Your recent reports on the findings of the Auditor-General on the state of our Education and Health Departments refer:

The Democratic Alliance believes that there are a number of action steps that can be taken immediately to improve the administration of our failing Health and Education Departments which have received bad audit reports (adverse opinions or disclaimers) since inception.

1. The MEC for every department should sign a performance agreement with the Premier. This is something the President has stated that he has done with the National Cabinet.

If an MEC cannot keep to the agreements, he must go. This is what political accountability is about. Has the ruling party become so riddled with faction management that it has become so paralysed that it cannot act against the responsible politicians and administrators?

If a department continues to perform dismally, the political head must be fired. This is how democracy works. If he survives then so do all the rotten apples in failing departments. This results in nothing changing and the people continue to suffer.

2. We would also like to suggest that a skills audit be conducted of senior management in the two big departments of health and education to determine whether or not people are fit for purpose. If not, they must be put on terms and dealt with.

3. We would also like to suggest that SCOPA reports be debated timeously. We are now dealing with the 2007/8 financial year when we are half way through the 2010/11 financial year.

We believe that current reports of the auditor general should be debated before the new budget is passed in the new year. In that way the finding and recommendations of Scopa would be much more relevant and inpactful.

This means the 2009/10 auditor general’s report should be finalised by this house before the 2011/12 budget is passed.

These are three simple steps that can be taken immediately to ensure service delivery is improved in this province. All it takes it the political will to make it happen.

The choice is clear: We either make the changes so we can create opportunity to get ahead in life for people who deserve the chance or we can continue down the present disastrous road.

Bobby Stevenson

DA spokesperson on finance, Bhisho