James Masango MPL
Provincial Chief Whip of the Official Opposition
As the people of Mpumalanga continue to hope for a better tomorrow, the Mpumalanga government continues to dash their dreams by making empty promises and deceptive statements when it comes to housing, with Premier David Mabuza the biggest culprit.
The premier recently made statements which don’t collate to the promises he has been making over the past few months. Late last year he promised that all incomplete houses would be finished by March 2013, but on realising this was unattainable, shifted the deadline to June – 100 days from his State of the Province Address (SOPA). He also promised that contractors would work day and night and that he would take action against all those who missed the deadlines.
But recent ambiguous statements and decisions by the premier have left a huge question mark on his intentions, as they indicate that he is simply making false promises to keep people appeased.
His announcement that government is on target to meet its goal of completing 10 000 houses this year – as per his SOPA – couldn’t be further from the truth. This not because of the number given, but because he never once during SOPA mentioned a set target, but simply promised to complete ALL incomplete houses, which at the time were far more than 10 000.
It also seems that he isn’t taking necessary steps against non-compliant contractors.
Although government claims that serious action is being taken against such individuals, with 65 contractors already fired, what then is the explanation for recent events at Tweefontein where Mabuza gave a contractor another chance to complete 140 houses which were due to be handed over at the end of July.
In addition, how can government explain Mabuza’s acceptance of the contractor’s unrealistic commitment to complete all the houses by the end of August, despite foundations for these units not even being dug yet?
The DA fails to understand how Mabuza can herald the government’s success at the completion of 6 000 incomplete units, given that the backlog of incomplete houses was – and still is – far beyond this. This alone is proof that the premier failed his own deadlines.
The premier is simply telling people what they want to hear. He is not meeting his obligations and instead of admitting his failures, is simply allowing contractors and government to procrastinate by continuously shifting deadlines. This is misleading the public.
The premier must stop making empty promises and threats, he must stop deceiving the public and giving people false hope. As the saying goes “Actions speak louder than words” and currently government leads the verbal results, but is far off the pace in physically delivering on their word.