Home News Sopa 2021: Opposition parties call for “concrete plans” from Premier Saul

Sopa 2021: Opposition parties call for “concrete plans” from Premier Saul

316
SHARE

“The premier has already served two years in office, the time for talk is long over.”

Northern Cape Premier Dr Zamani Saul. File image

OPPOSITION parties have called on Northern Cape Premier Dr Zamani Saul to lay out concrete plans to turn the Province around when he delivers his State of the Province address this evening.

EFF provincial secretary Shadrack Tlhaole said that they feared that Sopa would be a case of “more talk and less action”.

“The premier loves media attention, he is like an actor from Generations. All his talk shows are not getting us anywhere. There is no reason for him to behave smart. The province has regressed horribly, despite all the talk about developing a modern-day economy. We want the premier to speak about corruption and tell us what is being done to address it,” said Tlhaole.

“If he allows corruption to take place under his watch, then he is promoting corruption. Surely people who are fingered in corruption would want to clear their names? We also need to be updated on the ethics committee that has gone dead quiet.”

Tlhaole added that Saul needed to prioritise the poor state of health facilities in the Province.

“The inadequacies of state hospitals have been exposed by the Covid-19 pandemic and health services have suffered a blow as a result of poor leadership.”

He said that it was counterproductive for departments to only have acting heads of department.

“This results in a lack of leadership, where there were no contingency plans or proactive measures in place when heavy rains fell and roads became dilapidated.

“We need a MEC for the Department of Education to serve two consecutive terms to restore the Province back to where it was. The matric results for 2020 were a big disappointment.”

He added that the premier also needs to ensure that the roads in Kimberley and the Province are not a hazard to motorists.

“There is a high mortality rate in the Province due to the condition of our roads. This state of mediocrity cannot be tolerated.”

DA provincial leader Harold McGluwa said that Saul should not merely outline results already achieved by the provincial government, but also “take decisive action”.

“The state of the Northern Cape is worse than it has ever been before. This has been aggravated by Covid-19, the lockdown’s harsh economic impact and systemic corruption,” said McGluwa.

“Just last week, the Northern Cape received two more devastating blows. Not only was the Province announced as having the lowest matric pass rate in the country, but it was also announced as having the largest increase in the official unemployment rate, according to the latest fourth quarterly labour force survey.”

McGluwa pointed out that the citizens of the Province are facing real hardships.

“The premier must not try and disguise this real state of the Province.

“Now, more than ever before, it would be prudent of Dr Saul to report back on how many criminal cases have been opened, how many officials have been disciplined and how much money has been saved on terminating irregular contracts, since he took over leadership of the Northern Cape.”

McGluwa said areas that needed to be addressed also included ensuring that all children had sustained access to quality education.

“We want to hear what will be done to help create a future for our thousands of demotivated youths who remain without the necessary education, skills and jobs. We are also particularly interested in hearing what he is doing to prevent a provincial-wide water crisis and how he is helping the Health Department get off life-support.

“The premier has already served two years in office, the time for talk is long over.”

FF+ member of the provincial legislature Daniel Coetzee said he wanted the premier to give details on the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out in the Province.

“While there is a need to develop herd immunity, the roll-out is taking place at a slow pace. The premier must urgently address how he will revive the economy that was ravaged by the Covid-19 pandemic and assist the large volume of people who lost their jobs as a result,” said Coetzee.

He added that now was the time to build new dams and to save excess water from the heavy rains for use during times of drought.

“Instead of renaming towns, they should use the funds to repair ailing infrastructure. There should be more focus on solar and natural energy to resolve the energy crisis.”

Coetzee said that land distribution without compensation would destabilise food security and the agricultural sector. “The Province needs to attract more investment.”

Sopa will be broadcast live on the parliamentary channel DSTV408, on community radio stations, on the https://www.ncpleg.gov.za/ website as well as on the NCPL Youtube Channel and @NCPLProvLeg Facebook Page from 5pm.