Free State Province promises to deal head-on with public concerns!

Organised in partnership with the New Age and SABC, the packed to rafters hall featured all races and various leading church missions in an effort to engage with the people who run the province.

Various contentious issues such as health, housing, education, safety, sport, and social services whose MEC’s were all present, were the talk of the town.

First to fire-salvo was the MEC for Education in the province Tate Makgoe, who said education should not only be left to parents but it was a community effort.

MEC Makgoe said, despite the province having improved on matric results last year, the system should be inclusive from those in rural areas and leveraged to those in urban.

“Having clogged the overwhelming 30% pass rate last year outnumbering both Gauteng and Western Cape, we need to re-work and improve our standings year-in year-out, “he said much to the applause.

 Posed to him what measures have been put into place to thwart what happened in Limpopo ‘text book saga’ the unassuming Makgoe, said its all system go, and all, the schools in the province have received or are in the process of getting their text books.

Although one would have expected a tense and vigorous engagement from the public which was not to be, major contentious issues were addressed owing to repeated clapping and whistling.

 MEC Butana Komphela, responsible for Safety was often found wanting when questions such as crime, police behaviour towards the public and illegal demonstrations were thrown to hi.

However, diplomatic the latter promised the public that the scenario of the late Andries Tatane and other cases were the public took law into their own hands; this ugly head would not rise once again.

“We’re on course to establish the appropriate structures to deal with such matters in the province,” he promised, although unconvincing.

“We’re working around to address the issues of housing backlog and total eradication of bucket system,” vowed MEC’s for Human Settlement Olly Mlamleli.

“We’re empowering construction organizations such as Women’s Built Programme whose purpose is to help speed fast the delivery of houses in the province and also share in the slice of the cake,” says Mlamleli , after being asked what role does women play in the economy of the province and the country.

Dan Khothule, MEC for Sport said his department will be launching a National Training Center in April, which would compete with other international training centres globally, without giving much details.

 In his speech Premier Magashule said accountability, transparency and delivery is part of the province’s National Development Planning, as outlined by both President Zuma and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan during his Budget speech recently.

 “Having listened to all the MEC’s making their commitments, its time you the public engage with them when the problem surfaces instead of letting the problem grow out of hand. That is why they’re all here to listen and share their views with you.”

Yes, the recent controversial multimillion-rand website issue was not addressed persuasively, thus the Premier resolved to attend to it as a matter of urgency.

How and when would this happen was not clarified by the Premier though.


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