Gauteng’s service-delivery interventions ensure people see real change, reports
Lizzie Hlapo (69) cannot believe that for the first time in her life she owns her own home. Previously she lived in a tin shack on the same property in the Kanana suburb of Hammanskraal, north of Tshwane. Hlapo has worked as a domestic helper for families in the capital her whole life and always dreamed of having her own kitchen.
This dream came true when David Makhura, the Gauteng premier, and Kgosientso Ramokgopa, Tshwane’s mayor, officially presented her with her home on February 3.
She was one of 550 people who officially received new RDP houses on the day as part of the Gauteng government’s Ntirhisano programme.
Most of these people are, like her, already old, but will now live in their own homes for the first time.
The Kanana Park housing project has been on the go for almost five years, but was disrupted and delayed several times for various reasons before Makhura and his administration stepped in as part of the Ntirhisano programme.
This is one of many infrastructure and service projects since the programme was launched on September 11 2014 in which the Gauteng government has intervened and, with the communities, resolved service-delivery delays in, among other places, Bekkersdal, Mamelodi, Bronkhorspruit, Reiger Park, Mogale City, Daveyton, Tembisa, Alexandra, Princess, Westbury, Lenasia South and Soweto.
When he launched the programme, Makhura said the Ntirhisano service delivery response system needed to help his administration to change the way it worked, along with the negative perceptions surrounding it. “We want to develop and implement a province-wide service-delivery response system with the capacity to solve community issues and improve the quality of life of our people. This system will be organised from ward to provincial level and have the capacity to reach out to Gautengers on household or street level. We must be a government that is rooted in communities.”
Makhura added that community issues and complaints should flow through the system.
“We have community-development workers, health workers, security patrols and a range of community-based workers who are based in different departmental and government spheres. “We must be properly organised, coordinated and mobilised for action by the Ntirhisano service-delivery centre.
“We want to strengthen local partnerships and use local resources to address socioeconomic needs.
“We are building the integrated Ntirhisano system not only as the government but with a series of partners, including nongovernmental organisations, the private sector, communities, and women’s, youth, workers’ and religious organisations.