Don’t lose touch with voters: Premier

2011-07-29 14:22

Gauteng can only become a prosperous, equitable and socially inclusive province if local government keeps in touch with the needs of its constituencies, Premier Nomvula Mokonyane said today.

“We must ensure that a void and a social distance do not develop between us as community leaders and the people we represent,” she said at a provincial South African Local Government Association conference in Pretoria.

“Everything starts at street and ward committee level. And if we do not get our ducks in a row at that critical stage, we run the risk of not being understood by the same people who put their faith in us to represent them.”

Municipalities would have to work closely with provincial and national structures in order to achieve a common vision of improved infrastructural development, increased employment and basic services for all.

“The focus of the provincial government in 2011/12 will be to take forward the work of the Gauteng Planning Commission ... a key initiative is the development of a long-term plan for the Gauteng City Region.”

In all provincial projects, monitoring and evaluation as well as accountability were key for successful co-ordination.

“Accountability and oversight structures need not be seen as monsters that are out to get us,” she said.

“They have been created to ensure that both the administration and councillors are held to account on the delivery of services to communities.”

Mokonyane said an attitude of seeing challenges as opportunities would serve elected representatives of the provincial executive committee well for the next five years.

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