Sopa expectations: Premier Masualle will deliver his speech under a cloud of uncertainty

The Premier of the Eastern Cape will be delivering the annual State of the Province Address in the Bhisho Legislature on Friday, 23 February 2018.

Premier Phumulo Masualle will deliver his State of the Province Address with a cloud of uncertainty hanging over his future and that of his cabinet. The looming provincial ANC cabinet reshuffle needs to be done as a matter of urgency. The party’s factional battles remain a huge obstacle to progress and good governance in this province.

The biggest drought that this province faces, besides the water crisis, is that of jobs. As at the end of last year there were 754 000 people unemployed in this province. This is a key issue that the Premier needs to focus on. He also needs to spell out how the education system is going to be improved as the department is continuing to fail the learners in the Eastern Cape.

Corruption is rife throughout the province. We don’t want to hear nice-sounding words but rather concrete plans to stamp out this scourge so that issues like the Mandela funeral fund scandal will no longer haunt us.

The roads network is in a poor state and this needs to be addressed as well. It is the life-blood of our economy. Healthcare in this province also needs an urgent focus.

The people of the Eastern Cape want hope – hope that their lives will change in a meaningful way. We will be listening carefully to see if the Premier will put this province on a new path.

The reality is that for as long as the ANC governs in the Eastern Cape, the people will suffer. The province needs Total Change that will usher a new beginning and new DA-led government that will always put the people first, deliver services and create much-needed jobs. — Bobby Stevenson MPL, leader of the official opposition