Member Statement by Kingsol Chabalala MPL to the Gauteng Provincial Legislature on 31 March 2015

Honourable Speaker, I rise to make a member’s statement in terms of Rule 85.

The Petitions Standing Committee of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, led by the Hon Chairperson Refilwe Mogale, was scheduled to conduct Petitions hearings last Friday and Saturday in Slovoville, Soweto.

Honourable members will know that the hearings formed part of the commemoration of Human Rights Month, with the aim of assisting the public to address their service delivery concerns.

Honourable Speaker, my fellow members and I attended Friday’s proceedings, which were scheduled to get under way by 16h00 – but by 18h00, no local government or education department officials were present as scheduled.

Of even more concern, was the fact that only handful of local residents arrived at the hearing, despite the fact that catering had been arranged and paid for over 400 participants.

Honourable Speaker, public participation is a critical aspect of governance, and the DA is fully committed to engage with residents and deliver on a promise of a better life.

However, by not properly organising participants, and not attending public engagements, the ANC and its government officials are showing its disrespect of the people and their wishes – and reduces public participation to a mere box-ticking exercise.

Honourable Speaker, if this august house wants to stay relevant to the people, it needs to be serious about their needs, and remain committed to resolving them.

Unfortunately Friday’s instance, along with the hundreds of petitions that have remained unattended and unresolved over the years, is steadily eroding the credibility of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature in the eyes of the people.

I thank you.