Home News Premier not serious about rooting out corruption – DA

Premier not serious about rooting out corruption – DA

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DA provincial leader Harold McGluwa has questioned why Northern Cape Premier Dr Zamani Saul made no mention of the R500 billion that the country lost to corruption when he delivered his State of the Province address last week.

Northern Cape Premier Dr Zamani Saul delivered the State of the Province address at the Mittah Seperepere Convention Centre in Kimberley last week. Picture: Sandi Kwon Hoo

DA PROVINCIAL leader Harold McGluwa has questioned why Northern Cape Premier Dr Zamani Saul made no mention of the R500 billion that the country lost to corruption when he delivered his State of the Province address (Sopa) last week.

During Tuesday’s Sopa debate, McGluwa stated that the Covid-19 pandemic had exposed unprecedented levels of corruption and maladministration.

“State capture and corruption and cadre deployment are the products of comrades with an appetite for nice things that they don’t work for,” he said.

McGluwa pointed out that the premier was reluctant to name and shame cadres implicated in irregular expenses.

“The premier continues to harbour a convicted HOD and a chief financial officer involved in serious corruption allegations at the helm of another government department’s finances.”

He said that the newly introduced health-care app was not working, while patients went missing from Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe Hospital due to inadequate security.

“The Northern Cape provincial government has bought 146 new ambulances since 2019. We were informed that payments are made within 30 days. Shocking statistics show that in the ZF Mgcawu District, only nine out of 22 ambulances are operational. At the same time, new ambulances could not be procured in the current financial year because of accruals at the Health Department.”

McGluwa added that the auditor-general’s reports show that the provincial fiscus had more than R19.8 billion in “unwanted spending”.

He said the Province was being placed in a stranglehold of load shedding, sewage and water cuts for months on end, despite sums of R500 million and R2.5 billion being allocated to improve service delivery.

FF+ member of the provincial legislature Danie Coetzee stated that due to a lack of maintenance of infrastructure, the provincial government needed R200 million to address the water crisis.

“Despite a slight improvement in the matric results, the Northern Cape remains the lowest academic achievers in the country, compared to 1994 when it was the top province,” said Coetzee.

He added that the premier failed to elaborate on where the two million hectares of land for land reform would be sourced and what potential it had for food production.

“If agricultural land is taken, it can lead to inflated food prices and social unrest.”

DA premier candidate Dr Isak Fritz, delivering his alternative Sopa, believed that the premier was not serious about rooting out corruption.

Fritz promised to deliver investment in sustainable job creation, soften the impact of load shedding and water shedding, halve the rate of violent crime, abolish cadre deployment, lift people out of poverty and improve the quality of education and health care if the DA was in charge.

“Most of the problems stem from large-scale and gross financial mismanagement,” said Fritz.

“The auditor-general’s reports give a breakdown of all expenditure by the provincial government. As of March 2023, provincial departments incurred R199 million in fruitless and wasteful expenditure, R729 million in unauthorised expenditure and R18.8 billion in irregular expenditure. That is more than R19.8 billion. This is more than the equitable share that the Northern Cape will be getting for the 2024/25 financial year.

“In other words, we could pay every provincial bill for a whole year using money that’s been misused.”

Fritz added that cadre deployment was eating away at service delivery.

“Appointments should be made on merit, while public funds must be used for public benefit.”

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