Former Cluster Commander for the Grahamstown SAPS (then Brigadier) David Kanuka is the new District Commissioner in the OR Tambo District, effective from 1 October 2019. His appointment leads the South African Police Service’s alignment with a new District governance model launched in Lusikisiki this week.
Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Thoko Didiza announced Kanuka’s promotion this week after the official launch of the OR Tambo district model in Lusikisiki. Major General Kanuka is the first District Commissioner appointment in South Africa, as the South African Police Service restructures its organisational model from clusters to districts.
The announcement was made on 17 September during the official launch of the Presidential District Development Model at Zalu Sports Ground at Lusikisiki. Kanuka had been serving as a Cluster Commander in East London.
President Cyril Ramaphosa, Deputy Minister of Police, Casselle Mathale and Eastern Cape Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant-General Ntshinga were there to congratulate him after Deputy National Commissioner: Policing, Lieutenant-General Masemola removed the rank of Brigadier from his shoulder to replace them with the rank of Major General.
Minister of Cooperative Government, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, explained the new demarcation and model of service delivery as a way to maximise the positive achievements of the past 25 years of democratic government.
“We searched for a way on how government can make an impact and resolved that we won’t work as a three-tier government anymore, but instead, will work together having one district, one plan and one budget.”
Dlamini-Zuma said the government needed to know what must be done and who should do it and this would all will be under one budget.
She said the new model was highly inclusive and everyone should be involved including the community, and religious groups, among others. She recalled that when government began, there was a lot of consultation and she promised that “we will continue consultation and working together.”
Her department’s profile of OR Tambo showed the district had a population of mainly young people.
“57% are young people and OR Tambo district is one of poorest regions. 80% are poor, as some go to sleep without food,” Dlamini-Zuma said. “There is a backlog in roads, housing and water provision. The national average for unemployment is 27% but OR Tambo is 37%. The infrastructure provision is also having challenges. We don’t want only problems: we are also looking at the potential.”
Turning to the positive aspects of the district she said agriculture, tourism, and aquaculture are some of the potential areas of development. “After looking at the profile we saw it doesn’t fit the district. When we do strategic plans they must fit profile”, added Minister Dlamini.
She said OR Tambo is a great district to start with because it has challenges and, ” if we can accomplish the challenges that prevail, a lot can be achieved. All the local municipalities are going to be part of the district. This will definitely teach us a lot. We need to learn lessons for urban experience,” concluded Minister Dlamini.
“President Cyril Ramaphosa said the model was a true ‘Khawuleza’ (hurry).
“Our people are tired with words and promises. They want us to act and act now. We need to look to the challenges of the poor and marginalised,” he elaborated.
Ramaphosa said because of apartheid planning most people were marginalised. The new model was intended to steer development towards the community. Currently departments and municipalities worked in different corners.
“The new model is destroying silos,” the President said.
“The old way of planning that excludes other departments must end. We want to work in an integrated [way].
The President said there must be interaction of different stakeholders and more importantly, skills transfer, particularly in the fourth industrial revolution. “There are quite a number of partners that want to assist us. We have been holding them back as we are still busy perfecting our model,” he revealed.
“We plan to do 44 districts and eight metros.”
The SAPS is already implementing and aligning itself with district demarcation as opposed to the current clusters.