FS Government – business as usual

Roy Jankielsohn, MPL

DA Leader of the Official Opposition in the Free State Provincial Legislature

We welcome the appointment of the new Free State provincial government. Many of the MECs remain unchanged and most instances it will be business as usual. It also begs the question why the appointment of MECs were so delayed.

The provincial government has a great deal of work to do to ensure effective and quality service delivery. We note the new faces that have been appointed as MECs and we wish them well with the work that they have to do to serve the people of the province.

However, we remain concerned that Benny Malakoane has been reappointed as MEC for Health. Malakoane is currently out on bail and is facing charges for crimes relating to contravention of the Municipal Finance Management Act during his tenure as Matjhabeng Municipal Manager from 2007 to 2010. It is alleged that Malakoane irregularly awarded a tender for the supply and installation of photocopy machines and telephone lines to the municipality. During Malakoaneā€™s tenure as MEC for Health, the department saw financial difficulties with more that R700 million in accruals during the last financial year and critical medical staff, food, medicine and medical equipment shortages at various public health facilities.

As the Official Opposition in the Free State Legislature, the Democratic Alliance, we will hold the executive committee to account through the various mechanisms available to us in the legislature. The DA is aware of the problems that our people in the Free State face. The DA will not shy away from our responsibility to the people of this province to do whatever we can to ensure effective service delivery and holding the executive to account.

The DA will closely monitor the first hundred days of the newly appointed executive committee in government, and conduct an analysis to determine whether their respective departments are showing any signs of improvement.