22 February 2017
Embargo: For Immediate Release
Attention: News/Assignment Editors, Political Reporters, Reporters
From: KZN Legislature Communications Unit
RE: OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE KZN LEGISLATURE – ADDRESS BY THE KING AND STATE OF THE PROVINCE ADDRESS
It’s all systems go for the Official Opening of the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday next week.
His Majesty Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini will deliver a keynote address on the 28th February at the Royal Showgrounds.
The King’s address will be followed by the State of the Province Address which will be delivered by Premier Willies Mchunu on Wednesday 1st of March 2017.
Adding to the glamour and ceremony normally associated with the Official Opening of the Legislature, this year’s event will be characterised by the display of artefacts such as traditional beads, beer pots, shields etc.
This is to assist local craftsman to be able to showcase their workmanship to visitors who will be attending the Official Opening.
Notably, this year instead of having schoolchildren forming a guard of honour for His Majesty, this task will be performed by Zulu maidens and Amabutho on the first day.
Furthermore, His Majesty will be accompanied by his regimen drawn from local and other parts of Nongoma and it will be led by Induna Yezinsizwa, Mr Mgilija.
KZN Legislature endeavours to use this event to put the concept of “Unity in Diversity” into practice through involvement of the people of KwaZulu-Natal as the province remains a remarkable melting pot in the country and it fully subscribes to the notion of equal recognition of cultures.
The two-day event will be broadcast live in various media outlets including community radio stations, mainstream television stations and social media.
Members of the media are invited to attend.
Details of the Official Opening and State of the Province Address are as follows:
Dates : 28 February 2017 and 1st March 2017 (King’s Address and SOPA)
Time : 9am
Venue : Royal Showgrounds (Pietermaritzburg)
For more information please contact Wonder Hlongwa at 0829083532 or Sina Nxumalo 082906 0449.
In the past six years in January, Members of the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature including the Executive, have been embarking on a programme known as the Schools Opening Functionality Monitoring Programme, which aims to monitor and ensure that teaching and learning happen on the first day of the opening of all public schools in the province.The schools functionality monitoring programme, which took place from the 11th to the 13th January 2017, is part of the Legislature’s oversight exercise in which all Members of the Legislature visit public schools through the province to assess the state of readiness at the commencement of the academic year.
Members were deployed in all districts of the province to monitor the level of schools’ readiness for the 2017 academic year. They visited public schools that performed well in the 2016 senior certificate examination results and those that performed badly. The aim was to gain first-hand information on the challenges that face public schools especially those that perform badly in matric results.Members also got an opportunity to understand other challenges facing public schools such as poor infrastructure, shortage of teachers, incorrect quintile ranking, inadequate security and school vandalism to mention but a few.
During the visits, Members were accompanied by officials from the Department of Education who had to account on the challenges facing schools and the plans of addressing them. Other departments such as Social Development, Health, Cogta, Public Works as well as District and Local Mayors were part of the delegations. The visits also include meetings with stakeholders that comprise School Governing Bodies (SGBs), teacher unions, ward councillors, Amakhosi, Interfaith leaders, and other community structures.
As part of its constitutional mandate, the KZN Legislature through its Health Portfolio Committee visited Usher Memorial and St Margaret Hospitals on Wednesday, 16th November 2016 to inspect the provision of health services in Harry Gwala District.
The delegation was led by Hon. Bhamjee, the chairperson of Health committee. This was a follow up visit after the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) had been to Harry Gwala District in September as part of the NCOP Provincial Week. NCOP Members had visited the district to track and evaluate the levels of service delivery in KwaZulu-Natal particularly in health and education.
The Health Portfolio Committee held a series of boardroom and site meetings where the district and hospital management reported on various challenges and successes in the provision of health services in the district. The state of the two hospitals was applauded in terms of cleanliness, staff compliment, as well as the standard of service that is provided to the people of Harry District. This is in spite of the challenges such as inadequate budget, human resources and medical equipment.
Several recommendations were made by the NCOP to the MEC of Health, Dr Dhlomo on matters of importance and how such challenges could be addressed. The committee was informed of the common challenges in the district which include the shortage of doctors in rural hospitals, lack of proper sanitation, infrastructure, shortage of EMRS ambulances, and the latest challenge of drought that is facing the entire country.
