ATC080515: Report NCOP “Taking Parliament to the people” Western Cape
REPORT NCOP “TAKING PARLIAMENT TO THE PEOPLE” WESTERN CAPE: 29 OCTOBER –2 NOVEMBER 2007
The National Council of Provinces (NCOP)’s “Taking Parliament to the People” is one of its flagship programmes, aimed at giving further expression to its mandate of representing the interests of provinces. The ninth of these visits, took place in Pniel in the Western Cape, between 29 October and 2 November 2007. Committed to the principle of a people-centred Parliament which is responsive to the needs of citizens, the programme creates an important platform for communities and government to engage on issues pertaining to service delivery and to identify critical areas that require urgent attention.
The sitting was structured to include an opening ceremony, public hearings, site visits and a plenary session. Eight different sub-themes were explored during the sitting, under the overarching theme of “Masijule Ngengxoxo Mzansi” (Let’s deepen the debate, South Africa), which was Parliament’s debate for 2007. These include: cooperative government; poverty alleviation; agriculture; children, youth and people with disability; gender; water provision; Expanded Public Works Programme and job creation. The theme of the plenary session, which comprised of the annual address by the President, Hon. Mr T M Mbeki, followed by a debate, was ‘deepening the debate on transformation for a better life for all’
Key issues and concerns raised by participants during the course of the week-long programme are included in the section below.
2. Overview of themes covered during the sitting
The sitting was structured to include an opening ceremony, public hearings, site visits and a plenary session. The theme adopted by Parliament for 2007 “Masijule Ngengxoxo Mzansi” (Deepening the Debate) was also used as the main theme for Taking Parliament to the People. The following themes of focus for the visit were:
2.1 Deepening the Debate
This theme is underpinned by Parliament’s recognition of the importance of citizen participation in the governance of its affairs, and its subsequent commitment to “represent, and act as the voice of the people” of South Africa by strengthening participatory democracy and citizen involvement.
2.2 Cooperative Government
The interaction between the Members of the Provincial Legislatures, Members of the NCOP and National Ministers is required in order to improve the quality and sustainability of legislation and enhance effective parliamentary oversight. Concerns around capacity of Local Government and strategies to assist them, improving intergovernmental fiscal administration and service delivery, are addressed within this theme.
2.3 Poverty alleviation, educational and social needs
Poverty alleviation strategies include access to education, health, housing, social security, sport and recreation, as well as land and agriculture. Specific focus is given to issues around the empowerment of women and youth in economic programmes and policies, sharing of economic opportunities, implementation programmes to alleviate poverty, public transport infrastructure, the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), and job creation;
2.4 Agriculture as a tool for poverty alleviation
A key policy initiative for Government is the deregulation of agriculture to open it up to international trade, whilst protecting small scale farmers from previously disadvantaged communities. Key issues include Land Redistribution for Agricultural Development (LRAD) and Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme (CASP) to support farmers at various levels.
2.5 Structures to address the challenges faced by children, youth and people with disability.
Government has created structures and legislation to protect, respond to, facilitate and provide rights to vulnerable groups through the affirmative action policy framework. Oversight to the provinces helps to identify obstacles to service delivery, at both provincial and local government levels, as well as strategies to overcome them.
The impact on the lives of women of the structures and institutions set up by Government towards their advancement.
South Africa’s Constitution, 1996 is one of the most progressive globally, and entrenches a number of different rights that have significance to the lives of women. Regarding equality, a number of institutional mechanisms, legislation and policies have been implemented. Although considerable progress has been made during the past decade, much still needs to be done. The feedback from women in all the provinces has been essential to understand the unifying as well as the locally specific concerns of women in the country.
The provision of Water as a basic human right: successes and challenges facing Government
The Ministry of Water Affairs, along with its provincial counterparts, regards the provision of free water as an essential and important service. The ”Taking Parliament to the People” programme, therefore, serves an important platform for making people aware of new policies aimed at ensuring equal access and provision of water to marginalised communities. Water and sanitation are important for the improvement of the health and standard of living of the population. However, inadequate infrastructure and limited water supplies remain a challenge.
The impact of the Expanded Public Works Programme and other programmes directed at the creation of jobs.
The Expanded Public Works Programme forms part of a broader Government poverty alleviation strategy aimed at job creation and skills development through the delivery of infrastructure such as roads and housing. One of the projects initiated in the Western Cape, is the clearing of alien vegetation both for conservation purposes and for other projects which required clearing.
3. Key Recommendations/undertakings
Recommendations Impacting on the NCOP
· The NCOP should interact with councillors in addressing the challenges around drug lords, disability grants, and social grants.
· The NCOP should ensure that the laws that protect farm workers are enforced.
· The NCOP should convey a report to the Minister of Labour on farms and ensure that farms are visited, in order to witness the living conditions of farm workers.
· The NCOP should ensure that councillors are accountable to the people they represent.
· The NCOP should liaise with the Provincial Department of Health on extending the hours of operation of Ikwezi Clinic and changing its status to a day hospital or hospital.
· The NCOP should address the issue of low wages for EPWP workers with the Department of Public Works.
· The NCOP should investigate the ultimate full ownership by farm workers benefitting from shares in wine estates with the Standing Committee on Land and Environmental Affairs.
· NCOP should intervene with regard to the absence of Local Councilors from Drakenstein, Breede River, Wineland and Stellenbosch Municipality at the meeting. Their absence may hinder development that is driven by National and Provincial Government.
· The overcrowding of prisons is a national problem: more facilities needed to be built, and the occurrence of repeat offenders could be prevented through proper follow-up programmes.
3.2 Recommendations/undertakings impacting on National Provincial and Local Government
The Department of Health committed to re-evaluate the salaries of pharmacists and other medical staff.
The Department of Education (DOE) should consolidate the budget of the Slanghoek Primary school to enable them to draw on a broad range of teaching talent and benefit from better resourcing. The salaries of teachers should also be reviewed, especially in the rural areas.
The communities of Cloetesville and Khayamandi require two fully-fledged police stations to provide better services to their communities.
The Department of Trade and Industry committed to monitor the activities of cooperatives’ and assist them to market their products, and follow-up with ABSA around its criteria for rejecting finance for small businesses.
The Minister of Agriculture and Land Affairs and Departmental representatives should visit the various farms in the Winelands District to establish first-hand the conditions under which farmers live and work.
The MEC for Local Government in the Western Cape should visit communities, especially Ashton, Wosley and Silvertown in Mbekweni on lack of service delivery in their communities, particularly on issues of housing.
The Department of Housing should address issues of sub-standard houses built by contractors under the Reconstruction and Development Programme.
The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) is obliged by section 42(4) of the Constitution, 1996 to ``represent the provinces to ensure that provincial interests are taken into account in the national sphere of Government. This it achieves, mainly through participating in the national legislative process and by providing a national forum for public consideration of issues affecting provinces’’.
In line with this mandate, in 2002 the NCOP launched its flagship programme, “Taking Parliament to the People”, with a view to promote public participation and education. The programme entails visits by the House to a province to conduct public hearings, undertake site visits and to host community meetings in partnership with office bearers from all three spheres of Government namely, National, Provincial and Local.
Since the launch of the programme, the NCOP has visited eight provinces. The visits have been remarkably successful, more especially in reaching out to people in the most remote rural areas. In all provinces visited, the NCOP has encouraged the active participation of ordinary citizens, particularly women and the youth.
The programme is critical to the advancement of the vision of Parliament, which seeks ``to build an effective people’s Parliament that is responsive to the needs of the people and that is driven by the ideal of realising a better quality of life for all the people of South Africa’’. It has provided the NCOP with an opportunity to impact on the lives of the people and to conduct its oversight function.
Pursuant to its mandate of representing the provinces to ensure that provincial interests are taken into account in the national sphere of Government, and as part of its oversight function, the NCOP held a sitting in the Pniel LocalMunicipality near Stellenbosch in the Western Cape Province from 29 October – 2 November 2007. The overarching theme of the sitting was “Masijule Ngengxoxo Mzansi” (Let’s deepen the debate, South Africa), in line with Parliament’s overall theme for 2007. The sitting was structured to include an opening ceremony, public hearings, site visits and a plenary session. Seven different themes were explored within the framework of the overarching theme, namely:
Cooperative Government: The public hearing focussed on service delivery issues at local government level. In addition, site visits were conducted to health facilities and Expanded Public Works (EWP) projects, police stations and correctional facilities.
Poverty alleviation educational and social needs: The public hearing focussed on the effective functioning of schools, and was augmented by site visits to primary and secondary schools within the District Municipality.
Agriculture as a tool for poverty alleviation: The public hearing focused on issues relating to poverty alleviation and skills development programmes. It was augmented by site visits to farms.
Structures to address the challenges faced by children, youth and people with disability: The intended focus of the public hearing was to establish the effectiveness of existing structures to address the needs of children, youth and persons with disabilities.
The impact in the lives of women of the structures and institutions set up by Government towards their advancement: The public hearings intended to focus on women across all areas of service delivery.
The provision of Water as a basic human right: The public hearing focussed on successes and challenges facing Government in the provision of this essential service
The impact of the Expanded Public Works Programme and other programmes directed to the creation of jobs: The public hearings raised issues of concern to those working within the programme and related projects as well as those affected by them.
In addition, the theme of the plenary session was Deepening the debate on transformation for a better life for all.
2.1 Welcome by Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, the Hon. Ms PM Hollander
The Hon. Hollander thanked all the organisers and participants and welcomed Government and parliamentary delegates, religious leaders and members of the public. This was followed by the opening prayers by religious leaders from various faiths.
2.2. Welcoming by Councillor M Hani on behalf of the Cape Winelands Municipality and the Mayor of the District.
Councillor Hani commented on the appropriateness of the theme selected by the NCOP, deepening the debate, which signified the need to debate around issues of public importance and ensuring that service delivery took place. She recognised the overall important role of Parliament, and noted that the NCOP by design, was closer to the people. She assured the gathering that the event would be put to full use to raise the concerns of the people in the surrounding areas and expressed the hope that service delivery and prosperity could be accelerated for all in the Province, which promotes a home for all.
Address by the Mayor of Stellenbosch, Councillor EL Maree,
The Mayor expressed gratitude for the privilege of hosting the NCOP in the Winelands District. She said that the notion of ‘Parliament to the People’ was evidence of democracy at work. She explained that the Stellenbosch municipality was a developmental Local Government Municipality, which meant working closer with communities. Whilst the municipality’s primary focus was on poverty alleviation, it also recognises the unique heritage that places like Pniel, Stellenbosch, Franschoek and Klapmuts shared.
