Fingers pointed in Sopa debate: Daily Dispatch

OPPOSITION parties in the Eastern Cape say they’ve had enough of the talk – they now want action from the government against corruption.

Yesterday, political parties in the Eastern Cape legislature debated Premier Phumulo Masualle’s state of the province address (Sopa) which he delivered last week Friday.

The opposition was united in calling for the state to deal more radically with corruption and greed instead of throwing around phrases like “radical economic transformation” while only a select few would benefit.

Speaking at the legislature yesterday, the DA’s Bobby Stevenson said this was a “catch phrase” meant to benefit the elite, while unemployment in the province continued to grow.

“There can never be economic transformation when resources are skewed by jobs for pals, contracts for comrades and tenders for tjommies,” said Stevenson.

“This is symptomatic of the radical rot in this province and a culture of greed and corruption that has ingested government.

“The people of this province want change – not just new buzz words like radical economic transformation, which we all know is just a catch phrase for benefiting an existing elite while unemployment numbers continue to grow in the province.”

UDM leader in the legislature and standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) chairman Max Mhlathi accused the ANC of deviating from its mandate to better the lives of black people, and instead replacing it with “looting of state resources”.

Mhlathi said all the ruling party was after was government positions and joining the “gravy train”, even while “the ethos of the black struggle” that characterised the selflessness of the likes of late former SACP leader Chris Hani was consigned to history.

But ANC chief whip Mzoleli Mrara said the perception that the government was soft on graft was incorrect.

According to Mrara, the ANC was of the view that government must pursue corruption without reservation.

The focus should not only be in government but also in the private sector, and in this regard he cited the recent uncovering of the collusion of several major banks, including Absa and Standard Bank, to manipulate the rand against foreign currencies. — zingisam@dispatch.co.za

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