Service delivery key to democracy

Chairperson of the Public Service Commission, Prof Somadoda Fikeni, has defined democracy as the provision of the services to people in a satisfactory manner.

Speaking at the Citizens’ Forum at Nqwathi (Mthatha) in the Eastern Cape, Fikeni said over the years, democracy has been narrowed as an activity of voting and politics, a gloomy state of affairs.

Fikeni was addressing the community that is still reeling from shock following killings that devastated the area recently.

On the aftermath of these murders, community leaders reported their grievances to the Commission, citing lack of service delivery on areas including safety, supply of water and sanitation, high rate of joblessness and theft of livestock.

“In light of these grievances, we must agree that democracy is responding to all these issues. The liberation heroes that came before us such as Mandela, Tambo and King Sabata Dalindyebo expects us to effectively attend to the aspirations of the people. Contrary to that, we must stop invoking their names in vain,” he said.

Democracy, he said, is the public participation gathering such as the Citizens’ Forums – a platform to mobilise government departments to instantly attend to the needs of the people.

Desperate Sphamandla Jola (31), is one of the villagers, who came seeking help to acquire an Identity Document.

“At 31 years old, I do not have an Identity Document (ID). My mother disappeared when I was three-years old. My father also passed on and there are no documents of my parents that can help me get the ID. I can’t get a job. My life is as good as dead. I need help. I am desperate,” he said.

The provincial and local governments made an undertaking to the Commission to attend to issues raised.

MEC for Corporate Government and Traditional Affairs, Zolile Williams, said the provincial government is committed that all hands will be on deck by different provincial departments to attend to the issues raised, while the Executive Mayor of the King Sabata Dalindyebo Local Municipality, Cllr Nyaniso Nelani said the issues raised will be incorporated into the Integrated Development Plan (IDP), a legislative process that ensures that service delivery needs are part of the municipal strategic plans and budget cycle.

About 143 unemployed young people were registered with the Department of Labour for job opportunities, while the National Youth Development Agency provided the youth with invaluable information on various opportunities for them.

Home Affairs attended to over 40 people, committing to return to the village this week. Other departments included Health, South African Social Security Services, Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture as well as Rural Development and Agriculture Reform. –

Source: South African Government News Agency