Anthony Benadie MPL
Provincial Leader – Mpumalanga
The following member’s statement was delivered by Anthony Benadie to the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature this afternoon
Top government officials in Mpumalanga should stop self-obsessing and start delivering. Media reports today suggest that a heated storm has erupted within the upper echelons of provincial government departments, over the provision and use of blue lights to Heads of Department (HODs).
At present, two HODs already make use of Blue Lights, namely David Mahlobo (COGTA), and Thulani Sibuyi (Safety and Security), for reasons unknown. Honourable Speaker, media reports suggest that MEC Shongwe has granted permission for HOD Sibuyi permission to use blue lights, because he ‘often had to deal with emergencies in his line of work’.
The fact is, that being late for a meeting is not an emergency and Mr Sibuyi is not a commanding officer. He is merely an administrative head of a relatively insignificant department which has no commanding authority, and really only plays a supportive and oversight role to the SAPS.
Honourable Speaker, of concern is that other HODs, instead of condemning this absurd behaviour, have expressed disgust because they have not been afforded the same treatment. Is it not ironic Honourable Speaker, that these same HODs have never made media headlines for expressing similar disgust and anger at the pathetic service delivery which their departments offer Mpumalanga’s citizens.
Instead of fuelling their own self obsession, not a single HOD has considered the danger which the use of blue lights brings to motorists in our province. No, they are just too desperate to show MECs how important they are, or even more important – perhaps their uninterrupted link to premier Mabuza has led them to believe that indeed our MECs are just figurines dancing to the premier’s tune.
In the Western Cape, the DA-led government has banned the use of blue lights for any VIP not experiencing a life threatening emergency, because to the DA it is the people, the lives of motorists and the safety of roads that is important – and not the egos of some ‘wannabe’ VIPs.