GEORGE NEWS - The Western Cape Minister of Transport and Public Works, Bonginkosi Madikizela, is disappointed with the lack of cooperation received from the Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula, regarding transport issues in the province including the Go George issue.
Madikizela has been trying to arrange a meeting with Mbalula to discuss the roll-out of Phase 4B which will service Conville, Parkdene, Ballotsview, Borcherds and Lawaaikamp, but by yesterday, Wednesday 26 June, no meeting had taken place.
According to Madikizela's office a meeting was due to take place prior to the State of the Nation Address between the two ministers, but Mbalula cancelled the appointment at the last minute.
Last week George Herald sent a media enquiry to Mbalula's office requesting an update about the situation, but no response was received. His office previously said he would meet with Madikezala, but that meeting had not materialised.
On Tuesday 25 June, Mbalula visited Cape Town to experience the daily frustrations that train commuters are faced with. George Herald understands that Mbalula didn't alert the provincial government about his visit, which led Premier Allan Winde and Madikizela to release a joint statement on Tuesday voicing their disappointment about Mbalula's lack of cooperation.
"In my 10 years as human settlements MEC, I went out of my way to have a functioning relationship with my national counterparts. This is important because our challenges require all spheres of government to work together in order to resolve them," said Madikizela. "I reached out to Minister Mbalula as soon as he was announced as minister and indicated that I will be working closely with him. I made numerous requests to meet Minister Mbalula to deal with pressing issues like rail transport, receiving only acknowledgement of receipt responses. Minister Mbalula eventually scheduled a meeting for last Wednesday, which he cancelled at the eleventh hour."
Madikizela said he was surprised to see on Twitter that Mbalula was coming to the Western Cape without even a courtesy call to alert him.
"After seeing his tweets, I sent him a message expressing my concern about this and his response was very disappointing. This flies in the face of intergovernmental relations and the cooperative governance framework which compels different spheres of government to work together for the benefit of our citizens," he said.
Asked during his visit to Cape Town about the Go George matter, Mbalula said he would meet with the MEC (Madikizela) before the end of the week.
"Hopefully before the end of the week we will meet with the MEC. He has been pestering me. I know it is an urgent issue. Before the end of the week we will meet and settle that particular issue," said Mbalula.
Asked about his views on the Go George matter Mbalula said, "I don't want to pronounce on that until I meet the MEC, because it is a matter that involves all of us. I don't want to speak about it past each other."
'We bring you the latest George, Garden Route news'