Retief Odendaal


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The tabling of the Appropriation Bill in the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature today made it abundantly clear that its full steam ahead for the Eastern Cape Gravy Train, even if the tracks are heading straight over the fiscal cliff. South Africa’s economy is in recession, with the weakest annual growth rate since the global financial crisis. The Eastern Cape is haemorrhaging jobs, with the highest unemployment rate in the country. …


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The country is officially in recession and is fast running out money. The province is facing massive financial squeeze and we cannot waste a single cent on non-core business. Last year we heard a lot of promises about putting austerity measures in place, instead the government has found it impossible to save money or to reign in the spending of departments. Tomorrow’s budget speech by Finance MEC, Mlungisi Mvoko, must …


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Speaker, in his first newsletter of the year President Cyril Rampahosa spoke about the pressing need to build a capable state. He said and I quote: “A capable state starts with the people who work in it. Officials and managers must possess the right financial and technical skills, and other expertise.” While the Hon Premier was addressing us last Tuesday in his state of the province address, he referred to …


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Some of the agricultural and non-agricultural loans issued by the Eastern Cape Rural Development Agency (ECRDA), which falls under the Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform (DRDAR), could be considered reckless lending and place the department at risk. It is for this reason I have written to the chairperson of the Standing Committee of Public Accounts (SCOPA) Veliswa Mvenya, to request a full investigation into the lending practices of …


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Serious questions need to be asked about what the Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform (DRDAR) and its MEC, Nomakhosazana Meth, are hiding with regards to the R74 million provincial drought relief aid made available for the Eastern Cape. Last month the Democratic Alliance launched a Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) application relating to drought relief efforts in the province, due to the high levels of uncertainty …


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