DA calls on Premier to come clean on who runs province

Andrew Louw, MPL

DA Provincial Leader:

The Democratic Alliance notes with interest the statements made by Zamani Saul. We have written to the Office of the Premier seeking clarity on the wild promises made by Mr. Saul.

According to Zamani Saul, the provincial ANC wants to establish monitoring and planning commissions in the Office of the Premier before April 1st.

We want to know if a current MEC will shoulder these responsibilities or if another post will be created for a new member. There are cost implications to this decision which is likely to strain the limited resources available to the province. In the Office of the Premier, there already exists units for Premier Support, Executive Council Support, Intergovernmental Relations and Provincial Policy Management.

Will these units be integrated into a single monitoring and planning commission or will their functions be duplicated in a new unit? How will the commissions be funded? Is this not just another scheme to find a seat on the gravy train for ANC cadres?

Where the DA governs in the Western Cape, the Office of the Premier does not create jobs willy-nilly. All government posts are aligned to a strategic plan and must be approved by the provincial treasury. We don’t get a sense that this is happening here where a political representative makes pronouncements of this sort.

Announcements which affect the provincial administration should be made by the premier and not by the secretary of a political party. As a government initiative, this should be driven by the premier as executive authority of the province. The premier is allowing the ANC to undermine her authority and to make her nothing but a puppet premier. It is no wonder that the premier is too weak to speak meaningfully on issues of corruption. The provincial secretary of the ANC is driving around in a car bought under a cloud of corruption and the provincial chairperson of the ANC is facing a multitude of criminal charges. Yet these two men are seen to be running the province from their Du Toitspan offices.

As leader of official opposition, I want to make it categorically clear that Zamani Saul has no business in the provincial administration or Legislature. I’ve said it before and I’ll repeat it again – he is the secretary, he is there to take minutes at ANC branch meetings and elsewhere. He has no business poking his nose into the cabinet and the provincial legislature. Zamani Saul had an opportunity to become MP, he refused and as far as we’re concerned, he has no standing to talk about provincial matters now. He is arrogant to the extreme and is usurping the authority of the premier.

We wonder if Mr. Saul would have behaved in the same manner if the premier was male. We think not.

It is time for the premier to come clean on who is in charge of the province.