The Health Portfolio Committee visited the district to monitor the implementation of recommendations and short-term solutions that were proposed by the NCOP in September. However, the committee expressed its disappointment at the slow pace in implementing the recommendations of the NCOP, especially on short term solutions like the drilling of boreholes for water supply. The committee also noted that not much has been done on improving hospital infrastructure since the last NCOP Provincial week.
Hospital management made an undertaking to address these issues without any further delays and that the Department of Health would report before the committee on its intervention plan to address these challenge. Guided by the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) the committee also scrutinised how hospital finances were being managed including budget allocations for short and long term projects as it was resolved during the NCOP week.
Crime levels in Umkhanyakude District have reached alarming proportions with cross-border crime, particularly car thefts between South Africa and Mozambique having reached alarming proportions.
This has prompted the Community Safety Portfolio Committee, under the leadership of the committee chairperson, Hon. Bheki Ntuli, to visit the district recently with an aim of holding meetings with communities, local leadership and members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) to find solutions to the scourge of crime in that part of the province.
The committee started off its oversight work by visiting an illegal South Africa/Mozambique border post, notoriously known as Gate 6, where most cars stolen from South Africa are smuggled to Mozambique to be sold to crime syndicates.
At Gate 6, the committee held a meeting with commanders of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) who patrol that part of the border and SAPS top brass where they received a full briefing on the crime situation along Gate 6.
Committee members were informed that both the SANDF and SAPS lacked necessary resources to fight cross-border crime especially stealing of vehicles from South Africa. There were few members deployed along the border with insufficient equipment for intelligence gathering and that there was no proper fence along the border. That made it easy for criminals to remove the fence and smuggle vehicles across Mozambique. Even Mozambican people easily cross the fence to South Africa without any documentation.
The committee later held a public meeting at Umhlabuyalingana Municipality which was attended by local leadership including Amakhosi, councillors, members of CPFs, SAPS and other stakeholders. The meeting deliberated on a number of crime fighting initiatives and strategies which were aimed at bringing the levels of crime down.
It was noted that there was a lack of co-operation from the Mozambican authorities to stop cross-border vehicle theft once stolen vehicles reach the Mozambican side. Attempts to allow South Africa to build a base inside Mozambique have been obstructed in the past.
Committee members were unanimous in that there is a need for a high-level political intervention between South Africa and Mozambique that will find a lasting solution to the issue of cross-border crime. A bilateral meeting between governments of South Africa and Mozambique should be convened to resolve cross-border crime.
The committee also visited other police stations in Umkhanyakude including Mbazwana to get first-hand information on the issue of crime and how those police stations were dealing with it. On the last day, the committee visited Hlabisa police station and later held a public meeting with the community and other stakeholders. Committee members were informed that crime such as business robberies was on the rise in Hlabisa. The local police station lacks basic resources such as working telephones to enable the public to report crime as it happens.
Section 118 of the Constitution of the Republic places an obligation on all Provincial Legislatures to facilitate public involvement in their law making and oversight functions. The aim is to enable the citizens of this country to participate meaningfully in the governance of their lives. This also provides the citizens an opportunity to engage directly with their public representatives in order to raise their concerns and challenges which require government’s intervention.
In keeping with this constitutional obligation, the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature, led by Speaker Johnson, held a two day sitting away from its chambers in Pietermaritzburg and took the Legislature to Amajuba District where ordinary citizens were afforded an opportunity to interact with their public representatives.
The sitting was held at Dunarcol Sport Complex in Dannhauser Municipality on 27 and 28 October 2016, where people of Amajuba District were able to raise issues that affect them directly in the presence of Members including the Provincial Cabinet. People were able to raise their concerns about service delivery ranging from water shortages, housing, agriculture (access to farming), poverty, unemployment, health facilities, social development programmes.
MECs responded to the issues raised by the community and provided plans to address them. On the last day of the sitting, Premier Willies Mchunu presented a detailed report which included the provincial government’s programme of addressing the challenges facing the community of Amajuba District.
The two day sitting was a follow up to the visits by the multiparty committee which conducted oversight on the level of service delivery in all municipalities under Amajuba. The multiparty committee, led by the Chair of Chairs Hon. Sipho Gcabashe, inspected various service delivery projects to assess their successes and challenges. The multiparty delegation had compiled a comprehensive oversight report which was presented to the people of Amajuba on the first day of the sitting.
