EASTERN Cape Premier Noxolo Kiviet will lead a high profile government delegation visit to the Kouga region next week
Kiviet and all the members of her executive council (MECs) will descend on the Kouga region as part of government’s annual “Taking Legislature to the People”.
It is the first time the programme which forms part of the legislature’s commitment to strengthen participatory democracy in the province will be held in the Kouga since its inception in 2006.
The sitting will be held at the Humansdorp Country Club from next Tuesday to Friday starting at 10am every day.
Provincial Legislature media liaison manager Bulelwa Ganyaza said communities would get the opportunity to interact with the premier and her MECs on a one-on- one level.
“The legislature will literally be coming to the people to interact with them.
“There will be lively debate sessions on various topics by those in attendance.
“Officials will be on hand to accurately answer questions posed by members of the community and different organisations,” she said.
It is expected that more than 1000 people from Jeffreys Bay, Humansdorp, Joubertina, Kareedouw, St Francis Bay, Mondplaas, Hankey, Patensie, Thornhill, Loerie and Oyster Bay will attend the sittings.
The number is said to include representatives of different NGOs, traditional leaders, farmers associations, business community, farm workers, youth formations, women’s groups and members of the religious fraternity.
The government’s visit comes at a time in which burning service delivery issues have led to two mass protests to the Kouga municipal offices in Jeffreys Bay last month.
Irate residents from all over the Kouga region took to the streets in solidarity against poor service delivery. Their gripes include housing backlogs, sewage spills, the poor condition of the roads, overburdened clinics, mobile clinics not operating, and the alleged mismanagement of finances by the Kouga municipality.
Chairman of the Kouga Business Forum Frans van Eeden said they welcomed the opportunity to engage with province.
“Among others, we would like to discuss various business development initiatives and ask province what they are doing to enhance business development in the area,” he said.
Chairman of the Jeffreys Bay Residents Association Paul Hjul said the sittings were an attempt to appear to create a space for dialogue, when it was actually not.
“Our major discussion point is going to be the dysfunctional council with its unlawful budget. This council should be put under administration.”