Provincial governments need to ensure that services accorded to the people are of unquestionable quality and that they reach all the intended beneficiaries, Ms Zukiswa Ncitha said.

She is leading the National Council of Provinces’ (NCOP’s) Eastern Cape delegation on a week-long visit to the province, where various government programmes will be under scrutiny. This is part of the provincial week, an annual programme by the NCOP’s permanent delegates, to home provinces.

Ms Ncitha said the NCOP appreciates the services government is providing to the people for over 23 years now, but needed to begin to dent the backlog in all facets of service delivery like healthcare, water and electricity provision, infrastructural projects, schools, and so on.

Once government begins to address the backlogs, especially in rural provinces, the protests we see all over will potentially decrease. As people’s representatives we are certain that there is commitment by the administration to improve the lives of poor people. Of course in some instances we are challenged for skills and finances, Ms Ncitha said.

She said after 23 years, discontent should not be at the levels currently seen, and that acceleration is a must.

Permanent delegates to the NCOP are required as part of the provincial week to go back to home provinces and assess the delivery of services. The Eastern Cape delegation is split into three and will visit projects in the OR Tambo, Chris Hani, and Sarah Baartman regions.

Ms Ncitha said the NCOP, just like the officials, are answerable to the people whom they represent in Parliament hence the importance of this week. The provincial week allows members to be accountable to the people. We need to make sure that the programmes of government are there and are implemented and that people are benefiting through employment opportunities, she said.

Some of the programmes to be visited include the Umzimvubu Dam, Camdeboo Satellite Aquaculture Project, and the N2 Highway. A briefing of the delegation will kick-start the programme in Bhisho, at the Legislature on tomorrow.

Source: Parliament of the Republic of South Africa

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