The multiparty delegation inspecting a housing project in Newcastle
Since 2004, the Legislature has visited all districts of KwaZulu-Natal to give citizens an opportunity to engage directly with their elected representatives. The programme also assists Members to gain first-hand information on the level of service delivery in communities, in order to accelerate service delivery especially in rural areas. The Legislature will continue with this programme of taking the Legislature to the people to ensure that all citizens of KwaZulu-Natal benefit from the fruits of democracy.
It is not all politics in the Senior Citizen’s Parliament, but the elderly have access to health services they need the most. At the Senior Citizen’s Parliament, held in Phongola, staff from Intshelejuba hospital are hard at work rendering the health services to the most vulnerable members of our society, the elderly. The exhibition marquee set up has been of great benefit to the elderly who hardly have taxi fares to go to clinics or hospitals for their health needs. The long distances people have to travel to access health service is a challenge to elders like gogo Simelane who had an amputated leg.
With these services the elders are assessed, others referred for specialised services if necessary, and these services include dentistry, dietetics, physiotherapy etc. Those with high blood pressure (and have their medical cards with them), are offered treatment on-site.
Senior citizens of Zululand district have praised the Legislature for providing the opportunity for them to not only express their views on service delivery issues in general, but also their specific needs for health.
A considerable amount of work was done by Health Practitioners form Intshelejuba Hospital at the Senior Citizen’s Parliament 2016 in Phongola offering elders health services.
2016 marks the 60th Anniversary of the historic march to the Union Buildings in Pretoria by women of all races against discriminatory pass laws.
As we celebrate the Women’s Month, the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature will hold its annual Women’s Parliament on the 26th – 27 th August 2016 in eNdumeni Municipality, Mpumelelo Sports field under uMzinyathi District Municipality.
Women from all six political parties that are represented in the Legislature will participate in this event. The theme of the 2016 Women’s Parliament is: “Women United in Moving South Africa Forward”.
The Women’s Parliament is part of the Legislature’s strategy to broaden public participation in the oversight and law-making processes of the Legislature and to enhance participatory democracy in KwaZulu-Natal.
People with Disabilities Parliament, which is an annual Sector Parliament, whose aim is to give disabled persons of KwaZulu-Natal a platform to raise issues which affect them daily, was held on the 4th December 2015 at Ezakheni TVET College in Mnambithi Municipality under Uthukela District.
People with Disabilities Parliament was held under the theme “South Africa – a free and just society, inclusive of all people with disabilities as equal citizens”. Delegates who participated in discussions came from all districts of KwaZulu-Natal. The event followed the International Day for Persons with Disabilities, which was celebrated on 03 December at the same venue.
Transport Month has seen the Portfolio Committee enhancing its oversight activities by paying visit to projects, transport facilities, and even schools across the province from eThekwini, Muziwabantu to Mnambithi Municipalities. PPRASA offices in Durban, Mdlangathi, Nkanyezi KaManchi and Colenso Combined Primary schools in Harding and Ladysmith respectively were part of the schools covered by the oversight visits, particularly to inspect learner transport.
The Committee expressed disappointment at the condition of buses used by learners to attend schools. Broken windows, defects in wipers, brake lights, were just a few of many faults found in the buses. However the buses at Colenso Primary schools seemed to be in better conditions compared to buses inspected in Harding. In both schools the Committee instructed the Road Transport Inspectorate to inspect the buses and provide a report as a matter of urgency, and these reports would be shared with the Department of Transport for speedy
A visit to a newly constructed permits center for taxi owners in Ladysmith has been welcome by all for the impact it has on the industry. “If you have forgotten any documents, you are able to go back home and come back immediately to finalise your application for a permit, and get back to business”, unlike when it was centralised in Durban, said the Chairperson of the Taxi Industry in Uthukela.
Delivering the opening remarks in Ladysmith where all stakeholders in the transport sector were present, Hon Kaunda said, “no solutions can be found through the barrel of the gun, why fight over taxi routes, this land cannot be stretched to accommodate more routes so why can’t we accept that”. This is a black run business that we can be proud of, however, this cannot be a lucrative business if we fight over routes”.
There are other business ventures that we can explore, workshops for taxis, you can go out and seek funding for such ventures. Let’s stop violence, and focussing on growing the business. He added that business owners must negotiate with commuters when they are to increase taxi fares so that communities feel part of the industry. “We would like to see that, dialogue takes place and ensure that there is good working relations between yourselves and your clients”, Kaunda concluded.
