Mpumalanga’s governance is NOT the best in South Africa, as claimed by NCOP member

By Farhad Essack MP, NCOP Member:

The ANC deployees in the NCOP delegation from Mpumalanga, led by the ANC’s Simphiwe Mthimunye, have lauded the Mpumalanga provincial government for its projects and praised it for its governance, while the people of this province live in a very different reality.

Mr Mthimunye claimed that the Mpumalanga provincial government was the best in the country, during a press briefing on the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) visit to the province just last week.

This statement is completely false; as all reports indicate the DA-run Western Cape has the best governance model, and is effectively the best in the country with the highest quality of life. Even the Presidency’s own monitoring model confirms this.

Mr Mthimunye’s comments are also in complete contrast to those expressed by the ANC provincial executive committee on Tuesday (28 July 2015) when they said, “The state of governance and political leadership leaves much to be desired.”

Clearly Mr Mthimunye used the NCOP visit to advance his own political agenda, instead of interacting with communities regarding the Mpumalanga government’s service delivery failures. While people on the ground in province are left without hope and opportunities, the ANC is peddling fibs about its delivery record.

If Mr Mthimunye was here to do proper oversight, such a statement would not have been made. The delegation should have noted that:

  • Majority of local municipalities are in financial turmoil, with performance and management at its worst since 2007/2008.
  • Only 44% of Municipal Infrastructure Grant projects achieve their targets and
  • There is a lack of adequate political and administrative leadership in our municipalities.

Clearly Mr Mthimunye’s misleading comments inspired Premier David Mabuza to follow suit, when he said (at the same NCOP briefing) that, “As a country, we need to use our money correctly by avoiding wastages”.

The Hon. Premier must be suffering from a mild case of amnesia, as Mpumalanga municipalities have a combined unauthorised, fruitless and wasteful expenditure amounting to R3.3 Billion as of the 2013/2014 financial year end. This all happened under his watch.

It is high time that this government is accountable to the people, and not just Luthuli House.

Under the leadership of DD Mabuza, factionalism is now the norm, with in-fighting more prevalent at local government level, leading to service delivery being compromised even more – the people of Mpumalanga who struggle every day to get ahead are the ones who suffer the most.

The province is in dire need of strong leadership. Not leadership who is accused of being an Apartheid spy; or who spies on journalists illegally; Leadership that does not give tenders to businesses who contributed to his personal “Kancane Kancane” programme is what we need.

The DA in the Western Cape has systematically implemented good governance practices to ensure an efficient and professional public service in the places where we govern. We have learnt from this process that excellence in service delivery can only be achieved when the right management practices are in place, through performance monitoring and banning politicians and employees doing business with the Province.