Free State roads causing economic crash

Roy Jankielsohn MPL

DA MPL in the Free State Provincial Legislature

The DA in the Free State objected to the Free State Adjustment Appropriation Bill.

The three main reasons for our objection are:

  1. The downward revision of R255 million of the Provincial Road Maintenance Grant (RMG) due to a decision by National Treasury to phase in a new funding formula.
  2. The failure of the ANC-led provincial government to utilise the R99 million due to clerks as part of the salary re-grading as directed by the National Department of Public Service and Administration.
  3. An additional R27 million given to MACUFE to fund a shortfall for this year’s festival, in addition to the previous R5 million allocated to this festival. This festival should be bringing in profit instead of costing the province R32 million. The entry costs to MACUFE remains too expensive for the average person to attend. Lower entry costs will allow more people to attend the festival which will contribute to making the festival self-sustainable.

Critical infrastructure such as roads are left to stagnate, destabilising economic activity while the budget of the office of the Premier has increased annually from R157 million in 2009/10 to more than R255 million in the current financial year. It is ironic that while the Premier is rewarded annually for his inability to improve governance, money gets taken away from critical roads infrastructure.

The Free State economic growth is in drastic decline, from 1.6% in 2012 to 1.2% in 2013. The expanded definition of unemployment shows an increase from 36,2% in 2003 to 41,2% in 2013. The economic decline is as a result of various factors that range from the deteriorating infrastructure such as roads and poor and ineffective governance and corruption, amongst others.