Mayor Maree viewed the need to work together with other Government structures in addressing the challenges faced by communities as an important aspect of developmental local government. She expressed the hope that ways and means would continiously be explored to strengthen these relationships. She alluded to housing projects, for which there has been joint co-operation. She referred to land as being a difficult and emotional issue. She pointed out that there were vast pieces of land in Stellenbosch and the surrounding areas, which are in the hands of certain Government Departments. Some of that land is in close proximity of business districts and offered great opportunity for transformation. On that particular issue she urged all spheres of Government to work together.
2.4 Address by the Speaker of the Western Cape Legislature, the Hon Mr S Byneveldt
The Hon. Byneveldt contextualised the event and made reference to Kliptown during 1952. He said that the Western Cape Legislature is working towards objectives of the Freedom Charter. He indicated that the meeting of the NCOP with the people emanated from the idea of the Freedom Charter. Furthermore, there is a constitutional prescript for ‘Taking Parliament to the People’. He added that the people of the area were ready to discuss issues relating to pensions, school-feeding schemes, housing, the benefits of education, the provision of water and electricity, as well as what needs to be done where obstacles exist.
2.5 Address by Acting Premier of the Western Cape, the Hon. Mr C Dowry
The Hon. Dowry complemented the initiative of the NCOP’s ‘Taking Parliament to the People’, as a great character trait by Parliament. He argued that the initiative is a historical undertaking by the NCOP, which allowed for free and open participation, and that it serves a meaningful purpose. He argued that Pniel is an appropriate location for creative participation in the debate on democracy, given the local population’s peripheral standard of living. He described the NCOP’s role as critical in providing coherence with Government programmes. Further, that the NCOP is regarded as the facilitator of national dialogue, providing an opportunity for people to speak and to be heard. As such, this initiative symbolises a shift from history, and the repressiveness of apartheid, as well as the undoing of a legacy of silence. He welcomed the new mechanism of entrenching public engagement.
He commended the NCOP for the impact made with the ‘Taking Parliament to the People’, despite it being implemented for less than a decade. He stressed that Government had a mandate of continued participation and dialogue with the people. While voting every five years was an important step towards participating in Government, it was not the only way. He cautioned against the danger of powerful and influential voices, and maintained that Parliament should make a resolution to move even closer to the people without any bias towards the influential sectors of our society.
He suggested that programmes such as ‘Taking Parliament to the People’, resulted in quality service delivery, especially with the constant dialogue between Government and the people. Referring to the concept of a ‘developmental state,’ he said that such a concept was about understanding society and making interventions to find economic balance. It was one of the objectives of the ‘developmental state’ to balance the scales of inequality between individuals and groups. He further argued that open communication processes must guide Government discussions and actions, whilst also emphasising the importance of continuous communication with the people about what Government was doing, as well as its challenges. The concept of a “home for all” was not a reality, but a vision which the Government of the Western Cape strived towards. ‘Taking Parliament to the People’ was a step closer towards a home for all.
2.6 Closing remarks, the Chairperson of the NCOP, the Hon. Mr MJ Mahlangu
The Hon. Mahlangu thanked the Province and the district for their respective roles in ensuring that the event would be a success. He said that it was an important day to interact with the electorate. He alluded to the work done through the ‘Taking Parliament to the People’ programme, and indicated that the NCOP was in the process of evaluating and assessing its programme with the view to enhancing it to respond to the needs and interests of all stakeholders. He highlighted the NCOP’s constitutional role, how it represents the interest of the people in the provinces and its critical role in harmonising the work of the different spheres of Government. He mentioned that the development process had to involve the people. The importance of the event lies in how it creates a platform for Parliament to listen to people’s problems and be guided on what can be done.
The Hon. Mahlangu said that it was important to consult with communities to enable them to understand the challenges faced by Government, since people are not merely spectators, but active participants. He indicated that in Pniel, the NCOP will deal with, and debate service delivery issues, including violent crime, drugs, illiteracy, and other issues of concern to the community. He argued that it is the role of the NCOP to listen and return to Parliament to deliberate on these issues as its way forward.
The meeting was chaired by the Chairperson of the Select Committee on Local Government and Administration, the Hon. Mr S Shiceka. Panellists were Mr Steven De Vries from the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) and the Member of the Executive Council (MEC) for Local Government and Housing, the Hon. Mr RQ Dyantyi. The topic of the discussion was ‘Cooperative governance: an effective tool to accelerate service delivery’. More than 200 community members from surrounding municipalities participated in the discussion.
Non-delivery of houses promised to the community.
Lack of playground facilities and schools for children
Inadequate service delivery to people with disabilities and the elderly.
Poor employment opportunities for women at municipal level.
Lack of electricity, water and sanitation, which is contributing to an unhealthy environment.
Rebates and write-offs by Municipalities enjoyed only be certain members of the community.
Limited understanding of Integrated Development Planning (IDP).
Limited knowledge of Provincial Development Councils, and poor follow-up on issues raised during Community Based Planning.
Inability of members of the community to pay for municipal services and levies.
Misuse of funds and investment in Municipalities.
Employment of security guards for councillors by Municipalities.
Councillors’ refusal to assist communities.
Lack of interest by municipalities on matters affecting the community.
Participation and cooperation between councillors and ward committees.
Roles and responsibilities of Municipalities and ward committees, and poor cooperation for service delivery.
On investment, Councillor De Vries indicated that municipalities are governed by the Municipal Finance Management Act (Act No.56 of 2003), which states that Municipalities should invest in order to provide services to the community.
He suggested that the Council was responsible for setting up ward committees. That function also is therefore also the responsibility of the Speaker. In terms of capacity of Municipalities, SALGA recognise the fact that Municipalities lack the capacity to render service to the community.
SALGA, together with the Provincial Department of Local Government, is assisting Municipalities in terms of capacity. This involves a programme where students are trained in Belgium in order to assist Municipalities, as well as providing training for Municipalities focussing on the roles as councillors.
Councillor De Vries suggested that communication between community and Municipalities, remains a challenge. Councillors should be reporting back to the community and be honest regarding the IDP. A Lack of understanding by Municipalities of the Provincial Development Council (PDC), was in part due to them not being directly involved since they were represented by Government.
Concerning housing, SALGA experienced problems with municipalities who are still using the old apartheid system in terms of allocating houses to people. In terms of building houses, the municipalities cannot build houses without infrastructure. This means that provision should be made for churches, roads, schools and sport facilities when building houses, and therefore community involvement is very important in the process.
On the issue of security for councillors, Municipalities has the responsibility of protecting councillors if their lives are threatened, and after the necessary assessments have been done. Civil society also has the responsibility of ensuring that the community is actively involved in all the processes identified.
The MEC acknowledged the challenges with regard to Municipalities’ capacity in delivering of services and questioned the willingness of some Municipalities to deliver. The MEC is looking at ways and means of dealing with such issues. The MEC indicated that he has met with all Municipalities and identified the high risk areas.
In terms of payment of services, the MEC stressed that services must be paid for by communities, irrespective of where they live. The community should register their concerns and challenges with their respective municipalities if they cannot afford to pay for services.
The MEC informed the community that councillors called meetings, but ward committee members did not attend those meetings. Community members can report on such matters, where councillors were not reporting back to the Community Development Workers (CDW). On IDP’s, the MEC’s office will release a report of IDP’s approved by the various Municipalities.
On the issue of people with disabilities, the Provincial Department of Local Government was in the process of undertaking a survey in the Province to look at their needs and prioritise them in accordance with service delivery objectives.
The MEC for Local Government is to ensure that basic services as approved by Local Government are rendered to communities in the province.
The MEC will be looking at housing development.
The MEC is to ensure the participation of the public and in particular organs of civil society.
The MEC to engage local authorities on issues of governance in the Province.
Khayamandi Clinic is situated in the western part of Stellenbosch with a catchment population of 17 968. The clinic is 4-5km from Stellenbosch Hospital and 45 km from Cape Town.
The operating hours of the clinic are 8 hours a day, five days a week. Part of the services rendered at the clinic included the Primary Health Care Package of Services. According to the Facility Manager, there are currently 211 registered Tuberculosis (TB) patients, of whom 97 are infected with HIV. The clinic also liaises with two community participation projects, namely the “Sister to Sister Project” and the “Zamstar Project”.
The staff compliment at the clinic is currently sixteen (staff requirement 25). There is no doctor stationed at the clinic, however a doctor visited the clinic 4 hours a week.
Bookings for basic antenatal care are made very late.
Teenage pregnancy is a major problem in Khayamandi.
There is no ambulance service at the clinic.
The clinic needs a clerk to assist with the administration.
The clinic requires doctors, and even struggled to get the visiting doctor for 4 hours.
Pharmacy assistants are needed to reduce the current workload of the professional nurse.
Cloetesville Community Health Centre is situated in the northern part of Stellenbosch, about 2-3 km from Stellenbosch Hospital. The Health Centre offers a Primary Health Care Package of Service and medical services. Students from the University of Stellenbosch rendered physiotherapy services at the clinic. Cloetesville Community Health Centre served as a referral point for surrounding Primary Health Care Clinics, of which there are ten fixed clinics and five mobile units. The hours of operation of the health centre are 8 hours a day, five days a week. On weekends, and also in the event of a trauma, patients have to travel to the district hospital.
The Regional Director stated that the region was looking at the extension of working hours, but that it would have major budgetary impact for the Province. Currently, there are no concrete plans in place for the health centre. Cloetesville Community Health Centre has a staff compliment of 30 people who attended to 230 – 300 patients daily, and on average about 5000 patients a month. Nurses at the health centre received training with regard to infection control, for example in ensuring that equipment was clean and on dealing with patients who have infectious diseases. The clinic has contracted “WasteMan” to remove waste from the clinic twice a week. The health centre has a doctor available on a daily basis.
According to the Regional Director, the Province absorbed staff from the Local Government clinics (245 staff members). The province dealt with the difference in salary between Local Government staff and the provincial staff by doing an audit on each individual from the Local Government side. The results of the audit were submitted to the Human Resources Department of the Provincial Department of Health where a comparison schedule was drawn up on the number of years worked, etc. The main objective was not to disrupt the delivery of services to the communities. The entire process would require some time for the previously Local Government staff to adapt.
More medical officers are needed.
There is a shortage of professional nurses in the region, e.g. in Franschoek where the cost of living is very high.
The health centre’s radius of service is about 34km (Franschoek).
Patient transport is a problem in the region.
There is room for improvement with regard to TB control, especially better data capturing.
An extension of working hours is needed at the health centre.
