SOUTH AFRICA:NATIONAL, PROVINCIAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT COMMIT TO WORKING TOGETHER

The three spheres of government have, at a meeting with President Jacob Zuma on Friday, committed to tackling issues affecting the country together.

This as government believes more work has to be done at a local government level.

"No level of government must face challenges on its own without getting assistance from others. There are many things we believe, after 22 years, we need to look at how we will move [forward]," said the President at the conclusion of the meeting.

The President's Coordinating Council meeting was held at the Union Buildings in Pretoria and attended by a number of Ministers and Deputy Ministers, Premiers and South African Local Government Association (SALGA) leaders.

Provinces had the opportunity to give reports on the state of their municipalities and SALGA will give a presentation at the next meeting.

The President, who declared the meeting successful, said municipalities face challenges such as budgets and politics which compromise the services that must be rendered to citizens.

"We cannot allow that [to continue] because democracy is there to help improve the lives of our people."

He said if municipalities are not able to work on issues like coalitions and fail to deliver services to the people, there must be a system within democracy that either the provincial or national government, or both, come in to intervene.

This would ensure that people do not suffer because of political issues.

"We cannot allow a situation which is under democracy to make ordinary people suffer."

He said a special report on issues affecting foreign nationals was tabled and discussed.

The meeting resolved that a report must be compiled and be shared with countries that have raised concerns about their citizens living in South Africa. The report will highlight challenges in the country.

"We have been making a point that South Africans are not necessarily xenophobic. We have been living with people from other countries for centuries and it has never been a problem. Even now, it is only when there is an incident where something erupts and it looks like the citizens are attacking foreigners, but there is an explanation to a number of things.

". There are issues of crime and drugs that are destroying our youths, and we cannot stand back. If foreign nationals are involved in those kinds of things, then we have got to make enforcement sectors play their role."

He said the country also had a responsibility to secure its citizens.

Source: NAN NEWS NETWORK