Anthony Benadie MPL
Provincial Leader – Mpumalanga
Mpumalanga premier David Mabuza and the ruling ANC have exposed their own hypocrisy after resorting to using the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature as a dumping ground for under-performing senior party officials.
The swearing-in of former human settlements HOD David Dube as Member of the Provincial Legislature not only makes a mockery of Legislature as an institution, but sends a strong message to ANC members that blind political loyalty to the premier and his cohorts will be rewarded, no matter how dismally one underperforms.
The question here is not why Mr Dube was suddenly “promoted” to MPL after almost single-handedly overseeing the complete collapse of government’s housing delivery effort in Mpumalanga, but rather who premier Mabuza thinks he is fooling. A mere 19 days ago Mpumalanga’s citizens were told how an “angry” and “visibly upset” premier read senior human settlements department management the riot act over the department’s failure to deliver decent housing, and how he could not “preside over something that is collapsing”.
The province heaved a collective sigh of relief when the premier announced Mr Dube’s removal from office, and for a brief moment it seemed Premier Mabuza was at last taking service delivery seriously. And now, the very same Mr Dube’s vast knowledge base and how “he brings a treasure of experience in administration” to the Legislature are being waxed lyrical about, exposing premier Mabuza and the ANC for the hypocrites they are, and adding to the already overwhelming perception that loyal ANC cadres take precedence over the needs of Mpumalanga’s people.
The fact is that Mr Dube’s new appointment has long been in the making, officially as far back as 13 June, when his name appeared in the ANC’s reviewed list of candidates in the Government Gazette. However, it is more likely that it goes back as far as premier Mabuza’s re-election as ANC chairperson earlier this year, and Mr Dube is now being rewarded for his political allegiance.
The question that should be asked is what plans premier Mabuza holds for the future. While he may have stage-managed Mr Dube’s removal from human settlements, the question is whether he is doing the same with his recent tour of the province’s hospitals, and his subsequent “anger” and “dismay” over the state of health care in Mpumalanga.
Only time will tell whether the province will see the premier remove another political opponent in the shape of health MEC Dr Clifford Mkasi, while in the meantime, the people of Mpumalanga will continue to suffer the consequences of a government poorly run by ANC loyalists.