The Health Centre renders a 24 hour service to an estimated population of 1.2 m of Khayelitsha residents and the average number of patients that visited the health centre is about 800 to 900 people per day. The health centre has 39 vacancies, mainly as a result of the reluctance of health workers to work in Khayelitsha due to the high rate of crime. Some of the crime incidents reported within the hospital include doctors being attacked or forced to attend patients with stab wounds. The budget of the Health Centre for 2007-2008 financial year was R30 million and will be spent within this period. The Health Centre is currently managed by the Facility Manager, Ms Notshe who was appointed in an acting capacity since 2007. The provincial Department of Health has advertised the position which should be filled on a permanent basis shortly.
The NCOP delegation met with the Management of the Khayelitsha Hospital who highlighted the key services rendered by the hospital:
Child curative- acute and chronic- care
Child – preventative care.
24 hrs deliveries, Ante and Post Natal Care.
TOP (Counselling & Procedures).
Cervical Cancer screening.
Rape survivors – acute & follow-up.
Medico – legal.
STI care and counselling.
An HIV and AIDS Antiretroviral (ARV) Clinic
TB-detection & treatment.
Due to the relative small size of the Health Centre, as well as lack of ward facilities, the hospital can hardly meet the needs of seriously ill patients, particularly in accommodating them for two or more days. Such patients are referred to level one hospitals, such as Tygerberg or Groote Schuur. Construction is underway to extend the hospital to include a trauma unit, and have 230 more beds to accommodate seriously ill patients. The completion date for the full extension of the hospital is estimated to be March 2008.
There is only one ambulance attached to the hospital to transport patients to Tygerberg Hospital, as well as other hospitals within the precinct of the Metro Region. The hospital uses the services of one Social Worker and one Dietician. The intention is to increase these personnel to be able to attend to the needs of the patients receiving treatment from the hospital. The health centre had HIV and AIDS and TB programmes, which are managed by a highly qualified nursing sister. This is in response to the high rate of TB in the area.
The strike had a huge effect to staff morale particularly the “no work no pay” call by the Department, and management is working hard to restore their morale.
The hospital is adversely affected by the use of the hospital’s electricity and telephone line by informal settlement dwellers around the hospital. They dig holes to go through the wall-fence and connect their electric wires, as well as telephone lines. Some of these crimes are, according to the staff, possible due to assistance given by foreign nationals.
There are long queues, especially on weekdays, while on weekends staff deals mainly with patients with stab wounds as a result of the plethora of shebeens in the area.
A resident doctor, Dr Govender, indicated that the majority of the patients who visit the hospital are victims of poor socio-economic circumstances. In some instances, people would prefer to be sick either with TB or AIDS in order to access grants.
Population challenges relating to increases in the informal settlements such as 24-hour shebeens, muggers, robbers were a cause for concern for the management staff, especially between Kuyasa and the R310 up to Muizenberg.
The deadline of April 2008 for the completion of the hospital extension to accommodate seriously ill patients would have to be met as anticipated. The delegation is of the view that this will ease some of the demand and pressure put on the hospital by the community and patients in general, and thus encourage the hospital management to adhere to its deadline.
Management staff will have to do more to ensure that all 39 vacancies are filled, since the recruitment of doctors and nurses is challenging for the health sector. This include the appointment of a full-time Facility Manager, as opposed to an acting one.
The health centre should strengthen partnerships with the private sector to improve the standard of recruitment, as well as the retention of staff, in order to develop a strong and cohesive social service delivery model which fosters integration of services.
Ikwezi clinic is situated in Strand and is surrounded by 4 villages, with a total population of 56 525. The clinic was opened in 1999 and is one of the four City Health Clinics that offers a comprehensive health service. It operates 8 hours per day, Monday to Friday. The clinic is managed under the Eastern Sub-district of City Health, City of Cape Town. The training hospital is Hottentots Holland Hospital, in Somerset West.
Primary Health Care services include: Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) management, Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI), Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT), Voluntary Counciling and Testing (VCT), reproductive health, wellness clinics, baby clinic, pap smears, antenatal care, adult curative and chronic illness management. The clinic renders all medical services, with the exception of mental health services. No deliveries are done at the clinic, and antenatal visits are scheduled up to eight months into the pregnancy, after which women are referred to Macassar. The clinic employs midwives for the event of emergency deliveries.
The clinic has two doctors at present, one of which deals with ARVs. A sessional doctor renders services to TB patients approximately two days per week. The clinic employs ten professional nurses (staff requirement is twelve) and one enrolled nurse who renders services to approximately 400 patients per day. Interviews are being conducted in order to fill the two vacant nursing posts. Ikwezi employs one pharmacist, one assistant pharmacist and two senior workers who assist in the pharmacy. There are also two clerks, one medical officer (staff requirement is two), and a Clinic Manager. The clinic has a locum pharmacist and a pharmacy assistant working in the pharmacy. There are two security services that are being outsourced to Ikwezi Clinic, with 2 guards on duty during the day. The clinic is not guarded at night, but is provided with an armed response service.
· The official hours are 8h00 to 16h00, but staff work from 7h30 to 16h30 as people start queuing at the clinic from 4h00 every morning.
· At least four extra consulting rooms, more doctors and nursing and other staff are needed. Further expansion was due to start in January 2008. However, the expansion will merely serve to ease the current congestion/ or lack of space. To increase the clinic size will mean that it would attract even more patients, and this will make it difficult to deal effectively with infections and emergencies.
· Given the size of the catchments area, consideration would have to be given to building a second clinic. The clinic management proposed that a new clinic be built in Asanda Village, since the majority of patients are from this location.
· The distance remains a challenge, especially to those patients who required on-going treatment and those who could not afford to pay for transport to the clinic. Some patients in advanced stages of treatment often discontinue their treatment because they are too weak to travel. This causes even more difficulties if patients are in labour.
· There are no resident ambulance services at the clinic. In cases of emergency the clinic has to phone for an ambulance. Sometimes it takes up to three hours for a response.
· Only two telephone lines are working due to fires and cable theft, and there are no photocopy, fax machines or internal telephone facilities available.
· The number of TB patients has increased. The clinic is not adequately equipped to accommodate and deal with the number of patients coming to the clinic on a daily basis. The clinic has no extreme drug resistant (XDR) TB cases, but there are patients with multiple drug resistant (MDR) TB.
· There is a need for educators to educate the community on how to deal with less serious illnesses. Children, however, receive priority and are never turned away, even in minor cases.
· There are no mobile clinics in the area.
· There is a high turnover of staff due to the fact that Strand is over 40 km away from Cape Town. People are therefore reluctant to take up employment at Ikwezi. It is possible for nurses to see +/- 35 patients a day, but staff at the clinic often stays until everyone is assisted. Nurses resign from the clinic because of the workload. They leave because of better working conditions, not necessarily better salaries
· High burden of disease: There were 217 TB cases newly registered in the last quarter of 2006 alone. 69% of TB patients in the second quarter in 2007 tested HIV- positive. Although the HIV-infection rate is stabilising, the clinic did not manage to test as many people as it would have liked. In most cases, people do not visit the clinic for voluntary HIV testing, but because they are sick or pregnant and during testing/screening discover their HIV status. The nurses promote testing, since the clinic does not have dedicated persons to educate the community about HIV and voluntary testing.
· The area had an infant mortality rate of 48 per 1000 live births in 2006. Support from Metro District Health Services (MDHS) through the enhanced response to TB programme and specific sub-district plans would assist in reducing the burden.
· Lack of emergency medical services: The only 24-hour public emergency facility in the area is the Hottentots Holland Hospital, which is not on the public transport route for the communities served by Ikwezi Clinic. All the other local public health facilities operate on a 8-hour basis, Monday to Friday.
· Community Health Workers are needed to ease congestion at the clinic by doing follow-ups so that patients can be treated at the homes of Community Health Workers.
· There are no Afrikaans-speaking councillors catering for the Afrikaans-speaking community, especially in respect to HIV screening. Some staff members are not conversant in Xhosa.
· The ventilation problem at Ikwezi is not conducive to patients’ welfare, and makes it difficult to determine whether or not treatments are successful.
· There is safety hazard when crossing the busy road and a proposal was made for an overhead bridge to be erected over the road to enable patients to cross the road safely.
It was recommended that the NCOP follow up with the Provincial Department of Health regarding the proposal that was sent by the clinic’s management three months previously in respect of which no response had been received. The proposal concerned extending the hours of operation of Ikwezi and changing its status to a day hospital or hospital. This would mean that it could operate longer hours; staff would be able to assist more patients. This would also ease the congestion, as patients could also be attended to in the afternoons or at night. Ikwezi would then also be able to offer more services as determined by the Provincial Department of Health, and would be eligible for more funding.
4. Theme 3: Poverty Alleviation, Educational and Social Needs.
4.1 Public Hearings on Social Security
The issues addressed under social security included health, social development and education. Issues were raised by members of the public and were then addressed by Ministers from the relevant Departments
Poor service delivery at clinics relating to long queues, availability of doctors (especially over the weekends).
Non availability of certain medication at clinics.
No hospital has been built for the community of Ashton, but Montagu has two hospitals.
Lack of ambulance services in the area.
The Minister acknowledged that the region’s TB cure rate is higher than the national norm. The Minister stated that in the Western Cape, a major problem was that big institutions (e.g Groote Schuur) wanted the biggest part of the budget. However, it should be taken into account that it would be more beneficial to have the services closer to the communities e.g. Khayelitsha. The Minister indicated that no person in need of urgent medical attention would be turned away from a clinic.
With regard to a possible hospital in Ashton, the Minister stated that Ashton was only 12km away from Montagu and since Ashton has a Community Health Centre, there was no need to build a hospital.
The Minister acknowledged that more ambulances were needed, especially in the light of the 2010 Soccer World Cup. She further noted that medicines must be available for people at the clinics, but in the event that there were none, they should be available at the district hospital.
The Minister noted that lack of human resources in the health sector was not only a South African problem, but an international phenomenon. She stated that more nursing colleges were being opened to train student nurses. In addition, a programme to train clinical associates will be undertaken. The Department of Health is also in the process of increasing the salary of nurses which may range from 50 – 80%, depending on the skills and experience of nursing staff. The salaries of, for example, pharmacists and other medical staff will also be re-evaluated.
Women receive old age grants at the age of 60, compared to males at the age of 65.
People have to re-apply for grants.
Information requested on departmental poverty alleviation programmes.
In formation on Government’s response to substance abuse (tik and alcohol) by children.
A group of people are living under the bridge near Du Toit station in Stellenbosch.
On the issue of the discrepancy between ages of eligibility for pensions, the Deputy Minister replied that this was regarded as positive discrimination.
