from 27 – 31 March 2006.
Community members of the Kgalagadi District Municipality, Northern Cape Members of Executive Council (MECs) and government officials from various provincial departments participated in a public discussions. Most importantly, the NCOP delegation undertook various site visits to determine progress made by the provincial departments in addressing challenges identified by the community during the initial NCOP visit in 2006.
The NCOP delegation comprising of NCOP Delegates, Members of the Provincial Legislature (MPLs) and local councillors undertook various visits to sites. The Northern Cape programme was located within the theme “Masijule Ngengxoxo Mzansi” (which means, ‘Let’s deepen the debate South Africa’).
2. SCHOOL VISITS
2.1 Wrenchville Secondary School
2.1.1 Issues identified during previous visit
· The school’s section 21 status.
· No fence around school.
· Leaking ablution facilities / underground pipes.
· Shortage of textbooks.
· Shortage of computers.
· Shortage of teachers.
· Inadequate / neglected school equipment.
· Temporary teachers not receiving their monthly salaries.
· Language barrier –, i.e. Grades 10 and 11 learners experiencing challenges with English as a medium of instruction.
· Transport for learners who are residing far from school.
2.1.2 Response / interventions made by school officials
· The school’s section 21 status has been addressed. The school has moved from quintile 5 into quintile 2, which means that learners are no longer required to pay school fees.
· A fence has been erected around the school.
· The Gasegonyana Local Municipality assisted the school in identifying the leaking underground pipes. Currently, the school is in a process of formulating strategies for the appointment a qualified Service Provider.
· The Department of Education provided the school with textbooks. However, the increasing scale of learners migrating from Mothibistad to Wrenchville has impacted negatively on the supply and demand of textbooks to learners. This has further resulted in some learners sharing the textbooks. In addition, the school is experiencing overcrowding in the classrooms. For example, there has been an increase from 746 learners to 915 learners during the current year.
2.1.3 Outstanding issues identified in the previous NCOP visit
· Due to inadequate funding, the school has been unable to address the shortage of computers. As a result, educators are sharing computers with the learners, which poses a potential threat to the confidentially of learner progress reports that are captured on the computer system. An appeal was made to the Department of Education to assist the school with funding with the aim of acquiring additional computers.
· The school managed to address the issue of staff shortage through the appointment of:
§ Two educators for mathematics.
§ New head of school / principal.
§ Nine additional teachers appointed from the 1st of July 2007.
· Whilst the Department of Education allocated extra desks to the school, migration from rural towns has resulted in a backlog of desks.
· Temporary educators are currently retained as teachers and are paid on a monthly basis.
· Learners that do not use English as their mother tongue are encouraged to make an extra effort and work harder in order to overcome the English language barrier.
· On the 17th of February 2007, in response to ensuring learner-transport, the Department of Education issued a tender. However, due to the service providers’ inability to agree to the routes and tariffs stipulated by the Department, learners are forced to continue with long return journeys (on foot) in order to attend school.
2.1.4 Current issues
· The school drafted a Recovery Programme (RP) to assist learners to make up for school work missed during the educators’ strike.
· Migration from Mothibistad and other rural towns has resulted in overcrowding in classrooms and an inadequate supply of text books.
· The school has created two additional permanent educator positions to cater for the increasing number of learners. There are also three additional posts available for temporary educators.
2.1.5 Response to current issues
The school’s RP constitute the following elements:
§ Two extra hours of tuition in addition to core school hours in order to accommodate the school work that was not done during the national public servants’ strike.
§ Saturday classes between 09:00 – 16:00 to grade 12 learners are offered to matriculants to equip them for their examinations.
§ Educators perceive the RP as a voluntary programme, due to its minimal remuneration. As a result, some of the educators are not participating in the programme.
§ Provision of transport to Grade 12 learners is problematic. It was noted that grade 12 learners attending Saturday classes have to walk long distances to the taxi rank, and are at risk of criminal activities.
2.1.6 General observations and recommendations made by the NCOP delegation
· It was recommended that Gasegonyana Local Municipality, in partnership with the Department of Public Works, assist the school with the provision of three quotes for the appointment of a service provider to fix leaking underground pipes.
· It was further recommended that Members of the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature visit the relevant schools at least three times per annum.
2.2 Seodin Primary School
2.2.1 Issues identified during previous visit
· Shortage of staff.
· Transport problems for learners.
· Poor punctuality of learners.
2.2.2 Response by school officials
· The school appointed fourteen educators, six of whom are paid by the School Governing Body (SGB).
· In response to challenges identified during the previous visit, the Department of Education currently provides a bus for learners residing in Wrenchville.
2.2.3 Current issues
· The school has formulated an Intervention Programme (IP) to assist learners experiencing difficulties with mathematics, as well as non-mother tongue languages as a medium of instruction.
The school received ten computers from the Department of Education., which are insufficient to accommodate all the technological needs of educators and learners. As a result, the learners and educators have to utilise these computers simultaneously.
2.2.4 General observations and recommendations made by the NCOP delegation
· School officials should introduce Setswana as an additional medium of instruction, since the majority of learners use Setswana as their mother-tongue.
· School officials should appoint educators who are fluent in English, Afrikaans and Setswana, especially for Grade 1. Such an arrangement would assist learners in participating effectively in class.
2.3 Lesedi High School
2.3.1 Issues identified during previous visit
· School infrastructure requires renovation.
· Classroom roofs leak on rainy days.
· Poor coordination and a lack of transparency between the Department of Education and the school exacerbates the slow pace of addressing the issue of repairs and renovations. The Department was informed in 1996 about the leaking pipes, but failed to respond.
· The school depends on donations for renovation and maintenance of buildings. Currently, the school has to secure a donation of R26 000 in order to repair windows and doors.
· Sanitation facilities have been malfunctioning for the past 15 years.
· Lack of electricity.
· Inadequate supply of textbooks in the school library.
· No gardener or security guard employed at school.
· The school laboratory is not fully equipped.
· Escalating rate of vandalism at the school.
· Poverty ranking of the school needs to be revised.
· Educators have lost interest in extramural activities.
· Poor participation of parents in school activities.
· School has not implemented an HIV and AIDS policy.
· Poor maintenance of the school hostel resulted in the hostel becoming a ‘white elephant’.
· Poor participation of parents and SGB in ongoing business planning.
2.3.2 Current issues
· Classroom accommodation: Due to high drop-out rate, only nine of the 20 classrooms are currently in use.
· Ranking of the school: Before the demarcation process, the school was designated section 21 status, located within quintile five. However, since amalgamation the school been placed within quintile two, which means it is has been reclassified a ‘no fee school’. As a result, learners from disadvantaged families can be able to enroll with the school.
2.3.3 Outstanding issues
· Inadequate funding.
· Poor student performance due to limited study material.
