Premier to launch master plan
The Eastern Cape premier is expected to announce a “master plan” to counter and quell the service-delivery protests sweeping the province.
Premier Phumulo Masualle, who is also the ANC chairperson in the province, said the plan to a large extent was meant to avoid scenes like those playing out in Vuwani, Limpopo, where protesters have trashed several schools and public facilities in violent demonstrations.
“Look, I must tell you. It’s very scary. It worries me.
“It’s something we have got to work on at breakneck speed to arrest,” he said.
The premier said he would launch Operation Masiphathisane on Wednesday.
In an interview with City Press on Friday, Masualle said his administration promised to work with speed and accountability.
He said the plan wanted to ensure that partnerships were formed with communities and businesses.
He said the province did a lot of developmental work, but admitted it did not sufficiently involve the community. Masualle said the plan would enable his administration to improve consultation about developmental issues at ward level.
Although there was the Provincial Development Plan, they had realised there was a need to narrow down projects to ward level so that people could relate to what was being done in their immediate environments.
Masualle said the plan would herald a new way of governance.
It was the first of its kind in the province, he said.
“We’ll be dealing with specifics and not the generalised profile of the ward and also in terms of what the needs of that ward are.
“It helps to focus government’s intervention,” he said.
He said high-profile, Eastern Capeborn people would play the role of ambassador, also from next week.
The premier was expected to launch the Integrated Service Delivery Model (ISDM) in one of the service-delivery protest hot spots, Mbizana.
In 2014, protesters razed the memorial site of the ANC struggle icon, the late Oliver Tambo, at his Nkantolo village in Mbizana.
Sizwe Kupelo, provincial government spokesperson, said Operation Masiphathisane was partly aimed at dealing with issues related to destructive service-delivery protests that have escalated around the country, particularly now that the August 3 local government elections were drawing closer.
Kupelo said: “The premier condemns the destroying of public facilities because it is anarchy and takes down the country.
“Some of these protests are based on ignorance and, by launching this programme, we want people to work closely with government and be aware of the work we do and be part of it.”
City Press is in possession of the Operation Masiphathisane document.
The document says the ISDM programme would improve negative perceptions of the Eastern Cape government.
It’s barely three months to the local government elections, but Masualle’s “master plan” aims to respond to community needs and improve service delivery.