BY REGINALD KANYANE
NORTH West premier Supra Mahumapelo addressed the media on the outcomes of Bokone Bophirima EXCO Lekgotla meeting that took place on Wednesday Thursday at Cook Lake in Mahikeng.
Mahumapelo said they have made an assessment of the Rebranding, Repositioning and Renewal efforts in the Province.
“This is a gathering that is constituted by the Premier, MECs, HODs, Mayors and Municipal Managers and CEOs of State Owned Entities. After a thorough assessment of the implementation of the 5 concretes, the EXCO Lekgotla appreciated work done to date.
“We have taken several decisive decisions that are intended at taking Bokone Bophirima forward. We have reached an agreement with Eskom to roll out prepaid electricity meters with special focus in farming areas and should work with municipalities,” he said.
He further said Eskom noted and appreciated the processes initiated by the provincial government to commence the policy process to make it illegal to erect an informal dwelling (shack), without pre-approval from the municipality.
Mahumapelo added that the Environmental Impact Assessment studies should assist in this regard.
“Before the end of 2016/17 financial year, Eskom should align its planning and execution with VTSD. The Lekgotla resolved that by November 2016, the province should have 864 Village People’s Chambers of Commerce, 73 Township People’s Chambers of Commerce and 23 Small Dorpies People’s Chambers of Commerce.
“The provincial government will explore the possibility of encouraging individuals to contribute R1 (one rand) towards the Kgetsi ya Tsie (KYT) Bursary and Skills Development Fund. The bursary scheme will be collected from every electricity and water purchase/payment made,” he said.
North West premier said, however public opinion will be sought on the matter.
He said in order to ensure a lasting solution to challenges associated with water tankering, the Lekgotla resolved that they should gradually migrate from tankering to the borehole system. Mahumapelo said government will in this regard work out a plan to provide subsidies for struggling farmers.
“The department of Water and Sanitation in conjunction with Local Government and Human Settlements will decide which municipalities should be assisted to roll out the prepaid system for water. A Provincial Integrated Consequence Management regime will be introduced for all municipalities and departments to ensure it is comprehensively attended.
“To effectively deal with silo operations in government, the Lekgotla resolved that the Provincial Planning Commission will ensure that the integration of Integrated Development Plans (IDPs) and VTSD Plans are incorporated into Annual Performance Plans,” Mahumapelo said.
He said ICT architecture of the provincial departments and municipalities will be synergized to ensure seamless communication and to avoid duplication of services and wastage of resources. Mahumapelo added that the province should commence with a phased in approach of Wi-Fi implementation in VTSD areas.
“The province will work with the National Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services, to roll out fibre optic. The Lekgotla also resolved that municipalities should place more effort on their MIG spending. Public servants from provincial departments will be deployed to assist municipalities,” he said. Premier Mahumapelo further said Organizational Development (OD) Specialists will be deployed in municipalities to assist with normalization of municipalities’ bloated structures. He said committees of Councils should correspond with provincial departments.
“The committee will deal with for example, Public Works and Roads issues at municipal level, such as, each ward having a warehouse for pothole filling material. The Lekgotla also received progress report on work done so far to rationalise some of the State Owned Entities and for the establishment of PEGA. “They accordingly appreciated progress registered. It resolved that all matters relating to liabilities and assets of entities that are being rationalised should be concluded. As per the Premier’s pronouncement in the 2015 SOPA, the provincial government continues to receive and deal with reported cases.
“The Lekgotla noted that so far, a total of 445 cases have been reported. Of this total, 400 have been dealt with and closed, whilst the outstanding 45 cases are still being processed. The EXCO Lekgotla appreciated the positive response by Members of Executive Council, who this week on Tuesday morning, took calls from members of the public through the Setsokotsane Operation Centre,” Mahumapelo said.
He added that MECs responded to service delivery issues raised through Setsokotsane Operation Centre. Mahumapelo said the Lekgotla also noted that this public engagement method will be embarked upon every second Wednesday of each month.
“This initiative is a view to bridge the communication gap between the provincial leaders and the communities. While at the same time accelerates service delivery to the people of the province. The EXCO Lekgotla also welcomed the resolve to reduce the duration of its sittings from the usual 3-days to a day. This is as part of the provincial leadership’s effort to do further cost-saving. The Renewal, Healing and Reconciliation Unit that is located in the Office of the Premier, will in working together with the traditional leaders and healers, churches and the department of Social Development, soon embark on a vigorous programme that seeks to deal with the evident moral decay amongst especially the young people in the province.
“Department of Culture, Arts and Traditional Affairs (CATA) in Bokone Bophirima in partnership with North West Development Corporation (NWDC), will officially launch Heritage month on September 3 at Lotlamoreng dam,” he said.
Mahumapelo further said this year’s theme is “Human Treasures and Legends: Our Living Heritage”.
“It is about honouring and celebrating our Living Human Treasures from various disciplines such as heritage, museology, indigenous knowledge systems, storytelling, knowledge of the natural environment and many other aspects of life,” he added.