Premier’s Sopa only one side of the coin

DA Leader in the Provincial Legislature, Athol Trollip, arrives at the State of the Province Address at the Bhisho Legislature on Friday.

DA Leader in the Provincial Legislature, Athol Trollip, arrives at the State of the Province Address at the Bhisho Legislature on Friday.

The Premier of the Eastern Cape, Noxolo Kiviet, delivered her annual State of the Province Address on Friday.

It was very clear that the Premier adopted the same metaphorical speech strategy of Jacob Zuma of telling a good story. The speech’s plausibility is brought into question by the fact that the Premier spoke only about one side of the coin.

This was confirmed when she appealed to Eastern Cape citizens not to protest their dissatisfaction around poor service delivery by burning down existing service structures. This speaks volumes about he fact that citizens are not as enthusiastic about the ANC’s claims of advancement as they are. The DA does agree that the Eastern Cape is a better place in 2014 than it was in 1994, and no sane organisation or person would gainsay this. However the service delivery protests are indicative of the fact that in developing countries the more citizens have, the more they want and this is understandable and it is here that the ANC is failing.

The Premier and the ANC need to understand that they will be held to account by these unhappy citizens at the polls on 7 May.

Our concern remains that the Eastern Cape continues to haemorrhage one of its greatest resources, which is its human capital as our citizen seek greener pastures in better performing neighbouring provinces such as the Western Cape and Gauteng.

It is a source of profound concern that the Premier chose to dedicate one brief sentence in her speech to the state of local government in this province. The source of discontent of Eastern cape citizens is primarily informed by poor service delivery at local government level.

The causes of this poor service delivery are myriad. But chief amongst them are the misallocation of administrative human resources, where too many people are employed in non-core areas and too few competent people employed in core critical positions.

The practice of cadre deployment by the ANC in this regard exacerbates this misallocation. The ANC continues to appoint loyalists even when they do not meet their appointment criteria, such as the recent municipal manager appointment in Camdeboo of Rev. Noel Pietersen.

The national minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Lechesa Tsenoli, found and recommended that Rev. Pietersen was not suitable for the job, yet the MEC endorsed Camdeboo’s appointment.

Political meddling and interference by incompetent politicians at local government level compounds the inept service delivery at local government level. The fact that no municipalities in this province received unqualified audits is another alarming indicator that the Premier chose to say nothing about. The ANC will come to rue this fact in May as voters are going to vote with their feet against pathetic service delivery at local government level.

You can fool some of the people dome of the time but not all the people all of the time. The Premier will be haunted by her quote of Peter Drucker that she used in her Sopa Address: “Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked, leadership is defined by the results, not attributes”.