GOVERNMENT departments, Kouga Municipality and community stakeholders gathered at the Humansdorp Country Club on Thursday in a Public Participation Week session convened by the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature.
Kouga Speaker Horatio Hendricks said the meeting reflected the legal obligations that rest on public representatives to consult and take mandate from the public.
“This is not a favour that Government is doing for you, as members of the public. It is important and we are legally required to meet with communities and account for the work that we do,” he said.
His words were echoed by Michael Peter, a Member of the Provincial Legislature and its Portfolio Committee on Public Participation and Petitions.
Peter emphasised that public participation was one of the core functions of the Provincial Legislature in addition to making laws, exercising oversight and approving government budgets.
“Without the people, there would be no Legislature or Government. It is, therefore, important that we provide a listening and report-back platform to the people who are the reason for the offices we hold,” he said.
The session was interactive, where stakeholder representatives such as members from ward committees posed questions to the different departments and responses were provided.
Questions that could not be answered immediately were taken for further investigation, while the legislature undertook to follow up
The municipality will also monitor the processes.