Eastern Cape Premier, Oscar Mabuyane, must spell out how his government will change the trajectory of the Eastern Cape; away from a failed state and towards a caring, capable government that works, when he gives his State of the Province Address (SOPA) tomorrow, 23 February.
Last year, during his previous SOPA, Premier Mabuyane committed himself to an ethical government. (Page 20)
Since then, the Eastern Cape has been drowning under a tsunami of allegations of corruption and maladministration. The province is facing a confidence crisis and a massive trust deficit in this area.
If we are to shift the Eastern Cape away from being a province of misery, to that of a province of rising opportunity, then we need some bold measures that will lay the foundation for the rebuilding of the Eastern Cape.
Critical game-changers that Premier Mabuyane needs to focus on include:
- Ending cadre deployment and contracts for the connected that undermine the capability of the government to deliver services and appoint people on merit. This will go a long way to rooting out corruption. This should include the enforcement of strict consequence management against underperforming officials.
- Having a comprehensive plan to roll out the Covid-19 vaccine and bolster our health care system so we can save lives. We have the highest Covid-19 death rate in SA.
- The rapid roll-out of the Premier’s much boasted about the broadband initiative, so thousands of our schools can experience quality education and government entities can take a step forward into the digital era and more fully embrace the fourth industrial revolution. For every 10% increase in broadband, the economy grows by 1,3%.
- Measures to build our economy and Infrastructure-led growth, particularly rapid progress with the Umzimvubu Water Project that was promised last year and all the years before that. This should include the relocation of the manganese ore facility and tank farm from the PE Harbour to Port of Ngqura, so a waterfront area can be developed. There also needs to be a focus on green energy.
The residents of the province are looking for real change that will ignite hope that the future path of this province will be very different from the one it is currently on.
We need a forward-thinking government that can rebuild the Eastern Cape so that it can work for all the people.
Where the DA governs South Africa works!