This lady in Ward 95 in Nkanini Makhaza was 200 metres from the voting station but was not bothered about voting. Picture: Phando Jikelo /African News Agency (ANA)
This lady in Ward 95 in Nkanini Makhaza was 200 metres from the voting station but was not bothered about voting. Picture: Phando Jikelo /African News Agency (ANA)

Churches urge voters to ensure newly elected councillors keep promises

By Mwangi Githahu Time of article published Nov 11, 2021

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Cape Town - Just because the election is over doesn’t mean it’s time for newly elected officials to relax.

Church leaders across the Western Cape have urged citizens to ensure they hold newly elected councillors and other municipal officials accountable to deliver on their manifestos.

South African Council of Churches Western Cape chairperson Lionel Louw said that for a democracy to function optimally, elected officials must now keep the myriad promises that were made during election campaigns and be responsive to the needs in communities.

“As churches we call on our citizens and their organised formations to prepare for the legislatively mandated formulation of the Integrated Development Plans (IDP) for each municipality.

“To arrive at its contents, hearings must be convened in each ward throughout the municipal area. This is the platform, mandated by legislation, where our voices must be raised.

“We look forward to the politicians, accompanied by officials, to be as visible in conducting these IDP consultations as they have been during the election campaigns,“ said Louw.

Meanwhile, the South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) has also called on voters to be vigilant.

Sanco national spokesperson Simon Skhosana said: “For our part, we will as the vanguard of our communities intensify our Khuluma Mhlali campaign to hold municipalities and elected councillors accountable for performance while advancing community interests.

“We will closely monitor municipalities for performance and keep elected councillors on their toes in order for them to be responsive to the service delivery needs of our communities,” said Skhosana.

He also said the organisation was concerned about how the high number of hung municipalities would impact service delivery.

Meanwhile, Local Government MEC Anton Bredell said his department has established a help desk facility to assist with any advice or legal concerns that municipal councils have as they begin to take shape.

He said the provincial executive would be holding an engagement with the new executive and district mayors once they take office

“This meeting will be on November 22 and will be the first formal engagement between the provincial government, the Metro and municipalities,” said Bredell.

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