The Deputy Minister indicated that there were 12,7 m people receiving social grants in South Africa (SA), and that the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) supported training and self-employment initiatives related to Home Based Community Care Centres. She said that if people in need of urgent assistance, should apply for the social relief of distress grant.
Free education from Grade R to Grade 12.
Availability of information regarding bursaries to learners (especially matriculants) to further their studies.
One member complained that the “inspector” in Delft South refused to work with members of the community on educational matters.
Kayamandi has only one primary school, with the result that the school is unable to absorb the all children in the community. The community needs more schools.
The availability of transport for learners who travel long distances to school.
School feeding schemes are discriminatory, since children in Grade four are not catered for at one of Kayamnandi’s schools.
The extent to which corporal punishment be implemented.
The Deputy Minister stated that no child can be excluded from attending school due to non-payment of school fees. Some schools in poor areas were declared “no fees schools”, hence 5 million children, and a total of 12 000 schools are exempted. The Deputy Minister noted that the Department envisage the expansion of the “no fee schools initiative”.
Early Childhood Development (ECD) has been integrated into the school curriculum. About R125 million has been allocated for bursaries for this financial year, R200 million for the next financial year, and R1,2 billion had been budgeted for tertiary education.
The salaries of teachers will be reviewed, especially in the rural areas, where the Department will be providing incentives and rewards to teachers. A programme called “Kick start” has been introduced in Grade 7-8 to assist learners to make the right choice relating to their subject choices.
With regard to learner transport, the Western Cape has allocated R168 million, but learner transport will be reviewed nationally.
With regard to corporal punishment, the Deputy Minister noted there is a difference between reasonable and non-reasonable chastisement, and that parents should know the difference.
Councilor De Vries noted that Municipalities are obligated by the Constitution (Act No. 108 of 1996), the Municipal Systems Act [Act No. 32 of 2000] and various other pieces of legislation, to embark on social development issues in its area of jurisdiction. He further noted that councillors and Community Development Workers will have to play a greater role in identifying challenges with regard to social development.
The programme director, the Hon. Rev P Moatshe, opened the proceedings, introducing members of the panel and noted an apology from the Minister of Agriculture and Land Affairs, the Hon. Ms LM Xingwana.
Rev Moatshe, in his opening address, stressed the efforts of Government in creating a better life for all, by making agricultural land available for the upliftment of previously disadvantaged people.
5.1.1 Issues raised by members of the public
· Overcrowded transport provided by farmers for farm workers, which proved to be dangerous and unhealthy.
· Refusal by farmers to allow farm workers to bury their loved ones on the farm.
· Farmers still not paying workers a decent wage and as a result, some of the farm workers are living below the poverty line. In certain cases farm workers are being paid 50c per hectare of land worked.
· Living conditions on the farms are amounting to human rights abuses.
· Farm workers are being evicted when farms were sold to new owners or when farm workers demand compensation for working extremely long hours. There is no proper legal framework in place to assist farm workers with cases such as illegal evictions and unfair labour practices.
· A Government response to assist farm workers who have already been evicted.
· Farm workers are cut off by farmers from basic amenities and services such as water and electricity.
· Government allowing foreigners to buy land, but failing to assist emerging farmers and communities to acquire land in order to become self sustainable. Mention was made of conspiracy with farmers and foreigners in acquiring lucrative land that could be used for community development.
· Municipalities do not know how to assist emerging farmers.
· Farm workers do not have access to grants made available to them. When they approach Departments and the municipality for assistance, they are sent from pillar to post.
· Farmers are accessing grants from Government for the upgrading of farm workers’ living conditions, but the conditions remain unchanged, and workers are still living under conditions not suitable for human occupation.
· Municipalities are aware of these problems, but doing anything to assist.
· On some farms, farm workers collectively own 30%, while the farmer owns 60% and could still control the lives of the workers.
· Racist elements within Municipalities, contributing to the local communities not being provided with infrastructural amenities.
· Farm workers are not provided with proper medical facilities, and when a doctor was made available, it was for a short period only attending to two or three people.
· Youth Involvement in Agricultural projects promised by Government.
· Farm workers are made to pay for all amenities, but paid below the minimum wage.
· Farm workers to be assisted by Government to achieve the goal of 30% ownership of certain farms by farm workers.
· Farmers are unwilling to pay benefits to workers unable to work due to medical reasons. In some cases, the entire family is evicted, and so the burden of care is shifted to the State.
· Emerging farmers are being exploited by the big established farmers who later evict them.
· A canning factory in Ashton was retrenching workers, but at the same time, employing workers from outside at a higher wage. Family members who worked on the farm are not allowed to work in the canning factory.
In his response, the MEC noted the concerns raised by the participants stating that transport arrangements and share allocations of workers must be properly negotiated between the workers and farmers. The issue of burial sites is a municipal function and the community should request from the Municipality to make land available, as was the case in Worcester where land was made available for a new graveyard.
The Western Cape Government is attending to the farm evictions by trying to establish Agricultural Villages for evictees, as was the case in Rawsonville where Government is currently waiting for the land to be re-zoned.
With regard to the canning factory in Ashton, Government has invested an amount of R13 million in the factory in an attempt to revive it. The MEC argued that the community should, however, understand that the canning factory employed people not only from Ashton, but also from the surrounding areas. In this regard, people should have equal job opportunities.
In closing, the MEC made an appeal to individuals who experienced being sent from pillar to post with no assistance, to leave their contact details with the departmental officials present in order to be assisted. The MEC stated that all other issues not relating to his Department would be forwarded to the relevant Departments for follow-up.
The Deputy Minister stated that in order for Government to assist the community, they should play their part by mobilising themselves and by reporting evictions and abuse of farm workers. He urged farm workers to form worker unions that will protect their rights, as well as making use of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO’s) in the area that will assist them in their plight.
He stated that by mobilising themselves and properly documenting events, Government would have the proof needed to take perpetrators to task as this was the only way such cases would stand in a court of law. He also assured the community that the concern about foreign ownership of land was currently being dealt with, with a report completed for Cabinet review.
In closing, the Deputy Minister asked people to leave their contact details with departmental officials present in order to be assisted. He encouraged people to make use of the Department of Land Affairs hotline for assistance, which is 0800 007 095.
The general view of the community was that the relevant Ministers and departmental representatives should visit the various farms to establish first-hand the conditions under which they live and work in an attempt to remedy the situation.
5.2.1 Lebanon Fruit Farm Land Reform Project: Thandi Wines
Thandi Wines (the brand under which Lebanon Fruit Farm Trust wine was being sold) opened to other empowerment farms in the wine industry. Thandi is the largest and best known empowerment brand in South Africa. It is also the first wine in the world to achieve Fair-trade status. There is a demand for fair trade products.
Thandi Wines is in the process of purchasing a winery, which would give it manufacturing capacity and an opportunity to further grow its business. Thandi Wines is advantaged by its partnership with a bigger farm which has been in business for a significant period. There are 233 shareholders working on neighbouring farms.
Lebanon Fruit Farm Trust (LFFT) is a broad based black-owned and managed entity. Through its programme of capacity building, the LFFT is majority black-owned and is chaired by a black woman. A black manager was recently appointed.
The Farm owns four tractors, three of which are in a poor condition. The cost of a new tractor is R220 000.
There is a shortage of spraying carts.
Thandi also produced apples and the income of apples was dependent on its quality. It costs the farm R100 000.00 to plant 100 ha of apples.
Exports to China remain a challenge, as the protocols are not in place.
5.2.2 Bouwland Estate – Stellenbosch
The Bouwland project is a Land Redistribution for Agricultural Development (LRAD) equity scheme between the Bouwland Trust and Beyers Truter. The Trust owns 74%, and Beyers Truter 26% of the estate. The aim of the project is to uplift the community socially by making them land owners in partnership with the previous farm owner, Mr. Beyers Truter. Most of the beneficiaries are workers on the Kanonkop, Beyerskloof, Bouwland and Uitkyk farms, and are all from the Stellenbosch area.
The number of beneficiaries is 60, with 22 women and 29 youth. The farm is managed by the trustees, who meet once a month to discuss progress made, as well as matters arising from the management of the farm. The trustees meet with the shareholders once per quarter to give feedback.
The beneficiaries received assistance from the provincial Department of Agriculture with farm plans, business plans, marketing, etc. The objectives of the farm are:
· To build the Bouwland trademark to an international respected trademark who is synonymous with quality red wine.
· To produce wine of outstanding quality.
· To make profit for the shareholders.
· To better the long term vision and income of the new farmers.
· To fully empower the new farmers.
The Estate has no laboratory for production of its own wines.
It is a challenge to conduct skills development and training for beneficiaries, as they are not all situated in one area
Lack of funding.
No vehicle to transporting workers.
Beneficiaries ultimately want full ownership of the Estate.
Beneficiaries requested the delegation to look at ways to assist them with obtaining funding and developing skills for beneficiaries in order to develop the estate into a sustainable and profitable estate for all.
The delegation indicated that it will set up a meeting between the beneficiaries and a delegation of the Standing Committee on Land and Environmental Affairs to discuss possible solutions to challenges identified.
6. Theme 5: Structures to Address the Challenges Faced by Children, Youth and People with Disability.
Communities are in need of recreational facilities.
Programmes and projects to help school drop-outs, since there are talented individuals in the communities who require support.
Property which could have been used for recreational facilities are being sold by the Municipalities to developers.
A disabled student, attending a mainstream high school in Franschoek, stated that he was teased at school because of his disability.
Availability of bursaries to the youth.
Increase in the amount of social grants.
Public places should be more disability friendly.
Youth problems with drugs and gangsterism.
Visibility of Umsobumvu in the region.
The Provincial Youth Commission noted that it did target district and local Municipalities with regard to youth formation programmes and projects. Accordingly, a concern in the Western Cape is that the leadership in Municipalities are not consistent, with the result that the “new” leadership do not retain the youth development policy which was put in place by the previous leadership.
It was envisaged that the Umsobumvu Youth Fund would be decentralised and there is currently a committee dealing with the issue.
With regard to sport fields, it was noted that Municipalities are responsible for providing the service to the community. The Provincial Youth Commission stated that there is a particular programme in place, in partnership with the Provincial Government, to ensure that space is available for recreational facilities within the various Municipalities in the Province. However, it was stated that the youth structures within the different Municipalities must be organised in order for this programme to be successful.
The Provincial Youth Commission, in partnership with the Department of Community Safety, has a programme in place for creating alternatives which deals with ‘tik’ and gangsterism.
6.1.3 Response from Counsellor De Vries (SALGA)
Counsellor De Vries noted that regardless of the majority political party in the Municipality, it has to ensure that it work as a collective. Municipalities also have to work with with communities to deal with the various local challenges. Municipalities must work with forums and structures in the communities.