· Lack of financial management training for school managers and the SGB.
· Poor relations between the school officials and community, as well as other supporting structures.
· Poor participation of parents and SGB in ongoing business planning of the school. Parents do not attend school meetings, even when these are publicised through courts and churches.
· Deterioration of learners’ discipline, as parents are not partnering with the educators in implementing disciplinary measures for unruly learners.
· Challenges with regards to the implementation of the HIV and AIDS policy.
2.3.4 Progress/ interventions made by school officials
· The school management committee anticipated getting a sponsorship from surrounding mines and businesses and other fund raising activities to buy computers. In addition, the school management committee has approached the provincial Department of Education to provide assistance with regards to the aforementioned issues. However, the provincial Department of Education has not responded to the school’s request.
· The school has requested the Department of Public Works to assist with the renovation of the school.
· The school has prioritised the purchasing of a copier and fax machine. Currently, there is no time frame guiding the provision of these technological devices.
· The Department of Education and the school management committee anticipate providing training to educators both in Library Management and the on HIV and AIDS pandemic.
· A new block of ablution facilities has been erected. Despite, the existing ablution block having been renovated, the water supply is still inadequate. An example of taps leaking in some of the toilets were cited.
· The school has been correctly reclassified into quintile 2, due to the amalgamation of cross-border cities.
· During 2006, the school experienced an improvement in Grade 12 results, compared to the results achieved in 2005.
· The provincial Department of Education indicated that the Department of Public Works is in the process of tendering for the renovation of the school and is at the adjudication stage which will be completed within the next month (September 2007).
· The provincial Department of Education further indicated that the MEC for Education has formulated a plan for enabling security in the Northern Cape schools. At present, the school management committee is working on a plan for security and will give special attention to the newly incorporated schools during the 2007/08 financial year.
· Whilst an alarm has been installed, the school is unable to pay for armed response due to inadequate funding. Further, the community is not working in partnership with the South African Police Services (SAPS), citing SAPS’ failure to respond to their requests for assistance.
· The Ward Committee has an active community policing forum, which is being used to secure schools infrastructure. This policing forum is anticipated to be used effectively by the Lesedi High School in order to curb vandalism.
· All SGB members received training on basic budgeting skills, but were unable to attend advance budgeting training due to lack of funds.
· The recently launched Ward Sports Council will integrate Lesedi High School into its sports programmes with the aim of enhancing and intensifying extramural activities.
2.3.5 Response by provincial Department of Education
· The school has been reclassified a quintile 2 school. This has resulted in an increased operational budget including the provision of Learner Support Material (LSM).
· The school did not support the Department’s comprehensive business plan on computer and other required equipments as expected. This information was required to ensure effective budget for the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) period for all Northern Cape provincial schools.
· Funds allocated to various schools have not been transferred.
2.3.6 Response by Lesedi High School officials
· Prior to the amalgamation of schools, no formal training on drafting business plans and budgeting was provided to school officials. As result, it is challenging for the school management committee to submit a comprehensive business plan to the provincial Department of Education.
· The funds allocated to purchase textbooks are inadequate for the number of enrolled learners. In most cases, textbooks are not delivered within the required time-frame, which impacts negatively on effective teaching and participation of learners in classroom activities.
· The rate of vandalism has declined due to school management training offered both to parents and the members of the SGB. However, the members of the SGB requested that the school management committee employ a security guard to be responsible for security, as well as safety of learners.
· Unutilised classrooms, which are as result of the limited number of learners, are kept in good condition.
2.3.7 Response by School Governing Body (SGB)
· SGB members play a key role in maintaining the school garden.
· There is no clear definition of roles and responsibilities of the SGB, resulting in compromised parental support.
2.3.8 Response by Ward Councillors
· Ward Councillors are currently collating data on the actual number of children not attending school.
2.3.9 General observations and recommendations made by the NCOP delegation
· There is a lack of clarity with regards to the operational measures governing the transitional funds, which emanated from the amalgamation of municipalities.
· Lack of coordination and transparency between the school management committee and the SGB impact negatively on ongoing business planning of the school.
· There have been minimal interventions to address issues raised by the NCOP delegation during March 2007.
· Information provided by the provincial Department of Education is very general, i.e. not specific to Lesedi.
· Roles and responsibilities are not clearly defined, resulting in confusion and lack of effective participation among parents and the SGB.
· Parents, learners, educators and community members are disinterested and despondent with regard to the ongoing business planning of the school. This has resulted in the school management committee being dependent on the provincial Department of Education. This dependence is illustrated through the school management committee waiting on the provincial Department of Education to repair leaking taps in some of the ablution facilities.
· Irregular transfer of funds from both the Northern Cape and the North West Departments of Education has resulted in Lesedi High School having accumulated outstanding debts.
· The National Council of Education should provide a comprehensive report on the state of affairs at Lesedi High School.
· There is a need to investigate funds allocated to the Northern Cape Department of Education, and whether the allocated funds would enable the provincial Department of Education to address existing backlogs. The investigation should extend to include strategies that will address the alleged misappropriation of funds.
· The Chairperson of the NCOP, the Hon. Mr. M.J. Mahlangu proposed having a meeting with the Premier of Northern Cape Province, as well as the MEC for Education to formulate groundbreaking interventions that would instigate a sound education system, characterised by efficient delivery of Learner Support Material (LSM) and appropriate school funding.
2.4 Itlotleng Commercial High School
2.4.1 Issues identified during previous visit
(a) The School Governing Body (SGB) reported the following:
· Lack of water within the school premises.
· Lack of recreational facilities, such as playgrounds.
· Poor state of the school infrastructure.
· Weak electricity supply, resulting in regular circuit cuts caused by electronic equipment such as computers.
· Poor maintenance of assets, including fencing.
· Absence of a security guard, resulting in vandalism of school infrastructure.
(b) The School Management Committee reported the following:
· The school consists of twelve teachers, the principal and 352 learners.
· School fees are R120 per annum, which is insufficient to cater for all the school’s needs.
· Costs associated with full-time Internet connection, prevents the school from using the Internet effectively. However, telephone and fax lines are functioning well.
· There is a lack of science laboratories.
· Resource constraints prevent effective maintenance and renovation of infrastructure such as roofing.
· The school is losing quality educators to urban areas. However, some educators are in the process of furthering their skills.
· The school feeding programme would be more effective if it were expanded to cover the General Education and Training (GET), as well as the Further Education and Training (FET) bands, since most of the learners come from poor households.
· The school experiences difficulties in accessing adequate LSM.
(c) Learners reported the following:
· The lack of water at school.
· The need for a sports field.
· The lack of a laboratory, required to conduct scientific experiments.
· The library and textbooks are in a poor condition, which is not conducive to learning and studying.
· Learners share textbooks, due to a shortage of textbooks.
