Andrew Louw, MPL
DA Provincial Leader
The State of the Province Address (SOPA) provides a golden opportunity for provincial government to set out a new and improved plan for the next five years.
For the sake of all the people of the Northern Cape, especially those crying out for jobs, the DA hopes that Premier Sylvia Lucas will make use of this occasion to announce a groundbreaking plan to grow the provincial economy, grow jobs and cut corruption.
Lucas has however failed to excite us with her rambling “good story” rhetoric in the past. This, coupled with the mediocre departmental budget votes currently being presented to legislature portfolio committees, give us reason to believe that her the SOPA for the 5th legislature will simply be more of the same.
In other words, the economic hopes of the entire province will probably remained pinned on the Economic Development Department’s disappointing mega projects, its inefficient SMME development programmes and its below average tourism advancement programmes.
What we really need is robust policy changes to cut red tape for businesses. We also need the Premier to take a hard stance against corruption, which is keeping economic growth at bay. This is unlikely though, as she would not want to upset the ANC chairperson and Finance MEC, John Block, who is facing corruption charges.
It is also appropriate that Lucas addresses the service delivery protests and resultant school closures in Joe Morolong. Given her tendency to shy away from difficult and controversial issues, it would not however surprise us if she remains mum on this volatile matter.
We demand that Premier Lucas lays out a credible plan to create more jobs for the people of the Northern Cape.