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Gauteng residents speak their mind

Written by Samona Murugan and Elijah Moholola
Gauteng residents had the opportunity to raise their concerns with members of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) recently, when they visited the province to assess service delivery.

For those living in Lufhereng, a residential development in Soweto, it was an opportunity to tell the NCOP about the high crime rate and violence against women and children they encountered, as well as their need for more housing.

The Gauteng Provincial Legislature’s deputy chairperson of committees, Valentine Mbatha, assured residents that the provincial government was doing everything in its power to address their service delivery issues.

The visit by NCOP members took place under the theme, Moving with utmost speed to ensure socio-economic advancement in our communities.

The aim of the Provincial Week was to allow members of the NCOP to interact with the people of the province and municipalities to assess service delivery and to obtain new mandates on issues to be placed on the national agenda.

Premier Nomvula Mokonyane pledged that the provincial government would speed up efforts to build economic infra- structure.

Addressing delegates at the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, Premier Mokonyane said the focus of the week would be trans- port and related flagship projects including freight and logistics hubs at City Deep/ Kaserne and the OR Tambo International Airport.

Destinations visited during the week were those that showcased housing development and economic infrastructure such as the Lufhereng community, the Protea Glen Mall, Zola Jabulani Hospital and the Soweto Theatre.

Apart from hearing from communities, NCOP members also got to experience the public transport infrastructure first hand, on board the Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit bus.

Their first stop was the 30 000 square metre Protea Glen Mall, which boasts over 90 stores. The mall, built just over a year ago, has created employment opportunities for 900 people, including 660 for local residents.

Plans are also underway to extend the mall, a process which will lead to more employment opportunities.

“We came here as part of conducting oversight on economic development projects. This is part of service delivery that we are witnessing now,” said the leader of the NCOP delegation, Pinkie Mncube.

The site visit then moved to the new Zola Jabulani Hospital and the Soweto Theatre, which opened in May 2012.

During construction, 429 jobs were created, with about 250 of these for locals.

Other follow up visits to service delivery sites in Wadeville, Nigel Springs, Ramaphosa and Eden Park saw NCOP members assess the state of clinics and hospitals, police stations, courts and correctional services.

The visits also monitored progress made on issues such as road infrastructure, healthcare, ambulance services, corruption, nepotism, crime, domestic violence, rape, job creation and security in schools.