The Premier, Phumulo Masualle, repeatedly said that the state of the province is sound. If he believes that, he is living in his own echo chamber. The state of the Eastern Cape province is far from sound.
The labour force statistics released last week showed that unemployment is on the increase with the only glimmer of hope being DA-led Nelson Mandela Bay, where it decreased. The Premier failed to make any game-changer announcement that would put the Eastern Cape on the high road to prosperity.
With regard to education, he could have announced competency testing and performance contracts for principals as well as bringing inspectors back into the classroom.
With regard to the economy, he said nothing about a key game changer which is the roll-out of free broadband access points in the province. Young people, in particular, need access to Wi-Fi to apply for jobs and bursaries, do research and run businesses. For every ten percent increased access to broadband in your population, the economy grows by 1.3%. I would also have expected him to talk about an internship programme for the youth and increased support for SMMEs.
We welcome the decrease in the maternal death rate, child mortality rate and HIV prevalence rate.
In his last speech, he said government would look after the vulnerable members of our society. When it came to the Life Esidimeni Lorraine and Algoa Frail care centres they did the exact opposite. They turned their backs on those vulnerable people. The DA and the courts had to come to their rescue.
Only the DA has a real plan for South Africa’s future. A plan to rescue our lost generation and put the province on the high road to prosperity. The government must create the right climate for investment which attracts jobs. That means fixing the infrastructure, improving safety, eradicating corruption and governing well. — Bobby Stevenson MPL, Legislature Leader