6.1.4 Response from Umsobomvu Youth Fund Representative, Mr Jabu Mfusi
It was noted that Umsobumvu must join hands with the Province in order to train youth for jobs. Mr Mfusi acknowledged that the Fund was not as visible as they would have liked it to be, but it is now working with about 121 Municipalities in the country to become more visible. He noted that the Breederiver District Municipality and the Cape Winelands District Municipality were two of the Municipalities involved in this project.
He further highlighted that resources areavailable, but what was required in Municipalities was an advisory centre. Accordingly, the Stellenbosch Municipality has an advisory centre, but it appears as if the community is not utilising this centre effectively.
The representative noted that young people needed collateral to start their own business, and stressed that all women were welcome to apply for funding.
6.1.5 The Minister of Sport & Recreation, the Hon. Mr. M. Stofile
The Minister expressed his concern regarding the poor attendance of ward committee members and Members of the Provincial Legislatures (MPL’s), since they have to work together to assist the communities with their challenges.
The Minister undertook to visit the Ashton area to ascertain the lack of recreational facilities. He noted, however, that the building of recreational facilities did not only include the Department of Sport and Recreation, but other Departments as well.
The Minister further stressed that the municipal IDP’s played a critical role in terms of building of recreational facilities. Another important factor was the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG), which made provision for such services. The Minister acknowledged that the sale of property by the Municipality to developers was of major concern, and agreed with SALGA that it should not be happening at the expense of the community.
6.1.6 The Minister in the Presidency, the Hon. Dr E Pahad
The Minister stated that most of the issues raised by members of the public related to the district and local Municipality. He noted that there are three spheres of Government; i.e. National, Provincial and Local Government, and that in order to deal with the issues raised, the NCOP should interact with the councillors.
He suggested that drug abuse and criminal activities constituted a major problem and destroyed the lives of young people. Government could not deal with the problem by itself; instead the community has to be involved. The community has to act in a collective manner to address challenges. The Minister made and example of women in Athlone, who mobilised the community against the drug lords. The private sector should be included in this process.
The Minister noted that pre-1994, Africans did not receive disability grants. Since 1994, Government ensured that all people who qualified do receive grants, and if people did not receive such grants it was problematic. Councillors as well as Community Development Workers, have a responsibility to assist people in accessing such grants.
On the issue of bursaries, he suggested that members of the public should make use of the offices of the public representatives to raise relevant issues with them. The minister noted that many people are dependent on social grants (about 12,7 million people) and despite the greater demand it would not be easy for Government to increase that number. The Minister reiterated that the NCOP should bring together all these issues and it will be the responsibility of the NCOP to raise and address them.
The Minister indicated that different organisations representing people with disabilities must work together. He acknowledged, however, that it would be an issue which requires more attention. Furthermore transport for people with disabilities remained a major challenge.
On the issue of the student being teased about his disability, the Minister stated that such incidents were unacceptable, and that the NCOP should follow-up on the issue to ascertain what the school principal, the teachers, the School Governing Body (SGB) and district were doing about the problem.
6.2.1 Visit to Vusisizwe Secondary School
Vusisizwe School is a school situated in Zwelethemba, situated just outside Worcester. The school was established in 1978 as learners from Zwelethemba community were forced to leave their homes to continue their secondary education in other towns and Provinces. The school accommodates learners from as far as Mpumalanga and Eastern Cape, who migrated with parents to the town of Worcester to look for better opportunities. The school has a total of 1389 learners and 41 teachers; i.e. a principal, two deputy principals, eight Heads of Department and 30 post-level one educators.
The Department of Education allocated R2 million to construct a school hall, and the construction was completed at the end of June 2007. There has been a significant improvement in the overall pass rate of Grade 12 learners from 46% in 2005, to 61% in 2006. Three learners were granted bursaries of R10 000 each to study in the Faculty of Science at the University of the Western Cape, and are currently completing their first year. In 2005, four learners accompanied a group of learners and teachers from England to visit the South African Large Telescope in Sutherland. That led to the establishment of an astronomy club at school. The school won the Science and Technology Outreach competition in 2006, which was hosted by Cape Peninsula University of Technology. The competition was featured on the South African Broadcasting Commission (SABC). In 2002, University of the Western Cape opened a computer room to assist learners with Mathematics and Physical Science. The school is managed by an elected SGB.
High teenage pregnancy rate. Approximately 60 learners were pregnant in 2007.
A high prevalence of HIV, TB and substance abuse.
Learners arrive at the school with a backlog in numeracy and literacy.
Overcrowded classes hinders efforts to deliver quality education because Grades 8 – 9 have class sizes of 50 learners, while in Grades 10 -11 class sizes are approximately 40 – 45 learners.
Parent involvement at secondary school level is poor. In most cases learners are cared for by grandparents and extended families.
The school has inadequate recreational facilities, especially sports. This results in tremendous frustration among learners and educators.
The school management should meet with the local Municipality to discuss issues of co-operative governance as well as issues relating to the IDPs of the Municipality.
6.2.2 Swartland Primary School
Swartland Primary School was established in 1903. There are 833 learners and 35 teachers, of which 10 are members of the SGB. The school makes provision for Grades 1-7, as well as learners with special needs. Most of the learners are those released from prison, as well as learners from the Wesbank area. However, learners from surrounding areas receive priority. The equity policy makes provision for children of all races, and although Afrikaans is the medium of instruction, English is also taught. The well- trained staff helps to maintain a high academic standard. The school fee is R2960, payable over ten months. There is an exemption policy in place, and 140 learners were exempted from paying school fees.
The school scored excellently in the 2007 Association for Mathematics Education of South Africa (AMESA) competition. It also performs well in sport, especially in rugby, as well as with their choir. The relationship with the SGB is running smoothly and parents are eager to assist.
Maintaining excellence in education, and not to degenerate into a mediocre institution.
Maintenance of the school buildings.
The school budget was R2,5 million, but it only received R100 000 from the Department of Education (DOE).
6.2.3 Slanghoek Primary School
Slanghoek Primary School, established in 1977, is a no-fee school located in Rawsonville, just outside Worcester. It is a public school, operating on a private property within the precinct of a commercial farm. The surrounding community is poverty-stricken. There are 227 enrolled learners. The longest distance that learners have to travel is approximately 5 km each way. Transport is provided only for learners who reside in areas that were 7 km away from the school. There school has an elected SGB as well as a School Feeding Scheme.
Only 95 learners benefit from the feeding scheme, which was implemented in order to increase the concentration and learning capacity of learners.
Poor socio-economic conditions impact on the performance of learners at school. Learners are vulnerable and are subjected to physical and emotional mistreatment, sexual abuse and neglect of their rights.
Family breakdown and separation of learners from their parents are prevalent, and there is a need for learner protection and care services.
A large number of learners still have to travel considerable distances to school.
There are challenges relating to the discipline of learners.
Vandalism at the school posed a security threat to both learners and staff.
Some learners suffer from Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). The school forged a partnership with FAS Facts, an NGO, in an effort to reduce the prevalence of FAS.
Recreational facilities and a soccer field are needed.
The DOE should consolidate the budget of the school to enable the school to draw on a broad range of teaching talent and benefit from better resourcing.
The DOE should relocate the school to a state-owned property or land.
The DOE should erect a security fence around the school to minimise uncontrolled access to the school.
The DOE must intensify the implementation of the School Feeding Scheme to ensure that all the 227 learners are fed.
Recreational facilities and a soccer field should be established.
The DOE should take greater steps to improve the lives of learners of farm schools, and should focus on areas where there is a great need for intervention, especially in terms of education provision.
6.2.4 Ligstraal School
When Ligstraal School in Paarl was established in 1986, it catered for thirteen learners with disabilities. Currently, the school accommodates 222 learners with different types of disabilities, 90% of who receive social grants from the Department of Social Development. Of this money, R40 is used to pay school fees. Learners who are unable to pay are assisted by churches. The school accommodates learners from different municipal areas, including Franschoek, Klapmuts, Paarl, Wellington and Groot Drakenstein. Learners are transported daily by bus, as the school did not have hostels to accommodate learners. The school received funding from the DOE. It also have partnerships with community based organisations and private companies who are involved in fundraising for the sustainability of the project. The school intends building two extra classrooms at a cost of R 320 000, and also bought a house for R800 000 to accommodate learners.
The school follows an outcomes-based curriculum, as prescribed by the Western Cape DOE. The curriculum includes life skills, numeracy, literacy, sport and recreation and vocational skills. It also employs a fulltime professional nurse and occupational therapist, as well as doctors who offer free services to the school on a part-time basis.
Lack of funding for classrooms and accommodation, educational support staff, educational teaching aids, audio–visual and therapeutic equipment, assessment tools and training and administrative costs. Educators must undergo specialised training to work with learners with disabilities in their fields of education.
Current curriculum is not suitable for special needs learners.
Lack of appropriate resources to cater for all types of disabilities.
Support to learners with special educational needs is required in units such as academic, sport and culture.
Proper placement for school leavers. At present the school have partnerships with workshops in the community like Drakenstein, Carecraft and Sunshield who accommodate learners from the school. Some learners are also placed with hairdressers and shops.
Policy dictates that learners must leave the school when they reach 18, whether they completed their schooling or not.
Substance and alcohol abuse by the parents, as well as a high unemployment rate and low literacy rate amongst parents.
Maintenance of vehicles which travel long distances.
Special transport and assistants inside the bus are needed for learners with Spina Bifida. Currently, these learners are transported in their wheelchairs in the same bus with the other learners, and are assisted by their house mothers.
The school should invite the Department of Social Development to visit the project.
The school should request assistance from the Department of Correctional Service and builders within the community for building classrooms and accommodation for learners.
The school should liaise with Members of the Western Cape Provincial Legislature to acquire assistance.
6.2.5 Schoonspruit Senior Secondary School
Schoonspruit Senior Secondary School was established in 1952, as the first high school in the Malmesbury and Namakwaland area. The school also enrols learners from Calvinia, Lambertsbaai and Vredendal. The medium of education is Afrikaans. The school was built for 1500 learners, but currently accommodates 1670 learners from surrounding areas like Malmesbury, Abbotsdale, Mooreesburg, Riebeeck–Wes, Kalbaskraal, Riverlands, Chatsworth, Darling, Mamre and the surrounding farms. A total of 53 teachers are employed, and the school has a SGB.
The school participates in projects like Khanya Computer Project for Mathematics and Science, The Technology Research Activity Centre (TRAC) project of the University of Stellenbosch (sponsor of R350 000 to build a science laboratory) and the Departments of Public Works and Transport, the SunZone project for Mathematics, Global Citizenship for Teachers and Learning Channel for learners.
