Anthony Benadie MPL
Provincial Leader – Mpumalanga
The Speaker of the Mpumalanga legislature will not call members back from recess to discuss how to save the town of Pilgrim’s Rest from shutdown on 31 July.
Despite an urgent request from the DA to the Speaker’s office, no response has been received for nearly a week.
If the province cannot find a resolution to this situation, police will proceed to forcefully remove business owners from their premises on 1 August. This was made clear to the community during a public meeting held there by Public Works on Wednesday.
Businesses are due to close and hundreds of job will be lost due to the Public Works department’s awarding of leases for 21 core business premises in the town to people with no capital, support or knowledge of the town’s economy.
The job security of hundreds of workers was not negotiated by Public Works, meaning that many lose their jobs and income from 1 August.
The unwillingness of the Speaker to reconvene the Provincial legislature, in an attempt to save Pilgrims Rest, exposes the ANC’s lack of political will to address tough issues. It also reflects the Speakers total misconception about the seriousness of this matter, while at the same time raising the DA’s suspicion about the tender process followed.
The DA will pursue all avenues available to it to stop Public Works from wrecking this town’s economy. We are currently obtaining legal opinion in this regard.