The IFP in KwaZulu-Natal is expecting the Premier, Sihle Zikalala, to be courageous enough to grab the bull by the horns, and make bold announcements on Friday, 26 February 2021, during his State of the Province Address (SOPA).
The IFP believes that it is of cardinal importance that Premier Sihle Zikalala outlines the following:
- The plans that are in place to enhance economic development, education, health, unemployment solutions and rural development.
- The plans regarding water shortages, sanitation, roads and the housing backlog.
- The exact deadline for the implementation of lifestyle audits, as well as his plans to get rid of the corrupt elements within government as relates to the awarding of tenders and nepotism.
- The plans to ensure that wasteful expenditure by provincial departments is eradicated, and that those involved are held accountable.
- Covid-19-related matters, including the vaccination programme and a progress report on corruption related to the procurement of PPE and other services during the pandemic.
- Concrete plans to address crime and GBV.
- Deadlines for the release of corruption reports to the public, such as the damaging report into alleged irregularities and corruption in the uMzimkhulu Local Municipality; a forensic investigation launched into how the KwaZulu-Natal government spent more than R200 million of its drought-relief budget‚ which was meant as relief for subsistence farmers and struggling smallholder farmers‚ as well as bigger commercial farmers; and the forensic report commissioned by late former agriculture MEC, Meshack Radebe, in 2012‚ which cost the province R10 million and was completed in February 2014‚ but has not yet been released to the public.
The people of KwaZulu-Natal want action – not dreams and empty promises. Time for action is now, not tomorrow. This time we don’t want to hear rhetoric, we want to hear something new and innovative – different from the previous SOPA.
The IFP further expects to hear the Premier announcing when the new KZN MEC for Community Safety and Liaison and Transport will be appointed. We can no longer wait for the KZN Department of Community Safety to appoint a full-time MEC, as the Q3 Crime Stats released by Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, revealed that Inanda and Umlazi police stations recorded a high number of rape cases. This is surely enough motivation – and cause for concern – for the Premier to fast-track the appointment process of a new MEC.
For too long, the ANC-led government have undermined the people of KwaZulu-Natal by over-promising and under-delivering. This has been the norm for years, and the people of KwaZulu-Natal can see through this farce. Their plight has been demonstrated through protest action across the province, which is affecting various sectors of our economy. Most of these protests are driven by service-delivery issues, intra-party rivalry and access to lucrative tenders.
Hon Velenkosini Hlabisa, MPL
Leader of the Official Opposition in KwaZulu-Natal and the KZN Legislature
083 974 5783