In keeping with its mandate of involving the public in the work of the committee, the Health Portfolio Committee has been holding a series of public meetings in various municipalities to consult with the people to seek solutions and strategies of dealing with health challenges facing the province.
According to the government’s National Strategic Plan on HIV and sexually transmitted infections, 39% of girls between the ages of 15 and 19 in South Africa, fall pregnant at least once. Almost half of the teenage mothers fall pregnant again within two years of giving birth, the report shows.
Through the Health Portfolio committee led by Hon. Lizzy Shabalala, the Legislature has been involved in campaigns that seek to create awareness on HIV/Aids and teenage pregnancy in poor communities in deep rural areas of KwaZulu-Natal. This multiparty committee, together with the provincial Health Department, has visited several communities holding public meetings with the aim of encouraging parents to take initiatives that ensure the safety and wellbeing of their children.
The partnership programme between the Legislature and Department of Health targets parents, social groups and other relevant stakeholders. The public is made aware of these social ills through presentations and one-on-one interactions. Medical practitioners from Department of Health led by Dr Thami Mayise, focus on the issue of teenage pregnancy, child pregnancy, male circumcision as the contributing factor to the high increase in the number of HIV/AIDS infected persons in the province.
Dr Masiye, defined teenage pregnancy as a teenage girl, usually within the ages of 13-19, becoming pregnant whilst 12 years and less would then be considered as child pregnancy which is considered to be a worse scenario. Teenage pregnancy is a major public health concern in South Africa with more than 1/3 of SA women experiencing 1st birth by the age of 18years. Learner pregnancies are more concentrated in provinces that are mostly rural in nature like Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpompo.
“These social ills should not be a concern for government alone, but parents and the society at large need to join hands with government in fighting these social ills. The public is encouraged to do constant HIV testing, males to circumcise, and to make use of the A,B,C health precaution measures which reads: “Abstain, Be faithful and Condomise” said committee chairperson, Hon. Lizzy Shabalala.
The public was also afforded an opportunity to voice their concerns with regard to the health issues. The issue of lack of education about the epidemic came out very strongly during public interaction sessions. Access to ARVs and female condoms is still a challenge in rural communities. Shocking statistics have revealed that in the year 2014 alone, teenage/child/leaner pregnancy grew up to 19 000 in KwaZulu-Natal alone.
The public was encouraged to go to police stations and report those who infect others with HIV intentionally, so that they will be charged with attempted murder. “Intentionally infecting a person with HIV is regarded as a gross criminal activity that is punishable in our law” said Hon. Linda Hlongwa, a member of the Health Portfolio Committee.
These meetings resolved to establish a team of volunteers called Operation Mukela which will be headed by Department of Health. Its aim will be to fight the stigma that is attached to HIV/AIDS.
A Multiparty delegation led by the Chair of Chairs Hon Sipho Gcabashe held a consultative meeting with all stakeholders in the employment / work sector in Amajuba District with a view to gain insight into challenges facing employers and employees in the that part of the province. This “scoping exercise will inform the issues to be discussed and debated during the Workers’ Parliament, taking place in the same district on the 21-22 May 2015”, said the Chair of Chairs.
The focus was on major sectors such as Textile, Steel, Farming and even Retail. Addressing the stakeholders Hon Gcabashe emphasised the need for workers and employees to adhere to legislation so that work environment becomes a better place for all. “We are not here to solve problems but we are here to provide a facilitative platform for problem areas to be identified so that all stakeholders are aware of their critical role in ensuring a working environment that is hassles free”.
When the Department of Labour Head of Inspectors Mr S. Nkosi delivered a talk, he shared with the meeting some of the challenges facing the labour sector in the District as follows: Failure of both employees and employers to comply with some of the labour legislations such a safety, adherence to Employment Equity, some Foreign Nationals who are employers fail to understand some of the legislations as they are written in English and often cannot read and understand English, failure of stakeholders to attend public hearings called by Labour when introducing a new legislation or seeking input into a new legislation etc.
Union Representatives were also present and made important input including citing a number of challenges for instance companies that hire staff outside of the district yet working in the district. The delegation had assured stakeholders that all the issues raised will form part of the report to be presented at the Workers’ Parliament in order to seek lasting solutions to the problems.
