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People's parliament hears Free State views

By unknown | Nov 10, 2006 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Michael Tlhakudi

The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) is holding a week-long sitting in Parys in northern Free State to allow people to air their views on service delivery by the government.

The council's "taking parliament to the people campaign" was launched in 2002.

Farmers, farm workers, young people, the disabled and women are some of the participants.

People from communities throughout Free State exchanged views with members of the government about shortcomings in service delivery.

The issues raised included poverty alleviation, job creation, and the provision of water, electricity and sanitation.

The highlight of the programme will be today, when President Thabo Mbeki addresses a formal sitting of the council.

Mbeki is expected to listen to the views and problems of ordinary residents.

Masilo Mokonyane, a farmer, said he couldn't wait to see the president.

"Maybe he will listen to my problems because I've tried every avenue there is to get my problems attended to, but no avail.

"I just hope he hears me out," said Mokonyane.

Many individuals and organisations have said they were looking forward to meeting the president and telling him about their problems.

The sitting of the National Council of Provinces in Parys has brought hope to the people of Free State.

People from all walks of life in the province have gathered with one purpose in mind - to get the state to acknowledge their problems and improve their lives.

They said they are upbeat about the people's parliament campaign.

Refiloe Mokoena, 26, is unemployed. She said she had come to Free State hoping to get a job.

"I've been unemployed for five years now. I came herewith the hope that somebody would provide me with a job.

"No one in my family is employed. We all depend on our grandmother's pension. I hope that after this event I will find employment."

Gary Sanile, another hopeful Free Stater, said: "It is not often that we get to be in the same room with the president. We just hope that after this we will find a way to improve our lives."

The Council of Provinces will compile a comprehensive report on its visit to Free State. The report will be debated in parliament in Cape Town.

The council will devise a means of dealing with the complaints it received in Parys.


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