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President assures Free State residents of Mangaung governance turnaround

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has assured residents of the Free State and of the metropolitan municipality of Mangaung that the national intervention in the governance of the provincial capital is directed towards relieving the dire financial position of the municipality and addressing issues affecting communities.
The President gave residents this assurance at a Presidential Imbizo at the Dr Molemela Stadium in Bloemfontein where the President and several members of the national executive and provincial leadership interacted with more than 2000 citizens.
In addition, nearly 3 000 participants posted comments and questions on a WhatsApp group created to broaden participation in the President’s visit to the province.
In line with the District Development Model (DDM), which is premised on integrated planning among the three spheres of government and between government and civil society, the government delegation to the Imbizo included Cabinet members, DDM District Champions in the Free State and the provincial executive, Mayors and Councillors as well as senior government officials.
This  was the second post-State of the Nation Address Presidential Imbizo themed on the President’s SONA call to action, Leave No One Behind.
Cabinet this week approved an intervention by the national executive in the governance of the Mangaung Metro  in terms of Section 139(7) of the Constitution.
Following failure by the Free State provincial executive to implement a financial recovery plan in the Metro, the municipality has now been placed under a national intervention.
The intervention is directed at helping the Metro to improve its finances and to deliver on its mandate, and to return to sound governance and a better life for residents, the business community and other stakeholders.
As part of the Imbizo programme, the President visited a road interchange that makes it more efficient and safer for residents to use two arterial roads that serve the city.
The President also visited the Motheo TVET Artisan College where he held conversations with young men and women who are receiving artisanal and entrepreneurship training in areas such as visual arts, beauty technology and jewellery design as part of one-year and multi-year courses.
The President encouraged students to follow their passions and pursue entrepreneurship as a means of sustaining themselves and contributing to economic growth.
The Imbizo also featured an expo where residents could obtain information about government opportunities through which they can improve their lives. The expo also gave residents the chance to access services offered by the Department of Home Affairs and other departments and agencies.
During the mass interaction at the Dr Molemela Stadium, scores of residents from all parts of the Metro were given the opportunity to comment openly and to put questions and complaints to the President and other leaders.
The President then invited Ministers to respond to residents on the issues they had raised.
The President welcomed community members’ outspokenness, saying the Imbizo would assist government in ensuring adequate and sustainable delivery of basic services.
“We are honoured that you have heeded our call to become part of the solution,” said the President.
With the Easter Weekend a few days away, the President urged residents to remain vigilant against COVID-19.
President Ramaphosa said: “With the end of the national state of disaster earlier this week, the country is one step closer to living and working without too many restrictions.
“If we want to make sure that the COVID-19 virus does not hold back our country’s recovery, it is important that as many South Africans as possible get vaccinated.
“If we all get vaccinated, then we will significantly lower the chances of having a damaging resurgence of infections and we will lower the chances of ever having to return to a state of disaster.
“This means that we all need to take responsibility for keeping ourselves and each other safe.
The Presidency will in due course announce details of the third Presidential Imbizo which will be held in Mpumalanga towards the end of April.
Media enquiries: Tyrone Seale, Acting Spokesperson to the President
Issued by: The Presidency