World News And General News On September 20, 2021 at 05:30PM Pan-African News Wire


Cyril Ramaphosa Service delivery protests Local government Electricity supply Naledi Elections 2021


Dear Fellow South African,

We have just finished the final voter registration weekend ahead of the local government elections on 1 November.

As I met with residents in parts of Gauteng and Mpumalanga over the weekend, what struck me most was the importance of local government being accessible, visible and above all, reachable. This is particularly important when service delivery challenges, disruptions or failures occur.

Citizens often complain that in the lead up to elections, ward councillors, candidates and officials are energetic, interacting with communities and listening to their concerns. However, once elections have passed, they either disappear or it becomes difficult to reach them.

A number of people in the communities I visited told me that municipalities are slow to attend to their problems, don’t keep communities updated about disruptions, and when services are cut off for non-payment, fail to inform them of their options in a manner or language they understand.

A case in point is that of electricity. This has become the foremost pressing issue for communities around the country.

Speaking to people in areas in Soweto, it was evident that anger and frustration over having their electricity cut-off could have been avoided had thoroughgoing interactions with communities been embarked upon around issues such as illegal electricity connections, the vandalisation of electricity substations and the benefits of a prepaid electricity system. Many people also felt that they were being unfairly penalised because of the non-payment of others.

Over the last 20 years, we have provided a set of free basic services to millions of poor and indigent families. But for services to be sustainable, it is necessary that residents pay for what they use above the free basic amount. What I found is that many communities were not aware of exactly how much free water and electricity is provided to poor households.

Following engagement with a number of community leaders on how the challenges that people face with regard to electricity can be resolved and how people can also work with municipalities and Eskom to resolve the problem, I found a profound level of understanding and willingness to pay for services that are utilised.

When people are deprived of the basic services without proper explanation of why this has happened or how it is being fixed, it erodes public confidence in local government. Sometimes people think that the only way to get the attention of those tasked with the provision of services is through violent protest.

The latest data from the Public Violence and Protest Monitor produced by the Institute for Security Studies shows that of the 585 water and sanitation service delivery protests recorded between January 2013 and April 2021, 65% turned violent. The study shows that good and regular communication between municipalities and communities around planned disruptions and when they will be resolved prevented violence in a number of cases.

Our Constitution says that in the provision of services to communities in a sustainable manner, local government must be democratic and accountable.

This means that elected public representatives need to be out in communities, listening to their concerns and resolving their problems. A common refrain from communities, and something I heard again over the weekend, is that engagement with ward councillors starts off well, but diminishes steadily over time.

Accountable local government means maintaining a sustained public presence and an open door policy, not just when election time comes around. Services must be delivered and allocated budgets must be spent. When this does not happen as planned, elected officials must clearly explain why and show how and when problems will be fixed.

Democratic accountability extends to the conduct of citizens as well. During the weekend’s engagement with communities, I called on people not to undermine service delivery themselves by making illegal connections or damaging infrastructure.

Earlier this year, during Freedom Day celebrations, I said that communities must use their vote to deal with councillors with poor track records of meeting their promises.

It is at local government level where our commitment to advancing human rights is measured the most.

Water, electricity, sanitation, housing, education and health care are the things people need most to have a decent quality of life. Where local government fails to meet these needs, the impact is immediate and profound.

But when local government is efficient and well-run, it provides the foundation people need to improve their living standards and find opportunities.

Just as citizens should use their vote to improve their communities, I also wish to encourage those standing for election to listen to what people are saying about engaging with them more effectively and more often.

We share the common goal of a better life for all.

Regardless of which political party we support, belong to or are campaigning for, let us together work to rebuild trust and improve communication.

Let us agree that this election will not merely be about securing the most votes, but will be fundamentally about the people of South Africa and ensuring that their best interests are placed above all else. 

No comments

Thank you for reaching out to us. We are happy to receive your opinion and request. If you need advert or sponsored post, We’re excited you’re considering advertising or sponsoring a post on our blog. Your support is what keeps us going. With the current trend, it’s very obvious content marketing is the way to go. Banner advertising and trying to get customers through Google Adwords may get you customers but it has been proven beyond doubt that Content Marketing has more lasting benefits.
We offer majorly two types of advertising:
1. Sponsored Posts: If you are really interested in publishing a sponsored post or a press release, video content, advertorial or any other kind of sponsored post, then you are at the right place.
Generally, a sponsored post can be any of the following:
Press release
Video content
This kind of post is usually written to promote you or your business. However, we do prefer posts that naturally flow with the site’s general content. This means we can also promote artists, songs, cosmetic products and things that you love of all products or services.
Every sponsored article will remain live on the site as long as this website exists. The duration is indefinite! Again, we will share your post on our social media channels and our email subscribers too will get to read your article. You’re exposing your article to our: Twitter followers, Facebook fans and other social networks.

We will also try as much as possible to optimize your post for search engines as well.

Submission of Materials : Sponsored post should be well written in English language and all materials must be delivered via electronic medium. All sponsored posts must be delivered via electronic version, either on disk or e-mail on Microsoft Word unless otherwise noted.
The price largely depends on if you’re writing the content or we’re to do that. But if your are writing the content, it is $60 per article.

2. Banner Advertising: We also offer banner advertising in various sizes and of course, our prices are flexible. you may choose to for the weekly rate or simply buy your desired number of impressions.

Technical Details And Pricing
Banner Size 300 X 250 pixels : Appears on the home page and below all pages on the site.
Banner Size 728 X 90 pixels: Appears on the top right Corner of the homepage and all pages on the site.
Large rectangle Banner Size (336x280) : Appears on the home page and below all pages on the site.
Small square (200x200) : Appears on the right side of the home page and all pages on the site.
Half page (300x600) : Appears on the right side of the home page and all pages on the site.
Portrait (300x1050) : Appears on the right side of the home page and all pages on the site.
Billboard (970x250) : Appears on the home page.

Submission of Materials : Banner ads can be in jpeg, jpg and gif format. All materials must be deliverd via electronic medium. All ads must be delivered via electronic version, either on disk or e-mail in the ordered pixel dimensions unless otherwise noted.
For advertising offers, send an email with your name,company, website, country and advert or sponsored post you want to appear on our website to omodjk(at)gmail(dot)com

Normally, we should respond within 48 hours.