· A shortage of staff, as well as delays in the replacement of teachers who are leaving. Currently, the English teacher position is still vacant.
· The limited range of subjects offered at the school, serves as a barrier for learners to access bursaries.
2.4.2 Response by school principal during previous visit
· The school accommodates learners from Cardington, Ward 5, Deerward and Deerham. The school is located between 15km and 20km away from the aforementioned villages.
· A number of Itlotleng High School learners from outside the area are renting nearby houses from villagers. However, farmers provide the learners with transport to and from schools.
· Most parents are unable to pay school fees due to unemployment and poverty in the area.
· Currently, the school offers unemployed parents an opportunity to participate in gardening and cleaning tasks as a way of contributing to the school. In addition, parents are encouraged to pay what they can afford to. As a result, some parents are paying half of the school fee.
· Financial reports are given to the parents at the end of each financial year. The budget allocated to the school is insufficient to address existing challenges. Despite these challenges, including inadequate LSM, the school drop-out rate remains low.
2.4.3 Recommendations made by the NCOP delegation during previous visit
· The Department of Education needs to fast- track a replacement for the current vacant post of English teacher.
· The financial quarterly reports should be given to the School Governing Body (SGB).
· Science subjects should be included in the curriculum in order to expand bursary opportunities for learners.
· Interventions should be made by the Department of Education to ensure the installation of water within the school premises.
2.4.4 Outstanding issues
· The school stores water in 25 litre containers, because taps are not in working order. The Department of Public Works, Roads and Transport attempted to fix the bore-hole, but it was an unsuccessful initiative.
· Insufficient funding serves as barrier to the development of the soccer field.
· The entire school infrastructure is in a poor state.
· The ineffective electricity supply poses a challenge, with irregular circuit cuts negatively affecting the ongoing functioning of school activities.
· The library stores outdated textbooks. However, the provincial Department of Education provided the school with the books, which are not qualitatively beneficial to learners.
· The majority of learners who studied Mathematics and Science have left the school, due to the absence of a laboratory. The school, however, does not have an intervention plan to address this problem.
· The relocation of educators to urban areas has a negative impact on the ongoing management and business planning of the school. At present, the school is functioning without a deputy principal and head of department (HOD) for commercial subjects.
· Due insufficient funding, the school is unable to replace outdated stock, such as outdated computers, dysfunctional scanner, as well as manual typewriters.
· The school’s telecommunication lines are non-operational, and technicians take their time in responding to request from the school.
2.4.5 Progress/ Interventions made by school officials and provincial Department of Education
· In terms of providing recreational facilities, the Department of Education and the SGB managed to construct a netball area within the school premises.
· LSM has been provided to learners.
· The school appointed a teacher for English subjects. The school further made a request for the creation of a deputy-principal post, Head of Department (HOD) for Commercial subjects, as well as a Mathematics teacher.
· The Department of Education provided the school with 50 tables and 100 chairs. The Department further repaired 30 broken chairs for learners.
· The provincial Department of Education indicated that an amount of R298 000 has been budgeted for the upgrading of the school infrastructure. However, the school principal has, as yet, not been informed about the aforementioned allocated funding.
· The school intends on replacing the outdated computers, the dysfunctional scanners, as well as manual typewriters during the 2008/09 financial year.
2.4.6 General observations and recommendations made by the NCOP delegation
· The provincial Department of Education has to formulate a strategy to intensify transparency and coordination in a manner that will impact positively on ongoing business planning of the Itlotleng Commercial High School.
· The provincial Department of Education should be transparent in its allocation of funding for school upgrading.
3. HEALTH CENTRES
3.1 Kagiso Health Centre
3.1.1 Issues identified during the previous visit
· Staff shortages, including administration clerks.
· Emergency Medical Services (EMS) take long to respond to emergencies.
· Hot water is seldom available due to the malfunctioning of the geyser.
· Most Tuberculosis (TB) patients do not complete their treatment.
· Most patients travel long distances to access health support services.
· Poor road infrastructure impedes the effectiveness of the EMS.
· The nursing station is ill-equipped.
· There is a lack of dental therapists, as well as qualified staff to manage the X-ray department.
· The health centre is not accredited to provide Antiretroviral (ARV) treatment.
3.1.2 Recommendations made during previous visit
· Kimberley Nursing College should refer their student nurses to the centre for practical training.
· Supervision mechanisms between personnel of the health centre and the Northern Cape Department of Health should be implemented to enable effective coordination and accelerated service delivery.
3.1.3 Response by health officials
· All vacant posts have been filled, with the exception of one post each for a professional nurse and administrative clerk.
· A total of 25 EMS vehicles have been provided to the Kgalagadi District, with an average response time 20–30 minutes within a 50km radius.
· Hot water is still an issue. The health centre used R11,000 to repair the geyser. However, the Kagiso health centre will require an amount of R250 000 to replace its entire pipe infrastructure.
· During the first quarter of 2007, the health centre achieved a 73 % TB cure rate.
· The health centre has established 35 fixed Primary Health Care facilities in the area, and 196 mobile clinics at which basic services can be accessed.
· Poor road infrastructure. Health centre officials have determined that road upgrading is not a responsibility of the Department of Transport, but instead that of the Department of Public Works. As a result, the Department of Public Works has been requested to improve the road infrastructure.
· The nursing station is still not functional due to a shortage of staff.
· A total of two dentists and three dental assistants are currently working at the Kagiso health centre, whilst one dental therapist post is vacant.
· Due to insufficient funds, as well as the difficulty of attracting people to work in the Northern Cape Province, the health centre has been unable to appoint a radiographer.
· The health centre needs to apply for accreditation to serve as an ARV site. Whilst Kuruman hospital is well-staffed and equipped as a ARV site, it is too small to cater for the needs of the entire Kgalagadi District. In addition, the Tshwaragano Hospital provides ARV treatment only to adults.
3.1.4 Outstanding issues
· The health centre lacks adequate funding to repair its pipe infrastructure.
· The nursing station is still not functional due to shortage of staff.
· The health centre is unable to appoint a radiographer.
· The maintenance of roads has been regarded as the competency of the Department of Public Works, Roads and Transport.
· The health centre is currently not accredited to provide ARV treatment. It, therefore, poses a challenge to recruit student nurses from the Kimberley hospital to assist with the primary health care facilities.
3.1.5 Current Issues
· There is no recruitment and retention strategy.
· The health centre needs to formulate partnership with the Asbestos Trust Fund to assist patients suffering from asbestosis.
· The current budget is inadequate to address the shortage of equipment.
3.1.6 General observations and recommendations made by the NCOP delegation
· The health centre should to recruit locals for training. This is anticipated to augment the retention strategy for health professionals in the area.
· The centre should provide well-furnished accommodation for health professionals working in rural areas.
