ROOIGROND Response to North-West State of the Province Address

Saturday, February 18, 2012 - 17:39

Honourable Premier of the North West Province,
The efforts taken to make the State of the Province address more accessible to the public are greatly appreciated. We hope that this signals a more inclusive approach from your government, which encourages public participation from all spheres of society in our province.

We greatly welcome you committing your government to “improving the lives of people in the province” and your assurance that “government will take reasonable measures to ensure that people living in the North-West have basic services.” Being part of and servicing a marginalised community in your province, we experience daily what it is like to go without basic services such as access to adequate healthcare, access to water- as per the Water Services Act and access to housing, among others. We greatly look forward to your governance implementing the commitments made in your address and are eager to join hands with you in ensuring that these goals are achieved. By joining hands with you, we as civil society acknowledge that you cannot do it on your own and that we too have our role to play in being a part of the solution to the many challenges faced not only by the Rooigrond Informal Settlement, but a number of other communities throughout the province.

 According to your address, "The North West government is working towards improved quality education, long and healthy lives for all people, safety and security for all, economic growth that translates into work and improved living standards; vibrant, equal and a responsible, accountable, efficient and effective local government," something which we humbly request is implemented as soon as possible. Our community in Rooigrond cannot enjoy “improved living standards”, due to an outstanding eviction order we have long being fighting. Without a doubt, reversing this order will be a great step in ensuring that what you have committed your government to is effectively implemented.

We also note your announcement that, “Eskom has invested R10.85 billion in electricity infrastructure for the next five years in the North West”, which is great progress for our province. Yet we question the integrity of this progress, by virtue of our community having an outstanding eviction order- despite having electricity infrastructure where we are currently based, evidence that relocating our community is indeed misguided as it will hold-up the progress being made in this regard.

Your address further goes on to send a message to your government that “We must be accountable, lead with humility and always remember we are all here to serve”, which is what we are asking you to do. We are asking you to serve us, by ensuring that we are no longer deprived of services enshrined in our constitution as our rights- because of an outstanding eviction that goes against everything our democracy stands for.

Honourable Premier, we loudly applaud the province's successes in job creation, healthcare and education- as highlighted in your address, as well as your commendable efforts to push for a ‘corruption- free’ administration.  We wish you well in the year ahead and look forward to supporting your government in through our active participation and efforts to uplift not only our community- but also other marginalised communities in your province, facing the same challenges we are.

Issued by Operation: ROOIGROND

Date published: 
Operation: ROOIGROND

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