David van Vuuren MPL
DA Chief Whip in the Free State Provincial Legislature
The DA objects to the 2014 Appropriation Bill tabled by Finance MEC Rockman earlier this year.
We do not have confidence in the ability of 6 core provincial departments to utilise their funds appropriately to benefit the people of the Free State. These are:
- The Department of the Premier should ideally be a governance and coordinating entity and not an implementing department. The budget is inflated, taking much needed funds away from other service delivery departments. We still wait for the implementation of National Treasury’s recommendations regarding the cancellation of the irregular and illegal Letlaka Communications contracts as well as the irregular and illegal transversal agreements between the Premier’s Office and other provincial departments;
- The Department of Economic Development, Tourism, Small Business and Environmental Affairs has failed to tackle the Free State’s high unemployment rate and identify and implement measures to attract investment establish an environment conducive to economic growth and job creation;
- The Department of Health’s MEC, Dr Benny Malakoane, is not fit for office. Under his administration public health services in the province have collapsed;
- The Department of Education is in severe financial difficulties leaving it unable to meet its financial obligations including failure to pay school state subsidies to schools. The DA has repeatedly called on the department to table a strategy to turn the financial situation around without success;
- The Department of COGTA and Human Settlements has failed to deliver houses and transfer title deeds to the people of the Free State, many projects remain incomplete. The department has also failed to intervene within defunct municipalities and to effectively address the Free State’s water crisis;
- The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has failed to effectively engage and work with stakeholders in the agricultural sector. It failed to assist the agricultural sector with drought assistance. It has failed to assist emerging farmers. Gross mismanagement and irregularities with the Vrede Dairy Project, the Xariep Fish Hatchery and the Diyatalawa projects costing the province hundreds of millions of rands.
The Free State budget will not alleviate poverty, grow the economy or create jobs. It will also fail to ensure the delivery of quality basic services to the people of the Free State.
The DA can’t support a budget that will further entrench poverty while the politically connected cronies of Premier Ace Magashule continue to suck the province dry of much needed resources.