2 July 2019
Honourable Speaker, deputy speaker;
The Protocol of the House
Madam Speaker, on behalf of Inkatha Freedom Party, allow me to start by expressing our heartfelt gratitude to His Majesty the King, for the wonderful words of wisdom which he shared with us in his official opening address of this 1st sitting of the 6th legislature of KwaZulu Natal. We thank our fore-bearers who kick-started this legislature in 1994 for their fore-sight in affording His Majesty the King his rightful place within our democratic dispensation in the province of KwaZulu Natal. We express gratitude to Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, who revived the Zulu Monarch from the ashes and dungeon of apartheid and colonial oppression. We all agree that Isilo is our symbol of unity in this province.
We need Action that delivers a Working KZN for All.
Honorable Members, the IFP welcomes the State of the Province Address delivered by Premier Zikalala.
We commend the vision, and the diagnostic report delivered, however we believe that the “how” is important too. Implementation is key to ensuring that the right boxes are ticked. This must be coupled with proper systems of monitoring and evaluation within all departments and spheres of government in our province.
We all want a better KZN, we all want our economy to work and we all want to see our people prosper.
On Jobs: I welcome the approach to job creation in the province by the Premier.
However, it did lack a focus and detail on integrating our rural communities and townships into the mainstream economy. Youth, women and people with disabilities targets have not been highlighted and this would be key to ensure that the right sectors in fact become active participants in the economy.
The ICT sectors, including broadband connectivity hold many opportunities for job creation especially for the future of work and the digitization of our departments – it is saddening that the Premier had been silent on this sector.
The Premier laments the “developmental challenges emanating from crude levels of race-based inequalities and under-development” which are historical, structural and deeply endemic. Ironically, the country is in its 25th year of democracy in the same hands all these years for the Premier to be still lamenting about structural forms of economic inequalities and under-development. The question is, besides affording a few BBBEE opportunities to a connected select few, what is government doing to address this anormally? In the same vein the Premier announces a Mediterranean cruise liner that will be operating from Durban port, poaching our economic resources out of our shores because it is a solely foreign owned cruise company. The Premier announces a Mara group R1.2billion promise of investment. The Premier announces a Wilmar Palm Oil Refinery promise of R1.3 billion investment. It is in these initiatives where the skewed structural patterns of the economy should be addressed, but we have heard none of such. If these do happen, they will indeed assist in job creation and reduction of high unemployment levels. But the fact remains that South African citizens, especially the previously marginalised, will still continue to be subjected to third class citizens of job opportunities whilst the cream of the crop opportunities and wealth continue to be seized by the already economically advantaged. These initiatives, if they happen, will only help to create employment, but will not address the skewed economic structural patterns that the premier is concerned about.
The Premier’s report of jobs created is very biased because it does not talk to jobs that were lost. The fact of the matter is that in 2019 alone, Statistics South Africa has reported a decline in employment and an increase in unemployment levels in the first quarter. The formal sector (in 2019), has lost 126 000 jobs and created only 14 000 jobs. The informal sector has lost 68 000 jobs and created only 16 000 jobs. Private households have lost 142 000 jobs and created only 59 000 jobs. In each sector, more jobs have been lost than the jobs created. Like the Premier has said, the agricultural sector has contracted by 13.2% causing huge job losses in the sector. The big numbers of EPWP jobs that the Premier has reported are merely relief measures. They are not permanent employment opportunities. In the not so distant past, KwaZulu Natal has suffered major contractions in the closure of some poultry industries in the province due to cheap imports from the USA and Brazil. This amounted to thousands of job losses. The sugar industry is at a threat of shedding more jobs because of economic pressures to the industry, and this is a KwaZulu Natal product. We want government to tell us what plans are there to revive these industries and save jobs in our province.
On Crime: The IFP was disappointed by the lack of Policing interventions mentioned in your address to the province, Honorable Premier.
Police Stations are not fully functional and still turn away victims of crime. The high level of crime in our Province cannot be confronted with street committees and community policing forums with a mere pen, paper and walkie-talky but crime will be drastically reduced if the government become tough to crime and criminals, provide more adequately trained and fully resourced man and woman in the blue. In your address Khuzeni you never spoke of providing more new police stations, 24-hour mobile police stations closer to communities in rural areas, in townships notorious hotspots.
Communities are already torn apart by the scourge of crime and violence. They cannot afford to endure lawlessness on their streets any longer.
Guns – We must clamp down the illegal firearms in our communities. The IFP proposes the request for the implementation of tactical response and rural safety units within the SAPS in KZN. Other provinces have anti-gang-units, we need rural safety units and by extension units to address the epidemic of rhino poaching in our province.