· The remuneration packages for health professionals should be the standardised across the country. This is intended to ensure that there is a uniform remuneration package, which will impact significantly on preventing the migration of nursing professionals to other provinces.
· The health centre needs to apply for transitional funds to cater for the population increase as a result of the demarcation process, i.e. people previously from the North West Province have been incorporated into the Northern Cape Province. This has resulted in challenges in terms of meeting the health needs of the increasing population.
3.2 Bendel Village Health Centre
3.2.1 Issues identified during previous visit
· Shortage of staff, as well as ambulances.
· Inadequate medical resources: The lack of medical waste incinerators compels mothers to take their placentas with them after giving birth, and this practice appears to have become the norm.
· Lack of infrastructure and equipment: Poor road infrastructure and lack of telephone lines hamper effective service delivery.
3.2.2 Recommendations made during the previous visit
· The Department of Health, together with the health centre management, needs to expedite the recruitment processes.
· There is an urgent need for the provision of additional ambulances.
· The EMS should be decentralised.
· There should be effective coordination between the clinic, district and the province to ensure speedy delivery of services.
· The home-based caregivers should be provided with the appropriate training, in order to be considered for filling existing vacant positions.
3.2.3 Outstanding issues
· Inadequate funding serves as a barrier to the provision of medical waste incinerators for placentas.
3.2.4 Progress/ interventions made by provincial Department of Health
· Provision of ambulances.
· Appointment of more staff. Currently, there are three professional nurses employed at the health centre.
· Installation of telephone lines.
3.2.5 Current issues
· Electric circuit cuts impacting negatively on the functioning of the health centre.
· Problems in accessing water.
· Absence of medical doctors and dental surgeons.
· A need to train ambulance drivers as emergency care practitioners.
· Lack of accommodation for professional nurses.
· Lack of a retention strategy.
· The health centre is closed over weekends, forcing patients to visit the nearby hospital.
· Poor road conditions serves as an impediment to ambulances in responding effectively to emergencies.
3.2.6 General observations and recommendations made by the NCOP delegation
· The Department of Health should increase the number of ambulance drivers employed, in order to advance the EMS.
· The provincial Department of Health need to expedite the recruitment of staff in a manner that will address the operating hours of the health centre.
· The Department of Health should invest in providing accommodation for newly recruited staff.
3.3 Mecwetsaneng Village Health Centre
3.3.1 Issues identified during previous visit
· Staff shortages.
· Poor maintenance of assets.
· Inadequate budget for ensuring effective ongoing planning and management of the health centre.
· Lack of ambulances.
· Limited operating hours of the health centre.
3.3.2 Outstanding issues
· Shortage of staff: Currently, there is one professional nurse, one nursing assistant and a cleaner on the staff establishment. The previous professional nurse resigned in September 2006, and has been replaced. The professional nurse undertakes the primary health care training every other week, and, therefore, works at the health centre only two weeks per month. In the absence of the professional nurse, the assistant nurse renders community health functions and refers patients to Tshwaragano District Hospital, Kuruman Community Health Centre or Kuruman Hospital. The Kgalagadi District intends on deploying a professional nurse to the health centre in order to alleviate the staff shortage.
· Inadequate budget: It remains a challenge for the health centre to purchase fax machines and other technological devices due to a limited operational budget.
· The Health Centre is unable to operate on a 24-hour basis due to the shortage of staff.
3.3.3 Response/ interventions made by the health centre officials
· Sufficient medical supplies. The health centre has resolved the challenge relating to shortage of medicine and currently has adequate stock.
· The provincial Department of Health provided ambulances to the Mecwetsaneng health centre. The nearest ambulance is in Mothibistad, which is 27km away.
· Public Participation in the ongoing planning of the health centre. The officials of the health centre have installed a complaints box to enhance service delivery to the community. The Health Forum officials deal with the adoption and implementation of the community needs and recommendations emanating from the complaints box.
3.3.4 General observations and recommendations made by the NCOP delegation
· The provincial Department of Health should expedite the appointment of nursing staff to ensure effective service delivery to the community.
· There is a concern with regard to the provision of technological devices, such as fax machines to the health centre.
· The provincial Department of Health needs to ensure that logistical and bureaucratic processes do not hamper service delivery and functioning of the health centre. Logistical problems need to be addressed in this regard.
· Health centre officials should provide reports highlighting problems and interventions made in the community.
· Lack of communication and transparency between different role players hampers effective service delivery, as well as the ongoing functioning of the health centre.
· The head of the Northern Cape provincial Department of Health should provide a full report on the services to be rendered in the province as it has taken over health services from the North West province as result of the demarcation process.
· The Chairperson of the NCOP, Hon. Mr. Mahlangu, signaled the intention to consult with the Premier of the Northern Cape Province and the relevant MEC with regard to discrepancies between the reports presented by the Mecwetsaneng community and the provincial health officials.
· The Northern Cape Provincial Legislature should formulate strategies to ensure accountability of the relevant department in enhancing service delivery to the community.
4. FARM VISITS
4.1 Rekopane Agricultural Co-operative Enterprise Limited (Ostrich Farm)
4.1.1 Issues identified during previous visit
· Insufficient funding.
· Incomplete water reticulation.
· Lack of proper training in project management.
· Lack of holding pens to enhance separation of the ostrich breeding pairs.
· Lack of adequate watering points, resulting in the overgrazing of resources.
4.1.2 Response/ interventions by provincial Department of Agriculture
· The co-operative is still facing financial challenges. Of the R210 000 funding allocated by the Moshaweng Local Municipality, a total of R120 000 was used for purchasing a breeding machine. The remaining funds were used to purchase ostrich feed, medicine and poles to divide the ostrich camp. The breeding machine is critical to the effective hatching of eggs. Currently, this machine hatches 34 eggs per breeding season.
· The Department of Agriculture provided a dam, fence and windmill to assist with water reticulation.
· The Department of Agriculture, in partnership with the Nature Conservation Unit, referred members of the co-operative to an Ostrich Farmers’ Training, which was held in Pilanesburg in the North West province. However, the members of the co-operative were not consulted about the content of the training course, resulting in it not being fully relevant to the needs of members. Instead, relevant training related to project management, identifying diseases and methodologies of raising ostrich birds, whilst the course dealt with customer-care and business plan drafting processes.
· The state veterinary examined the ostriches, and the results indicated that the birds are in good health.
4.1.3 Outstanding issues
· Compromised participation and conflict among members of the co-operative. As result, some members are no longer participating in the decision-making and ongoing business planning processes of the project.
· The need for financial assistance remains. At present, there is no operational budget to ensure effective management of the co-operative. As a result, the project coordinator (Mr. Ratle) uses his personal resources to purchase medication for sick birds.
· A fence was damaged, resulting in the theft of 11 ostriches. The value of each bird was calculated at R7000, resulting in a total loss of R77 000.
