Hon Deputy Chair, hon Acting Minister, hon Deputy Minister, the House and hon members, indeed it is true, hon Deputy Minister, that you were honest with yourself today. The man that you are working under now is hands-on. He is hands-on. You can give him everything in his department; he is doing all of it.
Local government is at the core of service delivery. It is here where the people make contact with the government that they have elected. It is therefore very important to treat the communities with the same respect and dignity that we used before the elections.
Municipalities must acknowledge that they do not do the people a favour. Service delivery is their responsibility. We don't deny the progress made, but we must however acknowledge that there are shortfalls. All aspects of failure and corruption in our system have to be rooted out. We are still confronted with poor service delivery in our provinces, which leads to poverty and unemployment. If there is adequate support from the department to municipalities, we will enhance a credible and integrated development plan.
We acknowledge the municipal improvements in provinces, such as 6% in the Northern Cape, yet, compared to other provinces, this improvement is dismal. This places a huge strain on communities as they are the people who have to bear the brunt of these inadequacies. We must also take into consideration that the Northern Cape is one of the provinces that is most deprived in terms of financial resources. The committee has been put under pressure to get the Local Government: Municipal Systems Amendment Bill, a section 75 Bill, passed. But today we are still waiting for the President's response.
South Africa is known for its multitude of cultures. The issue of unity in diversity has to be attended to in reality. Last year the Minister said that the voices of people in rural areas and traditional communities must find expression in policy development and formulation, legislative development, planning, budgeting, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. We are still waiting to see if this is going to happen.
We looked forward to the incorporation of these policies into legislative processes before the end of last year following discussions and deliberations by the nation, so that leaders of cultures such as the Khoisan can be recognised as leaders in their own right. We welcome the fact that Acting Minister Mthethwa has said that Khoisan traditional leaders will be remunerated, but we hope that this remuneration and the recognition of Khoisan traditional leaders will not be delayed. We are still waiting for that; I wonder how long we will wait. Also, we welcome the vision of Deputy Minister Carrim and hope that his vision will become a reality. It's a good thing to dream, but dreams must become realities and sometimes we must put our dreams on paper so that we can see how far along they are to becoming reality.
Hon Acting Minister, let me say this last thing to you, through the Chair: I really appreciate what you have done in this department. I just hope that we will see the fruits in the near future. I thank you.