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