· At present, the co-operative has not received Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme (CASP) funding from the Department of Agriculture.
4.1.4 Current issues
· The farm should be insured, in order to provide protection against potential theft and death of birds.
· A fire belt should be installed in the infrastructure breeding house in order to control veld fires.
· The Department of Agriculture volunteered to assist the members of the co-operative with the collection of eggs. However, due to inadequate funding, members still face the challenge of requesting transport from the Department of Agriculture. At present, the project coordinator utilises his personal telephone in order to contact the Department for use of a vehicle. This vehicle is anticipated to expedite the transport of eggs from the camp to the hatching and breeding room.
· The co-operative requires financial assistance, due to a lack of operational budget to enable effective business planning and management.
· The lack of training has resulted in the preventable death of birds. There are currently no remuneration available to members of the co-operative currently working on the site.
4.1.5 Response/ interventions by Rekopane Agricultural Co-operative Enterprise Ltd
· Lack of funding hampers effective monitoring and evaluation of feeding for ostriches.
· Lack of fire belt, and the absence of incubator training for the members of co-operative, makes the farm more vulnerable to veld fires. This further hampers effective supervision of the farm to meet its objectives.
· The Department of Agriculture volunteered to assist with a vehicle for egg collection. However, lack of funding for the members of the co-operatives serves as an additional challenge.
· The Department of Agriculture launched the Macro-Financial Institutions of South Africa (MAFISA) programme during July 2007, which is anticipated to assist emerging farmers with skills and funding.
4.1.6 General observations and recommendations made by the NCOP delegation
· The relevant government Departments, Moshaweng Local Municipality and Kgalagadi District Municipality should develop a strategy that could impact significantly on enabling effective coordination among project stakeholders.
· The relevant government departments, in partnership with municipalities, should develop an economically sustainable strategy that will significantly impact on economic growth and poverty eradication programmes.
· Members of the co-operative should formulate a partnership with other ostrich farmers within the Northern Cape Province. The example was cited of a woman, who currently successfully manages her ostrich farm in De Aar area.
· It is of critical importance for members of the co-operative to devise groundbreaking interventions to strengthen their teambuilding strategies.
4.2 Wrenchville Small Women Farmer Society
4.2.1 Issues identified during previous visit
· Stock theft and lack of security.
· Social conflicts, resulting in lack of co-operation among group members.
· Transport challenges due to the 65 km distance to and from town.
· Launch of the Camden Land Restitution claim against the Gamahoudi farm land.
4.2.2 Response/ interventions by provincial Department of Agriculture
Subsequent to the NCOP visit, the provincial Department of Agriculture provided financial assistance to the value of R400 000 to the Wrenchville Small Women Farmer Society. This initiative has enabled the Society to empower their farming activities through:
· Erection of 7,9 km fence.
· Installation of two solar panels.
· Implementation of feeding irrigation system.
· Construction of ramps.
· Purchasing of extra livestock. Currently, the Wrenchville Small Women Farmer Society manages the following livestock: 61 cows, 35 calves, and 281 herds of cattle.
· Training on business skills and financial management was offered to the Wrenchville Small Women Farmer Society.
· Partnership with other neighbouring farmers is critical to empowerment, as well as assisting the Wrenchville farmers in coping with challenges.
4.2.3 Outstanding Issues
· Poor road infrastructure has a negative impact on the transportation of stock and other agricultural products to the commercial centres.
· Poor security has resulted in stock theft.
· Poor team spirit amongst members of the Wrenchville Small Women farmer Society. For instance, the Society consists of 29 members, but only three are active participants in the ongoing planning and management of the project.
· Lack of effective support from SAPS in curbing the increasing scale of stock theft.
· Members of the Wrenchville Small Women Farmer Society commute to and from the farm, which have budgetary implications.
4.2.4 General observations and recommendations made by the NCOP delegation
· The Department of Agriculture and Land Affairs should investigate how people access agricultural grants.
· The Department of Roads and Transport should provide a report on the strategies in place to upgrade the access roads to the Wrenchville farm.
· The District Council of Kgalagadi District Municipality should convene a meeting with the provincial Departments of Agriculture, Land Affairs, Roads and Transport, as well as Ward Councillors to address existing challenges facing the Wrenchville Small Women Farmer Society. A report emanating from this meeting should be submitted to the Provincial Portfolio Committee to enable the adoption and implementation of interventions.
4.3 Bendel Boergoat (Dipudi) in Bendel
4.3.1 Issues identified during previous visit
· Continuous conflict amongst members, resulting in poor commitment by some members.
· Poor meeting attendance, impacting on implementation of the project’s constitution.
· Transporting people 18 km to and from the project site.
· Lack of transport to market places.
· Lack of stable buyers for the local and export markets.
· Unstable and subjective market prices.
· Predators killing livestock.
· Poor farm management practices.
· Upgrading of access roads.
4.3.2 Recommendations made by municipality during the previous NCOP visit
The municipality had agreed to:
· Intervene in providing mechanisms to solve the existing conflict between members of the co-operatives.
· Provide Financial Management training.
· Assist beneficiaries in dealing with uncooperative members.
· Provide a horse and cart to alleviate the transport problem.
· Finalise the infrastructure of this project through CASP grants.
· Assist with linking the project to the established markets, especially export markets.
· Assist with formalising the market to enable the creation of one big market from where participants can sell livestock at market prices.
4.3.3 Progress/ interventions made by provincial Department of Agriculture
· Provision of a functionary windmill, a dipping tank, store room, goats and construction of an access road.
· Relocation of the kraal to a well-located site, which impacts positively through upscaling the number of goats sold on a monthly basis.
· Appointment of two shepherds. However, one shepherd’s remuneration cost is carried by the municipality, whilst the other is remunerated from the project funds.
· Funding assistance provided by the provincial Department of Agriculture, as well as the municipality. In addition, the project manages to generate its own funds through an increase in the numbers of goats sold on a monthly basis.
· Provision of training to the members of the co-operative on financial management, farm management, animal care and land care.
· Erection of fence on the site.
· Assistance from the Kgalagadi District Municipality with regards to the provision of the medication and feeding for goats.
· Effective police support with regard to curbing animal theft.
· Acquired bridging finance from Electricity Supply Commission (ESKOM) to start the project. However, the Kgalagadi District Municipality was appointed as an administrator to ensure effective expenditure.
· Establishment of a Board comprising of fourteen members, mostly women.
· Establishment of Member Management Team comprising of five members to enable effective financial management of the co-operative.
4.3.4 Current issues
· Increasing scale of animal theft and fence vandalism. The members of the co-operatives requested the provincial Department of Agriculture and the Kgalagadi District Municipality to provide them with another fence.
· Lack of transport for members of the co-operative to both the market and nearby villages.
