PREMIER MUST TACKLE POVERTY, WATER CRISIS: DAILY DISPATCH

POVERTY eradication; the Nelson Mandela Bay water crisis; economic stability and state of affairs in the departments of Health and Education are among issues political parties would like Premier Noxolo Kiviet to focus on during her State of the Province address in Bhisho tomorrow.

DA MPL Bobby Stevenson said what one expected from Kiviet was clear action plans – with time-frames – to deal with some of the major problems confronting the province, “rather than feel-good general commitments”.

The DA believed the Eastern Cape could become “a province of growing opportunity” for all its citizens if right policy choices were made.

“These choices will ensure the right climate for a growing provincial economy which will reduce poverty and unemployment,” said Stevenson, adding Kiviet needed to “spell out” solutions to the current water crisis in the Bay, whose water supply was likely to run out by August if nothing was done.

The metro only received R450 million out of a R1.6 billion request to National Treasury.

It took almost a year to approve the request.

Stevenson said: “The capacity of the province to provide quality services is slowly grinding to a halt. Education is a case in point.

“The current crisis in education where the department has weak management and is failing to deliver quality education to the learners of this province needs to be urgently dealt with.

“The lack of scholar transport and an operating school nutritional programme and classrooms without teachers and stationery needs to be properly dealt with.”

Cope provincial chairperson Sam Kwelita agreed with Stevenson, saying: “We feel that the province has not really focused much on this area (education).

“The changes in political leadership of the department have not yielded any results.”

Kwelita also hoped Kiviet would zoom in on poverty eradication and underdevelopment.

UDM provincial chairperson Mongameli Bobani said: “Most Eastern Cape municipalities are not running efficiently. They’ve been rocked by service delivery protests, financial crises and are being put under administration. We hope the premier will reveal plans to address all these abnormalities.”

ANC provincial spokesperson Mlibo Qoboshiyana said: “We expect the premier not only to highlight the issue of jobs but to give an ‘indication’ as to how we can create such opportunities in the province.

“We are also hoping that she will touch on the issue of infrastructure development; the state of the departments of Health and Education, where she will give a clear-cut direction about what’s going to happen.

“We also want the premier to congratulate the young people who heeded the call to register for the local government elections.”