Legislatures are required by section 118 of the Constitution to ensure that the public they serve participates in their activities. This mandate to involve the public in the activities of the Legislature is entrenched in South Africa’s Constitution (section 118) which stipulates that Legislatures at national and provincial levels must facilitate public involvement in their processes. Hence, public participation is at the centre of the core business of KwaZulu-Natal Legislature.
Public participation mechanisms such as multiparty committee visits and Taking Legislature to the People (TLTP) initiatives aim to ensure that South African citizens actively participate in the legislative processes by raising concerns and challenges which need government’s intervention, and are educated and informed about the work of the Legislature.
In keeping with this Constitutional mandate, Members of KwaZulu-Natal Legislature (MPLs) conduct routine oversight visits in all districts of KwaZulu-Natal to gain first-hand information about the state of service delivery in the province. In doing so, the Legislature facilitates public involvement by giving ordinary people a platform to raise issues that affect them as citizens of the province. In many interactions with the public, issues of service delivery dominate such engagements. This is not surprising given the fact that KwaZulu-Natal is vast with its majority citizens living in rural areas which are under-developed.
Multiparty oversight visits
In October this year, Members of KwaZulu-Natal Legislature visited Zululand District in the Northern part of the province to inspect the state of service delivery in this vast rural district. It was a third visit to Zululand with the first one having taken place in 2010, and for a second time in 2012. The multiparty committee visited all five local municipalities, namely, Abaqulusi, eDumbe, uPhongolo, Nongoma and Ulundi to track progress on the implementation of various projects that were identified in 2012. During the visits, communities were given a platform to engage with the MPLs, departments and municipalities on service delivery issues and concerns. The visits were also used to hold departments and municipalities to account for the slow pace to implement service delivery projects in communities.
In Zululand District, the multiparty delegation visited almost 50 projects that were identified in 2012 as needing special focus in order to fast-track service delivery in communities. The projects include rural housing, roads, clinics, farming, electricity, schools, water and sanitation. Some notable improvements were identified in the implementation of these projects by departments and municipalities as most of them had started to benefit communities. However, a sizeable number of projects had not been completed as planned due to a number of reasons such as inadequate budgets, corruption, contractors leaving the sites incomplete, and lack of project management skills at local level.
Oversight visits also aim to resolve implementation challenges and to improve transparency and accountability regarding service delivery. The multiparty delegation comprises of representatives from various political parties in the Legislature, administrative support staff, departmental and municipal officials visiting selected projects in each local municipality. These public participation endeavors also include feedback sessions on issues raised during the previous multiparty delegation visits and Taking Legislature to the People.
Taking Legislature to the People
The multiparty oversight visits culminated with the entire Legislature holding a sitting in Nongoma municipality on 29 and 30 October, where a comprehensive report on the state of service delivery in Zululand municipalities was presented and debated by MPLs. The sitting was attended by thousands of people from Zululand municipalities, who got the chance of engaging with MPLs, MECs, and Mayors regarding service delivery concerns in their areas. As the province currently faces severe drought, it was not surprising that most people complained about water shortages in their areas. This has had a negative impact on farming resulting in the death of livestock and crops. They urged government to come up with short-term solutions and provide relief to drought-stricken communities in order to prevent famine and diseases.
The office bearers of the Women’s Parliament, held each year during Womens’s month, being led into the House by the Sergeant at arms carrying the Mace which is the symbol of the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature.
Legislature holds successful Women’s Parliament in Maphumulo Municipality
The 2015 Women’s Parliament held in Maphumulo Municipality under Ilembe District on the 13th and 14th August 2015 was hailed as a huge success by delegates and MPLs. Delegates who participated in the debates came from the six political parties that are represented in the Legislature.
The Women’s Parliament, which is an annual programme of the Legislature aimed at giving ordinary women a platform to engage with their public representatives, was held under the theme “Women United in Moving South Africa Forward”.
The first day started with the delegates breaking into commissions to discuss issues affecting women in general. Commissions were also attended by MECs and government official who noted issues that were raised and provided answers. They also presented departmental programmes that target women. Commissions came up with recommendations that were later presented to plenary on the second day.
