Category: 2016 Articles

Health Portfolio Committee performs oversight in Harry Gwala District

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.

Health Portfolio Committee performs oversight in Harry Gwala District

Health Portfolio Committee performs oversight in Harry Gwala District

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.

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Community Safety Portfolio Committee joins the public to combat crime in Umkhanyakude

Members of Community Safety Portfolio Committee at the South Africa/Mozambique border

Members of Community Safety Portfolio Committee at the South Africa/Mozambique border

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.

Community Safety Portfolio Committee listens to a community member making input during an oversight visit to Umhlabuyalingana

Community Safety Portfolio Committee listens to a community member making input during an oversight visit to Umhlabuyalingana

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Taking the Legislature to the People provides communities with direct access to their public representatives

Public interaction session at Durnacol Sport Complex

Public interaction session at Durnacol Sport Complex

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

The multiparty delegation inspecting a housing project in Newcastle

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.

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Senior Citizen’s Parliament 2016 in Phongola

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. hosp3 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.
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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.

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2016 Women’s Parliament

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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.


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