The African National Congress (ANC)in the Eastern Cape convened its mid-year Lekgotla at the ICC, Buffalo City from the 19th to the 21st August 2018.
The Lekgotla was preceded by the Political Induction of the Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) on the 18th August 2018.
On the PEC Lekgotla
The PEC Lekgotla was convened to assess the progress made in improving the quality of life of our people, the working class and particularly the poor. It was attended by members of the PEC, REC ‘s, Alliance Partners, Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Mayors and other deployees in all three spheres of government. It followed the February 2018 Lekgotla where the PEC identified and confirmed the priorities for the term ending in 2019.
This Lekgotla therefore sought to interrogate the extent to which our call, to every public representative and government department to move swiftly and with speed to implement programmes as a means to address the needs of our people, was being realised.
The Lekgotla emphasised the urgency of this call. We further sought to interrogate the capacity of the state and a sense of how resources are allocated to the priority areas we identified. We considered the capacity of the state to drive our programme of fundamental transformation.
In an effort to counteract the depressed global and local economic conditions, Lekgotla has called upon government to maintain high levels of infrastructure investment as part of our strategy to stimulate economic growth. The Provincial government must fast-track the building and revitalization of schools and hospitals and with the free Wi-Fi project in the Province. Consider impact of Fourth Industrial Revolution: Direct government to consider the digital migration, other technologies and artificial intelligence and their impact on public service and human resource.Government has been directed to fast track the distribution of broadband .
Lekgotla further called for greater cooperation in the fight against ills that continue to plague society, with young people the most vulnerable. There must be an intensification of the fight against Tik and other illegal substances; concrete programmes driven by social partnerships must be developed to fight the scourge of teenage pregnancies. To this end, Lekgotla has welcomed interventions by the Department of Health to ensure greater access to family planning in our schools and health centres. Lekgotla calls for filling of vacant and funded posts, including absorption of trained staff. Upskilling, monitoring and evaluation of Community Health Workers must be prioritized. We must look at District readiness for NHI rollout. Lekgotla resolved that cleaning and catering services must be insourced for next term of administration. Building healthy and socially cohesive communities is a collective responsibility demanding the active participation of social partners including teachers, parents and civil society. We resolved that government to speed up recruitment of more social workers to deal with rising levels distressed communities in the province due to crisis levels of poverty and unemployment.
Lekgotla resolved that school derbies must be brought back to attract and encourage various communities to participate in sport and recreation for healthy living. Declaration of Opera House and Guild theatre as Cultural institutions must be prioritized. Establish a broad language structure (Eastern Cape Literacy Society). We resolved for the repatriation of fallen heroes and heroines .Lekgotla resolved that Provincial government and education department in particular to have a separate budget for eradication of sanitation across the province especially on schools with no toilets at all. Curriculum diversification must focus on Vocational and Technical Education linked to Development of Human Settlements in the province, also to deal with high dropout rate. To review admission policy of leaners with special needs in our schools. The Funding model for funding tertiary institutions must take into account the poverty index.
Provincial Treasury must set up monitoring mechanisms to focus on the expenditure patterns of all the municipalities and provincial government departments, owing to the continued unnecessary roll-overs in particular from the local government and some sector departments. There must be specific focus on support given by the provincial government to work in collaboration with sector department responsible for water, sanitation, roads and electricity to have a focused deliberate program to wipe backlogs and finish off the projects underway in particular blocked by financial and technical challenges. The housing still remains part of the mainstay focus areas given the huge demand for such a service from the EC community and specific focus on the projects where government made commitments to. Funding must be found for government to meet the obligations and commitments made to our people. The Municipalities be encouraged to be firm on the collection of revenue as this is one source to create necessary resource base to build required and maintain better standard services.
The Lekgotla resolved on the urgency of the Provincial Government to prioritize assisting the municipalities with revenue enhancement plans that are viable and implementable rather than solely depending on the grants and bail outs. Lekgotla resolved that the Provincial Planning Commission must fast-track the conclusion of the Provincial Development Plan and further resolved on the necessity to strengthen and capacitation of the Provincial Planning Commission. A call was made that all the municipalities must priorities the long planning approaches and be streamlined to be in line with the PDP and NDP. We call for visible and decisive strong action on corruption, with political leadership being the voice of reason and leading with example.
The necessity was expressed on the need as a matter of urgency for government leaders and senior administrators to be subjected to life style audits as means to cub corruption. More public education on corruption. We need to redraw processes to do away with the level of corruption and looting within the state procurement system. Lekgotla calls for monitoring of payment of creditors within 30 days as required by legislation to ensure sustainability of SMMEs.
Lekgotla resolved for the creation of work opportunities through transport programs. Upgrading of economic infrastructure such as rail and ports. We urgently call for reviewal of Government Fleet Management Service to an entity on its own in order to provide services to the provincial and local government. Consider Scholar Transport contract extension to 2020.Lekgotla resolved that all Provincial government departments, local and district municipalities to insource security services. We call for the introduction of stipends for CPF members. Improve the infrastructure in local police stations including security measures for personnel that are vulnerable to attacks. Government must recruit more police officers to fight the scourge of crime ravaging our communities.
