In the State of the Province address we expected the Premier to speak more on the burning issues that negatively affect the province. She failed to spell out how her Government is going to deal with the severe drought and lack of planning at Local Government level. Farmers, both emerging and commercial, are suffering, they cannot cope without water. The Nelson Mandela Metro has been identified as the municipality that possibly will not have water during the World Cup period. This means that we have a disaster in the province.
We expected the Premier to tell the people of this province how the farmers are going to be assisted or compensated because the rural development programme itself is going to fail if there is no drought relief. The province requested R1.3 billion and only received R68 million. This is only drop in the ocean. There is a programme of providing boreholes for farmers, the criteria has not been spelt out.
However, the speech has outlined the programmes of government and placed emphasis on the eight provincial strategies. But if officials are still so inefficient none of these strategies will be achieved.
The Director General of the province has to ensure that the attitude of the officials is dealt with and the Premier has to ensure that the MEC’s are accountable. Dysfunctionality is seen as the main cause of poverty in the province because some public servants are simply not efficient. The Batho Pele principles are just on paper.
“Tenderpreneurships” is another factor that contributes to the poor state of the province. There are no open opportunities for the poor; tenders are only for those who are closer to the resources. Government should take more steps to address this. Tender procedures should be open to the public; otherwise we will never half poverty by 2014.
The premier was bragging about 78 000 jobs. Does she know whether or not these employees get their money after they have done the job? Many contractors do not pay their workers; they use them as slaves and disappear. As long as there is no monitoring of the jobs to ensure that the job has been done satisfactorily and the workers paid, one cannot call that a job.
We as the DA believe that accountability is the key to success in the province and we will continue to drive our agenda for accountability.