The school has a Matric pass rate of 90% and has received the WCED merit award for 2004 Matric results. In 2005, the school applied to the Department of Education to be changed to a ‘focus school’, and since 2006, it offers music, dancing, art and design courses as subjects.
Schoonspruit participated in an international exchange programme. The Sondeza Youth Camp in Ginterberge, Germany was one of these projects. The school also produced excellent candidates in all codes of sport.
The school needs an administration building, a school hall, a fence and security staff.
Funds are needed to upgrade the buildings and playing fields.
School fees are R360,00 per annum, but it only received 60%-70% of the fees. A quarter of the learners are exempted from the school fees, and those eligible for exemption were identified by the school.
The school failed to attract white learners, as well as recruiting quality teachers from the surrounding areas.
Learners at the school experience a language barrier with the English medium due to the fact that Afrikaans is the predominant mother tongue.
Despite the good matric pass rate, many learners did not progress to tertiary education and employment.
A hostel is needed as many learners reside with relatives and friends in surrounding areas.
6.2.6 Eureka Youth Care Centre
Eureka Youth Care Centre is situated in Rawsonville and is a public school established in terms of Section 12(2)(vi) of the Western Cape Schools Act, (Act No. 12 of 1997). The centre can accommodate 120 learners from the Western Cape, and was established for the admission, care, education and training of learners referred to the centre in terms of Section 290(1)(s) of the Criminal Procedure Act, (Act No. 51 of 1997). These are learners with serious behavioural problems, who have been in conflict with the law. Only children who have been sentenced by a court of law are sent to Eureka. Ages range from 14 – 18 years, but the level of educational development range from Grade 1 – Grade 8. There is, therefore, no correlation between age and level of education. The centre only caters for boys, all originating from disadvantaged communities. The medium of instruction is Afrikaans, with Xhosa as the second language. The school’s motto is to enhance the learners’ positive potential to prepare them to return to the community. The learners have three days of academic, and two days of practical schooling. The school offers subjects such as arts and crafts, woodwork etc.
The centre has a total of 27 Correctional Services and 22 supporting staff. The demographic composition of the educators is sixteen white and eleven coloured teachers, of which seventeen are male, and ten female. The school also employs a fulltime psychiatrist and occupational therapist, as well as remedial teachers. Programmes like ‘anger and aggression management’ and ‘impulse control management’ are offered. All learners are part of an individual development programme. The school has programmes in place to assist learners with substance abuse. It also has a community outreach programme. Learners are actively involved in sports and also compete with other schools. The principles of Ubuntu are applied at the school.
Lack of quality educators and special/crucial skilled staff to assist with the needs of the children.
Although the DOE provides a budget, it is not related to the consumer price index (CPIX) and, therefore, insufficient for all the school’s requirements.
Lack of funding for establishment of a high-care facility in order for the school to implement its own drug rehabilitation programme. Presently the school cannot assist learners in need of drug rehabilitation.
Lack of capacity to monitor progress of learners after completion of their sentences and when they return to their communities.
Labelling and stigmatising of learners make reform/acceptance by their communities difficult.
Insufficient social workers and a lack of a second tier of discipline for early intervention.
There is a great need for a resource centre with full-time staff that will be able to make their expertise available to mainstream schools and assist teachers in dealing with children with serious disciplinary problems. At present teachers volunteer their personal time and fund such courses at their own expense when requested by mainstream schools. This would also make the application of an early intervention strategy possible, prior to learners ending up in conflict with the law. This will allow a learner who is suspended from main stream schools to be enrolled in a special programme at Eureka.
Due to the fact that learners come from across the Western Cape Province, it is impossible for parents to visit the children on a regular basis, instead of only on Parents Day.
The delegation commended the school for the good work that it performs.
It is recommended that the school approach Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) for funding.
7.1 Public Hearing on Women 31 October 2007.
Programme Director: the Hon. Ms E S Mabe- Chairperson: Joint Monitoring Committee on Improvement of Quality of Life and Status of Women.
Members of the Panel: the Hon. Ms E Prince from the Western Cape legislature, the Hon. Dr Pahad: Minister in the Office of the President, the Hon. MJ Mahlangu; Chairperson of the NCOP, the Hon. Ms Hollander; Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, the Hon.Ms M Matiwane Department of Trade and Industry and the Hon. Ms N Gasa, Chairperson of the Commission on Gender Equality (CGE)
The Chairperson thanked and welcomed members of the public for their attendance and introduced the panel. She informed members of the public that the meeting was intended to raise issues affecting women, as well as children.
Non-payment of disability grants: social workers’ failure to explain the reasons for cut-off of payments. People only found out on the day of payment.
People with foster care children are struggling to access child grants, due to delays caused by the processing of documents.
Children are getting pregnant at an early age, because there are no entertainment facilities to occupy them.
Elderly people lack transport to pay points.
Poverty and HIV and AIDS is prevalent and there, are no programs in place to address these problems.
There are instances where clinics prescribed incorrect medication for children, resulting in a number of child deaths. Such an incident occurred at a Franschoek clinic.
Children with disabilities struggled to access grants for their disabilities.
In Ashton there is a women’s project called “Self Help Project”, but the group is struggling to obtain tenders and financial resources to start their own business.
Women working on farms have their own projects, but some of the white farmers do not give them opportunities to market their products.
The majority of women in Mbekweni have projects, but are still struggling with assistance to sustain it.
People working on farms should be given training in their field in order to acquire skills, which can benefit them and their families.
Elderly people complained about their pension money. They request Government to provide them with increases, as some of them are responsible for the education of their grandchildren, paying electricity and doctors’ fees. The cost of living is too high for the pension income.
There are no schools catering for children with disabilities, or facilities for the elderly in Stellenbosch.
Racism at hospitals is experienced in the Stellenbosch area.
Entities such as Red Door and Khula promote small business entrepreneurs, but they are still struggling to access funding.
There is an allegation of a person assaulted by the police. He is currently blind and made a complaint, but the case is being delayed because it involved the police.
7.1.2 Response by Department of Trade and Industry, Ms Matiwane
Ms Matiwane informed the public that her Department was willing to provide assistance to people who were interested in starting small businesses, as well as those who intend to expand on their business. Women who intend opening small businesses must establish a group of women and register their business as cooperatives. Information on how to register cooperatives can be accessed through the Department, who would also would monitor the group’s activities and assist them to market their products, e.g. beads, sewing items etc. The Department would be in a position to follow-up with ABSA in terms of its criteria for rejecting financial applications for small businesses.
7.1.3 Response by Chairperson of the CGE, the Hon. Ms N Gasa
Ms Gasa informed the public that their concerns are very important to the CGE, but some problems involved other stakeholders, to who she would refer.
On the issue of disciplining children, she indicated that to discipline a child was not about beating a child, and that there were different ways and means that parents can use to discipline their children.
The law stated clearly that children have rights and that their rights must be respected. The matter of the person who was assaulted by the police would be referred to South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC). She revealed that the HSRC also conducted public hearings on women living on farms.
The Minister thanked people who have participated in public hearings. He indicated that the law did not prohibit parents from disciplining their children, but children also have rights which are protected in terms of the Constitution.
Government is working hard to ensure that women are empowered. One of the critical ways in which to empower women is to create opportunities for their own livelihood.
He argued that it is there are laws that protect farm workers. When employers violate these laws, the law will take its course. The NCOP should convey a report to the Minister of Labour and ensure that farms are visited, in order to witness the living conditions of farm workers.
The Minister was concerned that constituents felt powerless when most of their issues are supposed to be addressed by Cabinet, Parliament, Provincial Legislature, Provincial Cabinet, Municipalities and Mayoral Committees.
He indicated that it is the responsibility of members of the community to report on issues from their respective constituencies, irrespective of the political allegiance.
Parliamentarians should take time to visit these areas to check the conditions to which some of the members of the community are subjected.
NCOP should report to the Minister of Labour and ensure that farms were visited to witness the conditions of farm workers
The Department of Trade and Industry should monitor the cooperative’s group activities and assist them to market their products, and follow-up with ABSA around its criteria for rejecting finance for small businesses.
The matter of the person who was assaulted by the police would be referred to SAHRC.
The Hon. F Adams, Chairperson of the Select Committee on Members’ Legislative Proposals, indicated that the purpose of the hearing was to discuss the challenges that people were experiencing in accessing basic services. Also it serves as a platform to hear from the community ways in which Government could enhance cooperative governance and service delivery initiatives. The primary objective of the hearing was to assess and discuss impediments hampering the speedy delivery of services, and also to discuss methods that may be used by Local Government to unblock these bottlenecks.
Lack of effective co-operation between Stellenbosch Municipality and the Department of Water and Forestry: Communal taps in Stellenbosch are leaking, perpetuating high water loss.
The dam in Stellenbosch needs to be fenced to prevent children from accessing it, in order to prevent further drowning.
Unfair disconnections of water supply by municipal officials in Kalkmore, resulted in residents resorting to polluted water from the nearby river which is unhygienic and unsuitable for human consumption.
Inadequate water billing systems: Families sharing a water meter with their neighbors find it difficult to ascertain the correct amount of water that was used by each family.
Lack of sanitation facilities in the informal settlements of Franschoek. This poses a problem to women and children, exposing them to disease and assualt, especially at night.
Poor quality of drinking water in Wolsley and Franschoek resulting in the community not having access to clean drinking water. This situation is compounded by the fact that families unable to afford additional pre-paid electricity for use in boiling dirty water before consumption.
Sewage polluted rivers: Pollution as a major concern, especially the pollution of rivers and farmers pumping untreated sewage and fertiliser into the rivers, thus putting the health of the community at risk.
A number of citizens mentioned a lack of housing as a fundamental right, especially in the Wosely (Ashton) and Silvertown (Mbekweni) areas and for farm residents.
The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry stated that it has an obligation to support and work with all spheres of Government. The Department mentioned that its core function is to regulate issues related to water and forestry. It highlighted that the main challenge facing the municipalities is to maintain the existing municipal infrastructures. It further advised Municipalities to recruit community members and train them to do artisan work on how to fix leaking taps and drains. This was seen as the mechanisms that could assist in job creation and fighting poverty.
The Department indicated that the Provincial Government must ensure that the provision of water by Municipalities is given priority. The following were identified as challenges for water, sanitation and forestry:
Capacity to deliver the water services function.
Inadequate billing and poor credit management.
Low revenue base.
Poor water quality.
Provision of services to farm dwellers.
Sanitation and infrastructure backlog.