4.3.5 Response by the Kgalagadi District Municipality
· The municipality considered providing the members of the co-operatives with a donkey cart. This idea was, however, rejected on the basis of it being unsuitable for poor road conditions in Bendel Village. The municipality is assisting co-operative members to save towards the purchase a vehicle.
· The erection of a fence for the co-operative has been prioritised for the 2008/09 financial year.
· The shortage of land creates a challenge in terms of extending hectares of land for the co-operative. This initiative is intended to diversify farming activities of the Bendel Dipudi co-operative.
4.3.6 Response by the provincial Department of Agriculture
· Members of the co-operative submit monthly financial statements to the provincial Department of Agriculture.
· A site for the construction of an abattoir to fast-track the sales of processed meat has been identified.
· Skills training to the members of the co-operatives by the provincial Department of Agriculture are ongoing.
· The provincial Department of Agriculture will monitor progress on the project to ensure that members of co-operatives are able to reach a self-sustaining phase, resulting in members becoming economically independent from its funding donors.
· Established and ongoing partnerships continue with other relevant Departments i.e. Labour, Economic Development, etc.
4.3.7 General observations and recommendations made by the NCOP delegation
· It is critical for the provincial Department of Agriculture to intensify its support to members in a manner that will enhance the economic development of the co-operative.
· Members of the co-operatives and relevant government departments should work together to curb animal theft.
· There should be a meeting between all relevant stakeholders with the aim of finding solutions to address challenges to the effective service delivery initiatives of co-operatives.
5. Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP)
5.1 Gamagara Local Municipality EPWP Road Construction Project
5.1.1 Issues identified during previous NCOP visit
· Funding from the Municipal Infrastructure Grants (MIG) is needed to sustain the project.
· Earthworks require the use of capital equipment such as machinery in contrast to labour intensive methods.
· High levels of unemployment in Kgalagadi District raise expectations of large numbers of people gaining employment from the EPWP projects.
· There is a lack of appreciation for the rotational basis of employment in EPWP projects, as well as a lack of cooperation amongst the EPWP beneficiaries.
· Remuneration given to the EPWP beneficiaries has not increased since the programme was initiated.
· Shortage of qualified personnel in certain aspects of the project poses a challenge. For example, a situation exists where a building inspector coordinates the projects due to the absence of the civil engineer.
5.1.2 Response/ interventions by the Gasegonyana Local Municipality
· The project was completed within stipulated time frames.
· The project was allocated R1million, and R700 000 was used to complete the project. The remaining R300 000 was utilised to construct an additional 300 metres of road. As a result, the R1million allocated by the Department of Public Works to construct a 1 km road was used in an effective and efficient manner in order to construct a 1,3km road. This was undertaken in a manner that did not compromise the quality of construction work.
· No machinery was employed during construction of the road. The project relied on a labour-intensive approach, which played a major role in enabling skills transfer to the EPWP beneficiaries. Currently, most EPWP beneficiaries can measure, plan and initiate pavement construction on roads. However, due to lack of funding, it has become a major challenge for the Gamagara Local Municipality to ensure that EPWP beneficiaries become effective Small Medium and Micro-Enterprises (SMMEs) in the road construction sector.
· The majority of the EPWP beneficiaries, who participated in the construction of the road project, are currently unemployed. However, some of the EPWP beneficiaries participated in the construction of speed humps in Sishen.
· The remuneration package increased from R40 per day to R50.
5.1.3 Outstanding issues
· Most of the EPWP beneficiaries are still unemployed due to the lack of an EPWP exit-strategy.
· The Gamagara Local Municipality requires funding to ensure ongoing maintenance of the road project. Currently, there is no operational budget to maintain the newly constructed road.
5.1.4 General observations and recommendations made by the NCOP delegation
· The Gamagara Local Municipality should develop an EPWP exit -strategy to assist EPWP beneficiaries in becoming empowered in the construction and infrastructure sector. This is anticipated to be undertaken using the tenets of Small, Medium and Micro enterprises (SMMEs) and the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (ASGISA).
· The formulation of the exit strategy will impact significantly in skills acquisition and economic growth in the area.
· The EPWP beneficiaries, who were involved in the road construction projects, should be given resources and be allocated more work and funding to maintain the road constructed. This is expected to assist EPWP beneficiaries to play a dynamic role in the investment of infrastructure and economic growth in the area.
5.2 North West Department of Public Works
The project commenced in the 2005/06 financial year with phase 1 which included brick making, erection of 15 carports and paving of 1100 square meter. Phase one was completed during the 2006/2007 financial year and EPWP beneficiaries started on phase 2 of the project. This involved erecting fourteen carports and paving 1370 m2. The total budget for both phases amounts to
On completion of the project a total number of 29 carports were erected and 2470 square meters were paved. At the inception of the project, there were a total of fifteen EPWP beneficiaries, of which four obtained permanent employment. The Department of Education is the end-user for this project.
5.2.2 Issues identified during previous visit
· Housebreaking and theft: Some of the air conditioners have been stolen through housebreaking. As a result, air conditioners are now mounted on the ceiling, instead of on walls.
5.2.3 Response/ interventions by the North West Department of Public Works
· Job creation: Temporary jobs were created during the execution of the project, employment was provided in line with EPWP procedures and category of the work force. Factors considered in the recruitment of people included, age and whether the person was the household breadwinner. Employment was offered to 11 females, 9 males, and 2 persons with a disability.
· Training and services provided to EPWP beneficiaries include:
§ Hard skills training
§ Soft skills training
§ HIV and AIDS education
§ Personal finance management
§ Career guidance
· On completion of phase 1, the EPWP beneficiaries were awarded with certificates to acknowledge their skills transfer from the project.
5.2.4 Current issues
· Lack of funding: EPWP beneficiaries are unable to enter the construction sector because they do not have bridging finance.
· Lack of training: No training provided in brick making resulted in a compromised quality of bricks constructed by the EPWP beneficiaries.
5.2.5 Response by provincial Department of Public Works
· The provincial Department of Public Works, Roads and Transport started to work with the EPWP beneficiaries in the 2006/07 financial year. The Department committed itself to provide Business Skills, Financial Management and Hard Skills training to the EPWP beneficiaries. The Department further negotiated with the banks to fund the project.
· The Department of Public Works, Roads and Transport conducted an investigation to ascertain factors contributing to the construction of poor quality of bricks.
5.3 Wrenchville Municipality Road Upgrades
5.3.1 Issues identified during previous visit
· Slow pace of service delivery.
· Poor road infrastructure.
· Lack of water and proper sanitation.
· Poverty and unemployment.
5.3.2 Current issues
· Lack of a storm water drainage system.
· Poor condition of roads.
5.3.3 Progress/ interventions by the Gasegonyana Local Municipality
· The road construction, consisting of concrete edging, was completed within the set timeframe. The total cost for 1,5km paved road project was set at R1million. The budget allocated by the Provincial Department of Public Works, Roads and Transport for the Gasegonyana road upgrade project was utilised effectively.
