Jack Bloom MPL
DA Member, Gauteng Legislature
Note: Summary extract of Speech by Jack Bloom MPL in State of the Province Debate in the Gauteng Legislature on 1 July 2014
Madam Speaker, I was impressed by the Honourable Premier’s maiden address.
He was frank about the anger of people in this province, and forthright about what he proposed to do about it.
But five years ago, Premier Nomvula Mokonyane also talked about speedy change to meet the needs of the people.
The Honourable Premier gave his address a short distance away from the Natalspruit hospital.
This hospital is on a dangerous sink hole and so a new hospital has been built to replace it in Vosloorus.
It was supposed to open more than five years ago, but has been endlessly delayed by the general incompetence that plagues all major projects in this province.
Earlier this year, Premier Nomvula Mokonyane told us that it would open in July, but we have now been told that it will officially open in the next 100 days, which probably means a September date or even later.
It’s a continuation of the failed promises of a provincial government that has been run by the same political party for 20 years.
Makhura is the sixth premier of this province from this same party, for which he served a long time as provincial secretary.
He cannot run away so easily from the poor track record of the ANC in government in this province.
This is why the Gauteng Heath Department remains crippled despite three years of a proclaimed “turnaround” process.
The Honourable Premier now promises an “urgent turnaround”, but he then puts in charge the same MEC who started the last so-called turnaround, without too much result.
Each new ANC premier comes in trying to clean up the mess left by the previous premier, with mixed results.
I applaud the emphasis on listening and communicating with people, including unannounced visits to hospitals, police stations and other public institutions.
This is always worthwhile, but it’s a bit strange for a government not to have systems in place to pick up glaring problems in the first place.
What happened to the e-Maintenance Pilot Project that the Honourable Qedani Mahlangu announced in August last year at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital?
This was supposed to be a user-friendly way for maintenance problems to be logged by the public, and attended to in good time.
It is obviously a big flop because the Health and Infrastructure Development MECs have both made visits to Baragwanath hospital and said they were shocked at conditions that included open sewage flows and equipment problems.
The Honourable Premier’s favourite word is “radical”, which he repeated in one 29 times in his speech.
This word means going to the fundamental root of the problem.
The reason all these promises of renewal and change made by former premiers have not worked is that there is a fundamental systemic problem with ANC rule.
It’s the three C’s – Cronyism, Cadre deployment and Corruption.
They are all inter-related, including the so-called “Alex Mafia” that is at the root of much of the corruption that holds back the potential of this province.
We must ask – can the leopard change its spots?
This is the Goliath that our David must slay.
(Note: the “Alex Mafia” is a term widely used to refer to businesses and people with perceived close ties to ANC Gauteng Provincial Chairperson Paul Mashatile that have received lucrative contracts from the Gauteng Provincial Government).