Hijacking, cash in transits – Cyber Crime and the likes must also be addressed. If we are to halve these numbers, I suggest we look at it comprehensively. The IFP believes that we must be tough on any crime, from murder to rape through to stock-theft to the so-called “petty crime” – A crime is a crime and must be dealt with accordingly.
On Education: While the 4th industrial revolution strategy is one we cannot overlook, we need to ensure that learners and members of our societies both within rural and urban nodes have equal access to the technology which they will be taught in schools, or have to engage with in future. Our classrooms need to be of sterling standard.
The provincial government cannot ignore the fact that there are far too many learners in a single classroom. Poor infrastructure at schools must be assessed and dealt with not in ten years from now, but tomorrow and next week. We cannot fail our learners, if we do so, we fail our future.
Honorable Premier, not once did I hear you mention the word library in your address. Libraries remain the cornerstone of a literate society. Before we can even think of making use of tablets and other gadgets, we need to read. We need to improve literacy and numeracy in our province and we need to improve our statistics.
Libraries are becoming e-Learning Centers which can benefit our communities across the province. Our libraries are ill-equipped with material and technology, vacancies for librarians and archivists leave a void and poor management has led to their near collapse.
We believe that this must be a priority of the 6th administration.
Crime and violence in schools has spiraled out of control in our province. This is unfortunate, we want to hear a detailed plan to curb crime and violence in our schools.
On Housing : There are a number of commendable efforts which were mentioned in your SOPA address, Honorable Premier, however, when it comes to human settlements we need to ensure that the provincial government is building homes and low-cost housing opportunities that are dignified and of good quality rather than hastily building, poorly planned and shoddily-built homes.
Our people deserve better. Our people deserve dignified homes.
Action must be taken for shoddily built homes by contractors. We await the plans of the MEC responsible for Human Settlements, but this is a key factor which must be raised. Further to this, price fixing and work fully paid for but not completed must be prosecuted.
Frauds are getting away with our people’s hard-earned tax money – we cannot give up in ensuring that companies are blacklisted and that they are never to do work with the province or local governments in KZN.
Homes built must also be disaster proof and road networks should be built with fiber networking infrastructure in place – in order to ensure that municipalities can roll-out easier when fiber connectivity is ready. If we are to take the 4th industrial revolution seriously, we must get this right too.
Let us not build for the sake of reaching targets, let us build for the future.
On Local Government: Local government is at the coal face of government. If it works, residents would not need to resort to protest action.
We need to get to a place where councilors and local government leaders act as diligent soldiers to ensure that their communities are serviced on ward level, they need not act like celebrities and forget their core mandate and oath of office – but more importantly their country-duty towards their fellow residents and the communities which they were democratically elected to serve.
Crisis in governance: First things first, we must ensure compliance to the MFMA and PFMA in order to get the finances right in our local and provincial departments.
Honorable Premier, I must disagree with you on the matter of establishing a committee within the Premier’s Office working together with COGTA – we do not need another report with recommendations from your office.
Back to Basics (B2B) Quarterly report is a comprehensive diagnostic which tells the state of the municipality.
The Auditor General in his public reports and in his management reports to various councils and administrations have already done the diagnosis of the problems plaguing our local and provincial government sector. What we need to do now is fix it. How
Establish the wing called Local Government Support wing composed of a pool of specialists in Finance, Administration and Technical field. The Team will zoom in using these tools: B2B & AG’s report for each Municipality.
All 54 municipalities in the province cannot be hindered at this juncture to subject themselves to yet another fact-finding mission. We have been doing this, we know the problem areas and it is now time to address the root cause and face the challenges head-on.
The 2017/18 audit outcomes report of our province recently released have painted a very dismal picture of the handling of finances in our province. There are instances where the AG staff gets subjected to harassment and danger when they are performing their duties, like in Ethekwini Municipality. Lack of proper accountability of the finances in municipalities means that our communities are robbed of the resources which should be providing service delivery and bringing development to them. We want the provincial government to report stern measures and steps to be taken on the culprits; not just investigation after investigation. From top to bottom, South Africa is suffering this disease of inaction. People do wrong things and there is no action taken but only investigations. There is no consequence management to serve as a deterrent. The practice of public representatives and civil servants committing wrongs and later resurfacing elsewhere in other departments or in other levels of government must be dealt with. The glitter life-styles of public representatives and civil servants who live lives of far more than what they earn must be strictly accessed and followed through relevant bodies.
