Mashatile calls for unity in ‘addressing the collapse of municipalities’

Deputy President Paul Mashatile addresses the National Council of Provinces. Picture: GCIS

Deputy President Paul Mashatile addresses the National Council of Provinces. Picture: GCIS

Published Dec 6, 2023


Deputy President Paul Mashatile on Tuesday said the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) should work with the government to address the collapse of the local government sphere.

Delivering his annual address at the NCOP, Mashatile said the House was critical in strengthening democracy in communities towards an equal, prosperous, non-racial and non-sexist country.

“We should all work together to address the collapse of many municipalities, which has had a devastating impact on citizens who must daily deal with sewage spillages, water shortages, uncollected garbage, countless potholes, unmaintained cemeteries and inaccurate billing systems.

“I urge you, the NCOP, to play your part to ensure provinces and municipalities are given an influential voice in the national legislative process so that we can work together to build a better country,” he said at the last sitting of the NCOP for this year.

Mashatile, who made his address to the NCOP on the anniversary of the death of former president Nelson Mandela, said they recalled Madiba’s wisdom and tenacity in fighting apartheid and dedication to building a united, non-racial and non sexist country.

“We rededicate ourselves to the vision of our founding president, that of building a better life for all,” he said.

Mashatile said the occasion provided an opportunity to reflect and contemplate on the governance of the country and the nation.

Mashatile said the government made significant inroads in undoing the legacy of decades of apartheid spatial planning that had consequences for the lives and livelihoods of South Africans.

He acknowledged the contribution by Parliament, especially the NCOP, in changing the lives of the people.

“Parliament put mechanisms in rules to ensure that the executive is held accountable. Some of these mechanisms involve questions for oral and written replies, oversight visits, public participation in legislative processes and the NCOP provincial weeks.”

According to Mashatile, the mechanism introduced by Parliament enabled the executive to intervene and respond to identified service delivery hotspots through targeted service delivery improvement plans.

He heaped praise on the NCOP for promoting principles of co-operative governance and inter-governmental relations.

Mashatile said as of November 24, the sixth Parliament has passed 119 bills from 2019 to date.

Speaking on health-related matters, he said there was still significant inequality in access to quality health care.

“The ANC government will continue to engage key stakeholders, organised business and labour to find amicable solution in critical areas that may hinder the adoption of the National Health Insurance (NHI) bill to enable every South African to receive appropriate standard quality health care regardless of their ability to pay.

“We are a democracy anchored in dialogue and finding one another no matter how difficult issues may be. We remain hopeful that the NHI bill will go through the NCOP as planned.”

Cape Times