The City of Windhoek’s public meetings will this year be conducted at constituency level and will be jointly held with Khomas regional councillors so that residents have an opportunity to ask questions and air their views.
The aim is to promote consultative governance and integrated planning.
Speaking at the official launch of the joint public meetings at Ramatex Hall on Saturday, City of Windhoek Mayor Muesee Kazapua urged Khomas residents to familiarise themselves with the dates of public meetings publicised in the print media and various notice boards and to attend. The meetings are scheduled from May 21 to June 19 in all constituencies and will take place over weekends. Kazapua said at these meetings residents have an opportunity to make input to development projects in the city and region by influencing budgeting processes.
“This is the platform created to promoted bottom-up governance, inclusivity and public involvement in developmental decision-making,” the mayor explained.
Kazapua said traditionally these meetings used to be conducted in different zones in all 10 constituencies of the Khomas Region, but they found that the zonal approach leaves out participation of constituency councillors, as they may not be able to attend all meetings taking place in their respective constituencies.
He further said to demonstrate their commitment to integrated planning the City of Windhoek and Khomas Regional Council are embarking upon a joint five-year strategic plan (2016/2020).
Kazapua said the two institutions have also intensified their budget consultations for the financial year 2016/2017: “ It is our belief that the integrated planning approach that our two institutions have adopted will raise effectiveness and efficiency in resources use, transformative planning and coordinated development.”
Khomas Regional Governor Laura Mcleod-Katjirua said the joint community consultation would prevent duplication, repetition, waste of resources and time, confusion and overlapping in general.
She said collective ownership of the development process would avoid disinformation, lack of public commitment, suspicion, distrust, distress and the blame-game, amongst others.
She further added that as service providers they must respond to the people and this requires a culture and attitude change on the part of those delivering public services.
“Feedback mechanisms should be built around what people already use, like mobile phones, markets, prayer groups and schools. All I am saying is that user feedback can play an important role in improving public service delivery.”
She said this could help public service providers improve their efficiency and ensure that public resources are spent effectively, and furthermore it may help to uncover instances of negligence and/or corruption.