Census results wake-up call for Eastern Cape

Bobby Stevenson MPL

DA Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature Leader

The critical state of the Eastern Cape has been highlighted in the Census 2011 results by Statistics South Africa. The official rate of unemployment for the Eastern Cape is now an alarming 37.4% and the expanded unemployment rate is 51.2%, which is the highest in the country.

This heart rendering figure must be a wake-up call to the Eastern Cape government that it cannot afford to waste one cent on activities that are not geared to improving service delivery and job creation.

The fact that we have the highest amount of out-migration is a direct result of a lack of opportunities that people have in this province.

The Eastern Cape recorded the highest net migration of all the provinces namely a loss of 278 000 people since 2001. The next closest was Limpopo with a loss of 152 000 people.

Other statistics also indicate the extent of the poor quality of life that people in the Eastern Cape experience.

We have the highest number of households with no access to piped water of 374 000, the highest number of households (295 000) that rely on rivers and streams for their main source of water, the highest number of households – one out of eight — who have no toilets (214 000) and the highest number of households (22 000) that rely on animal dung as an energy source for cooking. This shows the lack of human dignity that people in the Eastern Cape still experience.

The Eastern Cape needs to be re-engineered. We can no longer afford a bloated bureaucracy that does not give value for money when it comes to service delivery. The fact that the Eastern Cape only achieved an average of 51% of its service delivery targets in 2011/12 says it all.

The DA will continue to fight for improved service delivery at all levels of government so that this province can become a place of rising opportunity for all; a place where employment is rising and where people can continue to make the Eastern Cape their home with confidence. The people of this province have the power to bring about this change and this power lies in their vote and not in service delivery protests.

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