PLANNING COMMISION NEEDS A SOLID FOUNDATION

The article by the Provincial Planning and Finance MEC, Phumulo Masualle, (“EC Planning Commission needs citizens’ support”, Daily Dispatch, February 11) refers.

The ANC National Conference in Mangaung has thrust the National Development Plan (NDP) firmly into the political spotlight. The DA is broadly in support of the recommendations of the National Planning Commission.

The people of Eastern Cape have expectations for decent services, job opportunities and quality education. Without these aspects there will continue to be an out-migration of skills, people and a lack of investment.

However, before these expectations can be delivered and before any developmental plans can bear fruit, the foundation on which they are to grow has to be solid.

The DA believes the Eastern Cape needs an environment that is conducive for business activity, a government that can deliver on its promises, and an economy that grows and benefits all and not some.

A prerequisite is that the province needs to eliminate fraud, corruption financial mismanagement, under-expenditure, cadre deployment and insider trading. If these continue to infest provincial departments, delivery and growth will continue to be a pipe dream. Only last week the Labour Force Statistics revealed that 69 000 jobs were lost in Eastern Cape in the last quarter of 2012.

The DA welcomes the fact that the work of the Eastern Cape Planning Commission is underway. However the Eastern Cape cannot continue to rely on ideas and paper plans created by committees, while the foundation remains rotten. Firstly, before quality education, essential services and running water can be supplied to our people, those who are stifling service delivery and growth need to be brought to book. Secondly, the ANC needs to have the political will to implement the plans of the NPC.

The Eastern Cape can become a province of rising opportunity for all, but it will take strong political leadership and a solid foundation; until this occurs any plans made will simply gather dust in Bhisho.

Bobby Stevenson

DA Leader in the Provincial Legislature and Shadow MEC for Finance

Bhisho