In the country’s top ten municipalities that are leading with irregular expenditure, KwaZulu Natal has sponsored two municipalities; Ethekwini metro and Uthukela district. In the country’s top ten municipalities that are leading with wasteful expenditure, KwaZulu Natal has sponsored one municipality; uMkhanyakude district. The Ugu district municipality has been experiencing instability for a very long time, yet, government has continually ignored the unfortunate happenings in that municipality. For a long time, political parties and communities have been appealing for intervention through the administrator in that municipality. Ugu employees themselves have long made the same appeal. Yesterday’s leading story in “The Daily News” says, “Ugu is on its knees in crisis.” We do not know for how long the MEC is going to continue to turn a blind eye on an obvious state of affairs that require section 139 intervention empowered by our country’s constitution in Ugu. We do not want to conclude that this blind eye is politically motivated. MEC’s must perform their responsibilities without fear or favour. Irrespective of whether It is an ANC controlled or IFP controlled municipality, if a transgression happens, government must do the right thing and act. That IFP caucus that I lead is not here in this house to defend wrong doings. The IFP is here to defend justice and the rule of law. We expect the same from all other colleagues from all political parties in this house.
Water, electricity and sanitation
The provision of delivering quality basic services to all our people is enshrined within our country’s Constitution. We need to at all times be mindful, that we must adhere to this provision or we would find ourselves in endless protests, doing more harm to our communities than good.
Communities can no longer wait. We can no longer say to them that their electricity will be cut for over 48 hours or that the water distribution would be affected. We need to inform our communities in advance and work with them to ensure that we provide adequate facilities in place for when such disruptions take place.
Where there are no drinking water facilities and proper dignified sanitation, we urge this administration to work around the clock to provide all people with the adequate facilities that are humane and that restores the dignity of our people. 80 and 70 percent’s in statistics on water and sanitation are not enough, because even leaving one resident without the basic provisions should be a crime.
Our existing water infrastructure in the province requires extensive upgrades. Not just fixing leaks, with spanners, but a comprehensive long-term refurbishment strategy must be put in place to be rolled out in phases. If we do not address the crumbling water reticulation systems now, we will have an even bigger problem in the future.
In KwaZulu Natal, people still do not have access to clean piped water. People still struggle for access to proper health-care opportunities, especially in the rural areas. The school-going children still do not have access to quality education especially the rural areas, informal settlements and townships. The bus and taxi or road transport system still remains very dangerous and is operated in very dangerous conditions because of the very bad conditions of our roads, especially in the rural areas. People still do not have access to electricity, especially in informal settlements and the rural areas. People do not have access to sports facilities and sports development programmes. We want government to tell us what plans and programmes are in place in order to change this picture in our province.
In response to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address, IFP President Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi shared with the country his passion in eradicating the spread of HIV/AIDS.
He said: “Years ago, I was the first national leader to speak up about losing a child to Aids. When I did that, it brought down the veil of silence, allowing information campaigns to succeed. Former President Mandela followed suit when he lost his grandson, and together we changed the game.” – I believe that this administration can do its best to get our infection rates down.
We will all commit to work together in advancing this ideal. We can eradicate HIV/AIDS from our communities if we have the political will and assistance of our all our people and experts to do so.
One need not look far to experience the crumbling infrastructure at our secondary and tertiary hospitals. The headlines and reports capture very accurately the experiences of our patients. This is a problem we must address head on.
While we welcome the opening of new 500-bed hospital and measures to ensure oncology is no longer in crisis, we must get the basics right at our current facilities. More hospitals, 24 hours clinics, mobile clinics 7 days a week to target school going youth with all fully equipped with advanced professional nurses of youth age and the medical doctor
Access to provincial healthcare programmers for rural communities have been lacking.
Better mapping systems must be developed in rural communities to ensure that emergency medical personnel do not get lost or arrive 3-4 hours later.
This province needs an overhaul of dilapidated facilities, from the most basic linen to proper medical waste removal and mortuary management.
We look forward to the Health MECs address and plans for this department.
Arts culture, sport and recreation
Honorable Speaker, I am certain that this house is aware of the many talented individuals that our province has produced over many years in the fields of arts and culture, language and literature and in the sporting arena, despite all odds and socio-economic circumstances stacked against them.
I believe that no scholar, rural and urban must fear that they cannot take up any other extra-curricular activity because of the lack of resources. If we are to continue building talented individuals, it is the duty of our Provincial government to provide various platforms for exceptional learners to excel. We must ensure that all schools in our province provide at least, I stress, at least, one sporting code and one arts and culture activity.
We cannot expect transformation on our sporting fields, when learners are not provided with the tools, guidance and platforms to nurture talent. We must stress that the playing field should be leveled.
The importance of these activities in building social cohesion and uniting us all in our diversity as South Africans only strengthens what we have built on and achieved since the dawn of our democracy.
We should lead in the fields of arts, culture and sport in our province and in our country.
