OR Tambo district has a new first district Commissioner effective from 1 October 2019. Major General David Kanuka could not believe it when the announcement was made today by Minister Thoko Didiza after the official launch of the OR Tambo district model. He is also the first appointment in the whole country as police are moving from clusters to districts.
When he came to Lusikisiki he was unaware of his fate and the surprise was well kept until the announcement was made. He is currently the Cluster Commander in East London.
The a announcement was made during an official launch of the Presidential District Development Model at Zalu Sports Ground at Lusikisiki today, 17 September 2019.
The President, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, Deputy Minister of Police Mr Cassel Mathale, Eastern Cape Provincial Commissioner Lt Gen Ntshinga were there to shake his hand, congratulating him after Deputy National Commissioner Policing Lt Gen Masemola removed the ranks of Brigadier from his shoulder to replace them with ranks of a Major General.
Minister of Cooperative Government, Mrs Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma explaining the new demarcation and model of service delivery said, in the past 25 years of democratic government there are a lot of good things done that could have been maximised. "We searched for a way on how government can make an impact and resolved that we won't work as three tier government anymore but instead, will work together having one district, one plan and one budget. She elaborated to say that government needs to know what needs to be done, who should do it and all will be under one budget. She said the new model is highly inclusive and everyone should be involved including the community, religious group to name just a few. She recalled that when government began, there was a lot of consultation and she promised that "we will continue consultation and working together."
She said her department developed a profile of OR Tambo where they discovered that this district has mainly a population of young people. "57% are young people and is OR Tambo district is one of poorest regions. 80% is poor as some go to sleep without food. There is backlog for roads, housing and water provision. The national average for unemployment is 27% but OR Tambo is 37 %. The infrastructure provision is also having challenges. We don't want only problems we are also looking at the potential.
Turning to the positive aspects of the district she said agriculture, tourism aquaculture are some of the potential areas of development. After looking at profile we saw it doesn't fit the district. "When we do strategic plans they must fit profile, added Minister Dlamini.
She said OR Tambo is a great district to start with because it has challenges and, "if we can accomplish the challenges that prevail, a lot can be achieved. All the local municipalities are going to be part of the district. This will definitely teach us a lot. We need to learn lessons for urban experience," concluded Minister Dlamini.
President Ramaphosa delivering his keynote address said "It is a pleasure to be amongst you and it is an honour to be here to launch the district development model aimed to enable government to work with community."
The district development model is a new model to ensure government works with the people to achieve their aspirations, he added. "As we launch today, this is a response aimed to implement what we promised. This model is a true Khawuleza. Our people are tired with words and promises. They want us to act and act now. We need to look to the challenges of the poor and marginalized," he elaborated.
The President said because of apartheid planning most people are marginalized and the launch is done in order to steer development to the community with maximised results. He said currently departments and municipalities work in different corners. He said, "The new model is a response to working in silos and destroying silos."
He said government will be able to monitor and evaluate with a clear plan of action in sight. "The old way of planning that excludes other departments must end. We want to work in an integrated and district approach helps government work in a coordinated way. We are now going to work on different targets that will tell us exactly what are the cost and who will do what. This is the time to deliver what our people want, "he elaborated further.
The President said there must be interaction of different stakeholders and more importantly, skills transfer, particularly in the fourth industrial revolution. "There are quite a number of partners that want to assist us. We have been holding them back as we are still busy perfecting our model," he revealed.
He promised that there is a plan to make Mthatha a metro and to further develop Port St Johns for tourism. This is giving us a greater focus on this district.
He was honest to say some of these plans won't happen soon but OR Tambo will implement great plans and will focus on what is doable. "Minister Dlamini Zuma will lead this model throughout the country. Kwazulu-Natal and Limpopo are next. We will evaluate and come with a more aggressive plan. We plan to 44 districts and eight metros. She is going to be leading us assisted by Minister in the Presidency, Minister Mtembu," explained the President further.
He also said the land in this area is rich and fertile. He said there is a "unique plant" that grows in this area that has under explored economic benefits.
Turning to address gender based violence the president said he listened to women talking about the scourge of gender based violence. "The women who gathered yesterday gave us a clear message that murderers and rapist must be denied bail and instead, handed heavy sentences. We will be handling the matter as parliament.
Addressing educational concerns he said the people of this district love and cherish education. "There is s building that was once a college but now hosts government offices. I have instructed ministers relevant to reverse that and restore the previous status of being a college."
The SAPS is already implementing and aligning itself with district demarcation as opposed to the current clusters.
Source: South African Police Service