The second day was attended by various MECs including the Premier who delivered a keynote address to the event. The MECs provided updates on the progress their departments had made in the implementation of resolutions that were adopted by the 2014 Women’s Parliament. In attendance was the Minister for Small Business Development, Hon. Lindiwe Zulu, who had been invited by women to make a presentation on the role of her newly formed department in driving economic empowerment of women. Her presentation was well received by all women.
The last day ended with a debate on the theme “Women United in Driving South Africa Forward” wherein delegates from six political parties represented in the Legislature participated. The debate was robust with delegates raising issues affecting them on daily basis in the presence of the Executive and MPLs. At the end of the debate, delegates adopted a set of resolutions which were forwarded to the Speaker for consideration by committees of the Legislature before their referral to the provincial government for implementation to advance women’s issues. Committees will monitor the implementation of resolutions through their regular oversight meetings with provincial departments.
Hampers as part of the Speaker’s Social Responsibility Programme
During the visit to ilembe district, hampers were given to needy people as part of the Speaker’s Social Responsibility Programme.
Grade 9 and 10 girls who spent the day with managers at the Legislature.
Take a Girl Child to Work
In its sitting held on 30 September 2015, the Legislature invited girls who are doing grade 9 and 10 to take part in the activities of the Legislature and to gain first-hand experience of the legislative environment.
Girls who attended received an insight into the functioning of the Legislature and a goody-bag from the Office of the Speaker.
In line with Cairo and Beijing Conferences, the Legislature considers girl child education as the most important instrument that empowers the girl child to lead an independent, healthier, and happier life. An African says, “If we educate a boy, we educate one person. If we educate a girl, we educate a family, and a whole nation”. It is for this reason that the Legislature has embarked on dedicating a day in its business to expose the girl child to the work of the Members of Provincial Legislature (MPLs), its senior Managers and other Legislature operations.
Down to serious business with the Legislature’s Chief Operations Officer, Mr Bongani Sibisi.
It is hoped that this will instil interest in the work of the Legislature and greater insight into various careers to pursue in politics. The girls are invited to the sitting of the Legislature to observe House proceedings and are given an opportunity to engage with Members on various topical issues debated either in the National Assembly, the NCOP or Provincial Legislature. The programme is structured in such a way that the girls are guided through the day- to- day activities of the Legislature with greater emphasis on the importance of working together as different political parties in a democracy to ensure that the citizens have a say (through their elected representatives) in the legislative processes.
Active engagement between eager learners with the Legislature’s Manager on Institutional Transformation, Ms Bridget Dlamini
In this way, the Legislature instils a culture of tolerance and helps the girl child develop an important trait, namely, the ability to make choices for one’s self. Thus, the Legislature prides itself for contributing immensely towards building future women leaders in politics, and for educating a girl child to build a nation.
A well deserved break after a tiring day at the Legislature, the girls were treated to lunch and each also received a certificate.
Team consisting of NCOP Members, MPLs and SALGA executive visited Ilembe District.
NCOP week takes place in Ilembe and Ugu Districts
NCOP permanent delegates from KwaZulu-Natal were joined by their provincial counterparts when they visited Ilembe and Ugu Districts during the week of the 21st to the 24th July as part of their oversight work to monitor service delivery in the province. The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) is constitutionally mandated to ensure that provincial interests are taken into account in the national sphere of government. This is done through participation in the national legislative process and by providing a national forum for consideration of issues affecting provinces.
The NCOP also plays a unique role in the promotion of the principles of cooperative government and intergovernmental relations. It ensures that the three spheres of government work together in performing their unique functions in terms of the Constitution and that in doing so, they do not encroach in each other’s area of competence. This ensures that synergy exists between the spheres on matters of concurrent competence. As part of the NCOP’s annual oversight plan, the KwaZulu-Natal permanent delegates in the NCOP together with Members of the KZN Legislature, the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) and Members of the Provincial Executive, SALGA representatives, and Municipalities met on the morning of the 21st of July in Durban for a briefing on municipal performance and also to outline a three-day oversight programme to Ilembe and Ugu Districts. The delegation led by Hon. Nzimande (Chief Whip of the NCOP) accompanied by Ilembe Municipal Executive met with KwaDukuza and Ndwedwe local municipalities during the overall visit, wherein Hon. Nzimande briefed the meeting about the programme of embarking on the provincial week. He informed the meeting that the provincial week was informed by a workshop that was held in 1998 whereby Legislatures expressed the need of finding space and time to interact with the provinces they represent, in a joint attempt to give expression to the spirit of the Constitution and co-operative governance of the local sphere in national government.
