Premier to host UN delegates for EC leadership workshop
Premier Phumulo Masualle will host a United Nations delegation that will play a central role during a two-day workshop for all Eastern Cape mayors and municipal managers.
The 11-member UN delegation will be led by southern region co-ordinator Nardos Bekele-Thomas. The event, which takes place at the East London IDC from Wednesday, is expected to commit to an investment of millions to assist the province’s municipalities to improve services. It is part of the office of the premier’s programme to help the government deal with inefficiencies.
The premier’s spokesman, Sizwe Kupelo, said departments were not working in a co-ordinated fashion, leading to failures that in turn led to service delivery protests.
Examples of these lost opportunities to link efforts are “white elephant” schools and clinics: though they are built by various departments, the transport department is not roped in to ensure there is viable access to the facilities.
“The UN will now assist the provincial government in co-ordinating developmental programmes. The co-ordination will mainly focus on local government. With this programme, the UN will lead in the implementation of these objectives. For instance, if a health department is to deliver a clinic, all other departments must identify other services needed in the area such as roads, electricity, etc,” said Kupelo.
This is in line with the existing agreement between the South African government and the United Nations. Bekele-Thomas’s technical team spent weeks in the North West province in June assisting the premier Professor Job Mokgoro-led government to craft a plan to recover from violent protests that saw government buildings being torched and service delivery crippled.
Kupelo said the UN team would provide technical support to a number of projects.
The workshop will be attended by members of Masualle’s cabinet, heads of departments, senior local government association officials and NGOs.