TO:          His Excellency, Mr JG Zuma, President of the Republic South Africa 

Minister OC Chabane, Minister in the Presidency for Performance Monitoring, Evaluation and Administration

FROM:    Bantu Holomisa, MP

 Dear Sirs

I refer to a letter from the Minister Ohm Collins Chabane, Minister in the Presidency for Performance Monitoring, Evaluation and Administration, regarding the abovementioned subject dated 24 July 2013.

We also refer to the List of Complaints attached to our original correspondence, dated 29 April 2013, wherein the complaints of the citizens in the Municipalities of Aganang, Capricorn, Greater Giyani, Mogalakwena, Makhado and Thulamela were listed.

It is encouraging to hear that there had been a joint meeting of the three sphere’s of government and that this was followed by onsite visits by Department of Monitoring and Evaluation, the Office of the Premier, departments and municipalities from 3 to 7 June 2013. We are however interested in having the details of those visits, i.e. who visited, which areas and when, so that we may correlate this information with the people on the ground.

When comparing Minister Chabane’s response with the original list of complaints, we have serous concerns about the lack of detail in the response.

The Presidency’s “summary” of the common issues are:

  • Poor road and school infrastructure
  • Lack of water
  • Poor health facilities, such clinics

This seem an oversimplification, or too broad a statement, of these communities’ problems and does not address critical matters such as lack of sanitation, housing as well as poor policing and high crime levels.

We find it worrying that the aforementioned municipalities seem either unwilling or incapable to provide even the most basic of services to their citizens and ratepayers. The same could be said of the provincial government which does not compare favourably to others.

A number of the complaints had been about the lack of communication and accountability of local government councillors and we ask 1) whether that the various Municipal Councils have been made aware that their Councillors are failing at this task and if they have been informed, 2) whether the Presidency received any undertaking that this will considerably improve.

We are encouraged that your team has established that the challenges have been highlighted in the District Integrated Development Plans (IDPs), but we enquire about the details and timelines associated with the solutions, so that the information may be disseminated to the complainants.

It would also be useful to know which departments have been tasked to serve on the IDP Forum that has been established to track progress on these issues. Hopefully the already failing community projects, as listed in the original complaint, will be comprehensively addressed at this Forum.

We request the timetable of meetings of the community structures, ward committees and the economic development forums in the affected areas so that we may inform complainants to attend their meetings.

Although we are happy that the Presidency has intervened in this matter, there is far too little information for the communities to be encouraged that they will see changes to their quality of life in the near future. We ask that the Presidency keep up the pressure and provide regular feedback on progress made.

Yours sincerely

(Presidency’s response  + Memorandum  + List of Complaints)