The visits themed “Advancing the developmental agenda of municipalities for a better life of our people ” has met with great appreciation by the communities and municipalities as it created a platform for ordinary citizens to voice out their concerns regarding service delivery issues and for municipalities to engage the national government directly on issues that needed intervention of national government. For example, National Department of Water and Sanitation has intervened in Ilembe District, as the whole district is faced with drought which has resulted in the death of 30 000 livestock, KZN agricultural production has plummeted and emerging farmers are now feeling the brunt. On the economic front, operations in the sugarcane industry have come to a halt and as a result many workers have been laid off while others are working few hours for less-than-normal pay. Dams are virtually empty.
A series of meetings and engagements were followed by site visits to inspect projects that were already underway and promised in the APPs of the Municipalities. The delegation well applauded the initiative by KwaDukuza Municipality to building government subsidy houses for low income workers. “This is indeed a good story to tell, to see our people living in such great conditions in accordance with their affordability and satisfaction. The dream of a better life for all is realised” said Hon. Gcabashe who is the Chair of Chairs in the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature.
The delegation met with the community of Ndwedwe on the last day of the visit, where citizens were afforded an opportunity to speak for themselves.
On the last day of the visit the delegation met with the community of Ndwedwe the meeting that provided an opportunity for ordinary citizens interact directly with their representatives in raising concerns on how they want to be governed. As a way forward recommendations were raised pertaining, in particular, to drought. Both public and the delegation agreed on following undertakings to deal with shortages on water:
• To repair existing boreholes to produce water for domestic use
• To drill new boreholes to assist in the supply of water to affected communities
• To procure mobile water tanks for easy transportation of water to needy communities
• To develop medium and long term drought management plan
The issue of electricity/load-shedding was also on the table.
The NCOP will again visit Ilembe District in September to check on the progress made by municipalities on issues that needed special attention.
KZN Legislature hosted its annual Workers’ Parliament in Amajuba District
With the month of May being the Workers’ Month, the KZN Legislature hosted its annual Workers Parliament from the 21st to the 22nd May in Newcastle where workers from the three major federations in the province participated to discuss matters that affect workers as a sector. Delegates came from Cosatu, Fedusa and Nactu to deliberate on this year’s theme “Workers’ Struggle in Addressing Inequality, Creating Employment and Advancing Vulnerable Workers’ Rights”.
The Legislature, through sector parliaments, involves various sectors of society in matters of governance in the province. Workers’ Parliament is one of the sector parliaments initiated by the Legislature to give workers a platform to discuss and debate issues that affect them as a sector.
On the first day of Workers’ Parliament, delegates went into four commissions which were clustered along the lines of provincial government clusters. Commissions were attended by senior government officials and facilitated by chairpersons of Portfolio Committees.
In commissions, workers discussed issues ranging from economic development, job creation, education, health, social protection, rural development, safety and security. Commissions adopted recommendations which were tabled at plenary on the following day for adoption.
The second day of Workers’ Parliament was attended by the Premier, Hon. Senzo Mchunu, Speaker Hon. Lydia Johnson and other MECs. The Speaker welcomed delegates and the public and wished workers successful deliberations during Workers’ Parliament. The Premier addressed the gathering and thanked workers for their contribution to the liberation struggle as well as the transformation of South Africa. He also urged workers to play a bigger role in addressing the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment facing the country.
Delegates from all three major federations used Workers’ Parliament to raise various issues that affect workers in the country. The debates were robust and mostly centred on issues such as rising levels of unemployment, job losses, poverty, casual labour and eradication of labour brokers. Workers Parliament concluded the debates by adopting a set of resolutions that will be forwarded to the Speaker for further consideration by committees of the Legislature. Once considered by relevant committees, the resolutions will be forwarded to the Executive for implementation and action. The Executive will report on the steps taken to implement the resolutions of the 2015 Workers’ Parliament during the next Workers’ Parliament in 2016. Committees will monitor the implementation of resolutions as part of their oversight role over the Executive.
The KwaZulu-Natal Legislature hosted its annual Inter-faith symposium on 14 April 2015 at the Pietermaritzburg City Hall.
Representatives of various faiths in the province converged in the Capital City to seek solutions and strategies to deal with issues of moral regeneration and the fight against all forms of social ills in our society.
