The Eastern Cape needs clear action steps, not empty promises, from premier Oscar Mabuyane during his inaugural State of the Province Address tomorrow.
The Democratic Alliance believes that what the Eastern Cape needs is strong leadership, an unrelenting consequence management system that will hold those responsible of wrongdoing to account, and an honest commitment to serve the people of this province.
Key areas of concern are the collapsing local government structures, with several municipalities across the province in dire need of urgent intervention, with many unable to deliver even the most basic of services to the people they are meant to serve.
The Eastern Cape unemployment rate continues to soar, and is the highest in the country, at 37,4%, and this is one of the areas that must be addressed as a matter of urgency.
What is needed is concrete plans that will reinvigorate key sectors of our economy and provide opportunities for businesses to create jobs.
There needs to be a strong focus on infrastructure rollout, especially in the rural areas, to restore the dignity of the people of this province.
Special focus also needs to be given to departments that have been severely mismanaged in the past, such as the Department of Health, where the Auditor General (AG) raised serious concerns over its financial sustainability last year.
Fruitless and wasteful expenditure needs to be curbed, and those responsible for abusing public funds must be held to account.
It is also not enough to pay lip service to the fight against corruption. We want a commitment that action will be taken against public representatives and government officials alike; and follow through that will lead to convictions and jail time for offenders.
It is high time that people who have been stealing money from the people of this province face the consequences of their actions.
Nqaba Bhanga MPL
Shadow Eastern Cape Premier
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