The IFP in the KZN Legislature says the new KZN Premier must be tough on corruption, as former KZN Premier, Sihle Zikalala, left the Provincial Government in complete disarray. KZN is in dire need of competent leadership.
Following Friday’s announcement that Premier Zikalala will be stepping down, the IFP demands that whoever is appointed as the new KZN Premier must be a person of utmost integrity; a person willing to rise above politics and take the unpopular decisions needed to root out corruption. This person must have the strength of character to release all outstanding forensic investigation reports, which Premier Sihle Zikalala failed to release.
These reports have been kept under wraps since the tenure of the former KZN Premier, Willies Mchunu.
Among others, a forensic investigation was launched into how more than R200 million allocated towards drought-relief was squandered. These funds were meant for subsistence farmers and struggling smallholders and allocated after the province was declared a disaster area, following a crippling drought in 2015. Farmers were meant to use these funds for water harvesting‚ scooping of dams, rehabilitation of boreholes‚ and provision of stock-feed. The Report into this investigation was never released to the public.
Another forensic report yet to be released was commissioned in 2012, by late former Agriculture MEC, Meshack Radebe, after R60 million in taxpayers’ money – meant to assist emerging farmers in rural areas around the province – could not be accounted for. This investigation‚ which cost R10 million‚ was completed in February 2014‚ but the Report has not been made available.
Further, another Report into alleged irregularities and corruption in the uMzimkhulu Local Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal, relating to the renovation of uMzimkhulu Memorial Hall, is also still under wraps. In addition, no one has been held accountable for the failed Luwamba Project in Ntambanana.
These issues must be a top priority for the new Premier.
We are extremely concerned that these delays appear to be deliberate and unreasonable, and we condemn this lack of progress. The delay in identifying the perpetrators and masterminds behind these potentially corrupt activities is undermining the public’s trust in the government.
We demand proper, fair, and time-bound investigations in this Province, and for these reports to be released to the public immediately. Justice delayed is justice denied.
Mr. Blessed Gwala, MPL
IFP Chief Whip in the KZN Legislature
078 290 5842