Permanent Free State delegates of parliament’s National Council of Provinces (NCOP) are conducting oversight into service delivery progress and consulting with provincial role-players this week. The programme is known as Provincial Week and is being held under the theme “Moving with utmost speed to ensure socio-economic advancement in our communities”. Delegates, under leadership of provincial whip Mbuyisela Jacobs, will meet with provincial legislature, the premier, MECs, mayors, the public and other relevant stakeholders.
The week kicked off with delegates sitting in on political meetings, as well as the provincial caucus of the Free State Legislature, in Bloemfontein on Monday. Activities were scheduled to go into full swing with a briefing meeting with Premier Ace Magashule in the Thabo Mofutsanyane District Municipality yesterday (Tuesday). The programme also included a progress report on Operation Clean Audit 2014, as well as a look at the state of municipalities in the province.
From today the delegation will conduct follow-up visits to sites previously visited. These include clinics and hospitals, police stations, courts and correctional services, job creation or empowerment projects, roads and infrastructure projects, housing development, water purification plants and food security. The follow-up aspect of the programme relates to issues raised during the “Taking Parliament to the People” programme. Some examples are the Bluegumbush Clinic, Manapo Hospital, Warden and Tseseng Police Stations, Witsies Cave, housing at the Maqhekung settlement, and roads between Tseseng, Thaba ‘Nchu and Phuthaditjhaba, among others.
The delegation returns to Bloemfontein on Thursday for further briefings with affected municipalities on service delivery priorities. The afternoon session will be dedicated to briefings with affected government departments, also on service delivery priorities.
A debriefing meeting is scheduled for Friday where the NCOP delegation is expected to report back on the Provincial Week outcomes and table a draft Provincial Week report for consideration. The Provincial Week provides an opportunity for the NCOP and legislature to witness challenges experienced by citizens. It also provides a platform for government departments and municipalities to provide reports on progress made with improving service delivery to communities.