Cyril Ramaphosa says claims against the state, especially with regard to medical negligence in state hospitals and claims against the police, continue to rise which put enormous pressure on provincial and national budgets.
“It should not be, it should never be that the time and resources of our courts are used to settle lawsuits because local, provincial and national departments do not fulfill their obligations and responsibilities to citizens,” Ramaphosa said at the Supreme Court opening in Mbombela.
The president said the actions of hostile law firms that exploit people in these cases and hold the bulk of payouts aggravate an already bad situation.
“We are fed up with municipal managers, provincial and national governments who withhold or fraudulently pay service delivery budgets and do not uphold the principles of Batho Pele (“ People First ”) when serving people.
“We are tired of riotous attitudes and public servants who are arrogant when people demand that their rights be respected, then have the audacity to say, ‘If you don’t like it, drag us to court,'” Ramaphosa said.
It is time that municipalities and government departments start doing what they are paid for.
“They need to implement government decisions, manage their budgets properly and deliver the services that people are entitled to.
“They must provide healthcare, education, water, housing, sanitation, and electricity without the courts forcing them to do so. It must be quality services and respect people’s dignity.
“And if a court order is issued against them, there must be compliance. Failure to do so will result in a loss of confidence in the legal system which in turn undermines the law, ”Ramaphosa said.