Anthony Benadie MPL
Provincial Leader – Mpumalanga
The DA welcomes a number of interventions promised by the premier, Mr David Mabuza during his State of the Province Address (SOPA), but remains concerned that the lack of measurable plans of action may cripple such efforts.
The Mpumalanga Economic Growth and Development Path, Mpumalanga Infrastructure Development Plan and Human Development Strategy interventions to foster economic growth, create jobs and develop the infrastructure of the province sound like good ideas, but the reality is that these plans lack substance. While highlighting the problems these plans seek to address, the premier gave no indications or targets or timeframes for their implementation or execution.
The DA welcomes the fact that premier Mabuza finally acknowledges the problems in health care, education, water provision and the poor state of local governance, and sincerely hopes that his response would bear fruit.
The reality check given by the national department of health that no health facility complies with its expectations comes as no news, and the DA can only breathe a sigh of relief that the executive has finally taken its head out of the sand over the state of the province’s health facilities. However, we remain deeply concern over the increase in the HIV/Aids prevalence rate, but welcome the commitment to increase the number of patients receiving treatment.
We are highly concerned over the announcement of the land earmarked for the main university campus’ location. This was done without any consultation, nor any form of public scrutiny or oversight, and the public has no idea where it is to be situated. We reiterate our call to open the debate around the location and composition of the university.
The DA is relieved that premier Mabuza has acknowledged the dysfunctionality of local government as well as water provision, but the lack of a tough stance against cadre deployment shows that nothing will change. While water provision in the province is in crisis, the premier’s announcement that the administration would improve bulk water supply and reticulation says nothing about attracting the necessary skills to do so. Furthermore, the fact that the Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency will be assisting with the funding and implementation boggles the mind, as that agency has neither the necessary skills nor expertise to deal with the matter.
In conclusion, the DA has found premier Mabuza’s SOPA a compilation of announcements that lack the detail of how they will be implemented. We will, however, closely monitor the administration and establish whether these will be implemented.