· The project manager employed by the Gasegonyana Local Municipality ensured effective, ongoing financial management of the project.
· The road was constructed through labour-intensive methods, especially in the construction of paving. This resulted in creation of job opportunities for the unemployed.
· The roads upgrade project facilitated transfer of skills and employment of 100 people. The transfer of skills to the EPWP beneficiaries (labourers) enabled the project manager to effectively manage labourers and increase their daily wages.
· Some of the EPWP beneficiaries who participated in the roads upgrading project, are emerging contractors (SMMEs). In addition, these SMMEs apply for tenders in the Gasegonyana Local Government.
5.3.4 Response by the Gasegonyana Local Municipality
· The project manager for the Gasegonyana Local Municipality indicated that it is usually a costly exercise to execute road upgrades. However, the labour-intensive method enabled effective utilisation of the budget allocated to this project.
· Furthermore, it is challenging to manage a large number of EPWP beneficiaries. However, the main tenets of the EPWP seek to ensure that there is the creation of vast job opportunities.
5.3.5 General observations and recommendations made by the NCOP delegation
· There is a lack of storm water drainage system in the roads upgrade project.
· The provincial Departments of Public Works, Roads and Transport should be engaged with regard to the financial implications of making use of labour-intensive methods in roads upgrading projects.
6. COMMUNITY FEEDBACK SESSION
6.1 The Hon. Mr MJ Mahlangu, Chairperson of the NCOP
The Hon. Mahlangu extended a warm welcome to all present. He articulated the purpose of the NCOP follow-up visit to the Northern Cape Province as aimed at assessing interventions made by the provincial government to address public concerns raised during the previous visit.
He further indicated that Parliament will provide reports on Agriculture (such as Ostrich Farm, Bendel Dipudi Village, etc.), Arts and Science and on the EPWP projects. He recognised that some groundbreaking interventions that have been made by the Provincial Legislatures in partnership with the Kgalagadi District Municipality and other local municipalities, in addressing challenges raised by the community during the previous visit. These include the following:
· Wrenchville High School
The Wrenchville high school has erected a fence and appointed educators. However, the school has not succeeded in addressing the water problem, due to challenges with the leaking underground pipes.
· Seodin Primary School
The school is facing a challenge of transformation. It is important that the school introduces at least one African language, such as Setswana since it is predominantly used in the Northern Cape Province. Furthermore, the NCOP delegation has noted a shortage of text books. Adequate interventions should be made by the Provincial Department of Education to address this issue.
· Roads and transport infrastructure
The provincial Department of Education is still faced with the challenge of ensuring effective transportation of learners to and from school. However, the utilisation of donkey carts to transport learners should impact significantly in addressing challenges to learner transport. In this regard, the Provincial Department of Education has prioritised the upgrading of roads and provision of learner transport in the 2008/09 financial year. There is, however, an urgent need for the Premier of the Northern Cape Province to intervene in ensuring the transfer of funds from the North West Province. It is anticipated that it would address some of the problems emanating from amalgamation of cross-border municipalities.
· Health Centres
There has been some progress with regard to intensifying service delivery in the health sector. However, the community, especially pregnant women, is still experiencing challenges in accessing health centres due to lack of transport or poor road conditions. The provincial Department of Roads, Public Works and Transport have prioritised the upgrading of roads infrastructure for the 2009/10 financial year. The provincial Department of Health has indicated their intention to purchase four-wheel drive vehicles to address this problem.
· Shortage of staff and lack of staff retention strategy
The absence of a staff retention strategy impacts negatively on the appointment of adequate numbers of heath professionals. The challenge of staff retention is, however, a national issue since most people prefers not to work in rural areas.
· Housing Delivery
There are still a number of challenges impacting on effective housing delivery. The MEC of Housing and Local Government in the Northern Cape Province Hon. Mr. Boeboe Van Wyk indicated that groundbreaking interventions have been made by the provincial Department of Housing and Local Government to fast track the scale of housing delivery.
The NCOP’s visit to the Northern Cape Province has highlighted the existence of a serious backlog in electricity provision. However, Government is committed to formulating strategies to address this problem.
· Bucket System
The bucket system has been eradicated within the Kgalagadi District Municipality.
6.2 The Hon. Ms C Seoposengwe, Speaker of Northern Cape Provincial Legislature
The Speaker expressed her gratitude towards the NCOP delegation for the follow-up visit to the Northern Cape Province. She stated that theft impact negatively in enabling economic growth of emerging farmers.
The Speaker indicated that the Provincial Government has made groundbreaking interventions in addressing concerns raised by the public during the previous visit of the NCOP. In this regard, the Executive Mayor of the KgalagadiDistrict Municipality, in partnership with the Members of the Executive Council, will formulate strategies to address existing challenges to effective service delivery. The Speaker encouraged women to work together in the fight against women abuse and poverty.
6.3 Issues raised by members of the Public
This session was chaired by the Hon. Mr. Setona, House-chairperson of the NCOP. The following issues were raised by members of the public:
· The lengthy approval periods for the Department of Home Affairs to issue identity documents negatively affect the elderly in their application for old age grants.
· The provincial Department of Education anticipated providing the learner transport in 2007/08 financial year, however, this objective was not implemented due to transportation costs, as determined by bus companies. The community should be informed of the progress regarding the implementation of this strategy.
· The lack of electricity and water provision in Mogojareng Municipality constitute a major challenge. This is further perpetuated by the utilisation of sack toilets, which poses health hazards.
· The lack of time-frames to complete the eradication of the bucket system remains a concern.
· The Department of Roads, Public Works and Transport should identify a strategy with time-frames allocated to complete the road upgrading projects, such as D321.
· Information is requested on the strategy to be used by the Kgalagadi District Municipality to expedite the provision of electricity in rural towns.
· The Northern Cape Provincial Government should develop a strategy to address the shortage of nurses in Moshaweng Local Municipality.
· The Northern Cape Provincial Government should identify remedial plans to expedite the provision and availability of medication to the health centres. Furthermore, there is a need to inform the community on strategies developed by the Northern Cape Provincial Government to ensure that people with disabilities can easily access wheelchairs and public transport.
· The Northern Cape Provincial Government need to clarify its strategies aimed at the provision of water at the Churchill Clinic and other areas in the Kgalagadi District Municipalities.
6.4 The Hon. Ms S Mereeotlhe, Executive Mayor of the Kgalagadi District Municipality
The following feedback was provided by the Hon. Ms S Mereeotlhe:
· The Kgalagadi District Municipality has made groundbreaking interventions to address challenges hampering service delivery.
· There are still outstanding issues emanating from inadequate budget and increasing scale of health professional staff relocating to urban towns.
