By Kagiso Bonoko
The Free State and the Eastern Cape provinces had the highest unemployment rate in 2022 with 47.8% and 41.6% respectively. Thabo Mufutsanyana is one such municipality in the Free State with the lowest average household income.
The need for a social compact can result in improved service delivery, economic growth and development. The Social Compact Model was initiated by President Cyril Ramaphosa during his February 2022 State of the Nation Address and adopted by Cabinet. The model’s framework identifies priority actions to achieve higher levels of investment and growth, increase employment, unleash the dynamism of the private sector, protect the rights of workers, expand support for the unemployed and tackle extreme poverty.
The Social Compact outlines the government’s programme of action — in partnership with organised business, labour and communities — for building a better and more inclusive society by growing the economy, creating jobs and tackling crime and corruption. These stakeholders work together to address socio economic problems affecting communities.
The President also identified the “pattern of operating in silos” as a challenge, which leads to a “lack of coherence in planning and implementation making monitoring and oversight of government’s programme difficult”. The consequence has been non optimal delivery of services and diminished impact on the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and employment. He further called for the rolling out of a new integrated district-based approach, to tackle service delivery challenges, localised procurement and job creation, so as to promotes and support local businesses, that involves communities.
This model is seen as a solution to the operational model, to improve cooperative governance aimed at building a capable, ethical, developmental state. The recent visit and meeting by various role players is to ensure that all relevant services are properly coordinated for the benefit of the community, and to improve their socio-economic standing.
The social compact can only succeed through the community’s participation. The aim is to hear their voice concerning services that the government is giving to them and to understand their suggestions on which programmes are working, where things could improve, so that they can benefit effectively from one integrated, consolidated contact plan from all the spheres of government.
One of the community members present was grateful that they are now able to get clean good quality water from their taps and not from dams, rivers or water tanks like they did in the past.