The IFP in the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature is shocked at KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala’s reconfiguration of the Provincial Executive Council (PEC). This is a missed opportunity as Premier Zikalala could have been bold in rooting out MECs who aren’t up to the task of performing in office or who have been found heading up deeply corrupt and poorly managed departments.
This shake-up of the PEC comes as Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA) MEC, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, who is also the Leader of Government Business has been re-assigned to the Finance Portfolio and former Finance MEC Ravi Pillay being shifted to Dube-Ncube’s former position.
We believe that the Premier by manoeuvring these two MECs is throwing the dice for selfish gain. If the Premier still has his eyes set on controlling the EDTA, he should not have accepted the position of Premier.
He is attempting to fix what is not broken. This swapping of the MEC’s will not help the people of KZN and will only manage the ulterior motives known to the Premier alone.
The performance of the MECs in KZN have been dismal.
However, Finance and EDTA have been stable departments. We are puzzled by this shift in the KZN PEC and call on Premier Zikalala to account to the people of the province on his reasons for this shake-up.
During Level 5 of our lockdown, the KZN Department of Social Development was reported to have been involved in several irregularities, including reckless utilization of taxpayer’s money, mismanagement of departmental programmes, including the irregular purchase of blankets, fraud, corruption, conspiracy to commit crime between departmental officials and some service providers, misuse of food parcels meant for the destitute during lockdown and many other blunders.
After these misnomers, some senior officials of this department were suspended pending further investigation. Yet, the political head of this department remains secure and protected in office. This unfortunately means that the show of mediocrity goes on at the Provincial Department of Social Development at the cost of people’s lives and livelihoods.
Education in the province has also seen grave mismanagement, escalating purchase prices of PPEs and water tanks supplied to schools at enormous unreasonable prices without any consequences, but the Premier has decided to overlook these matters in his PEC shake-up.
ROADS AND TRANSPORT
The state of roads in the province is appalling, taxi violence is escalating with no convincing measures and steps taken by the MEC and his department to show commitment to this problem.
Corruption at the KZN Department of Agriculture continues to ravage the provincial purse with no benefits to the people of the province. Programmes have severely been cut and many limitations have been placed in supporting small scale farmers and the sector.
The Premier of KwaZulu-Natal should stop nursing the provincial camps of the ANC in the important decisions he takes in the governance of the province and he would do well if he were to put the interests of the people of KwaZulu-Natal first, before those of his party.
The IFP calls on Premier Zikalala to redirect his focus onto failing Departments and in rooting out corruption within the provincial administration.
He has broken his promise to the people of KwaZulu-Natal in committing to delivering clean governance and a better life for all residents of this province.
Hon. Velenkosini Hlabisa, MPL
IFP President & Leader of the Official Opposition in the KZN Provincial Legislature
083 974 5783