It goes without question that by being Members of this house we have a constitutional and moral duty to hold Members of the Executive and government officials to account. That duty of enforcing accountability remains one of the key highlights and pillars of strength of our democracy. It is that sense of duty that we are called to decisively exercise today, as we vote on this motion of no confidence against the Premier.
The terms of this motion are not so much about the confidence in the person of the Premier as they are about the corrupt actions, which have taken place in his administration, specifically during this time when we are confronted with a pandemic.
In my view, we have to speak out against the ongoing visible pandemic of corruption, which has devastating consequences for our citizens. Countless opportunities for improving the pace and efficiency of service delivery have been missed and overtaken by self-interested, corrupt individuals in this province.
The multi-billion-rand loss of public funds through the Gauteng Covid-19 PPE procurement corruption, which involved some officials from this government, is one of the compelling reasons why we ought to be more expeditious in dealing with matters of impropriety.
Surely, preaching empty anti-corruption rhetoric is simply not good enough. The damage has been done to the state coffers, society, the economy and public trust – all of which are already eroded – and the impact is being felt. Specifically, many of the struggling business owners and unemployed people of Gauteng want to see actual legal consequences and prosecutions being made against those corrupt officials who have denied and robbed them of access to economic opportunities.
Honourable Speaker, as the Inkatha Freedom Party we believe that this no time to be despondent. Rather, this is a critical moment, which calls on all of us to be sensible and maintain unity of purpose in serving the people of Gauteng. We must keep in mind the constitutional and moral duty entrusted to us.
The entire country has been shaken by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Gauteng, as the economic hub of the country, bears most of the brunt. Unfortunately, that means the Gauteng Government finds itself in the unenviable position of having to revitalise an economy that was already in dire straits, way before the advent of Covid-19.
We are still in the State of Disaster because of the pandemic. We are to remain alert to the threat. Now, more than ever, our focus should be on the fight against the invisible and visible pandemics of Covid-19 and corruption, respectively. The latter steals resources away from improving the pace and efficiency of service delivery to citizens. We must also stand firm against those opportunists, some of whom are determined to use this desperate moment during a public health crisis to score cheap political points, without providing any real pragmatic solutions.
Hon. Bonginkosi Dhlamini
Provincial Chairperson of the IFP Gauteng, MPL
082 565 3571