Bobby Stevenson MPL
DA Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature Leader and Shadow MEC for Finance
The Eastern Cape government failed to achieve nearly half of all its delivery targets for the past financial year.
The core delivery Departments of Health, Education, Rural Development and Agrarian Reform (agriculture), and Social Development were the worst performers. This is according to a DA analysis of the Auditor General’s findings in the latest annual reports for all Departments currently being tabled in the provincial legislature.
In total, the Eastern Cape met an average of just 51.5% of the delivery targets set for the 2011/12 financial year. This raises the question of what government is spending the money on if it is not meeting its targets. The Rural Development and Agrarian Reform Department, which should have the biggest impact on job creation, reached just 10% of its targets. This is a betrayal of the leading role agriculture should play in job creation. The Health Department reached just 41%, Education 35% and Social Development 28%.
Combined, these Departments shoulder the most responsibility for improving the lives of the people of the Eastern Cape. The tragic consequences are most acutely felt in our schools and hospitals. This grand failure to deliver highlights the broken chain of accountability that flows from MEC’s right throughout government departments. Until there are consequences for poor performance nothing will change. The example is clearly not being set from the top, with Premier Noxolo Kieviet’s Office meeting just 57% of their targets.
While still not reaching acceptable performance levels, the better performing Departments were Treasury (71%), Economic Development (76%) and Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture (67%).
The DA will use upcoming committee sessions, scheduled to scrutinise these reports, to push for performance contracts with the Premier to be signed by all MEC’s. For the first time, these contracts need to be made public so that we can enforce accountability on those elected to govern. If targets are not met, then the MEC’s should be fired – simple as that.
Where the DA governs we enforce stringent performance targets and accountability, we expect nothing less from the Eastern Cape government.