Councillors must work on accountability – Jacob Zuma

2013-11-01 12:13

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President Jacob Zuma has acknowledged that a lack of accountability by elected officials, especially councillors, needs work.

Addressing residents of Soshanguve, north of Pretoria, this morning during the sitting of the national council of provinces, he said: “One of the things we need to do better, say our people, is improve accountability, especially at a local level. This matter has been raised during the outreach programme.

“At a local government level, the code of conduct for councillors dictates that they should be accountable to local communities and report back, at least quarterly, to their constituencies on council matters and municipal performance,” Zuma said.

Minister of Cooperative Governance Lechesa Tsenoli would work with the MECs in all provinces to intensify oversight and ensure that councillors fulfilled their obligations to the communities through “effective public engagements”.

“I also wish to emphasise that it is the duty of all public office bearers to communicate with the public and not only councillors,” Zuma said.

The president also urged South Africans not to wait for foreign investors to create jobs, but said they must work with government in its job-creation initiatives to boost the country’s economy.

Zuma stressed that the National Development Plan (NDP) was the country’s blueprint to boost the economy and create jobs, and urged the public to take part in government’s plans.

While he admitted that economic transformation would take some time to fully realise the goals of the NDP, Zuma said there were many government projects that were aimed at helping the country to reach its goals of boosting the economy and creating sustainable jobs.

“Though economic transformation will take time, government has put in place complementary policies that boost employment and economic participation.

“These include the public and community works programme. The Employment Tax Incentive bill will also help to absorb our people into work, especially the youth,” said Zuma.

He said that while South Africa still had a long way to go in making a better life for all, there had been a lot of improvements since the first democratic elections in 1994.

Zuma also urged residents of Tshwane to be patient with the number of infrastructure developments taking place around the city, including the bus rapid system.

The sitting of the national council of provinces, where residents are given an opportunity to ask members of the council questions about service delivery, ends today.

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