Legislature size, service delivery in spotlight at #NCOP1stSitting
Parliament - Premiers have expressed their wishes on what the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) should do for their provinces in the sixth term of the second House of Parliament.
This emerged when the NCOP held its first sitting for the term on Thursday.
Gauteng Premier David Makhura said they put their hopes as provinces on the NCOP.
Makhura said one of the first things they would ask NCOP to look at was the size of their legislature.
"We have put this matter before the fifth NCOP and that matter was not concluded," he said.
Makhura said Gauteng has the largest population and its maximum of MPLs was supposed to be 80.
"On behalf of the people of our province, we want to say it should be among the first priorities of the sixth NCOP," he said.
North West Premier Job Mokgoro said his rural province has witnessed public protests with communities raising complaints.
Mokgoro said the protests have shifted from urban to rural areas over cross-cutting issues contained in memorandum of complaints they attended to over provision of adequate clean water and improved road infrastructure, among others.
The province was still under administration and several more municipalities were also placed under administration.
"We are making steady progress to stabilise public services in North West,"Mokgoro said.
"I want to appeal that there is there is a dire need to place much more emphasis on intervention in our ailing municipalities. This should be done not only in North West but jerk up service delivery in all struggling municipalities across the country as these are the coal face of service delivery," he said.
Northern Cape Premier Zamani Saul said the issue of review of formula of the equitable share, allocations made by National Treasury to provinces based on population, should be revisited.
"It disadvantages us. It does not take into account numbers and vastness you have. It is expensive to implement decisions by virtue of distances we need to travel," Saul said.
"We commit to put this item on the agenda of this legislative sector," he said.
However, other premiers focused on realising the needs of the people and need to put the interests of their provinces first.
Free State Premier Sisi Ntombela said they had moved around all provinces during elections and heard what people wanted.
"We have listened to them as they were telling us about their needs. We heard our people cry for better and faster service delivery. They have cried for jobs for their children. They want houses, water and electricity," Ntombela said.
KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala said they continue to work together as provinces to raise issues that affected their respective provinces.
"We want to remind this House that it derives its existence from the will of the people as they expressed themselves on May 8 in the elections.
"We should accept and work together and represent South Africans genuinely and pursue their interests," Zikalala said.
Limpopo's delegate Mamagase Nchabeleng said their task was to ensure aspirations and interests of provinces were carried out and ensure issues emanating from provinces were represented by those sent to the NCOP.
Mpumalanga Premier Refilwe Mtsweni urged NCOP delegates to be driven by a relentless commitment to improve the quality of life of South Africans.
Mtsweni said Mpumalanga delegates should execute their responsibilities without fear.
"If you are partisan, be partisan for the interests of Mpumalanga and South Africa," she said.