In his opening address the King stressed the importance of agriculture and farming as a basis for subsistence in this province. For the same reasons, I also wish to welcome the agricultural empowerment programme announced by the Premier to be conducted in partnership with the established farmers of our province, the National Young Producers and Entrepreneurs Strategy (YPES). In the IFP, we also welcome all other initiatives by the province, aimed at addressing the challenge of high unemployment levels in our province. However, the fact of the matter is that intervention initiatives announced by the Premier to address this scourge of joblessness were too meagre as compared to the challenge itself.
South Africa and KwaZulu Natal are in desperate economic times. Desperate times call for extra ordinary measures. Our provincial government cannot just continue with the business as usual while the situation of joblessness is this critical. The measures announced by the Premier as promises to create jobs only speak to the urban centres of the province. With the exception of a promise to build a Mkhuze Airport City Development based in Umkhanyakude, (if it will happen), the provincial plan that the Premier outlined to us says nothing about sustainable job creation programmes in the rural areas of the province. There is visually nothing about;
Zululand * Rural King Cetshwayo district * Ilembe * Ugu *Sisonke * Rural Umgungundlovu * Rural Amajuba * Umzinyathi
The IFP wants to remind our Premier and our Government that you are not a Premier and government of Urban KZN only. You are Premier and government of the whole of KZN; urban and rural. Rural people also want to be developed where they are. They do not want to be moved to the cities for them to can begin to even smell the bits of development.
The IFP agrees with the Premier in respect of the social ills devastating our province; the high levels of crime; education and health challenges; high levels of inequality, socially and economically. But we see the Premier being very short on solutions. We were expecting the Premier to come up with tangible, concrete and workable solutions to these impediments. Instead, the Premier tabled more promises of tunes that people of the province have listened to in many other SOPA’s before. Unfortunately, some of the social ills like drug trafficking and usage, selling of stolen goods, hijacking of vehicles and illegal sex sales happen with full knowledge and involvement of some rotten law enforcement officers in the country. Those rotten potatoes must be singled out and be isolated from our very dedicated and honest men and women in blue. They are a shame and an embarrassment to this noble profession. The same goes for those who decide to first take bribes for a government service to be executed. The same thing must happen to those who decide on the awarding of tenders on the basis of how much has been put in their pockets by the unscrupulous tender-preneuers. The same thing needs to happen to those who subject our road-users to road fatalities by accepting bribes from drunken drivers and other law-breaking drivers instead of giving them the necessary fines prescribed by the law. These are the civil service measures, Hon Premier, which must be ensured in government in order for our province to become a winning province once more.
Sesiside isikhathi abantu baKwaZulu Natali belubambile loludonga lwalezi zethembiso kepha lungadiliki. Sesiside kakhulu isikhathi abantu baKwaZulu Natali belithwele leli dombolo lezethembiso ezingafezeki. Lesi makube yisikhathi sokwenza Mhlonishwa Ndunankulu.
As we look back to where we have come from as a people, like both His Majesty and the Premier did, we can never be proud of the violence that set brother against brother, and sister against sister. However, we find solace and comfort in the giant steps taken by our legendary leaders of all sides for the relative peace that we now enjoy in our province and our country. As the IFP, we appeal to government and to the security and justice institutions of our country to drastically deal with all the sporadic incidents of violent crimes that seek to destabilise our province. All the perpetrators of violence and crime in our province must be brought to book and pay highest prices for their deeds.
As a painful reminder, some of our compatriots in the province lost their businesses in these incidents in different ways through torching and other forms. Like His Majesty the King said, these losses have never been compensated. It was part of the practices that led to the immediate downfall of township economies in our province. Under your leadership, Hon Premier, the IFP appeals for such compensation to be made. People who lost their shops through political violence must be compensated. People whom lost their busses and kombis through political violence of those times must be compensated. Besides such deed being compensation by government, this will also help 5o revive and restore the township economies in our province which was destroyed during political violence.
Honorable Premier, on behalf of the IFP, I lend you our support to make this a working legislature to ensure that action can take place. We will not oppose legislation, regulations, plans or any government programmes which is aimed at building our people in KZN. We share a common vision and that is to see our province, prosper. We share a vision to see social and economic justice in action.
If, however, the current administration decides to take an alternative route or a detour on our collective road of prosperity, the IFP will ensure that the provincial administration is held accountable. We will constructively debate you, and we will always provide solutions. We are not here to make noise to play to the gallery or the viewers at home, we are here to serve and we are here to deliver for all people of KwaZulu-Natal.
Let us work together as all the residents of KwaZulu-Natal demand action now that will deliver a working, prosperous, KZN for all.
I thank you.