Comment on Eastern Cape State of the Province Address

The Premier’s speech correctly mentioned the areas of job creation, infrastructure and rural development as well as education and crime. But she did not pronounce a bold, brave and decisive leadership vision necessary to create rising opportunity in the province.

The twin pillars of rising opportunity are heavily dependent on economic growth and a decent education system.

The education department needs to be totally re-engineered. A big stick simply does not work. The national intervention has proved to be a failure. One needs to go into the department with a butcher’s knife and cut out all the rot. Until this happens nothing will change.

The Premier declared this the year of action, which we will hold her to. We need decisive action to get rid of corruption, cadre deployment and red tape which is strangling the climate for economic growth. A job is the best passport out of poverty.

We welcome the Premier’s commitment to introducing a framework to deal with civil servants doing business with the province. This is an issue the DA has been calling for, for some time but feel this matter is dragging on. In the Western Cape where the DA is in government, this practice was outlawed two years ago.

Each year the expectations of people in the province are raised by statements contained in the State of the Province Address which fail to be implemented during the course of the year. An example of which was the Premier’s commitment last year to deal with the 5 500 surplus teachers in the province within six months. The failure to deal with this is going to result in over expenditure in education. That, together with the over expenditure in health, has the potential to financially cripple this province.

Bobby Stevenson, MPL

DA Caucus Leader Eastern Cape Legislature

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