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Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) introduces digital petition system for enhanced citizen engagement

Sameera Casmod | sameerac@radioislam.co.za
26 March 2024 | 14:07 SAST
1 minute read

Picture: Nexa

The ePetitions system enables residents to log service delivery complaints electronically on any digital device via the online portal.

To initiate the petition process, users are required to register on the portal and provide their details to validate their submissions.

The portal guides users through each phase of the submission process, facilitating a seamless experience from start to finish.

Advocate Ezra Letsoalo, Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Petitions, explained the importance of capturing accurate information to ensure the legitimacy of the petitions.

The system’s soft launch in the community of Refilwe on the outskirts of Tshwane has garnered promising results, with several petitions already submitted by residents. These petitions primarily focused on Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) housing applications.

“The system is functional. We have, thus far, received about four petitions, because people may not be as, you know, adequately aware,” Advocate Letsoalo says.

While the digital petition system currently interfaces with provincial departments, efforts are underway to establish interoperable interactions with local municipalities.

Reflecting on the constitutional mandate for citizen participation, Advocate Letsoalo underscores the GPL’s commitment to fostering transparency, accountability, and public participation.

“We are obliged, as the provincial legislature, to create a platform that enables agency to the people. So we want to hear more from the people, and in that way, through our oversight, tools, scrutiny, and so on. It also empowers us to hold the government accountable. Without the voices of members of our different communities, it also becomes arduous for us to have a concrete issue that we can relay on behalf of the electorate,” Advocate Letsoalo says, emphasising the role of the digital petition system in empowering citizens to hold government entities accountable and drive positive change in their communities.

As the GPL continues to refine and expand the digital petition system, residents are encouraged to actively participate and utilise the ePetitions platform to address service delivery challenges effectively. With the official launch scheduled for the coming Thursday, anticipation is high for the system’s potential to catalyse meaningful engagement and facilitate tangible improvements in service delivery across Gauteng.

Listen to the full interview on Sabaahul Muslim with Moulana Junaid Kharsany here.

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