Address by Gauteng Premier, Ms Nomvula

The Honorable Chairperson
Honorable Members of Parliament
Ladies and Gentlemen
In the last eight years, under democratic conditions, one of the critical
challenges we have been grappling with is delivery of quality service on time
and with necessary speed to meet the expectations of our people. During this
period service delivery has been turned into a convenient political ball game by
many groups and individuals whose interests in this subject is questionable.
We have witnessed numerous groupings and individuals masquerading as the
champions of service delivery when in fact self interest and exploitation of the
people’s grievances has been the key motivation. This became a common
trend in the build up to the elections. The new-converts of the peoples’
revolution, as they like to refer to it, could be seen jostling for the media pulpit
as though their survival depends on it.
As government we have always been aware and concerned about the
conditions under which our people live. We have crafted different approaches
to address most of the hardships and sufferings afflicting our people. The fact
of the matter is that service delivery is taking place at a level that has never
been witnessed before in the country.
However, conditions that compound the service delivery situation and affects
its reach and impact
should be appreciated. One of these being the
availability of limited resources which have to be equitably spread across all
communities without any racial bias as it was the norm under apartheid. The
self-proclaimed leaders of the new service delivery church missed to mention
even the obvious variable such as population growth and how it affects
government resources.
We have never shunned meaningful engagement as long as it is conducted in a
civil and constructive fashion. Hence the accessibility of government through
officially created platforms for public participation. Inspite of this reality, we
are made to look insensitive by the self-serving clamour of the demagogues
who are basking in the sunshine of this hard-earned democracy.
This government has always been the first to admit weaknesses in its systems
and strategies. It is for this reason that we are on a constant search for
pragmatic solutions to various challenges faced by our people.
Through the assessments we conduct, we are conscious of the critical areas
that requires intervention in the three spheres of government. We have come
to put our finger on the pulse. Now, we know that our greatest weakness is
effective coordination of programs amongst the three spheres of government.
This has created a situation where programs are conceived and only to falter
on implementation because delineation of roles and responsibilities is not clear
resulting in poor delivery of programs. This challenge of coordination
sometimes leads to squabbles over who control the budget for which program.
Unfortunately, this tends to compromise service delivery.
The other challenge we have observed is poor planning and capacity. In many
instances poor planning manifests itself in duplication of projects which results
in resources being wasted. It also shows in situations where we plan and
implement projects without the encouraging the involvement of the
communities resulting in projects being vandalised as an expression of
rejection by the communities. This reflects at one level the problem of capacity
within our service as well as lack of commitment.
Generally, the area of inter-governmental relations remains a challenge. We
need a proper framework and strategy that will promote close workings
amongst the three spheres of government.
Notwithstanding the challenges, in Gauteng we are working hard to strengthen
these areas of weaknesses. The structures to promote coordination between
the municipality and the Provincial government are in place. We are now
placing emphasis by putting more resources in monitoring and evaluation. We
understand that if we focus on this area it will be easy for us to detect
problems in the system very early.
We have also embarked on a drive to improve skills through training amongst
the employees, fill all vacancies and follow strict recruitment procedures in
search of the best in the market. This is done in order to address the issues of
capacity and competency in the work place.
It is our belief that government can achieve more and deliver quality service if
all three spheres work in sync with one another. There is no doubt that
collaboration amongst the three spheres should be encouraged if we want to
speed up service delivery.
Dankie. Ngiyabonga