The Department concluded its input by advising the community to report all water related matters by phoning the Ministry of Water Affairs and Forestry at its toll free number, i.e. 0800 200 200.
The MEC welcomed the comments and issues raised by the community with respect to Housing and Local Government. He stated that Government resources are limited to address everyone’s needs. The Western Cape Provincehas a housing backlog of 410 000 units, and the budget of R600 million has already been spent.
The MEC accepted the invitation from communities to address issues of housing and Local Government and stated that he would visit all areas within the Western Cape as part of his duties.
The MEC stated that there are certain Municipalities that tend to render services perfectly in areas such as Durbanville, whereas in Khayelitsha the rendering of such services is far from perfect. The MEC mentioned that all areas must be served equally.
The MEC indicated that his Department is making special interventions in addressing insufficient Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) houses, as well as houses that lack inside toilet facilities. The Department has already started an intervention by destroying toilets that were built outside and replacing them with the ones that are built on the inside. The MEC appealed to the community to co-operate with Government, and further advised owners of RDP houses not to sell them. He argued that Government respects the traditional Public Housing Programme (PHP), and many of the problems raised by the community relate to the PHP. The MEC concluded his input by making an undertaking that he would issue a report in due course, identifying Municipalities that are performing or not performing.
The NCOP should intervene with regard to the absence of Local Councilors from Drakenstein, Breede River, Wineland and Stellenbosch Municipality at the meeting. Their absence may hinder development that is driven by National and Provincial Government.
The MEC should visit communities, especially Ashton, Wosley and Silvertown in Mbekweni on lack of service delivery in their communities, particularly on issues of housing etc.
The MEC should issue a report identifying which Municipalities that are performing or not.
Programme director: the Hon. Mr MA Sulliman, Programming Whip of NCOP.
Panel: Deputy Minister on Public Works; the Hon Dr NM Kganyago; Minister of Housing: the Hon. Dr LN Sisulu and the Mayor of the Cape Winelands District Municipality: Councillor Johnson
Poor quality of subsidised houses (houses become dilapidated within 5 years)
Inconsistent process of allocating houses to beneficiaries.
Overcrowding of households (two to three families sharing a single house).
Changing of housing contractors leaves housing projects incomplete.
Some houses were built without any sanitation facilities.
Some subsidised houses do not have toilets situated inside the house, but instead as out-houses.
No adequate refuse facilities in housing developments, which leads to infestation of flies and cockroaches.
Many families still living in informal dwellings.
Houses are built in such a way that the toilet is next to the kitchen.
Housing projects are approved, but no building has commenced.
Jobs are created in the surround areas, but posts are filled by people from outside the area.
Lack of employment opportunities for people with experience and qualifications.
Families are evicted from their houses.
Poor conditions of the streets are reported to municipalities, but to no avail.
No facilities for children to play, therefore, they swim in dams and play in the streets.
Farmers underpaying their employees.
The non-availability of councillors.
The Mayor indicated that the Department of Social Development and the community must identify pensioners and people with disabilities in need of assistance. He indicated that property in Franschoek is high valued, which makes the building of official housing costly.
The Mayor mentioned that progress had been made in the district with the last 50 buckets toilets removed from homes in 2007, and improved indoor toilets provided for the Sandhill community. Sanitation would, however, still be installed in approved areas.
Regarding the availability of jobs, the Deputy Minister mentioned that 316 000 jobs had been created both permanent and temporary posts. The Department encouraged contractors to use locals in that area to create employment opportunities. The Minister urged communities to involve local councillors, members of the legislatures and Parliament.
A contact centre that was launched in 2006, and the Deputy Minister encouraged contractors to register with the construction board.
The National Youth Services offers a programme whereby all provinces train 5000 people to learn a skill that could be used in the job market. Bursaries are available to assist young people financially to gain an employable skill.
9.1.4 Minister of Housing, the Hon. Dr LN Sisulu
The Minister raised the issue of the NCOP’s powers to ensure that councillors are accountable to the people. Issues regarding housing are area-specific, but the Western Cape has a huge backlog where housing is concerned. The Minister urged members of the community who had the capacity to build, to get involved in housing projects. Subsidised houses should be the same quality as any other house, and contractors who compromise quality should be reported.
The Department of Housing should receive and address issues of sub-standard houses built by contractors.
The District Mayor should ensure that sanitation is installed in approved areas.
The NCOP should ensure that councillors are accountable to the people they represent.
9.2.1 Assegaaibos Working for Water Project
The Western Cape Working for Water (WFW) Programme currently manages 47 projects with a budget of R72 million, providing jobs to 2000 people. The Department regulated and supported project implementation with the support of eight implementing agents, which included District Municipalities, Municipalities, Water User Associations and Provincial Nature Conservation.
The upper reaches of the Berg River have always been a very important source of Water for primary use in the Cape Peninsula and also for irrigation in the very fertile Berg River Valley. In addition to the water benefits, the upper catchment was also a very important bio-diversity hotspot.
All these factors contributed to the start of the Assegaaibos Working for Water Programme (WFW) in 2000. The project has since spent more than R 4 million in the catchment on clearing and following up of more than 4000 hectares. Of the money spent, more than 60% went directly to worker remuneration.
In 2004, the City of Cape Town and the Trans Caledon Tunnel Authority (TCTA), promised to assist the project with a further R21 million over the next eight years in an attempt to control the spread of invading alien plants. To date, the project has an annual budget of R5 million, as well as a dedicated management team.
The NCOP delegation was given a brief presentation during their visit and it was highlighted that during the period from April until September 2007, the project had:
• 21 teams working teams, with a total 231 people making up those teams.
• Created 671 paid days.
• Twelve female contractors and 119 female workers.
• Nine male contractors and 80 male workers
• 392 youth employed at the project.
• An employment Desk established by TCTA
• Employed the majority of their workers from Franschhoek, Pniel, Kylemore and Simondium
Since 2004, the project has cleared 5000 hectares of invading alien plants and vegetation. The project had an Integrated Training Committee which was established by TCTA with 1 917 paid training days for workers. The training offered to workers include functional and life skills training, health and safety, first aid and chainsaw operator training.
The Assegaaibos WFW programme was structured in such a way that after two years, contractors and workers exit the programme with the required 48 days training, enabling them to compete in the open job market.
The task of clearing invading alien plants and vegetation in the Assegaaibos project was extremely difficult due to the steep slopes, mountains coupled with environmental conditions of extreme hot and cold weather. The project has trained special teams who camp out in the mountain, climbing the steep slopes in an attempt to remove invading alien plants. These trained teams were at times used in an exchange programme with the United States of America (USA) to do similar work in the USA.
• Harsh mountainous terrain.
• Loss of trained workers to the Berg River Dam construction project who employ workers at a higher wage rate to clear the construction project of alien vegetation.
• Discontent amongst workers at being paid R50 per day.
• Workers not given salary advices, or timely payment of wages.
Response by WFW officials
The flat rate paid to every person employed in an EPWP project throughout the country was R50 per day. Workers do not receive salary advices, but payment notification as they were not permanent employees, noting that banks do not accept notifications as formal salary advices.
The project management component is aware of the few occasions of late wage payments due to bureaucratic processes and is addressing the issue.
The NCOP delegation will take up the matter of low wages of workers with the relevant Department to determine whether anything could be done to assist them.
The NCOP delegation visited and met with the Drakenstein Correctional Services management. The meeting was chaired by the leader of the delegation, the Hon. Mr S Shiceka. The purpose of the visit was to interact with management on progress and challenges faced by the facilities, and to visit some projects within the prison.
The management presentation was made by the area commissioner on behalf of the facility. The facility consists of a big farm previously known as Victor Verster Prison. The facility employs a total of 794 persons, who provide service to offenders and communities of Paarl and Franschoek. It consists of four security centres, which are maximum (630 inmates), medium (858 inmates), youth (583 inmates), as well a Stellenbosch Satellite Unit. The Stellenbosch Satellite Unit accommodates for sentenced and un-sentenced offenders. It received a budget of R174, 5 million for the 2007/8 financial year. The facilities produce vegetables, poultry, milk and eggs. The offenders are offered skills such as woodwork, textile basic garments, welding and fitting and turning. In addition, offenders receive certificates after completion of training which offers them access to employment after completion of sentence. The prison has an overcrowding of 142%, which although manageable, is less than ideal.
The delegation visited the workshop, youth offenders, training centre and juvenile centre of excellence. The delegation interacted with offenders who were manufacture office equipment. The workshop can accommodate 220 offenders for training. The profit made from the sale of production covers labour, material, salaries and hiring of building. Offenders also manufacture office furniture for other Government Departments. The delegation visited the youth facility, which accommodates offenders up to the age of 21 years. The visit concluded at the Mandela House, where the former President was detained for 18 months before release on 11 February 1990.
Issues raised by the NCOP Delegation
Ways of dealing with overcrowding of prison.
Elaboration on programmes offered to change behavioural patterns of offenders, as well as moral and spiritual regeneration and rehabilitation: The Prison employs full time staff offering psychological treatment and programmes such as anger management, but the employment of more such staff would benefit the facility.
To extent to which HIV and AIDS is a problem in facility: While awareness campaigns are ongoing and condoms made freely available, HIV remains a problem.
Shortage of medical and social services staff: A doctor only visits the facility infrequently, but doctors were in shortage in the entire area.
Tracking of successful rehabilitation after offenders have left the prison.
Overcrowding is a national problem. More facilities are needed, while the occurrence of repeat offenders could be prevented through proper follow up programmes.
Capacitating the moral regeneration and reintegration programmes.
9.3.2 Brandvlei Correctional Centre
The Brandvlei Correctional Centre is located in the Worcester area. Access to the correctional facility is strictly guarded by armed personnel. There are three centres: maximum (1025 inmates), medium (520 inmates) and youth (800 inmates). The centre is overcrowded at 130%. Some of the inmates have opportunities to participate in sport and cultural events. The centre has a good record of no escapes over the past ten years. The centre employs 648 workers with three 8-hour shifts per day.
Visit to the Maximum Centre
The centre accommodates the most dangerous inmates with serious offences. There are 1025 inmates, with 181 employees. The centre has two educational members of staff, two health workers, and five registered nurses. The centre also employs three social workers. The inmates willingly participate in HIV programmes. The correctional centre is the only one with an HIV centre in the Western Cape. The staff set high standards, and countries outsideSouth Africa rate them as the best in the world. The inmates also have outreach programmes where they interact with communities. One of the programmes is called ‘’Group of Hope’’.