On the economy, government should urgently develop master plans for each of the six broad economic priority areas to guide implementation and sustained monitoring, namely: Agriculture & Agro-Industry, Manufacturing, Tourism, Sustainable Energy, Ocean Economy and Auto Sector. Lekgotla resolved to speed up the development of a Provincial Integrated Infrastructure Strategy and the delivery of rural road network. Cabinet must establish a ministerial team lead by the premier to coordinate and drive all catalytic and mega projects in the province. Support emerging economic initiatives through reducing the red tape within governance systems and decision-making processes of government. Urgent focus must be on Small town and Township revitalisation to build local economy.
Lekgotla reaffirmed the fact that Agriculture has potential to make a massive contribution to economic growth. Additional resources must be allocated to this area in order to allow it to fulfil its potential role. Provincial Government must focus on both commercial and subsistence farming as the latter is also critical to food security.Government must adopt a radical approach to improve farmer development support programmes, especially market access and preferred procurement arrangements. Improve farmer training and development, and the growth of sustainable enterprises (Cooperatives and SMMEs).
Lekgotla directed provincial government to implement regional government offices multi-year projects. Provincial government must speed up institutional arrangements for Eastern Cape Infrastructure Plan: 2030.Lekgotla resolved that Public Works must continue to be an implementation Agent for Social Infrastructure. Release State-owned strategic properties for investment in the market, targeting Historically Disadvantaged Individuals. Provincial government must complete Bhisho Precinct to provide office accommodation to government departments. All department must prioritise the implementation of youth set asides.
On transport – Lekgotla resolved for the creation of work opportunities through transport programs. Upgrading of economic infrastructure such as rail and ports. Urgently review Government Fleet Management Services and to establish it as a stand alone entity that would support all government departments and local government.Provincial government must consider Scholar Transport contract extension to 2020 and as the provincial government continues engages on the rationalization of the unviable schools – scholar transport must be plagued in to support the learners that may faulter based on the rationalized schools. Procure & install additional operational infrastructure in Mthatha Airport and lobby for more flights to the airport. Build capacity of the public transport industry prior to roll out of routes as part of Integrated Public Transport Strategy. Building in-house capacity to manage the roads function that has been legally transferred to the department.
Lekgotla acknowledged that public roads in our Province, in particular in rural towns are not in good shape hence we urgently call completion of all unfinished roads. Re-sealing & rehabilitation of roads with less than 5 years of lifespan. The Provincial Wide Transport Master Plan was agreed to.
On human settlements- lekgotla resolved that provincial government must engage National government to reinstate rectification program for poorly built houses by contractors despite the national decisions to scrap the program. ANC government must meet with both National, Provincial Treasury and Human Settlements to sort out this challenge as matter of urgency. Expedite title deeds process and people must be discouraged from selling RDP houses. All houses built must be settled immediately.
On gender-based violence -we must intensify the fight against gender-based violence through integrated government programs. Resolved to provide awareness about gender-based violence as a human right issue.We also resolved that Department of Justice to prosecute speedily those who are facing gender-based violence charges and that upon conviction, the perpetrators be given a minimum sentence of 15 years with no option of a parole.
Lekgotla resolved that Departments of Basic Education and Higher Education to put more investment towards the development of curricular that will help break gender stereotypes which lead to the “objectification” of women.
Provincial government must set up women empowerment programs through funding, capacitation of Cooperatives, business opportunities and technical skills training. The re-establishment of specialized units within the policing – that would be sensitive to cases of the gender based violence, generally on the crimes – the Lekgotla resolved on the appointing EPWP – CWP cohorts that would be in line with services needed within the communities – i.e. policing forum.
The Land summit also helped us in shaping a coherent message on the question of land. The ANC cannot afford to have incoherent messages on the question of land, especially as we approach the 2019 national general elections. Land expropriation without compensation is a resolution of the 54th National Conference held last year in Nasrec. The National Conference is the highest decision-making organ and therefore no structure or individual is above the National Conference.
As we celebrate 24 years of Constitutional Democracy – Centenary of President Nelson Mandela and Mama Albertina Sisulu – we dedicated ourselves to spare more emphasis that more must be done to correct the weaknesses in local government. While the improvement in the audit results in this sphere of government must be appreciated, delivery of basic services remains a concern particularly in areas of water and sanitation, electrification and housing.
We further agreed on intensifying efforts aimed at nation building and social cohesion – with moral regeneration and the home of legends projects being the pinnacle of such an initiative. Each department of government must have a contribution in this regard. Amongst others, the Back to Basics must be elevated from a purely local government programme to the philosophy that guides government at all levels in the execution of its mandate.
All these issues will be subject to further discussion and refinement by the Provincial Cabinet Lekgotla.
Issued by :
Office of the Provincial Secretary- Cde Lulama Ngcukayitobi
ANC Media & Liaison Officer
Mobile No: 0636878267/0731176194
ANC Communications Manager