Bobby Stevenson at the recent AGM of the DA-branch in Ward 15 in New Brighton, which was attended by 35 members of the DA. To the right is Nelson Mandela Bay Metro councillor Knight Mali.

Last month history was made when the Standing Committee of Public Accounts (Scopa) sat to deal with the 2011/12 audited financial statements of departments.  Timeous oversight by Scopa of the financial statements of provincial departments can be a positive improvement. Usually Scopa only deals with these audited reports a year or two after the fact.

Myself and other members of the Legislature have been striving for this change for many years.  This will ensure that the recommendations made by Scopa are relevant and current.

I have also proposed that these quarterly reports be debated in the House where MECs can be called to account.

The Democratic Alliance believes that three key steps can help to improve service delivery in the Eastern Cape:

  1. There needs to be competency testing for senior managers where there are repeated negative audit findings.  This will ensure that the emphasis is shifted from “turn around plans” to where the real problem lies.  We are sick and tired of hearing of turnaround plans when one is really dealing with a people problem.
  2.  There needs to be real accountability within departments.  Performance agreements need to be signed at all levels and need to be enforced.  MECs need to sign performance agreements with the Premier.  Where they fail they need to the axed.
  3.  Updated reports on the implementation of Scopa recommendations need to be submitted to the committee on a quarterly basis and debated in the Legislature.  In this way one will be able to more easily enforce committee recommendations as opposed to letting the matter rest to the following year.

The DA is committed to improving service delivery in this province and believes that the new approach by Scopa will bear fruit.

We will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that the Eastern Cape becomes a place of rising opportunity for all, not a failed province.