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Media Release

14 November, 2007

Service delivery, jobs and working together main theme of Cape Imbizo

Service delivery, jobs and the need to work with communities have been the main theme of the Retreat Imbizo, attended by more than 600 residents in the local community hall last night.

The Imbizo - Zulu word for community gathering - was hosted by the Western Cape Provincial Government and was part of seventeen gatherings held during this month in 15 priority areas identified by Premier Ebrahim Rasool as part of its main strategy against unemployment, poverty, crime and drug abuse.

The iZimbizo are an important part of government's communication programme with its citizens, and serves as a barometer for service delivery. The Imbizo process has improved in quality with held desks, improved recording of information, better follow up of issues, greater focus and growing partnerships with communities.

In opening last night's meeting, the chairperson Environment, Planning and Economic Development MEC Tasneem Essop said the government had on a previous occasion hear the various complaints of the community, and was now coming back to report on progress.

She said whilst the government was going to listen to the people again, it has learnt from the experiences of communities like Khayelitsha and Manenberg, where those communities have taken control over their lives.

MEC Essop said Manenberg serves as an example of a community who did not wait for government, and government needs to replicate the efforts of this community to others in the province.

Education MEC Cameron Dugmore, who has been deployed as "chief political champion" for the area, reminded communities that at the previous Imbizo in Muizenberg, they complained about:

  • youth wandering the streets;
  • absenteeism of Masiphumelele principal;
  • the need for schools in Westlake and Vrygrond;
  • the need for career information; and
  • the need for economic development.

In response, MEC Dugmore reported that through the education department, the provincial government has earmarked Cafda Primary School, which has 14 vacant classrooms, for a school of skills to give young people training opportunities and take them off the streets.

The post of the principal at Masiphumelele who has absconded, has been advertised and will be filled soon. The building of a new school in Westlake will start from next year, and Vrygrond will also be prioritised.

Although violent crimes and burglaries have come down, MEC Dugmore registered the government's concern with the increase in sexual assault and rape cases.

The provincial government is fighting social pathologies through local partnerships, by providing financial and other assistance to community and non-governmental organisations like Oasis, Spades, Think Twice and others in the area.

Some of the new demands and complaints from the community included:

  • government support for a children Christmas function;
  • making jamborees (service delivery days) more accessible;
  • a boxing hall and sport facilities;
  • school principals withholding reports to be taken to task;
  • support for local cultural and creative arts initiatives;
  • and more skills and job opportunities.

In reply to above, MEC Dugmore said the community, through the Task Team, must put forward a written proposal for support for a children Christmas function; holding jamborees on a weekend will be looked at; a school hall possibly be used as boxing facilities; and that a workshop for artisan and skills training at Cafda be installed next April.

Support officials have taken the details of members of the audience who have health, language and art skills, with a view to work with them in future projects.

In response to a plea from a member of the audience, that the provincial government must work with Mayor Helen Zille, MEC Dugmore said the provincial government is willing to work with anyone who works within the existing legitimate and legal structures and framework of the law, and that no one should undermine it.

He has promised to discipline any principal who withholds school reports from learners in arrears with school fees. At the same time, he has urged parents to make arrangements or to apply for exemption.

MEC Dugmore once again committed the Western Cape Provincial Government to work in partnership with the communities and said he personally was looking forward to work with the Social Transformation Task Team since he could sense their energy.

For enquiries, contact Mansoor Jaffer: 084 661 5216 or Gert Witbooi:  082 550 3938, or gwitbooi@pgwc.gov.za.


Issued by:
Gert Witbooi
Media Liaison Officer
Office of the MEC for Education
Western Cape
Tel: 021 467 2523
Fax: 021 425 5689

Visit our website: http://wced.wcape.gov.za

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