Deputy Chair, our colleague started by saying he was not sure whether he had a comment or question. However, in the process of making comments, he clarified himself and posed his question. [Laughter.] We cannot debate whether it was a question or comment because there is a very clear question in what he was saying. [Laughter.] The question is vitally important. It is asking us to give some background to why we have the PICC.
I have said a lot about the motivation behind the PICC. Some people were asking why we even have it, because we have had presidential teams and so on. The critical point is that in our view departments are working in silos. Therefore, whatever good work departments, provincial departments or municipalities were doing - and they have been very busy - was not co- ordinated. These entities were not talking to one another and we could not see if we were making progress. Related to this aspect was the issue that there was no national plan that was overarching and that we were all working towards implementing.
We therefore took a very deliberate decision, which was directed by our Constitution. Our Constitution does not talk about national, provincial and local matters as separate things, as if they were different countries. It talks about co-operative governance, where we have these different levels to enable the administration of the country. How do we make them work together in one plan?
Ever since I came into office I have been saying that we should work differently and in a co-ordinated manner. Whenever one says so, people say yes, yes, but they walk out and carry on exactly as before. My thinking was that we could not effect co-ordination at the level of a Minister, premier or mayor. It required a structure that was headed by the Presidency to ensure that it happened. That is why this co-ordination of infrastructure development has to be chaired by the President and the Deputy President has to deputise in order to ensure that it occurs.
For the first time we have a national plan in terms of which we all know what we are doing. The structures I talked about - the management committee, the council, and the secretariat - have to report so that we can co-ordinate things from there. We have been saying to Ministers, premiers and everybody else that this was not done to please anyone - changing the quality of life in this country was a task given to us by our Constitution. So, as you know, the national plan is about to be completed so that we will know what we are doing in this country.
We have one Budget - yes, it is separated in regard to the levels of government, but we have one government. I know that when people look at provincial boundaries, they sometimes seem to think that provinces are countries. [Laughter.] They are not, even though people fight so much about boundaries. They fight so much that one would think they were two countries fighting about their borders. In reality these boundaries were meant to make the administration of the country easier. Politically, we hardened these borders when it was not necessary. So, we are trying to say: "Let the country work together."
This means that one cannot have national departments jumping over the heads of others and implementing projects that are unknown to those other parties. Everything has to be co-ordinated within this structure. We will allow a national department to do something if it wants to, but certainly the province and local government will know all about it and there will be co-ordination.
Now, if you find any department still doing things the old way, please report that to me because we will deal with it. We say silos must go away. We need a co-ordinated effort to govern and develop our country. Very soon we will have a national plan and whether you are in local, provincial or national government, your work must be aligned to that plan. We must be able to monitor and judge you on that basis. That is why I thought your question was very important.