Urgent intervention needed in Maluti-a-Phofung Economic Zone

Leona Kleynhans

DA MPL in the Free State Provincial Legislature

Note: This is a declaration delivered by Leona Kleynhans during a sitting of the Free State Provincial Legislature.

We read on page 6 and 7 of the Committee Report on the site visit to the Special Economic Zone in Maluti-a-Phofung that ‘the local municipality is a strategic partner’ in the development of any special economic zone.

We absolutely support this crucial economic development, which could bring huge benefit to the people of the Free State, Thabo Mofutsanyana and especially Maluti-a-Phofung.

We must bear in mind, however, that such a development does not happen on a separate planet, but within a local municipality. The local municipality must supply all the services to the development, including the small, micro and medium enterprises which it is hoped will provide value-add, down-stream and up-stream services.

Maluti-a-Phofung municipality is in a critical state of dysfunction. As things stand it is bankrupt and unable to deliver the most basic of services. The debtors stand at R1 billion, Eskom is owed R600 million, refuse, roads, water and sewage services have all but collapsed.

This municipality is unable to provide the services required to service a special economic zone.

Unless a radical intervention is undertaken by the National and Provincial governments to turn things around fast, this special economic zone will not get off the ground.