DA KZN: MEC using his political position to protect Ezemvelo

Francois Rodgers, MPL

DA KZN Spokesperson on Finance:

DURING today’s Finance portfolio committee budget hearing with Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife the DA saw just how far EDTEA MEC, Mike Mabuyakhulu will go in using his political position to protect Ezemvelo – an entity which continues to underperform and embarrass this province.

We can only assume that the MEC is out of touch with reality.

The purpose of a budget hearing is to scrutinize the department’s forthcoming budget.  In this case it had to be interrogated, taking into account the department’s previous financial performance.

The end result of this process is to formulate resolutions to ensure that departments comply with and rectify any transgressions or challenges within the budget.

At last year’s Ezemvelo budget hearing it was evident that the writing was on the wall when it came to capacity, vacant posts, under-expenditure and inability to maintain infrastructure.

The DA regards it as extremely disturbing that, one year on, very little has changed.

Ezemvelo continues to slide into a financial abyss when it comes to maintenance of its infrastructure and resort facilities. Meanwhile, occupation and turnover generated at these resorts continue to show a decline.

The finance committee at the 2014 budget hearing took crucial resolutions in an effort to assist Ezemvelo with a turnaround strategy. This included the finalisation of the organogram, an action plan with timelines and details of planned spending.

This was all supposed to have been completed by 30 January 2015.  At today’s hearing none of this information was available.

It is clear that nothing has changed at Ezemvelo.

The DA regards it as unacceptable that despite resolutions being adopted, entities are not complying with them.  It makes the oversight role of the KZN Legislature an absolute waste of taxpayers’ time and money.