· The upgrading of roads has been prioritised for the 2008/09 financial year, which will be done in partnership with the provincial Department of Transport, Roads and Public.
· Members of the community should work in partnership with the Provincial Government to identify challenges to effective service delivery.
· The Kgalagadi District Municipality has formulated a strategy to expedite the compensation of victims of asbestosis. Further, the municipality devised a plan to ensure that people living with disabilities play a pivotal role in service delivery initiatives.
6.5 The Hon. Mr Akharwaray, MEC for Social Development
The following feedback was provided by the Hon. Mr Akharwaray:
· The provincial Department of Social Development had identified 24 priorities aimed at significantly improving poverty eradication initiatives. One of these includes the intensification of the Early Childhood Development (ECD) Education Programme. Since most of the childcare centres in the area are not registered, it becomes a challenge to provide these centres with funding assistance. The provincial Department of Social Development intends to register a minimum of 70 childcare centres during the current financial year. Furthermore, the department anticipates the erection of 40 childcare centres in future.
· The provincial Department of Social Development has formed a partnership with the provincial Department of Health to ensure efficient provision of wheelchairs to the patients in need. However, some people using wheelchairs suffer from multiple disability disorders, which requires that the Department provides appropriate wheelchairs for such persons. In addition, the Department has identified strategies aimed at intensifying the provision of wheelchairs. These include:
§ Visiting families to determine how assistance can be provided.
§ Providing training in handling and treating patients.
§ Focusing on DEAF Society of South Africa SA (DEAFSA)
· There are no formal policies that guide the formulation of the Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in the Northern Cape Province. There is, however, an urgent need to formulate such policies, and to inform the community of Kgalagadi District about the implementation and functioning of NGOs structures. The provincial Department of Social Development intends to empower community development workers (CDWs) to play a significant role in service delivery and community development initiatives.
6.6 The Hon. Ms Binase, MEC for Health
The following feedback was provided by the Hon. Ms Binase:
· The Provincial Department of Health intends to mobilise the youth of Kgalagadi to pursue careers in medical and health related fields. This response should mitigate against the increasing rate of health professionals relocating to urban areas.
· The shortage of nursing staff results in clinics having to operate during weekdays only, but the clinics close in the afternoons.
· The provincial Department of Health has prioritised the purchase of four-wheel drive vehicles to respond to emergency services given the conditions of the roads.
· The Department of Health has allocated R4 million to the purchase of wheelchairs.
· The insufficient water supply negatively affects effective services rendered at health centres.
6.7 The Hon. Mr G Lucas, MEC for Education
The following feedback was provided by the Hon. Mr G Lucas:
· The Northern Cape provincial Department of Transport is working in partnership with the Department of Works to devise groundbreaking interventions that will impact positively in ensuring the provision of learner transport.
· The Northern Cape provincial Department of Transport is in the process of finalising its contract with Megabus with an intention of ensuring that learners are commuted effective and efficiently.
6.8 The Hon. Mr Malusi, MEC of Public Works, Roads and Transport
The following feedback was provided by the Hon. Mr Malusi:
· The provincial Department of Roads and Transport has appointed a consultant to each district municipality to identify roads that require upgrading.
· The provincial Department has prioritised the upgrading of roads for the 2008/09 financial year. Road designs for Churchill and Bendel have been completed. These road designs are anticipated to be constructed during 2009.Further, an amount of R30 billion has been allocated for the construction of roads upgrading project.
6.9 The Hon. Mr B van Wyk, MEC for Housing and Local Government (Representing the Premier of the Northern Cape Province, Hon. Ms D Peters)
The following feedback was provided by the Hon. Mr B van Wyk:
· The Integrated Development Plans (IDPs) highlights challenges and impediments hampering service delivery. The analysis and implementation of the IDPs resulted in Kgalagadi District Municipality being classified as one of the Presidential Rural Node projects.
· The Local Economic Development Summit was held on 21 February 2007 in Siyanda District Municipality to augment economic growth of the SMMEs. The Growth and Development Summit in Upington led to the formulation of strategies to enhance job creation in the Northern Cape District Municipality.
· Since the amalgamation of cross-border municipalities, the Northern Cape Province became responsible for the delivery of sound and quality education and qualified housing construction for the incomplete houses inherited from the North West province.
· The Office of the Premier established a unit that will enhance the involvement of traditional leaders in service delivery initiatives. In this regard, legislation has been approved by the Provincial Legislature to intensify the involvement of traditional leaders in all development initiatives. The Northern Cape Provincial Legislature intends to create effective partnership with the traditional leaders in a manner that will intensify cooperation and transparency between the Provincial Government officials and the traditional leaders.
· Outstanding issues reported in the previous NCOP visit will be finalised by 31 October 2007.
6.10 Vote of thanks: The Hon. Ms S Mereeotlhe, Executive Mayor of the Kgalagadi District Municipality
The Mayor expressed her gratitude to the NCOP delegation for the follow-up visit to the Northern Cape Province. She indicated people-centred development initiatives such, as the Taking Parliament to the People Programme, are of significant importance in enabling a sound cooperation among the three spheres of Government. She expressed the view that partnerships between the NCOP, Members of the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature, ward councillors and traditional leaders will enhance poverty eradication initiatives.
6.11 Closing remarks: The Hon. Mr Mahlangu, Chairperson of the NCOP
The Chairperson requested the Kgalagadi District community, as well as Members of the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature to have due regard for each other in a manner that will impact significantly on accelerating service delivery. He highlighted the need for an effective cooperation between ward councillors in order to intensify community participation in service delivery initiatives. He concluded that the NCOP follow-up visit to the Northern Cape Province will result in enhanced service delivery initiatives, and the promotion of further cooperation and transparency among the three spheres of Government.
This report notes that significant progress has been made to address some of the challenges initially identified during the NCOP visit to the Kgalagadi District Municipality in March 2006. Both provincial departments and the district municipality have followed up, and made a number of interventions in schools, health centres and EPWP projects in the Kgalagadi District. This highlights the impact, and critical importance of the NCOP’s oversight responsibility. However, a number of issues remain outstanding, and new issues have been identified since the last visit.
The report highlights that resource constraints remain a significant obstacle to service provision. Schools are challenged by poor infrastructure and inadequate or outdated equipment, while health centres are constrained by staff shortages. In the case of EPWP projects, there remain a need for support, both in terms of funding, as well as practical assistance and guidance from the provincial departments and district municipality, as well as an adequate exit-strategy. In this regard, the NCOP made a number of recommendations, which will require continuous monitoring to determine its impact on facilities and projects visited during the NCOP follow-up visit.
 Report: NCOP “Taking Parliament to the People”, Gauteng, 12 – 16 March 2007.
 Review of the role of the National Council of Provinces in Social Transformation: Health, Education and Social Development (2007).
No related documents