Anthony Benadie MPL
Provincial Leader – Mpumalanga
Mpumalanga’s State of the Province Address (SOPA) as delivered by premier DD Mabuza has made one thing clear: the ANC has no plan to better the lives of Mpumalanga’s citizens, and has missed the opportunity to provide our province’s people with a new vision and direction.
The address was a basic recitation of ANC and government policy and a rehashed version of previous unfulfilled and unachieved promises.
For most of his address, the premier said nothing new and repeatedly stated the obvious. He has tried to create an impression of delivery by claiming major victories for even the most mediocre service. Simply repeating what is needed to improve services across departments, does not actually lead to improved delivery, especially in the absence of a realistic and concrete implementation plan.
However, what the premier was successful in, was providing Mpumalanga with a diagnosis of its shortcomings, but gave absolutely no indication on how the next administration would address it.
It is clear that the premier suffers from the “big lie syndrome”, hoping that if he repeats the same ANC jargon over and over, people will believe him. In fact he has begun to believe himself, and painted a picture of a province that is so far removed from daily reality that one wonders which province he was talking about.
Significantly, the most delivery strides were made in partnership with the private sector, where in many instances government merely plays a facilitating role, leaving business to provide all the funding and do all the work.
Premier Mabuza was clearly conscious that this was his final SOPA. The fact is that the province cannot afford another five years of him at the helm.
That said, and given the shallow address delivered today, the DA cannot support any bid by the ANC or Mabuza himself, to serve a second term as premier following the May general elections. The ANC must now tell Mpumalanga who its premier candidate is going to be.
In contrast the DA will tomorrow not only launch our Premiership campaign, introduce all our candidates – but will set out a clear alternative vision for Mpumalanga that will lead to real change and the creation of real jobs