Speaker of the Legislature, Hon. Lydia Johnson welcomed all delegates to the event and explained the main theme of the symposium “Promotion of morality and ethics with special focus to the province of KwaZulu-Natal”. She emphasised the significance of the gathering given the spate of social ills such as rape of women and children, drug and alcohol abuse, murder, crime and corruption confronting society today.
She said that the importance of moral regeneration cannot be over-emphasised today in view of the surge of all forms of moral decay in our society. She called on the inter-faith community to work together to bring back moral renewal among the citizens of this province. She went on to condemn the recent spate of xenophobic violence in KwaZulu-Natal which is being perpetrated against foreign nationals and urged the inter-faith leaders to take a stand against it.
The keynote address was delivered by the Chairperson of the Moral Regeneration Movement, Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa, who commended the Speaker for providing a platform for engagement in a discourse that is arguably the most critical today. Other speakers included Professor Luke Ngoetshane from the KwaZulu-Natal Council of Churches, Dr Nomagugu Ngobese who presented a perspective from the indigenous religious background, and Professor RS Khumalo who presented a perspective from the Christianity background.
Different commissions made up of inter-faith leaders that had met on the first day of the symposium to deliberate on the sub-themes presented their draft resolutions to plenary after the main presentations. The resolutions would be forwarded to the Speaker’s Office for processing by different Committees of the Legislature, thereby making a contribution
On the 26th March 2015, the delegation comprising of senior Members of the Legislature led by the Deputy Chair of Chairs, Hon. Happy Blose, visited several schools in the Zululand District to hand-over computers as part of the Speaker’s Social Responsibility Programme. The delegation included Hon. VV Tambo, Chair of Quality of Life Standing Committee, Hon. YM Nahara, Chair of Social Development Portfolio Committee, and Hon. ZM Mlaba representing Education Portfolio Committee.
Computers were donated to the needy and under-resourced schools in the deep rural areas in the Zululand District in a bid to improve learning and teaching especially in the area of science and technology. The schools were identified during the multi-party oversight visits in Zululand in 2012.
Members of the Legislature conduct routine oversight visits in all districts to check the state of service delivery in the province. The schools that were identified as needing resources such as computers included Phikwase High (KwaCeza), Heshe Secondary (Nongoma), Ntabasuka Secondary (Ulundi), King Mageba Primary (Ulundi), and Zwelonke High (Mahlabathini).
Each school received two desk top computers and boxes of sanitary towels which will benefit young girls from poor households. The Members urged schools to take care of the computers and ensure that they are not stolen by criminals. Hon. Blose said “We are aware that two computers per school is not enough, but this is a head start, look after them and use these computers to improve teaching and learning including your administration”. She further said about sanitary towels “We are grateful to the Speaker who gave us sanitary towels to handover to schools to help young girls who are in need of this commodity. This will restore the dignity of our girls whose parents cannot afford to buy them sanitary towels”.
Most schools took the opportunity to raise numerous challenges which they are facing including among others: • Shortage of classrooms which causes overcrowding • Shortage of toilets which forces teachers and learners to use toilets in neighbouring homesteads • Lack of learner transport as most children have to travel long distances to get to school resulting in late coming and truancy • Lack of school security • Shortage of school libraries and laboratories
The State of the Nation Address (SONA) by the president of the Republic of South Africa on 12 February 2015, marked the opening of Parliament and the beginning of the business of government for the current year. This is followed by the opening of the Legislatures across the nine provinces.
The KwaZulu-Natal Legislature as directed by its Standing Rules officially opened on 26 February 2015 by His Majesty King Goodwill Zwelithini. His Majesty has been a source of wisdom on many important issues ranging from development, social, economic and cultural in the province. His majesty has been a champion of peace, reconciliation and unity of all the people of KwaZulu-Natal.
The opening of the Legislature by His Majesty on 26 February 2015 was followed by the State of the Province Address delivered by Honourable Premier Senzo Mchunu on 27 February 2015. The Premier outlined the programme of action for the provincial government and set out key priorities for the province during 2015/2016. The Premier (as leader of the ruling party) demonstrated his commitment to servicing the social contract that he entered into with the people of the province.
To demonstrate that, the Province of KwaZulu-Natal has been transformed by the Executive Council led by the Premier into the peace haven and destination of choice for global investors and holiday makers from all over South Africa and the