In response to questions by the delegation, the facility management indicated that officials attended a workshop recently to work on the principles of Batho Pele. The code of conduct is familiar to the officials who work in the public service. The ‘Peers Company’ implement the HIV programme, and the centre has a coordinator who focuses on the HIV programmes. The rights of the inmates are respected, and it left up to individuals to decide whether they would like to be tested for HIV. Cases of illegal drug abuse are addressed immediately. The Department of Health sent qualified people to clean the water.
Need funds to renovate a building to accommodate 400 inmates.
Need to fill vacant posts.
Need to reduce the overcrowding.
9.4 Oversight Visits to police stations
9.4.1 Cloetesville police station
Cloetesville police station is divided into two sectors, namely Idas Valley and Cloetesville. Cloetesville used to experience a serious problem with gangsterism and People against Gangsterism and Drugs (PAGAD), but the community and the police station have managed to turn things around. Crime statistics showed a decrease in the incidence of assault, however, property-related crimes such as burglary of homes and businesses, as well as theft out of motor vehicles, have increased. Robbery with aggravating circumstances also increased by 8,3% and drug related crime by 29,4% in the previous year.
The station experienced problems with drug lords and shebeens and was in the process of addressing the matter. Two highflyers, i.e. a drug lord and a buyer of stolen property, were identified, but managed to evade arrest. Police officers at the station at times work overtime voluntarily, and also voluntarily participate in operations after hours and over weekends. The station uses the services of 31 reservists and 80 volunteers, most of who work overtime during the festive season and on weekends. Most of the drug dealers have been chased out of the area with the help of the neighbourhood watches and the Community Police Forum. There are eleven detectives that patrol the area in an attempt to trace suspects. As a result of this action, crime has decreased significantly. The station experience substantial success in arresting persons in possession of the drug, Tik, around the Stellenbosch area. However, the conviction rate is very low due to problems experienced in the criminal justice system, and the fact that cases are postponed. There are no holding cells at the Cloetesville police station, and suspects are referred to Stellenbosch police station to be held.
The station experiences no missing dockets relating to recent cases as handover takes place at the beginning of each month. However, some of the older cases from 1995 and 1998 were lost, as a result of the amalgamation of police stations.
Policing sector meetings take place on a Tuesday. The Community Police Forum include other Departments such as Social Services and Justice and Constitutional Development. The Employment Assistance Programme (EAP), as well as the social worker’s office, is situated in Stellenbosch, which was not far from the police station. An outreach programme took place with the community, for example, the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women. Bambanani Against Crime advertised and distributed pamphlets to inform the community. In respect to social crimes and domestic violence against women, female officers from the police station, together with a crime analyst, visit victims every Wednesday to inform them about how the police can assist.
In terms of equity, the majority of officers stationed at the station are Coloured. Afrikaans is the dominant mode of communication in the community, spoken by 90% of the people. In Khayamandi, 99% of the residents speak Xhosa. Residents from Khayamandi are assisted when they report cases at Cloetesville police station,but are not given a reference number. Such cases are referred to Khayamandi Police Station, due to the boundaries of the areas of operation of the two police stations. African persons are currently being recruited, since there were only two African detectives out of 2500 in the Boland area prior to 1994. After the disbanding of commandos, most of the people were given the option to be deployed to the nearest police stations and others at the Provincial Commissioners office.
In order to overcome the escalating drug problem, the buyers need to be removed from the area.
The need to arrest the area’s two major criminals.
Old dockets dating back to 1995 and 1998 were being kept in a nearby garage, and some have already gone missing.
The prefabricated structure used as a police station would not be able to withstand an attack, for example, by gangsters.
Many police officers experienced health problems and needed improved working conditions.
Previously, Cloetesville serviced the Coloured community, while Stellenbosch police station serviced the farms. Currently, both police stations are servicing diverse communities, which require a more linguistically diverse staff component.
In terms of equity, persons eligible for promotion often do not want to be stationed far from home. The focus is, therefore,, rather on promoting persons who are willing to relocate, irrespective of colour or race.
Very few women are represented on management level
Additional resources are required in the Province, especially in areas where serious and violent crimes occur such as Nyanga, Khayelitsha, Gugulethu, Mitchells Plain and Kuilsriver. The intention is to reduce crime in these areas by 7-10%. Cloetesville is not such an area, and is in fact winning its fight against crime. It would, therefore, not receive priority in terms of resources.
The record keeping system should be computerised and e-filing used to prevent missing documents.
The issue of the older dockets stored in a nearby garage need to be addressed.
The police station should be supplied with adequate resources, in particular transport, in order to be effective and efficient.
Two fully-fledged police stations should be constructed for Cloetesville and Khayamandi respectively.
9.4.2 Khayamandi satellite police station
The NCOP delegation met with the MEC for Community Safety and Liaison, the Hon. Mr L Ramatlakane, and Provincial Commissioner, Mr M Petros. The Western Cape Director General, Dr G Lawrence, Station Commissioner Benti and the Chairperson of the Community Police Forum (CPF), as well as police officials were in attendance.
Khayamandi is a satellite police station of Stellenbosch. The station is staffed by sixteen members, of whom four work shifts. The station is responsible for policing more than 50 000 residents in the low-cost housing community.
The crime statistics for Khayamandi are captured under Stellenbosch, therefore, increasing the incidents of crime recorded at the police station. Recorded crime statistics indicate that crime levels are particularly pronounced in Stellenbosch. The incidences of crime reported at Khayamandi are predominnatly contact crimes, i.e. murder, rape, assault and robbery. Murder cases are investigated by staff from the Stellenbosch police station. Murder (17) and rape (48) statistics for Stellenbosch, is showning a decrease from the 2005/06 figures of 19 and 75 respectively. The Khayamandi satellite station managed to arrest most of the drug dealers, and all drug-related crime showed a decrease of 44.4% from 18 cases in 2005/2006 to 10 cases in 2006/2007. The crime statistics usually increase during the festive season, and incidents of domestic violence is high in Khayamandi. Most of the armed robberies are targeted at Somali businesses. However, since owners are reluctant to give evidence in a Court of law, they continue to be targets.
Since 1996, the Department of Community Safety is increasingly responsible for the establishment and sustaining of CPFs, sub-forums and boards throughout the Western Cape, as they play a significant role in the overall mandate of the Department. The CPFs have received funding and the Department is awaiting an evaluation report. Members of the CPF have a good working relationship with the police officers at Khayamandi. However, with only sixteen police officers, the station has a serious shortage of staff to police a community of more than 50 000 people. The CPF in Khayamandi has 36 fully trained volunteers to assist with foot patrols in the area. However, foot patrolling often cannot take place, due to the fact that there are not enough police officers at the station in order to release one to accompany volunteers. Volunteers are not allowed to do foot patrols on their own, and the satellite station has only one vehicle for patrols.
The station established sector forums, police forums and street committees that meet twice a month to deal with issues that affect the community. A strategy is in place to launch the program called ‘Safer Festive Season’, which will include Bambanani volunteers. The Department of Community Safety encourages police officers to train reservists in order for them to start policing.
The model on policing must be strengthened in terms of resources and capacity.
While the police in Khayamandi are doing a lot in order to provide adequate policing to the community, it is far from enough. The police should be provided with more resources. The stattion is very small, and cannot accommodate more than ten people at a time. Further the station operates with only one telephone, which is able to receives only incoming calls. In addition, it lacks a fax machine, and has access to only one vehicle..
Most of the challenges facing the police station were reported to the Department.
The staff compliment is inadequate for servicing six farms, and a community with a population of more than 50 000.
Although five police stations were established in the Western Cape during 1994, there, was no provision made to build further police stations.
The lack trauma rooms create problems of confidentiality, especially the high incidence of contact crimes, such as rape and murder, and domestic violence. Cases involving sexual violence are transferred to Stellenbosch police station, where adequate facilities are available to accommodate survivors. This situation poses a challenge since Stellenbosch is situated too far from the community, and. Khayamandi residents are often assaulted on their way there.
The MEC for Community Safety and Liaison and the Provincial Commissioner should deal with the issues raised at the meeting at their respective levels.
Considering the size of the population of Khayamandi, the issue of the feasibility of building a fully-fledged police station for the Khayamandi area should also be dealt with.
10.1 Address by the President of the Republic Of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki
The President stated that the theme, “Masijule ngenxoxo Mzansi,” seeks to galvanise all South Africans, into an on-going and vigorous process of engagement in order to enhance the quality of the national debate in the process of transforming of our country. He suggested that engaging in deepened national debate, affords an opportunity to ask obligatory questions that touch on the ownership, the production and distribution of the means of information as well as the consumption patterns of ideas.
The President indicated that fight against poverty is central to the work of democratic Government and that it drives the Programme of Action. This includes programmes such as the planned comprehensive social security system to further strengthen the national support system for the poor of our country. As such, all programmes should be implemented in an integrated manner to push back the frontiers of poverty.
The President revealed that since 1994, housing has always been an important aspect of the RDP. Presently,y over 70% of South Africans live in formal houses, He indicated 80% of South African households use electricity as the main source of lighting in their homes. There have also been a marked improvement in the area of access to clean water, with 88,6% of people in the country having access to clean water today. The President also indicated that education is the most powerful weapon in the fight against poverty and receives the second biggest portion of the National budget. While a number of acheivments has been made in the education sector, Government should intensify work to ensure that access to education is improved and further enhance the quality of South Africa’s school leavers and graduates.
The President stated that these developments since 1994, confirm Government’s commitment to the goal of a better life for all. He further indicated that Government has at all times upheld and defended the Constitution of the Republic. He suggested that among the many challenges faced by Government, is the critical issue of moral degeneration. Communities are faced with the daily threat of a number of social ills which are incompatible with the ethical standards communities would like to see upheld and defended at all times. He agued that Government has the responsibility to ensure that the people of South Africa enjoy a society marked by consistent observation of high moral standards.
This report set out to provide an account of the key issues and concerns facing communities within the Stellenbosch District Municipality, as raised by participants during the week of the NCOP sitting in Pniel, as well as recommendations made.
One of the key issues that emerged during the sitting relates to communities’ discontent at the lack of cooperation between local ward representatives, Municipalities and Provincial Government. The conditions on farms as far as worker rights, housing, sanitation and water provision were of concern. Better involvement of Local Government officials in their communities was called for. Infrastructure challenges and worker capacity were the main limitations raised in relation to clinics, schools, correctional facilities and police stations.
This emphasises the important role of the Taking Parliament to the People initiative in identifying and addressing challenges faced by communities. In this regard, the NCOP should be continue to conduct follow-up visits to monitor and evaluate whether the key issues and concerns raised by participants during the sitting, as well as undertakings made to address these challenges, are in fact implemented.
 The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. 1996. Section 72.
 Taking Parliament to the People: Oversight Report 2004-2005. NCOP
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