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Premier Saul out of touch with reality – opposition

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Opposition political parties in the Northern Cape have slammed Premier Zamani Saul’s State of the Province address as being out of touch with the reality of the challenges the Province faces.

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OPPOSITION political parties in the Northern Cape have slammed Premier Zamani Saul’s State of the Province address (Sopa) as being out of touch with the reality of the challenges the Province faces.

Saul delivered the 2024 Sopa at the Mittah Seperepere Convention Centre in Kimberley on Thursday. He outlined the strides made by his administration in improving the quality of life for the people of the Northern Cape.

ALSO READ: Premier Saul delivers State of the Province address

In response, DA provincial leader Harold McGluwa said Saul’s address does not match reality.

McGluwa said that while Saul “gloated” that his administration had built and is in the process of building several new schools, the reality is that the quality of the education that learners in the Province receive leaves much to be desired.

“High access to schooling does not mean much when you have high drop-out rates, nor does buying electronic devices to “make children smart”, when a growing number of learners cannot even read with comprehension,” the DA leader said.

He added that the delay in paying contractors also hampers the delivery of quality education to learners.

“We heard of eight schools that have been completed since 2019, but the premier failed to tell people why school construction projects in places like Ga-Segonyana have been abandoned after money for their completion ran out.”

McGluwa said that the provision of emergency medical services is also an area that requires urgent intervention from local government.

“We heard of the 146 new ambulances bought since 2019 and we are told that all payments are made within 30 days, but yet we heard this week that in ZF Mgcawu 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.

“The mention of the health-care app is also not new. The DA previously tried this app when we were trying to summon an ambulance in an emergency and it was not working,” McGluwa said.

The provincial leader of Cope, Pakes Dikgetsi, said the address was merely a public relations stunt.

Dikgetsi stated that Saul has failed to improve the education and health sectors.

“The Department of Health and Department of Education are the two most prominent departments with the most significant budgets. Five years on and those two departments are still in the same weak position, if not weaker,” said Dikgetsi.

“Both departments have heads of department in acting positions, with almost every manager in an acting capacity. This has led to instability, poor service delivery and a breakdown in governance integrity.

“The Northern Cape’s ranking in last spot for the matric results is a direct result of this failure to ensure good governance.”

Dikgetsi added that the lives of residents have not improved since Saul took office.

“Saul ends his term with an economic growth plan to guide all social partners and government programmes. Many of his claims are self-preservation and pie-in-the-sky things. Today, people are poorer, unemployed and living in squalor.”

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